Browsing: Strings

In a little less than 50 years, Montreal’s Baroque music scene has produced a steady flow of activities. It has delighted itself by mining the past and taking cues from many a fine role model. Initiatives are so numerous that the scene is now bursting at the seams while consolidating its reputation as one of the best of its kind on the continent. I have come to this conclusion in my travels as violin solo of the Cleveland-based Apollo’s Fire Baroque Orchestra. While Montreal may be far removed from the European soil that gave rise to this age-old music tradition,…

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Author : (Newswire)

The Montreal Bach Festival announces the live streaming of the closing concert of the Festival featuring Yo-Yo Ma performing Bach’s Six Suites for Cello. The concert at the Maison symphonique is sold out. “We are excited to announce the first ever live streaming event of the Montreal Bach Festival. The beautiful St. James United Church, few blocks away from Place des Arts, is the perfect setting for a live streaming of this special concert. Yo-YoMa’s world tour of Bach’s Cello Suites comprises of 36 concerts and this Montreal concert is the only one taking place in Canada. To celebrate the occasion the…

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As a child, Benjamin Seah cut out pictures of violins and bows and played a paper violin while listening to Vivaldi. Ten years later, he made music his life and swapped the paper instrument for a real one made in 1913 by French luthier Gustave Villaume, which possessed a full and rich sonority. At just 14, he was astonishing audiences by his musicality and love for the violin. Recently he earned the title “Virtuose” in the Radio-Canada’s television show hosted by Grégory Charles. Seah is now studying at the Pensionnat du Saint-Nom-de-Marie in partnership with the Vincent-d’Indy school of music.…

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Every year Brandon University in Manitoba hosts the Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition. Named in honour of composer, pianist and violinist S.C. (Sonia) Eckhardt-Gramatté, the competition founded in 1976 focuses on contemporary music and up-and-coming musicians. The winner receives a $8,000 cash prize, a performance tour across Canada and a three-week residency at the Casalmaggiore International Music Festival. This year’s winner is Saskatchewan’s Amy Hillis. “I first heard about the Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition as an undergraduate when many of the older, more accomplished students from McGill were finalists in the competition,” Hillis recalls. “Carissa Klopoushak – an inspiration to this day for…

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Aged just 21, violinist Lynette Israilian won first prize in the Canimex Canadian Music Competition in June, giving her the privilege of playing with the Orchestre Métropolitain and guest conductor Nicolas Ellis. The young musician with the infectious smile and determined look plays a 2015 Jacques Martel instrument and is just starting the last year of a degree course at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal with her teacher for the last seven years, Johanne Arel. “My aim is to become a soloist, so I can decide what I want to play,” she says. Nonetheless, she likes chamber music, with…

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A critic’s dilemma. The cellist Steven Isserlis is a pal. He lives around the corner and we bump into each other at local amenities. He knows I have received his latest release for review. He will be disappointed if I ignore it and grumpy if I find fault. To review or not to review? If I ruled out reviewing friends I’d have to turn down half the record output. By the same token, if I mentioned a friendship every time I reviewed, readers would switch off. So what to do? I made a rule a while back that I would…

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PREVIEW: of the 2018 dell’Arte Opera Ensemble Summer Festival Season, “Mozart & Salieri,” at New York City’s LaMaMa (66 East 4th Street), August 11 through 26; and INTERVIEWS: with company founder and artistic director, maestro Chris Fecteau, and dell’Arte 2018 creative team members Brittany Goodwin and Catherine O’Shaughnessy. This company is ready to rumble. Call it the Thrilla from Vienna: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri, that most bruited matchup of 18th Century musical titans, is slated for a redux this month – this time in 21st Century New York, courtesy of the dell’Arte Opera Ensemble. Grab a ringside seat.…

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There’s a debate going on among agents as to whether it is better for an artist to have an exclusive record contract or to work across several labels. Alisa Weilerstein, who has made outstanding recordings of the Elgar, Dvorak and Shostakovich concertos for Decca, has now popped up on a Dutch label with the two Haydn concertos and Schoenberg’s Transfigured Night. Pentatone is a terrific label, run by former Philips professionals. This ought to be a top-drawer recommendation. Why it isn’t is a matter of some perplexity. Weilerstein dispenses with a conductor for these pieces, which is not unusual. But…

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Cremona 18 July 2018 – The names of the winners of the 2018 Cremona Musica Awards represent the true excellence in music: the conductor Valery Gergiev, the violinist Maxim Vengerov, the writer Alessandro Baricco, the guitar luthier Hermann Hauser III and the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival will be awarded this September. The awards, that are conferred by the management of CremonaFiere on the recommendation of the artistic advisors of Cremona Musica, will be given during the upcoming edition of the historical exhibition of musical instruments, the main one in the world for high-quality instruments. Between 28 and 30 September, Cremona…

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INTERVIEW: with renowned composer John Rutter. Mark it a red-letter day in the Canadian classical music calendar: on Friday the 13th of July, John Rutter – among the world’s most beloved and widely performed living composers – arrives in Ottawa. “I feel very much at home in Canada,” Rutter says from his home in Great Britain. “I was quite a regular visitor in past years, when I was patron of the Toronto Mendelsohn Youth Choir. But this will be my first trip to Ottawa, and I’m very much looking forward to it.” It’s a journey occasioned by the two back-to-back…

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