Browsing: Orchestral

27th JAL Gala After the 2020 edition was cancelled because of the pandemic, the 27th Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques Gala is back in full force this year with no less than 30 singers. For the occasion, two dancers will accompany them in arias and ensemble numbers from the great operatic repertoire. Among the works on the programme, the public will find excerpts from Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Puccini’s La Bohème, Rossini’s La Cenerentola and Verdi’s La Traviata and Rigoletto.  In order to reach a larger audience, ticket prices have been reduced compared to previous editions ($12 for students and $35 for the…

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CLEVELAND – On Nov. 8, the American authorities decided it was safe to let Canadians enter their country by car. The next day I drove down from Toronto and crossed the border at Lewiston, New York and continued on to Cleveland. A few days later I attended a memorable concert by the Cleveland Orchestra. For someone who had been driving to Cleveland regularly since his teenage years to hear the likes of George Szell, Robert Shaw, Lorin Maazel, Pierre Boulez and Christoph von Dohnanyi leading this great orchestra, it was a welcome and overdue return to normalcy. For the record,…

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The Nov. 21 performance of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio in the Maison symphonique is not a Montreal premiere. The series of six cantatas – written to be performed in as many services from Christmas to Epiphany – has been given repeatedly in the 21st century, sometimes complete, sometimes in a package of three or four. It is no coincidence that Alexandra Scheibler, artistic and general director of the Festival Bach Montréal, moved from Germany to Canada in 2001. Nice town, she thought, but where is the Christmas Oratorio? “You have plenty in Hamburg,” the musicologist and violist told the Montreal Gazette…

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Forewarned is forearmed. “There will be no interval,” reads the audience advisory for the Festival Bach Montréal presentation in Bourgie Hall of The Art of Fugue. 
 Montrealers, of course, are now accustomed to pandemic protocols that require sitting for 80 minutes without a break. But sitting through the 14 movements (each known formidably as a “contrapunctus”) of Bach’s valedictory composition is a special kind of sitting, even when the performers on Nov. 25 are Les Violons du Roy under their founding conductor Bernard Labadie, who supplies the arrangement. “No doubt a rigorous work, but also one equally touching and…

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Montréal, QC, Canada, November 4, 2021 – The Azrieli Foundation proudly announces the three laureates of their 2022 Azrieli Music Prizes (AMP) – the Azrieli Commission for Jewish Music to Iman Habibi, the Azrieli Prize for Jewish Music to Aharon Harlap and the second edition of the Azrieli Commission for Canadian Music to Rita Ueda. Established in 2014, the biennial Azrieli Music Prizes advance the Azrieli Foundation’s commitment to discovering, elevating and amplifying artistic voices that exhibit excellence and embodies its belief in music as a vital human endeavour that allows us to express our creativity; to expand our worldview; and…

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You know a concerto soloist has absolutely shredded it when the “devil horns” salute feels like a more appropriate response than mere applause. That’s the kind of glam-rock energy Leila Josefowicz brought to the Oct. 21 National Arts Centre Orchestra performance of John Adams’ Violin Concerto. After nearly two years of watching performers through the dulling filter of a computer or TV screen, Josefowicz’s incandescent, full-throttle live performance felt like a shot of pure adrenaline. This was only NACO’s second in-person concert of its new season. With Ontario’s recently increased indoor venue capacity limits in effect, the orchestra also had…

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A major page is about to turn. The Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ) in September announced the retirement of its artistic director Walter Boudreau. “The challenges ahead for the SMCQ, as well as for music and the arts in the post-pandemic world, will be unprecedented, demanding and exhilarating,” Anik Schooner, chairman of the board of the new-music society, said in a statement. “That’s why I think it’s the right time to pass the torch.” 33 Eager to ensure a smooth transition, this man with no inhibitions and a head brimming with ideas had already informed the board, near…

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There are at least three other composers name “Tchaikovsky” besides the famous one? In addition to Piotr Ilyich there are Alexander (b. 1946), his uncle Boris (1925-1996), and André (1935-1982), who was Polish. None of them were related to Piotr Ilyich. Saint-Saëns’s Carnival of the animals was neither performed in public nor published during the composer’s lifetime? It went on to become one of the most popular works in the entire repertory of classical music, yet the composer himself forbade all performances beyond a single private one given for his friends during Carnival season (late winter) in 1886. (Saint-Saëns died…

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Opéra de Montréal Riders to the Sea/Le Flambeau de la nuit What you missed A dark double bill (Sept. 25) linking one-act operas by Vaughan Williams (1927) and Hubert Tanguay-Labrosse (premiere). Both deal earnestly with tragedy at sea and the loss of family. The strong cast led by the deep-toned mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy included some good Atelier prospects. Tanguay-Labrosse proved an effective conductor of both the moody music of Riders and his own more eclectic score. I Musici de Montréal sounded vibrant in the pit of the Théâtre Maisonneuve. Director Édith Patenaude managed the quiet entry of the chorus (the…

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MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA (OCTOBER 5, 2021) — The Minnesota Orchestra was named 2021 Orchestra of the Year during the international Gramophone Classical Music Awards earlier today. The awards, which were distributed in a livestreamed ceremony by the U.K.-based classical music magazine Gramophone, are considered among the highest honors in the classical music industry. The Orchestra of the Year prize is the only one of the Gramophone Awards decided by public vote with voters choosing from a pool of 10 world-renowned orchestras, selected by the magazine’s editors. The votes for the Minnesota Orchestra amounted to nearly a third of the 31,000 total votes cast.…

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