Browsing: Violin

Olivier Brault is very much in demand internationally for his deft playing of, and expertise in, period instruments. His embrace of the Baroque era, with special emphasis on 18th-century French music, has given this violinist the credentials to stimulate interest in this repertoire through lectures to younger audiences and his work as a teacher at McGill University. His twin musical concerns now are the use of memory and its transmission, although his own journey was a winding one, beginning with a childhood visit to a great-uncle in Nova Scotia. A Love Affair with the French Trio Sonata “My mother was…

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By Wah Keung Chan and Alexandre Da Costa To help navigate the 2019 edition of the Concours musical international de Montréal (CMIM), La Scena listened to 23 of the 24 participants to arrive at our prediction of the winners. French-Russian violinist Fedor Rudin withdrew after his appointment as concertmaster of the Vienna State Opera and Vienna Philharmonic and we were not informed of his replacement during the evaluation process. The 24 violinists include highly decorated winners of recent international competitions. In our listening of publicly available audio and video, many from previous competition performances, the technical prowess of all participants…

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From its beginnings in 2002, the Concours musical international de Montréal (CMIM) has proven its mettle. With some daring and much intelligence, it has set itself apart from others in its field by projecting a more human image and extending its outreach in the community. Like all competitions, it adheres to its own set of rules, one of these being its alternating annual focus on piano, voice and violin. Yet it includes some non-competitive events in its program, for the sake of added colour. CMIM artistic and managing director Christiane LeBlanc is very much responsible for broadening the event’s scope.…

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“Playing a Stradivarius is fascinating for a musician, can inspire peer appreciation, attract media interest, and stimulate conversation in classical-music circles,” says violinist Alexandre Da Costa. “But do not give too much importance to the instrument. It is only a tool. Most important is the quality of the performance of the instrumentalist, his artistic sensibility.” The Canadian virtuoso is well placed to support these remarks. Da Costa has been playing Stradivarius instruments for almost 20 years and recognizes, of course, the luck he has had and still has: the loan until 2027of a 1701 Devault Stradivarius offered by Maryse and…

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“An post-war and Soviet-era formula has often been used to train young musicians during musical competitions: train musicians as if they were Olympic athletes, ignoring that musicians are above all artists.” Violinist and conductor Alexandre Da Costa does not mince words when it comes to highlighting the shortfalls of international competitions. Da Costa believes that these competitions are heavily centred on technical performance, eclipsing artistic and human dimensions. These generally shape the awarded musicians’ international career. “Most winners of these international competitions play at a high technical level,” said Da Costa, winner of many national and international awards, including the…

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12 March 2019 – Brussels (Belgium) 2019 Queen Elisabeth Violin Competition announce 71 candidates and the Imposed works by Bram Van Camp & Kimmo Hakola.  Candidates 71 candidates have been selected to participate in the first round of the 19th Queen Elisabeth Violin Competition : 49 women and 22 men, representing 20 different nationalities. Canadians include Timothy Chooi, Daniel Kogan, Shannon Lee and Melody Yuan. –      The best represented are : Korea (16), Japan (15) and the United States of America (11). –      Followed by China, France and Russia with each 6 candidates. –      The other candidates originate from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Hungary, Ireland, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Romania, the UK and Switzerland.   Overview of the candidates by nationality (the…

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Montréal, January 22, 2019 — 24 of the world’s most promising young violinists—15 women and 9 men between the ages of 16 and 28, from 13 nations—have been selected to participate in the CMIM (Concours musical international de Montréal) running from May 29 to June 5, 2019. The United States leads the selection with seven violinists, followed by Japan and South Korea with 5 violinists each. Germany is represented by two competitors and the following nations are each represented by one competitor: Austria, China, Czech Republic, France, Latvia, Russia, Spain, Taiwan and Ukraine. The 24 competitors will vie for over…

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Marc Djokic is a violinist on the move. Winner of the 2017-2018 Mécénat Musica Prix Goyer and an Opus award from the Conseil québécois de la musique, he’s had a busy year touring while pursuing new projects. Last summer, Djokic began his first European tour with solo recitals, chamber music concerts and masterclasses in Venice, Geneva and Bern. He was also recently appointed concertmaster of the McGill Chamber Orchestra. His first album, Solo Seven, was released on the ATMA Classique label in the fall. For our interview, Djokic suggested that we meet at the Association Récréative Milton-Parc, in downtown Montreal,…

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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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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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