Browsing: Classical Music

Author : (Charles Geyer )

“He did remarkable things,” says Julian Armour of Ottawa’s pioneering choral music conductor Brian Law. “He probably made a greater contribution to music in this city than anyone else in its history.” That’s no idle assessment, coming as it does from the founder of the original Ottawa Chamber Music Society and the Music and Beyond festival, and himself one of the capital’s most influential classical-music shapers. But Armour’s esteem for Law is well-founded. On a personal level, Law is responsible for one of Armour’s most important early professional opportunities, having offered Armour a place in the renowned Thirteen Strings chamber…

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12 violonists from 6 countries go on to the semifinals June 1 and 2  Montréal, le 30 mai 2019 – On May 29 and 30 was held the First round of the 2019 Violin Edition of the Concours musical international de Montréal. The jury selected twelve semifinalists, from 6 countries. The semifinal will take place on June 1 and 2 at Bourgie Hall. Presided by Zarin Mehta, le 2019 international jury includes Pierre Amoyal (France), Kim Kashkashian (United States), Boris Kuschnir (Austria), Cho-Liang Lin (United States), Mihaela Martin (Romania), Barry Shiffman (Canada), Dmitry Sitkovetsky (United Kingdom/United States) and Pavel Vernikov (Israel…

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Six degrees of separation does not apply to either ethnic or musical communities. Last time I met with Carissa Klopoushak was nearly eight years ago when I interviewed her and her band mates from Tyt i Tam, a Ukrainian turbo-folk band established in 2003, which has recorded four albums and toured Canada, Ukraine and Australia. This time we met at one of her former haunts in Mile End while she worked on her doctorate in violin performance at McGill. Over caffeine-infused drinks I asked Klopoushak about her formative years. “I started when I was about four years old. There was…

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I’m there to serve an idea, serve the music, not so much to transmit my own views or personal concerns […] You have to ask yourself: What does this story say now, how can I give it a contemporary resonance? That’s the real task of a director, making the music and meaning resonate. The main event of this summer’s ninth edition of the Festival d’opéra de Québec is an eagerly-awaited staging of The Flying Dutchman by Richard Wagner. Under the musical direction of Jacques Lacombe, a cast led by baritone Gregory Dahl will present the mythical story in a production…

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“The biggest challenge,” says critically acclaimed soprano Jane Archibald, on the subject of the contemporary female opera singer, “is feeling like you’re not just a soundtrack and a Barbie Doll.” This is a diva who pulls no punches. Archibald is smart, articulate, sharply analytical – and disarmingly candid. In conversation recently from her home in Halifax (on what she termed “a bit of a gray day”), Archibald belied the weather with a veritable sunburst of scintillating reflections on her art, her career, the rewards and pitfalls of life on the road, and the trends she sees working themselves out in…

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Featuring the work of six Canadian composers, presenting five Canadian soloists and offering over 60 learning and engagement activities, this unprecedented international tour by the NAC Orchestra brought Canadian art, artists and stories to the world stage. May 30, 2019 – OTTAWA (Canada) On the occasion of its 50th Anniversary, the National Arts Centre Orchestra led by its Music Director Alexander Shelley completed a successful European tour from May 10 to 26, 2019, that took them to: Saffron-Walden London Paris Utrecht Copenhagen Stockholm Gothenburg Entitled CROSSINGS, the tour included 60 learning activities and community events, and eight concerts featuring five…

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Pavarotti: Genius Is Forever, a documentary directed by Ron Howard, opens on June 6. La Scena Musicale got exclusive access to the two-hour film before the release. In the past, this acclaimed Hollywood director and producer explored the world of music with The Beatles: Eight Days a Week and, most recently, with Made in America, a documentary that involved the participation of rap mogul Jay-Z. In his new effort, Howard emphasizes the human side of Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti. He chronicles his life trough a mix of interviews with the singer’s family, colleagues, live concerts and backstage footage. We are…

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American violinist Stella Chen has won the 2019 Violin Competition! The International Queen Elisabeth Grand Prize – Queen Mathilde Prize receives € 25,000 and numerous concerts in Belgium and abroad. She will also have the honour to play the ‘Huggins’ 1708 Stradivarius for four years, presented by the Nippon Music Foundation. Canadians Timothy Chooi and Shannon Lee took second and fourth place respectively. American Stephen Kim, whom La Scena had predicted would be in the top 3 of the CMIM, took third prize; Kim had withdrew from the CMIM once he made the finals of the Queen Elisabeth. The prizewinners First Prize…

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A keen observer of the new music scene in Montreal, Réjean Beaucage has taken to the task of demystifying that slightly strange bird known as musique actuelle. His book on this subject, released last February, is but a logical extension of his first one of eight years ago that recounted the history of the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec. In close to 200 pages, he embraces a good half a century of musical activity, its alpha point in 1961 with the Semaine de musique actuelle and further manifestations such as the FIMAV, founded in 1983 and still around to this…

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The OSM has seen its share of notable guest conductors over the decades. Now the list includes Michael Tilson Thomas, music director of the San Francisco Symphony since 1995. His appearance on May 22 in the Maison symphonique marked his Montreal debut. He made it count for something. Not that Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra is the likeliest vehicle for the expression of podium personality. As its title implies, this score is made of multiple parts that need to be coordinated. A lean and athletic figure at 75, Tilson Thomas accomplished the technical element of task with an economical baton style…

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