Browsing: Strings

Every concert can be deemed a highlight after a season like 2020-21. While the 2021-22 schedule is not quite as packed as it was in pre-pandemic days – and the crowds, by provincial decree, can be only partial – there are plenty of options for the long-suffering Montreal music fan. Orchestre symphonique 
de Montréal Interest is obviously keen in Rafael Payare, the incoming OSM music director. He starts the Maison symphonique season on Sept. 14 (repeats on Sept. 16 and 18) with Shostakovich’s foolproof Fifth Symphony and Ravel’s La Valse, which some of the musicians could probably play by heart.…

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In the early 1980s, the phenomenal Latvian violinist Gidon Kremer recorded for Philips an account of the Beethoven concerto that was almost universally reviled. It contained two cadenzas written at the soloist’s request by the Russian composer Alfred Schnittke, a self-styled polystylist who built some of his works from fragments of many others. Each of the cadenzas contained snippets of every major violin concerto from Bach to Berg, and the western music establishment recoiled as it if had been struck by a falling sputnik. The record was harshly reviewed and withdrawn by the label never to be physically reissued (though…

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The trouble with most music by unfamiliar contemporary composers is that the listener has no idea where it’s coming from. The Austrian Gerald Resch gets over this hurdle by rooting his third string quartet, ‘attaca’, in Beethoven’s first Razumovsky quartet, opus 59/1. The context works remarkably well. Resch, 46, is a former music journalist embedded in Viennese music, both historic and  modern. He works with ensembles as different as the period-instrument Concentus Musicus and the Aureum saxophone quartet. In creating ‘attaca’ he had a period of immersion with the trendy, Frankfurt-based Aris Quartet, among the most accomplished on the circuit.…

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Edmonton, AB – On Friday, May 21 and Saturday, May 22, 2021, six string players from across Canada will vie for the $8,000 top prize in The Shean Strings Competition and the opportunity to play with the Edmonton Symphony  Orchestra at a later date.  Due to COVID-19, the Competition will be held virtually this year with competitors submitting videos for the adjudicators to watch. Competitors’  performances, if we are given permission to share them, will be posted to our  website and social media after the Competition and the results announced. (see  attached programme information)  This year’s competitors (with hometowns in…

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Orchestre symphonique de Longueuil Alexandre Da Costa, violin and conductor; Bruno Pelletier and La Bronze, guest soloists Théâtre Plaza de Montréal March 12, 2021 On March 12, the OSDL put its Stradivarius BaROCK symphonique concert online, with violinist Alexandre Da Costa as conductor and soloist. Unlike most of the virtual concerts we have had the opportunity to watch, this wasn’t just about recording an event from the parterre or the balcony. Differing elements of this video gave us another experience, much more immersive, that went well beyond the performance of the pieces. The OSDL brought in radio host Sonia…

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The first soloist I ever heard play Elgar was the French cellist Paul Tortelier at the Royal Festival Hall – elegant, expressive and chastely romantic, half an hour of unblemished beauty. I was a kid and that must have been 60 years ago. Since then I’ve heard maybe one other French cellist attempt an Elgar concerto, but never, until now, a violinist. Renaud Capucon is a revelation in many ways. He shifts the accent from phlegmatic to something more Gallic and the dynamics to a whispering tendresse. There is so much individuality in this account that I kept wondering why…

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I met Ezinma as Meredith Ramsay almost 10 years ago, when we were violin students at the Mannes School of Music in New York. One day after school we were on the sidewalk, talking about the future. She told me she was not going to audition for orchestras. Rather, she was going to become a pop star of the violin. I remember thinking, “How is she going to do that? You cannot train as a classical musician and have a career in pop music.” But she did. The proof? Ezinma is featured on the cover of the January/February issue of…

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The Prix d’Europe will celebrate its 110th anniversary this year. Since its beginning, the scholarship offered by the Prix d’Europe has enabled winners to study abroad. The competition offers what might be called a sabbatical year for further development after musical studies and before embarking on a professional career. “We are always transformed by studying abroad,” comments Vincent Boucher, vice-president of the Académie de musique du Québec and organist at St. Joseph’s Oratory. “I think that the Prix d’Europe was an important cultural driving force in Quebec in the sense that a Quebec musician who went to Vienna or Paris…

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Conductor Janna Sailor gave this speech at the Coalition for Music Education Youth4Music Leadership Symposium in Vancouver on April 1, 2017. My name is Janna Sailor, and I am the founder and artistic director of the Allegra Chamber Orchestra, an all-female ensemble dedicated to empowering women and their communities through music. 
 I am also a violinist performing with several orchestras in town, including the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, in addition to my own solo and chamber projects. This does not leave much free time, to say the least. Music has had a profound and transformative impact on me, and I…

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The Royal Conservatory proudly announces the eighth edition of the 21C Music Festival, which will include four livestreams from Saturday, January 16 to Thursday, February 18, 2021. It will feature a plethora of Canadian women, as three of the four events will be performed exclusively by women: violinist Angèle Dubeau with her string ensemble La Pietà, whose mission has concentrated on an ongoing quest for virtuosity, aimed at making outstanding music accessible to all audiences while offering new repertoires drawn from a wide variety of musical influences; pianist Eve Egoyan, whose intense focus, command of the instrument, insightful interpretations, and unique programs welcome…

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