Browsing: Contemporary

Much acclaimed on the international contemporary music scene, the Quasar saxophone quartet is celebrating its milestone 25th anniversary this year. From its first concert in 1994 till now, all four members have never wavered in their commitment to the group and its dedication towards all things creative. For its current concert season, the group intends to focus more on the future than the past, with a view of renewing itself. Marie-Chantal Leclair, Quasar’s managing director and soprano player, recalls the foursome’s first outing: “We premiered four pieces that evening, and it was more than a wish for us to do…

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Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13 “Babi Yar” is a brave choice for an OSM season opener. Cast in five movements, it runs the gamut from sorrowful to scornful, confines itself vocally to males and makes many of its musical points at a sustained fortissimo. The Yevgeny Yevtushenko text refers to a Nazi massacre. The hourlong-plus experience can be onerous for a gala crowd, unless the performance is as inspired as it was under Kent Nagano Tuesday night in the Maison symphonique. It is hard to describe in words the mix of horror, irony and humanity that the composer calibrates so exactly…

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Without them, movies would never be made and plays would never be seen. While they work in different media, film and stage directors must coax actors by all means available to lift scripts off the page, and, if need be, let them ad-lib lines. Having worked extensively in both areas, Montreal composer Katia Makdissi-Warren likes to call herself a “sound director.” “I identify very much with their approach,” she says, “because there is more to directing than just telling the performers how to play the music. I want them to determine some of the content as well. The difference, of…

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Update (2019-07-22): here are the details of the funeral: Date: Tuesday, Aug. 13 at 1 PM Place: Saint-Viateur Church, 1175 Avenue Laurier O, Outremont, QC H2V 3R5 (directions) Details (La Presse) Joseph Rouleau was on the Board of Directors of the Orchestre classique de Montréal for close to 10 years and, since September 2018, was President. In my role as Executive Director, I tremendously enjoyed working with him. He was always positive and supportive. Everyone at the OCM is devastated by the passing of this great man who helped the orchestra tremendously. He was the type of man who was able to pick up the…

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REVIEW: of Ellen West (the world premiere of a new work by Ricky Ian Gordon and Frank Bidart); and La fille du régiment (a new production of Donizetti’s 1840 comic opera). Opera Saratoga inaugurated its summer 2019 mainstage series on June 29 and 30 – the same weekend as the highly-touted “WorldPride 50” celebration. The latter event, of course, originated as homage to the purported founding moment of the modern gay rights movement; but it has by now pullulated far beyond its initial meaning, becoming a portmanteau affirmation of self-identities of all stripes. It is interesting, then, that – whether…

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Ballet Opéra Pantomime (BOP) has won the Prix de la relève – Caisse Desjardins de la Culture 2019 along with the award’s $5,000 purse. The award recognizes the work of young collectives or professional organizations that take transformative action to support emerging artists. Ballet Opéra Pantomime Founded in 2013 by Hubert Tanguay-Labrosse and Alexis Raynault, Ballet Opéra Pantomime (BOP) seeks to create multidisciplinary shows centred on works of classical and contemporary music and presented in settings that are rich in emotional resonance for spectators. The jury members selected Ballet Opéra Pantomime for its innovative and singular contribution to the vibrancy…

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A keen observer of the new music scene in Montreal, Réjean Beaucage has taken to the task of demystifying that slightly strange bird known as musique actuelle. His book on this subject, released last February, is but a logical extension of his first one of eight years ago that recounted the history of the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec. In close to 200 pages, he embraces a good half a century of musical activity, its alpha point in 1961 with the Semaine de musique actuelle and further manifestations such as the FIMAV, founded in 1983 and still around to this…

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Victoriaville, 22 May 2019 – Now that the 35th edition of the Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville (FIMAV) is over, the team and board of Productions Plateforme announce very positive results for every programming component: concerts, sound art installations in public spaces, visual arts and experimental short film screenings. Sound art installations in public spaces: Year 10 under the sign of maturity The circuit of sound art installations in public spaces, a free-to-visit project that was in its 10th edition this year, has obviously reached a notorious maturity. It has grown from a dozen guided tours for school groups…

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PREVIEW: of the world premiere of Leonardo, a new operatic monodrama about Leonardo da Vinci by composer Jonathan Berger at NYC’s 92nd Street Y; and INTERVIEW: with composer/librettist Jonathan Berger. “Che cos’è uno starnuto?” Leonardo da Vinci asks himself – and his audience – at the top of composer Jonathan Berger’s new one-man opera, Leonardo. “What is a sneeze?” It may seem a disarmingly piddling question from one of history’s most titanic intellectual figures – but that is precisely composer Jonathan Berger’s point. “Leonardo’s greatest asset was his unabashed asking of simple questions,” Berger says, “and through those questions arriving…

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Orchestre Nouvelle Génération (ONG) concludes its eighth season with two concerts that will expand the thematic and artistic collaborations of this Montreal ensemble, whose passionate and creative performances attract an ever-growing audience. On April 18, Delightfully Tragic will feature works by Beethoven, Wagner, Janáček and Prokofiev inspired by great tragic love stories. On June 8, Visions Fugitives – Choreographed Paintings will invite the public to enter the whimsical world of painter Natasha Turovsky, where realism and surrealism merge with the fantastic miniatures of Prokofiev, Bach, Brahms, Britten, Stravinsky and Shostakovich. Delightfully Tragic will feature Elvira Misbakhova in Prokofiev’s Suite from…

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