Browsing: Strings

Banff, ALTA. – One morning of the Banff International String Quartet Competition is reserved for a short, new commissioned piece, which means the audience has the unique and unnatural experience of hearing a world premiere performed 10 times over a couple of hours. These works have generally displayed contemporary compositional notions, which many of the elderly, traditional chamber-music crowd assembled to follow the BISQC drama over a week in the beautiful Rocky Mountains find strange and disruptive. In 2010, Ana Sokolović’s five-minute Commedia del’Arte, commissioned by the CBC and the Banff Centre, was, like most “test” pieces, a clever but…

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Musica Camerata Montreal is an exceptional ensemble. Founded in 1971, it has been performing lesser-known chamber works and pioneering the music of Canadian composers. In anticipation of Camerata’s 50th season, we spoke to violinist and artistic director Luis Grinhauz and his wife, pianist Berta Rosenohl. How did you meet? LG: I was 19 years old, new to Buenos Aires, and a friend of mine wanted to introduce a lovely pianist to me named Berta. But I seemed to be too busy with violin practice (laughs). A little bit later, after one particular concert, we finally met, and I asked her…

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Banff, ALTA. – The Romantic round is over at the Banff International String Quartet Competition. Each of 10 contenders played their choice of quartets by composers such as Mendelssohn, Ravel, Debussy, Dvořák and Brahms. The results, I would say, were generally helpful for all 10 groups. The few that I’ve enjoyed the most so far added to my favourable impression. The Viano Quartet played Debussy’s only string quartet, with Hao Zhou on first violin. They displayed their control of dynamic subtlety and the ethereal features of impressionistic writing. The piece also showed how in synch the two violinists (Lucy Wang…

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BANFF, ALTA. – The 13th triennial Banff International String Quartet Competition (BISQC) began Aug. 26 with 10 contenders over two days performing one Haydn quartet from a prescribed list and one quartet written after 1905. The Haydn component gives a nod to the father of the string quartet form. Hearing one of Haydn’s musically varied works contrasted with a piece by Ligeti or Bartók (two of the go-to 20th-century composers the competitors usually select) makes for an audience experience that closely resembles an actual concert rather than the opening salvo in a battle to win the approval of the BISQC…

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Shanghai, China, August 6, 2019 – The third Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition (SISIVC) will take place in Shanghai August 4-25, 2020. The Competition’s Organisation Committee announced today that it is officially open for global applications. In celebration of the centennial birthday of Maestro Isaac Stern in 2020, a gala concert has been added to commemorate the longtime friend of China. Illustrious Panel of Judges After much anticipation, the Organisation Committee revealed the names of the all-star panel of jurors – each of the 13 chosen for their specialties in different artistic fields – ensuring that the contestants will receive…

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Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, Queen’s University announces the  BADER AND OVERTON CANADIAN CELLO COMPETITION Applications open September 2nd, 2019 Kingston, Ontario …. On September 2, 2019, the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts at Queen’s University will launch a new major cello competition for Canada, the BADER AND OVERTON CANADIAN CELLO COMPETITION. The competition will be held May 6-9, 2020 at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts (“the Isabel”) in Kingston, Ontario. The Bader and Overton Canadian Cello Competition has been made possible through the generosity of the Isabel Bader Fund, A Bader Philanthropy, whose vision,…

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WINNIPEG, SUMMER (2019) — After yet another enriching season of workshops and outreach in Manitoba’s hospitals, libraries, and penitentiaries, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra’s Fiddlers on the Loose (FOTL) perform their finale: a multi-week tour of remote communities in Manitoba to play and work-shop fiddle and folk music. There is, of course, already a strong tradition of fiddle music in Manitoba, and our initiative helps to build on the good work of communities as well as the Frontier School Division to sustain and foster that tradition. This year, the six professional musicians, librarian, and stage manager who make up Fiddlers on the…

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12 violonists from 6 countries go on to the semifinals June 1 and 2  Montréal, le 30 mai 2019 – On May 29 and 30 was held the First round of the 2019 Violin Edition of the Concours musical international de Montréal. The jury selected twelve semifinalists, from 6 countries. The semifinal will take place on June 1 and 2 at Bourgie Hall. Presided by Zarin Mehta, le 2019 international jury includes Pierre Amoyal (France), Kim Kashkashian (United States), Boris Kuschnir (Austria), Cho-Liang Lin (United States), Mihaela Martin (Romania), Barry Shiffman (Canada), Dmitry Sitkovetsky (United Kingdom/United States) and Pavel Vernikov (Israel…

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Six degrees of separation does not apply to either ethnic or musical communities. Last time I met with Carissa Klopoushak was nearly eight years ago when I interviewed her and her band mates from Tyt i Tam, a Ukrainian turbo-folk band established in 2003, which has recorded four albums and toured Canada, Ukraine and Australia. This time we met at one of her former haunts in Mile End while she worked on her doctorate in violin performance at McGill. Over caffeine-infused drinks I asked Klopoushak about her formative years. “I started when I was about four years old. There was…

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American violinist Stella Chen has won the 2019 Violin Competition! The International Queen Elisabeth Grand Prize – Queen Mathilde Prize receives € 25,000 and numerous concerts in Belgium and abroad. She will also have the honour to play the ‘Huggins’ 1708 Stradivarius for four years, presented by the Nippon Music Foundation. Canadians Timothy Chooi and Shannon Lee took second and fourth place respectively. American Stephen Kim, whom La Scena had predicted would be in the top 3 of the CMIM, took third prize; Kim had withdrew from the CMIM once he made the finals of the Queen Elisabeth. The prizewinners First Prize…

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