Browsing: Orchestral

Denis Mastromonaco, 45, had just finished a rehearsal of Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances with the MSO, the resident orchestra of the sixth-largest city in Canada. “We are typically about 95, 98 members,” he explained. “It’s a healthy-sized orchestra.” The conductor was speaking about the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, an ensemble that concluded its 2018-19 season with Mahler’s Second Symphony (“Resurrection”) and is looking forward to presenting a fully-staged production of Verdi’s La Traviata on Jan. 25 and 28. Other works Mastromonaco has led during his seven years as music director are Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Bruckner’s Fourth, Nielsen’s Fourth (“Inextinguishable”) and Vaughan Williams’s…

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The National Youth Orchestra of Canada (NYOC), in collaboration with the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO), will present the Frenergy Tour from Nov.12 to 17. This historical association, made possible by the European Union Delegation to Canada, brings together 76 young musicians of exceptional ability. The tour takes them to Toronto, Kingston, Montreal and Ottawa. Led by the Austrian conductor Sascha Goetzel, the concerts will feature as soloist the fast-rising young violinist Blake Pouliot. Formerly a member of the NYOC, Pouliot is effusive about the organization. “I played with the orchestra in 2012 and 2103, an extraordinary experience that I…

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Why did it take so long to change the name? This is my first question for Boris Brott, artistic director of what is now called the Orchestre classique de Montréal. “Well, it was a hard decision and a matter of finding the right name,” the conductor says in what he calls his Toronto office – the Library Bar of the Fairmont Royal York Hotel. “Whatever we considered didn’t seem to fit until one day, our accountant said, ‘Why not call it Orchestre classique de Montréal’ and everybody said, ‘Wow, that’s the right name!’ Even unilingual anglophones will understand it!” Boris…

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Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts his first Puccini opera at the Met: Turandot, starring Christine Goerke, which opens October 3   Franco Zeffirelli’s iconic production also stars Yusif Eyvazov and Riccardo Massi as Calàf, Eleonora Buratto as Liù, and James Morris as Timur.   The performance on October 6 inaugurates the Met’s new series of Sunday matinee performances.   Turandot will be transmitted live to movie theaters around the world on Saturday, October 12, as part of The Met: Live in HD series.   Later performances in the spring will star Nina Stemme in the title role   New York,…

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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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The Exceptional Young Musicians of THE NATIONAL YOUTH ORCHESTRA OF CANADA & THE EUROPEAN UNION YOUTH ORCHESTRA Join Forces November 12-17 for The Frenergy Tour SASCHA GOETZEL, conductor BLAKE POULIOT, violin First-Ever Collaboration Between the Two Orchestras Made Possible by the European Union Delegation to Canada The National Youth Orchestra of Canada (NYO Canada) and the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) are joining forces for The Frenergy Tour, a landmark collaboration and celebration of music and friendship, featuring a combined total of 76 outstanding young musicians. Acclaimed Viennese conductor Sascha Goetzel leads the four-city tour, with music by Rossini, Ravel, Saint-Saëns, Stravinsky, and Wagner, as…

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Orchestre symphonique de Montréal Kent Nagano opens his last season as music director of the OSM on Sept. 17 and 18 with tough stuff: Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13 “Babi Yar.” Mahler’s Fifth Symphony on Sept. 19 and 21 will seem joyous by comparison. German superstar Anne-Sophie Mutter drops in on Sept. 24 and 25 with Beethoven’s Violin Concerto. Guest conductor Cristian Măcelaru leads this and Schoenberg’s well-intentioned orchestration of Brahms’s Piano Quartet Op. 25. Pianist András Schiff leads and plays Haydn (Concerto in D Major) and Beethoven (Piano Concerto No. 2) on Oct. 23 and 24. Brahms and Bartók complete…

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Toronto – Sinfonia Toronto announced detailed plans for its upcoming tour of China. Music Director Nurhan Arman and the orchestra will perform ten concerts in China from September 18 to October 7, 2019.  The tour is the orchestra’s fifth international tour. The orchestra has toured in Germany (2008), Spain (2010), the US (2015) and South America (2018 – Peru, Argentina and Uruguay). Sinfonia Toronto will perform on the main concert series in each of ten cities. The first concert will take place on September 20 in Taiyuan. From there the orchestra will continue to Baotou, Erdos, Foshan, Shenzhen, Yangzhou, Jinan,…

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Summer in Montreal has many reliable musical highlights. Among the less-written-about is the annual concert in the Maison symphonique by the Orchestre de la Francophonie under its founding music director, Jean-Philippe Tremblay. The instalment on Wednesday kept the streak alive. The big item was Bruckner’s Sixth, no less a symphony than those that precede and follow it. This performance by the international ensemble of young adults (comprising both francophones and those who wish they were) was grand in overall concept and vibrant in bar-by-bar execution. It would be hard to imagine a truer expression of Bruckner’s lofty brand of romanticism…

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Mount Royal Park, beautiful by itself, looked particularly festive and impressive on the evening of July 25. From Sherbrooke Street, a colourful flock of families, couples and groups of friends, holding the parasols and blankets, was heading to the park premises. The mix of French, English, Spanish, Russian and Arabic anticipated the beginning of an exciting concert by the Orchestre Métropolitain under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin. After a short introduction during which the host presented distinguished members of the Canadian government and sponsors of the concert – including Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism Pablo Rodriquez and members of…

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