Browsing: La Scena Online

From the time she first took up a miniature violin at the age of three, Canadian violin prodigy Leila Josefowicz (pronounced Lee-la Jo-se-foe-wits) has been on a collision course with success. Don’t be distracted by her Californian blondness, toothpaste smile and easy-going demeanour, picked up in Los Angeles, where her parents live. At 21, Josefowicz has left her child prodigy years behind her. Today she is a mature musician determined to take a place beside her musical idols, including legendary mid-century violinists Nathan Milstein, Jascha Heifetz, and Fritz Kreisler. “Sound is everything. Technique comes second. I’m a tonalist,” declared Josefowicz…

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Originally scheduled for February 8th and postponed due to illness, Galina Gorchakova finally showed up to make her long-awaited Toronto debut this evening in Roy Thomson Hall, before an enthusiastic audience. Wearing a black velvet gown with bouffant sleeves, tight bodice and a flowery lace skirt on top, and with her black hair pulled tightly back in a bun, her alabaster skin adorned with extravagant but tasteful jewellery, the only word one can use to describe her appearance is “stunning”. There is a slightly old-fashioned air to her “look”, as if she had just been transported to a musical salon…

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It was interesting to hear two of the great tenors of the last generation – Luciano Pavarotti and Peter Schreier – in one week last March. Both men are in their early sixties, 62 and 61 respectively, and both were in top voice. Here the similarities end. Pavarotti at the Molson Centre On March 7, Pavarotti and his team came to Montreal with the usual hype and hoopla reserved for pop icons. The local media were treating this as the musical event of the year. The last time Pav was here he sold out Salle Wilfrid Pelletier and the event…

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How Does Smoking Affect the Voice? Smoking kills both smokers and their voices. Countless scientific reports have established the causal connection between tobacco smoking and cancer of the mouth, throat, lungs, and esophagus. The relative risk of developing cancer of the larynx is doubled in those who smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day. Alcohol and tobacco appear to act synergistically to elevate this risk still further. It is not the nicotine in tobacco which causes cancer. Tobacco smoke is dark with tar — a mixture of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that is markedly carcinogenic. The heat of the smoke in…

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In 1984 young Japanese-Canadian pianist Jon Kimura Parker shot into the spotlight taking the top prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition in Britain. As a laureate of the Leeds Competition he joined the impressive fraternity of past winners which includes Radu Lupu and Murray Perahia. I first heard Parker live about ten years ago in concert with the Edmonton Symphony at the Jubilee Auditorium. Parker has a virile stage presence that immediately commands attention. His performance of Prokofiev’s daunting Piano Concerto No 3 was unforgettable. With a rich, round piano tone he communicated both the lyricism and the sometimes…

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