Browsing: Strings

A violinist and composers of our time Release date: October 4, 2019 Montreal, October 4, 2019 – With a career spanning over four decades and an impressive discography of more than forty albums, Angèle Dubeau continues to leave her mark in today’s music world. Her virtuosity brings her on the most prestigious stages and she continues to be awarded international prizes for her recordings and to receive honors for her career. Pulsations, the violinist’s new album, brings together works that evoke strong images and possess a profound emotional intensity. In addition to the excellence of her playing, she has a…

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Victor Julien-Laferrière is an artist much in demand. In September the young French cellist toured Normandy with the Orchestre de l’Opéra de Rouen, giving a series of concerts that included Haydn’s Concerto in D. He has also played with the Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse, performing Variations on a Rococo Theme by Tchaikovsky. Winner of the first prize in the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels in 2017 – the first edition devoted to the cello – Julien-Laferrière has also appeared in some of Europe’s most prestigious concert halls. In early October he will be the guest of the Concertgebouw…

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The Viano String Quartet, a collective of players in their early 20s from Canada and the United States, began their path toward victory (shared with the Marmen Quartet) at the 2019 Banff International String Quartet Competition with an arranged marriage. Viano (the name is a play on a string ensemble that can express the full melodic and harmonic range of a keyboard) was the creation of their mentors at the Colburn School in Los Angeles, violinist Martin Beaver and cellist Clive Greensmith, both past members of the Tokyo Quartet. In 2015, based on a five-minute placement audition, four musicians, all…

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Swedish violinist Johannes Marmen founded the Marmen Quartet in 2013 with casual ambitions. He wanted to explore string quartet repertoire with some schoolmates at London’s Royal College of Music. Johannes’s teenage aspiration was one day to become a concertmaster, but as he immersed himself in the world of string quartets, his focus changed. “String quartet playing transformed my concept of what was possible and what was important in my life as a musician,” he said in an interview from Malmö, Sweden. Johannes’s growing belief that Marmen could compete with the best has paid off. The quartet has been awarded a…

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Martin Foster, the British-born Canadian violinist who spent more than 25 years as a performer and teacher in Montreal, died on Aug. 26 in Stratford, Ontario. According to his posted obituary, the cause was cancer. A graduate of the Juilliard School in New York, Foster made his Carnegie Recital Hall debut at age 22 on Oct. 23, 1973. Raymond Ericson in the New York Times described him as “a violinist of more than ordinary gifts.” With fellow Juilliard students in 1974 he formed the American String Quartet, an ensemble that remains active. Returning to Canada in 1980, Foster served as acting concertmaster of the Orchestre…

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The Orchestre symphonique de Longueuil (OSDL) is preparing to enter a new era under the baton of Alexandre Da Costa, the unconvnetional 39-year-old artist taking over from Marc David, who conducted this musical institution con brio for 25 years. Da Costa promises a “symphonic turn” with the 2019-20 program, which comprises musical experiences that attempt fusions of classical music and expressions that are clearly in tune with the times. “It’s a great responsibility, but it’s also a great opportunity for me to open up the OSDL’s program to something that reflects me the most,” said Alexandre Da Costa, perfectly aware…

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Without them, movies would never be made and plays would never be seen. While they work in different media, film and stage directors must coax actors by all means available to lift scripts off the page, and, if need be, let them ad-lib lines. Having worked extensively in both areas, Montreal composer Katia Makdissi-Warren likes to call herself a “sound director.” “I identify very much with their approach,” she says, “because there is more to directing than just telling the performers how to play the music. I want them to determine some of the content as well. The difference, of…

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In May 29, Hannah Tam’s performance at the CMIM (Concours musical international de Montréal) earned her top honours in a newly created event showcasing rising stars called Mini Violini. This 13-year older was selected by the audience as the winner of its Coup de cœur du public prize. Above and beyond such recognition, this bright new talent collected a handsome 10 grand for her efforts. Those in attendance were deeply impressed by her playing as well as her charismatic stage presence, imbued by a very probing mindset. “The violin is such an expressive instrument,” Tam says. “From one piece to…

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The arts are usually fostered in major urban centres. Promising young musicians like the classical guitarist Félix Dallaire prove that classical music can bloom in outlying areas. Born in Rouyn-Noranda in 1997 and raised in Gatineau, Dallaire started to play the piano before deciding to pick up the guitar. He was 14. His dream was starting to come true. Dallaire began his guitar studies with Julien Bisaillon as part of his extracurricular activities in high school. Drawn by classical music’s complexity and the challenge of learning the genre, Dallaire entered the Conservatoire de musique de Gatineau, studying with French guitarist…

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Angela Ryu, 19, is the 2019 winner of the Shean Strings Competition in Edmonton. The Korean-Canadian violinist also took the Paul J. Bourret Memorial Award for best performance of the imposed piece, Improvisation for solo violin by the late Canadian composer André Prévost. These prizes crown a brilliant career of musical studies that began in her hometown, New Denver, B.C., at age 5 with Daphne Hughes. Four years later, Ryu moved to Calgary to hone her skills at the Mount Royal Conservatory. Under William van der Sloot, she was a full scholarship student in the advanced performance program. Ryu has…

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