Industry News (April/May 2024)

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Left to right: Anna Ringart, Byron Janis, Gary Corrin, Michael Cavanagh, Seiji Ozawa

Renowned conductor Seiji Ozawa died in Tokyo on Feb. 6, at the age of 88. Ozawa was the first Japanese conductor to receive international recognition, having served as music director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, and was the longest-serving music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, which he conducted from 1973-2002.

Canadian opera director Michael Cavanagh has died. He was 62. Cavanagh was appointed Artistic Director of the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm, having directed upward of 150 productions at 32 companies in Canada, the United States, and across Europe. Cavanagh died of leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a rare complication of bladder cancer, in London, Ont., on March 13.

Gary Corrin has died. Corrin had been Principal Librarian of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra since January 1992, and was also a clarinet player, having earned a degree in clarinet from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Byron Janis died on March 14 at the age of 95. The pianist was widely recognized as one of the greats of the 20th century. He studied with Vladimir Horowitz, and was one of only three students to have ever been confirmed by Horowitz to have learned under him.

Mezzo-soprano Anna Ringart, the former director of the Paris Opera’s Lyric Training Centre, has died at the age of 86.


Opéra de Montréal’s Atelier Lyrique, directed by Jennifer Szeto, has announced their 2024-25 cohort. Joining returning members are baritone Jamal Al Titi, soprano Bridget Esler, mezzo-sopranos Justine Ledoux and Camila Montefusco, and pianist Martine Jomphe.

Left to right: Daniela Nardi, Madeleine Careau, Bridget Esler

The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir has appointed Daniela Nardi as their new Executive Director. Nardi brings more than 30 years of professional experience in the arts and culture sector, and will work in partnership with Jean-Sébastien Vallée, the choir’s Artistic Director.

The Kronos Performing Arts Association has announced that longtime members John Sherba (violin) and Hank Dutt (viola) will retire from the Kronos Quartet following their 50th anniversary season. Sherba and Dutt have been a part of the ensemble for 46 years.

Hank Dutt and John Sherba

Following 25 years at the Montreal Symphony, Madeleine Careau has announced that she is stepping down from her role as Exective Director of the organization at the end of the current season.


The Canada Council for the Arts has announced the 2024 recipients of the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts. This year’s winners include: fine craft artist Louise Lemieux Bérubé; curator Michelle Jacques; visual artists Shuvinai Ashoona, Barbara Astman, Dominique Blain and Greg Staats; visual, sound and media artist Don Ritter; and creative documentary filmmaker Marjorie Beaucage.

Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato has won the prestigious Concertgebouw Prize 2024 out of Amsterdam.

Three Canadians have been selected to participate in this year’s 20th violin edition of the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. A group of 69 candidates will participate in the first public round, including Canada’s Daniel Kogan, Alice Lee, and Julia Mirzoev.

This year’s edition of the Metropolitan Opera Eric and Dominique Laffont Competition has come to an end. Tenor Daniel Espinal, soprano Lydia Grindatto, baritone Navasard Hakobyan, mezzo-soprano Meridian Prall, and soprano Emily Richter were named the winners on March 17. Richter, who is currently a Resident Artist at Pittsburgh Opera, previously completed her master’s degree at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music, under the tutelage of Dominique Labelle. Canadian mezzo-soprano Tessa Fackelmann was named a semifinalist in this year’s competition.

Left to right: Joyce DiDonato, Measha Brueggergosman-Lee, Emily Richter

The Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards have named this year’s winners, honoured for their Lifetime Artistic Achievement. Among recipients are soprano Measha Brueggergosman-Lee; puppeteer and playwright Ronnie Burkett; songwriter, composer and performer Diane Juster; actress, comedian and SCTV alumna Andrea Martin; and recording artist and actor Wes “Maestro” Williams.

Canadian tenor Matthew Cairns was named a finalist at the Dallas Opera National Vocal Competition.

Canadian soprano Emily Rocha has received an Encouragement Award at the 2024 edition of the George and Nora London Foundation Competition.

Matthew Cairns (left) and Emily Rocha (right)


Chandos Records has been acquired by Klaus Heymann, founder of Naxos. Chandos is one of the world’s largest classical music labels, with a catalogue of more than 3,000 recordings. The acquisition marks a milestone moment for the two labels, who have had a longstanding commercial relationship.

Klaus Heymann

Klaus Heymann (Photo from November 2010 Naxos article,

The Metropolitan Opera has announced its first-ever Met Orchestra Asia Tour, which will see conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin joined by soprano Lisette Oropesa, mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča, and bass-baritone Christian Van Horn this summer.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin (Photo by Denis Germain – Orchestre Métropolitain)

The Montreal Symphony has announced their 59th international tour, their 17th in Europe. They will perform concerts in London, Luxembourg, Paris, Hamburg, Berlin, Amsterdam, Munich, and Vienna in November 2024. Joined by pianist Daniil Trifonov, the orchestra will be conducted by Rafael Payare.

Montreal Symphony Orchestra (Photo by Gabriel Fournier)


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