Browsing: Music Competition

REVIEW: of The Anchoress, a world premiere of a new musical monodrama/song cycle composed by David Serkin Ludwig with text by Katie Ford, performed by soprano Hyunah Yu, accompanied by saxophone quartet PRISM and ancient-instrument ensemble Piffaro; on Wednesday, October 17, at the Perelman Theatre of Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, and on Thursday, October 18, at New York City’s DiMenna Center for Classical Music (the latter performance reviewed here); and INTERVIEWS: with composer David Ludwig and poet Katie Ford. The impulse to retreat from the world in search of spiritual insight or purity has manifested throughout human history. Twenty-one centuries of Christianity…

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Toronto – Matthew Cairns of St. Catharines, ON took home First Prize at the Canadian Opera Company’s annual Ensemble Studio Competitionon November 1, 2018 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. The competition is the feature event of the COC gala fundraiser Centre Stage, an annual celebration of Canada’s best young opera artists. Cairns was selected from eight finalists to receive the $5,000 award, supported by the Chair of the COC’s Board of Directors, as well as a performance opportunity at Ontario’s Elora Festival. Vartan Gabrielian  of Toronto won the Second Prize of $3,000, and Jamie Groote of Toronto was awarded the Third Prize of $1,500. Andrea Lett of Prince Albert, SK took home the Audience Choice Award, worth $1,500. In…

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It was announced today that Matthew Aucoin – “one of the most sought-after young voices in classical music” (Wall Street Journal) – has been named a 2018 MacArthur Fellow. Selected for his extraordinary originality and dedication in his creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction, the composer, conductor, writer, and pianist is one of 25 recipients of this year’s “genius grant.” On learning of the award, Aucoin commented: “When I look at past MacArthur fellows, I’m struck not just by their brilliance but, in so many cases, by their humaneness and wisdom. Claudia Rankine, Peter Sellars, Claire Chase –…

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Second prize-winner in 2017 of the Recital Competition of French Art Song at the Classica Festival, soprano Magali Simard-Galdès this year won first prize for her performance of the art songs of Cécile Chaminade, accompanied by Michel-Alexandre Broekaert, who won the pianist’s prize. The Rimouski-born singer and champion of Chaminade is very proud of this feat, winning over the jury in the face of works by Debussy, Ravel, Fauré and Poulenc. Chaminade (1857-1944) was a concert pianist and prolific composer much loved in her time. Simard-Galdès likes her simple and limpid poetry, which lets the musical phrases speak for themselves.…

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Last May, 22-year-old pianist Élisabeth Pion from Otterburn Park, Quebec, won the Shean Piano Competition in Edmonton for her performance of Rachmaninoff’s Third Concerto. With this feather in her cap, she is about to embark on a Master’s at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London with Ronan O’Hora. Shortly before her departure for the U.K., Pion spoke about her world of freedom, multidisciplinarity and solitude – ingredients that seem to match her pensive look and the nonchalance of a young Martha Argerich. Talk of music quickly veers off into the autobiographical Carnets by Camus, which she is…

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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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At age 26, Nicolas Namoradze has had a remarkable career. He’s given recitals around the world and played with distinguished orchestras in Europe and the United States. Festivals have asked him to write works which have been played by eminent musicians. Most recently, he won first prize in the 2018 Honens Piano Competition in Calgary. Winning this competition was the stuff of dreams for Namoradze. And he thinks it came down to luck: “My teacher, Emanuel Ax, believes that competitions are like lotteries: you just have to be lucky. I certainly feel extremely lucky and I am enormously grateful.” The…

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Last November was hectic for Markham, ON native Andrea Núñez. The 28-year-old soprano went from competing in the Opera de Montréal’s inaugural young artist competition, Talent 2017, to jumping the very next day into the weeklong Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques. “I was running on coffee,” said Núñez, whose father is Peruvian and mother Chinese. On the stage of Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier at Talent 2017, Núñez sang a polished “Caro Nome” from Verdi’s Rigoletto. Although I found her interpretation a bit straight, her legato and floating high notes were astounding and set her apart from the rest of the field. So it’s surprising…

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Growing up in a musical household, Martin Mangrum was inspired to play horn by his older brother. “When I was 10 years old, I started taking piano lessons and a few months later I had to pick an instrument for my music class at FACE School in Montreal,” he explains. “At the time, my older brother Brian, who is now the new principal horn of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, had only been playing horn for six months. He could barely play and hearing him try was hilarious. “When I had to choose an instrument for my band class, I thought…

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When he played Jacques Ibert’s Concerto for Flute and Orchestra on Nov. 25, flutist Benjamin Morency was appearing at Montreal’s Maison symphonique for the second time, following an earlier stint with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada playing works by Bernstein. His inspirational playing garnered him first prize in the OSM Manulife Competition. And yet, he says, “My first year at Yale focussed mainly on orchestra and chamber music and I didn’t have much chance for solo recitals.” Almost a year later, Morency has completed his Master’s at the Yale School of Music with Ransom Wilson. This follows studies with…

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