Browsing: Classical Music

Montreal’s Shaar Hashomayim synagogue is well known as a centre of Jewish music. The title track of Leonard Cohen’s penultimate album, You Want It Darker, brought the Shaar’s cantor, the lyric tenor Gideon Zelermyer, and its choir, directed by Roï Azoulay, to the attention of a wider public. Cohen, the grandson and great-grandson of past presidents of the Shaar, was a lifetime member of the synagogue, and is buried in the Shaar’s cemetery on Mount Royal. When Cohen inserted repetitions of the Hebrew word hineni (“here I am”) into the title song he was acknowledging that his end was near,…

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Back in March, when most of the world went into lockdown, music organizations around the globe made the difficult decision of cancelling the remainder of their 2019/2020 seasons. Some cancelled or postponed all live performances until January 2021 for safety and budgetary reasons, leaving thousands of musicians, stagehands, set builders, technicians and others unemployed until further notice. While North America is still relatively silent, operatically speaking, European companies have found creative ways to bring live opera back to their audiences.  In Germany, the Deutsche Oper Berlin came up with what was probably the most creative and bizarre way to bring…

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Keiko Devaux was already a composer at age five. Unsatisfied with the methodical character of her piano lessons, she found freedom by playing the top line of the score as written and inventing the rest. Thirty-three years later, Devaux has been named the inaugural winner of the $50,000 Azrieli Commission for Canadian Music. Her youthful preference for improvising over practicing was prophetic. Moved by a desire to create rather than make perfect, Devaux went on to earn both a Bachelor and Master’s degree in composition at the Université de Montréal. She is now working on a doctorate at the same…

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By Philip Ehrensaft & Wah Keung Chan The classical music sector in Quebec will operate and earn revenue with a new combination of resources after the COVID-19 era, according to a survey of arts consumers undertaken by La Scena Musicale. Important elements in the new concert economy include a reduction of live-audience events; monetized streaming of live and archived performances; increased government support; increased private-sector funding; and more individual donations despite an uncertain economy. The challenge is daunting but not necessarily overwhelming. Conducted in July and August, the study resulted in findings relevant to both live performances in venues where…

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Kingston ON – The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts (“the Isabel”) at Queen’s University launches its fall 2020 multi-platform season including the classical, baroque, and the Kingston Indie series featuring Kasador, Miss Emily, and Michelle Kasaboski. The Festival also features Kingston’s innovative Electric Circuits Festival of Electronic Music, Performance and Digital Art led by Shannon Brown. The Isabel’s 2020/21 Ensemble in Residence, the JUNO award-winning Gryphon Trio, will undertake their epic performance of the entire Beethoven Trio cycle in this special Beethoven anniversary year in addition to their multi-media program with Jamaal Jackson Rogers, Ottawa Poet Laureate. “We…

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Not your usual opening night. Small crowd. No mingling. No buzz. Except insofar as the Montreal Symphony Orchestra under Bernard Labadie proved itself equal on Sept. 11 to the repertoire at hand. This band has met only sporadically since March, mostly in popup chamber concerts that remained stubbornly under the radar. Apparently the players have not lost their team spirit and pride in playing well. Even in social-distance formation – 43 looking more like 60 as spread across the stage of the Maison symphonique – the MSO sounded like a balanced and cohesive ensemble. The start could not have been…

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The Ladies’ Morning Musical Club will open its 129th season on Sept. 13 before the smallest crowd the organization has ever welcomed in Pollack Hall. The blame lies not with the Rolston String Quartet, much less with Haydn’s Quartet Op. 74 No. 3 (“Rider”) and Beethoven’s Quartet Op. 59 No. 1, but rather the fixed limit of 160 listeners – a fraction of the 600 seats normally available in this McGill University facility, not to mention the 427 subscribers on the LMMC roll last season. “We feel there is a real longing for live music, so we were happy to accommodate…

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The Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony is pleased to announce the details of the new 2020/21 Reimagined: KWS Goes Online season. The first set of concerts features programs from across a range of series, recorded live at Centre In The Square and broadcast online, that audiences can enjoy from the comfort and safety of their homes. The next set of concerts that are part of Reimagined: KWS Goes Online will be announced in the late fall. These brand new, live concerts are specifically created for an online viewing experience. All streams feature top quality audio and video, with multiple cameras to experience the…

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Toronto — The Canadian Opera Company’s interactive digital program for young people, Opera Makers, is evolving to help spark a love of opera in even more children across Toronto. Through a series of community partnerships, Opera Makers will connect COC teaching artists with local organizations to incorporate opera creation and education into new and existing programs, bringing opera within reach to those who might not otherwise have access. Opera Makers aims to introduce children to opera through hands-on activities that explore every element of an opera, from storytelling and composition, to performance and design. Participants will create their own operas,…

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Our society is gradually reopening and there are encouraging signs from performing arts organizations around the world as they are adapting: some concert halls are reconfiguring seats to ensure safe physical distancing, like the Berliner Ensemble in Germany, while the Prague National Theatre has already opened to full capacity, with audience members required to wear face coverings.  The Royal Conservatory is committed to bringing inspiring live music in a way that is safe and responsible, and the 2020-21 concert season begins with three concerts in Mazzoleni Concert Hall in September. Of course, the Conservatory is adhering to health officials’ 50-person…

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