Browsing: Classical Music

Many listeners equate George Frideric Handel with the Water Music and Messiah, the one oratorio everyone hears during the holiday season. But what about the composer’s other oratorios? (He wrote about 30.) If you were looking to hear a long work besides Messiah and were in Canada’s capital region last weekend, you were in for a treat. The Caelis Academy Ensemble, directed by organist and conductor Matthew Larkin, and the Ottawa Baroque Consort offered a rousing performance of Israel in Egypt, premiered in London in 1739, two years before Messiah. To cap it off, former CBC Ottawa journalist Eric Friesen…

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Vancouver, B.C. – Vancouver Opera announces their 2019—2020 season consisting of 4 opera produc­tions and the 4th annual Vancouver Opera Festival, 9 days of opera, special events, speakers, family events, and more from April 23 to May 3, 2020. The season is completed by a full program of education and community engagement activities. “I am excited to announce our 2019—2020 Vancouver Opera season,” said Kim Gaynor, Vancouver Opera General Director. “Never has there been a more exciting time for Vancouver Opera as we prepare to welcome traditional and new work to our stages along with a West Coast premiere. With…

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This release brings together works written between 2008 and 2015 by London-based Canadian Cassandra Miller. The Bozzini Quartet, who gave most of the premieres, is perhaps best placed to open the door to this delicate world. Four works reveal the manner of the composer, who, like the writer drawing inspiration from newspaper clippings, is on the lookout for the ambient musical material as the basis of her composition. Thus, Warblework starts with bird songs to offer us a world of changing textures with a treatment of silence and just intervals of remarkable efficiency. About Bach, which won the Jules Léger…

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On Saturday February 9, 2019, Sarah Brightman launched her Canadian tour in support of her latest and twelfth album HYMN, a 13-track compilation. The venue, Place Bell, in Laval seemed just right. Overall, many of the fans, clearly long-time Sarah Brightman fans seemed to be relishing in the company of their soprano diva. Though it would be fair to say that the show was far from flawless. Even though there had been a warning outside for those with bright light sensitivity, particularly with photosensitive epilepsy, I thought we were much further along in society and moving away from the flash.…

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FIRST CHINA INTERNATIONAL MUSIC COMPETITION ANNOUNCES THE TWENTY-TWO PIANISTS TO PARTICIPATE IN BEIJING, MAY 4–21 2019 BEIJING, CHINA, 11 February 2019—The First China International Music Competition, newly created by the Global Music Education League and China Conservatory of Music, has announced the twenty-two pianists who will participate in Beijing from May 4 to 21 2019. The competitors, all between seventeen and twenty-eight years of age, have been selected by the world’s foremost international music authorities and come from a total of ten countries: Australia, Belarus, Canada, China, Georgia, Italy, Kazakhstan, Russia, South Korea, and the United States. Several competitors currently attend…

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SILENT NIGHT. Music by Kevin Puts & Libretto by Mark Campbell based on the screenplay by Christian Carion for the motion picture Joyeux Noël. An original production of Wexford Festival Opera in partnership with the Atlanta Opera and the Glimmerglass Festival. Scenic Design by Erhard Rom with costume design by Victoria Tzykun. Production by Tomer Zvulun. Hailey Clark (Anna Sörensen), Joseph Dennis (Nikolaus Sprink), Craig Verm (Lieutenant Gordon), Craig Irvin (Lieutenant Horstmayer), Troy Cook (Father Palmer), David Adam Moore (Lieutenant Audebert), Andrew Wilkowske (Ponchel). Austin Opera Chorus and Orchestra, Timothy Myers, conductor. Long Center for the Performing Arts, Austin, Texas.…

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A letter from the English violinist Tasmin Little telling me she is giving up the circuit in a couple of years when she hits 55 arrives pretty much at the same time of her latest release on Chandos, itself a fairly regular occurrence in recent years. Tasmin Little is a prolific recording artist and her programmes often take a few strides off the beaten track. The latest consists of music by women – Amy Beach, Ethel Smyth and Clara Schumann – and the sense of an ending adds poignancy to its reception. Neither of the first two composers can claim…

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A showcase for creative woman and their work, the Festival Stella Musica returns March 21 and 22 for its fifth edition under the artistic direction of pianist Katarzyna Musial. The festival opens with an intimate concert featuring young flutist Nikki Arsenault performing Telemann Fantasies. This performance will be followed by a roundtable discussion on the 30th anniversary of the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. In collaboration with the Montreal Women’s University Club and participants of the Olympes de la parole, the roundtable will be hosted by the honorary ambassador of the festival, the Honorable Anne-Marie…

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The Société d’art lyrique du Royaume (SALR) presents Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata opera at Saguenay’s Théâtre Banque Nationale on Feb. 7, 9 and 10. Performed in the original Italian – a first for the company – the opera is accompanied by French subtitles to facilitate comprehension. La Traviata, one of the world’s most famous operas, is a true masterpiece of the genre. The three principal roles are performed by Stéphanie Lessard, soprano (Violetta); Jean-Michel Richer, tenor (Alfredo); and Dion Mazerolle, baritone (Germont). Jean-Philippe Tremblay leads the 20 musicians of the Orchestre symphonique de Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean; Rodrigue Villeneuve is responsible for direction…

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Chilean-Canadian pianist Alejandra Cifuentes Diaz presents a recital entirely devoted to Chopin as part of the Concerts sous les chandelles (concerts by candlelight) series on Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. at the St. Denis Church in Montreal. Holder of a master’s degree in piano performance from the Université de Montréal, Cifuentes Diaz has always had a particular fondness for the Romantic period, of which Chopin is one of the most celebrated composers. She also studied with one of the most famous contemporary Chopin performers, Dang Thai Son. “What I love the most in his music is the spoken quality of…

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