Browsing: Strings

John Williams: Violin Concerto No. 2 & Selected Film Themes John Williams, composer and conductor; Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin; Boston Symphony Orchestra Deutsche Grammophon, 2022 Having worked together on two occasions (for recordings issued in 2019 and 2020 on Deutsche Grammophon), John Williams and Anne-Sophie Mutter are no strangers to each other. And as all good things come in threes, here they are back again on the same label and sharing top billing for Williams’s violin concerto. The work opens on a rather brooding harp solo. Mutter’s violin appears almost timidly through a sombre mass of strings, a prelude to the…

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Ten quartets will compete for more than half a million dollars at the 2022 BanffInternational String Quartet Competition (BISQC), the 14th edition since the competition’s establishment in 1983. Between Aug. 29 and Sept. 4, the contestants will participate in a series of intense performances. In addition to the cash prize, the winner will receive several residencies, including one whose $200,000 value will be fully paid. All three finalists will be given Banff Centre residency offers; the seven remaining quartets will take home $5,000. BISQC’s triennial occurrence makes it one of the most highly ­regarded chamber music events in the world.…

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Welcome to the June 2022 issue of La Scena Musicale, our first national summer festival issue since the beginning of the pandemic. Since our April/May national issue, COVID restrictions have been relaxed in Canada, concert halls are allowed to return to 100 per cent capacity without need for masks—although some, like Ottawa’s Music and Beyond, will stick with the two-metre rule, restrict capacity to 25 per cent and keep masks mandatory. La Scena Musicale advocates that masks should still be worn at all times indoors. Our last national June issue in 2019 listed 550 Canadian summer arts festivals. For 2022,…

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Brussels, Belgium (May 22, 2022) – The final of the Cello Competition: Monday 30 May to Saturday 4 June, 8 pm (Brussels Centre for Fine Arts). Presenting the twelve finalists : Yibai Chen Bryan Cheng Hayoung Choi Jeremias Fliedl Stéphanie Huang Woochan Jeong Marcel Johannes Kits Taeguk Mun Samuel Niederhauser Petar Pejčić Oleksiy Shadrin Sul Yoon Via this link you can read more about the finalists and download their photos on their personal pages. The biographies of the finalists will be available on the press page as of Wednesday May 25. Programme of the final The final will take place at the Brussels…

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Have you heard Régent Levasseur’s enchanting Farewell to the Warriors? The Orchestre classique de Montréal (OCM) presents it as part of its 82nd season, titled Women of Distinction, with the remarkable 18-minute concerto for string orchestra, harp and drum, in an orchestration by the versatile melodist. Tara-Louise Montour recorded the piece with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and the work earned the ensemble a Juno nomination (2005). “I am delighted that the OCM invited me into the program of Tales and Melodies, the first concert of its season, and I think that Farewell to the Warriors will fit in perfectly, firstly because of…

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The 24-year-old canadian cellist Bryan Cheng has been awarded 2nd Prize and the Audience Prize at the Geneva 2021 International Music Competition (Concours de Genève) in Switzerland! Selected from 250 initial applicants, he is also the only Canadian to have reached the finals of this prestigious cello competition, performing the Cello Concerto in E minor of E. Elgar with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and conductor Georg Fritzsch. Congratulations! The first cellist to win Grand Prize at the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal Competition, the first-ever Canadian laureate at the prestigious International Paulo Cello Competition and also winner of the inaugural Bader and Overton Canadian Cello…

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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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