Browsing: Classical Music

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A great time to give Norman Lebrecht on how the Gordon Brown is about to create a Third Way of paying for the arts THIS may not be the first place you would come looking for tax advice, but a couple of tips that have come my way could be worth a fortune to the performing arts, if they play their cards right. In last November’s pre-Budget report, the Chancellor, Gordon Brown, announced a number of measures, to take effect this spring, that will help national charities stricken with Lottery blight. Among them were two concessions for givers, great and…

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How will this century sound? Classical music faces a new age in unexpectedly buoyant form. It is livelier and more surprising than at any time since Rachmaninov, says Norman Lebrecht THE final decade of the 20th century brought a measure of relief to the agonised search for a musical identity. Warily, the art looked into a mirror and accepted what it saw, an image fractured and more complex than any in its history. Unlike former centuries which wore a uniform musical face – the 19th century being broadly Romantic, the 18th Classical, the 17th Baroque – the 20th century had…

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How Does Smoking Affect the Voice? Smoking kills both smokers and their voices. Countless scientific reports have established the causal connection between tobacco smoking and cancer of the mouth, throat, lungs, and esophagus. The relative risk of developing cancer of the larynx is doubled in those who smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day. Alcohol and tobacco appear to act synergistically to elevate this risk still further. It is not the nicotine in tobacco which causes cancer. Tobacco smoke is dark with tar — a mixture of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that is markedly carcinogenic. The heat of the smoke in…

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In 1984 young Japanese-Canadian pianist Jon Kimura Parker shot into the spotlight taking the top prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition in Britain. As a laureate of the Leeds Competition he joined the impressive fraternity of past winners which includes Radu Lupu and Murray Perahia. I first heard Parker live about ten years ago in concert with the Edmonton Symphony at the Jubilee Auditorium. Parker has a virile stage presence that immediately commands attention. His performance of Prokofiev’s daunting Piano Concerto No 3 was unforgettable. With a rich, round piano tone he communicated both the lyricism and the sometimes…

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Originally scheduled for February 8th and postponed due to illness, Galina Gorchakova finally showed up to make her long-awaited Toronto debut this evening in Roy Thomson Hall, before an enthusiastic audience. Wearing a black velvet gown with bouffant sleeves, tight bodice and a flowery lace skirt on top, and with her black hair pulled tightly back in a bun, her alabaster skin adorned with extravagant but tasteful jewellery, the only word one can use to describe her appearance is “stunning”. There is a slightly old-fashioned air to her “look”, as if she had just been transported to a musical salon…

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Singers’ StoriesToronto’s Today’s Seniors’ March issue contains a featured article on Canadian contralto Maureen Forrestor (by Linda Pruessen). This article can be found at :http://www.novatech.on.ca/seniors/marfeat1.html .The March 22nd edition of Opera News had profiles and interviews of Waltraud Meier, Angela Gheorghiu, Minnie Hauk and Lilli Chookasian. The April 5 edition featured Hildegard Behrens, while the April 19 issue profiled Mirella Freni, Galina Gorchakova and Irina Arkhipova.The Spring ’97 issue of Opera Canada celebrates their 150th issue with a feature on Montreal baritone Gino Quillico (by Paul G. Baker), and profiles of noted soprano and teacher Irene Jessner (1901-94) (by Neil…

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It was interesting to hear two of the great tenors of the last generation – Luciano Pavarotti and Peter Schreier – in one week last March. Both men are in their early sixties, 62 and 61 respectively, and both were in top voice. Here the similarities end. Pavarotti at the Molson Centre On March 7, Pavarotti and his team came to Montreal with the usual hype and hoopla reserved for pop icons. The local media were treating this as the musical event of the year. The last time Pav was here he sold out Salle Wilfrid Pelletier and the event…

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