Browsing: Choral

Conductor, violinist and educator Iwan Edwards passed away on the morning of March 4, 2022, at the age of 84. Last issue, he was interviewed by Marie-Claire Fafard-Blais for our feature on the St. Lawrence Choir’s 50th anniversary. In 2019, he contributed a three-page retrospective on his career. We pay tribute to Edwards by publishing the memory of my first experience singing with him (blog post from 2014). Visit the Facebook Group “Remembering Iwan Edwards” for more memories from those he touched: www.facebook.com/groups/3115218298732574/ Filmmaker Amena Ahmad is working on a documentary on Iwan Edwards: Once & For All The First…

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REVIEW:  of the New York premiere of a new opera by Gordon Getty, “reimagined for film” – Goodbye, Mr. Chips, screened at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater, March 2, 2022, at 7:00 p.m., sponsored jointly by Festival Napa Valley and NYCO (New York City Opera). The idea for an opera version of James’ Hilton’s 1934 novel, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, had been germinating in composer Gordon Getty’s mind for decades – ever since, as a young man, he saw a re-release of the celebrated 1939 film adaptation starring Robert Donat (in an Academy Award-winning performance as the eponymous character) and the…

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Update: March 5, 2022 We are saddened to learn of Iwan Edwards’s passing in the morning of March 4, 2022 at the age of 84. Below is a reflection by Iwan of his career. Marie-Claire Fafard-Blais interviewed Iwan on the occasion of St. Lawrence Choir’s 50th Anniversary in our Feb/March 2022 issue. T’Cha Dunlevy’s touching obituary contained memories from some of Iwan’s students [Montreal Gazette] Robert Rowat’s obituary [CBC] Wah Keung Chan remembers Iwan’s last concert and Iwan’s Mozart Requiem in memory of the victims of December 6. (published Dec. 6, 2014) [Originally published November 7, 2019] Founder of…

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Aux fenêtres du tempsClaudel Callendar, voice, piano and compositions; Maurice Carême, texts; Vox Luminosa Children’s Choir; The Young Voices of the Mills.Label: Socan (2021) For some projects, among other musical ones, the idea is sometimes more important than the result. Such is the case with this double-disc project, which translates to At the windows of time, named after a poem by the Belgian writer Maurice Carême (1899-1978). The composer and pianist Claudel Callender bring together here 33 texts by the same author that he set to music. The first part with choir immerses us in a family-type atmosphere in the…

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George Frideric Handel: MessiahEnsemble Caprice, Ensemble Vocal Arts-Québec; Matthias Maute, conductor; Karina Gauvin, sopranoLeaf Music, 2021 The new recording by Ensemble Caprice jointly with the Ensemble vocal Arts-Québec, under the direction of Matthias Maute, was released on the Leaf Music label. A work by Jaap Nico Hamburger to start, one by Matthias Maute himself to conclude and, as a main course, several excerpts from Handel’s Messiah. The voice and voluptuous timbre of Karina Gauvin are first highlighted in Rejoice greatly, a piece full of lyricism and virtuosity. It is with these same assets that the singer then approaches I know…

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For several years now, Jean-Sébastien Vallée has been carving out an enviable place for himself in the world of choral singing. Appointed director of the renowned choir of the Church of St. Andrew & St. Paul in Montreal in 2015 and music director of the Ottawa Choral Society the following year, he also holds several positions at McGill University, where he is an associate professor of music, director of choral studies and coordinator of the Ensembles and Conducting Area at the Schulich School of Music.  He has also served as director of choral studies at California State University in Los…

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Soundstreams: Love Songs Three major productions are in the works for 2022, two in the spring and one in the winter, at Toronto’s Soundstreams. In the meantime, fans of contemporary music can look forward to a concert on Nov. 19. It is an online-only event entitled Love Songs, named after the eponymous work by Quebec composer Claude Vivier. Vivier will be honoured by Soundstreams with a second work, Hymnen an die Nacht. A work by Christopher Mayo, Oceano Nox, commissioned with the support of the Ontario Arts Council, completes the programme. Performers include David Fallis, who will lead a vocal…

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Toronto, October 26, 2021 – Peace, joy, merriment, and hope — Christmas wouldn’t be the same without Tafelmusik! Almost 21 months after its last live public performance at Jeanne Lamon Hall, Tafelmusik is thrilled to make its long-awaited return to the stage with A Tafelmusik Christmas. Curated by Ivars Taurins, this festive program spanning two centuries reunites members of the choir and orchestra for the first time this year. In addition to the emotional impact of performing before a live audience, A Tafelmusik Christmas marks another reason to celebrate: the launch of Tafelmusik Chamber Choir’s 40th anniversary season. A Tafelmusik…

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Most amateur choirs in Quebec have ceased or considerably slowed their activities since March 2020. The start of the 2021 choral season promises to have more freedom, although many constraints are still in place. The limit of 25 people allowed to meet in the same room is a major constraint for choirs, which often have more than double this number. About 75% of choirs in the Alliance chorale du Québec fall into this category, representing nearly 14,000 singers who are directly affected. The situation creates a major logistical challenge for amateur choirs, which often have limited means and cannot contemplate…

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by Olivier Bergeron and Arnaud G. Veydarier Andrew Gray couldn’t have chosen a better city than Montreal when, in 2010, he decided to leave the U.K. to start a new chapter in his already flourishing career. In fact, the “city of a hundred bells” boasts a well-established choral tradition, with two symphony orchestras, a ballet company and hundreds of vocal ensembles of all levels.  It was in this rich musical landscape that Gray won his first official position as conductor of the Montreal Children’s Choir, which he left in 2015 to take over artistic and musical direction of the Montreal…

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