Browsing: Classical Music

June 16, 2020 (New York) — OPERA America has awarded the sixth cycle of Commissioning Grants from its Opera Grants for Female Composers program to nine Professional Company Members. The grants, totaling $100,000, support the creation of new works by women who compose for the trained voice and instrumental ensemble, and bring the creative perspectives, experiences, and stories of women to stages nationwide. The grants are generously supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. Grants were awarded to: • Beth Morrison Projects (Brooklyn, NY) for In Our Daughter’s Eyes by Du Yun • Boston Lyric Opera (Boston, MA) for The…

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Musicians don’t perform only because it is their passion: it’s also how they earn a living. The coronavirus crisis has had a devastating effect on the music industry and many institutions are under threat of closure. Performers have seen their work schedules scratched out from mid-March forward. Some are out of work until 2021. Soprano Aline Kutan and pianist Marie-Ève Scarfone discuss how their lives have been affected and how they carry on from home. Initially, the confinement came as a welcome break, an opportunity to take a step back from a hectic schedule for both musicians. After driving back…

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It was a shocker in an age of shocking stories. Fifty-five members of the Skagit Valley Chorale in Mount Vernon, Washington, met at the local Presbyterian church on March 10 for a rehearsal. Three weeks later, 45 had tested positive for COVID-19. Two were dead. Despite the availability at the door of hand sanitizer and a general moratorium on handshaking and other forms of physical contact. Despite the testimony of several members that no one was heard to cough during the two-and-a-half-hour rehearsal. Nor is the Skagit Vallet story the only documented case of choral super-spreading. The Amsterdams Gemengd Koor (Amsterdam Mixed Choir)…

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Fearing for the worst during the current crisis, our species yearns to see the light at the end of the tunnel. With the lockdowns now easing, there is reason to hope, but the threat of an impending second wave, as experts warn, still looms large. No less preoccupied by this state of affairs, the arts community has been hit hard. Reeled at first, it was thankfully kept afloat through emergency government support programs. While it was easy to fall prey to the doom and gloom, some artists countered this. The internet, for one, enabled the most resourceful ones to stage…

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By Adrian Rodriguez and Eva Stone-Barney La Scena Musicale launched the Corona Serenades in early April as a means of connecting people through music in a time when many felt isolated. The idea for Corona Serenades came from La Scena Musicale founding editor Wah Keung Chan and tenor Adrian Rodriguez, who modeled the project on La Scena Musicale’s successful Singing Valentine service, which has been running annually for over a decade. Corona Serenades provides personalized videos of professional singers singing from their homes around the world. With a roster of approximately 25 singers from over six countries, Corona Serenades can…

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Tomas Yu is the unanimous winner of the 2016 Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition, for which he took home the gold medal as well as Press and Audience Awards. He has captured numerous top prizes in other amateur piano competitions, played in such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall and the Berlin Philharmonie, and collaborated with such esteemed ensembles as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Orchestra of Wales. In addition to all this, he is a full-time periodontist with a private practice in Calgary. This month, we followed up with Yu to talk about how life has changed since…

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By Pati Harboyan Pianist Nareh Arghamanyan was recently back in Quebec. The Concours musical international de Montréal laureate performed Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Orchestre symphonique de Québec on February 27 under Fabien Gabel’s baton, followed by two concerts with soprano Aline Kutan and a surprise appearance with the Montreal-based Voxpopuli Quartet. I had the pleasure to interview the pianist after one of her rehearsals. A conversation between two musicians always leads to interesting top- ics and this was no different. Despite her international acclaim and busy career, Arghamanyan remains generous and down-to-earth, au- thentic to her true…

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Born in Georgia but raised in Hungary, the pianist-composer Nicolas Namoradze launched his international career in 2018 when he became the winner of the Honens International Piano Competition. This Calgary-based contest offers one of the biggest prize packages in the world, and has been picking out top talent every three years since 1992. Namoradze, at 28, is the latest laureate, and he has already established himself as an artist who is here to stay. Namoradze’s schedule is packed. This summer includes the release of a debut disc for Hyperion, appearances at the Toronto Summer Music festival and the Santa Fe…

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Like all performing artists, Dang Thai Son has modified his schedule to adapt to the ravages of COVID-19. The benefit concert he was to give in Bourgie Hall in April for Camp musical Tutti, of course, did not take place. Nor will the Fryderyk Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw in October. That prestigious event, in which Son was to serve as a jury member, has been pushed for- ward to October 2021. We can expect a new date also for the Tutti concert. The year 2020 will be remembered by many as a time when almost nothing, artistically, happened.…

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By Marq Doyon La Maison musicale de Warwick has been operating for eight years in the Centre-du-Québec region. Its mandate is to promote talented Québécois musicians. Its geographic location away from the major centres offers a wider platform for musicians. The Warwick area is known for its producers and processors of excellent agricultural goods, its ski resort, its restaurants and its bed and breakfast accommodations. Two musical niches are on the regular schedule. The first is classical music with small chamber ensembles, ranging from the Baroque to the 20th century. The second is jazz with trios, quartets and quintets. These…

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