Browsing: Violin

Bach and Bartok Karl Stobbe, violin Leaf music, 2022 Juno Award winner and violin soloist Karl Stobbe has released the album Bach and Bartok to illustrate the profound influence of Bach’s sonatas on the world of classical music. In the first half of the album, Stobbe presents his rendition of Bach’s Sonata No. 3 in C Major for Solo Violin, BMV 1005, which is both serendipitously calm and dramatically tense. Listeners are often left longing for a resolving note, and when they finally reach it, they’re dragged back into a melody whose syncopations masterfully re-establish the anxiety of waiting. Listeners…

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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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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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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 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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Originally from Seoul, Korea, violinist Byungchan Lee garnered international attention as prizewinner of the inaugural 2009 Yuri Yankelevitch International Violin Competition, and was one of CBC’s “30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30” in 2017. He appeared as soloist with the McGill and Vancouver Symphony Orchestras, and performed alongside Stevie Wonder in Montreal as well as at the closing ceremony of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Byungchan toured the most prestigious Canadian and international halls, such as the Carnegie Hall, the MoMA’s Summergarden, the New York Choreographic Institute, and the Juilliard’s Focus Festival. Byungchan received his master’s degree from The…

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Violinist Timothy Chooi won Second Prize at the 2019 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium. He had already made a name for himself after receiving numerous awards, including the First Prize of the 2018 Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition in Germany, the First Prize of the 2018 Schadt Violin Competition in the USA, the Michael Hill Violin Competition in New-Zealand and the OSM ManulifeCompetition in Canada. In 2018, he won the Yves Paternot Prize at the Festival Verbier in Switzerland, which rewards the most promising and accomplished musician at the annual Academy of Young Professional Musicians. Timothy Chooi studied at the Curtis…

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