Browsing: Folk

Three composers are involved in this first co-production between Analekta and the Azrieli Music Prizes: Brian Current and Wlad Marhulets, winners of the 2016 Azrieli Commissioning Competition and Azrieli Prize in Jewish Music, respectively, and the American Lukas Foss. The Czech National Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Steven Mercurio, the choir by Miriam Nmcová. Soloists are soprano Sharon Azrieli, clarinetist David Krakauer and tenor Richard Troxell. In The Seven Heavenly Halls, Current offers his musical vision of the Zohar, the fundamental text of the Kabbalah. Tension in the orchestra, a tumult of voices, mystical flights of fancy and dense textures…

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Born in Roncole, Italy, on Oct. 9 or 10, 1813, Verdi was named in French, Joseph François Fortunin. At that time, that part of Italy was still under French dominion. He was the son of Carlo and Luigia Verdi. Verdi’s parents owned a tavern close to Busetto in the Parma region of northern Italy. His parents were middle-class, educated Catholics. His father even bought a spinet piano for his young son, which indicates both that they were people of means and that they supported Verdi’s talent from a young age. Verdi received his main musical education as a child from the…

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Kleztory is a stunning example of the power and the universal nature of the language of klezmer music. Strange to say, this internationally renowned quintet does not have any members of Jewish origin. From Russia, Western Canada and Quebec, the five musicians came together for their shared love of traditional klezmer music – into which, however, they do not hesitate to take the liberty of weaving their diverse personalities. Their return from Trondheim, Norway, where they will participate in a festival of Jewish culture, will mark the beginning of a rich season of travel and gatherings. Sidewalks to Studios Clarinettist…

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Saturday, September 1 was one of the busiest journeys of the five-day Festival with 6 indoor concerts, a Masterclass with Russian accordionist Roman Jbanov,  a Trad Quebecois dance event and free concerts held all over the town in different outdoor stages and restaurants. I also wanted to visit the Accordion Museum at the historical Manoir et four a pain Couillard and the photographic exhibition by Julien Simard which documented 30 years of the festival’s history. My first order of business was to meet with accordion prodigy Andrea Di Giacomo. The 22-year-old left the audience in awe at the Opening night…

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PROFILE/REVIEW: of the 2018 Glimmerglass Festival Season: Silent Night by Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell; West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim; Cunning Little Vixen by Leoš Janáček; and The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini and Cesare Sterbini. “It’s remarkable how many important things happened in 1918,” observes Glimmerglass Festival artistic and managing director Francesca Zambello, speaking at a recent pre-show audience address in Cooperstown. “The end of World War I. The birth of Leonard Bernstein. And the premiere of this piece” – this last a reference to Igor Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale, which was…

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From July 20 to 22, Ottawa will welcome the fourth edition of the Capital Ukrainian Festival. More than 500 artists from all corners of the country as well as the United States and Ukraine will ­converge for this three-day weekend event. Jane Kolbe, the organizing committee’s ­president, wants the event to be a truly global and multicultural experience. There will be ­traditional music to be heard, songs to be sung and dances to be seen. But the program also ­offers a wide array of cultural activities for young and old, including a village market, a food court, a beer garden,…

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Well-established in Quebec’s cultural landscape for 30 years, the Carrefour mondial de l’accordéon invites musicians and music fans to gather in Montmagny and celebrate the rich heritage of the instrument. Although it’s often associated with the Parisian musette waltz, the accordion has spread across Europe and the Americas to become an integral part of many music traditions. Its 200-year history has seen several developments that have produced an extensive range of instruments with diverse characteristics. With the aim of preserving this heritage and inspiring the development of the practice, the Carrefour will gather more that 40 musicians from different geographic…

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The awards ceremony of the Indigenous Music Awards is a celebration of First Nations creativity. It is also an important event in the larger program of the Manito Ahbee Festival of Winnipeg, which is named after a sacred site for all peoples in the west part of the Whiteshell area of Manitoba. In Ojibwe, Manito Ahbee means “the place where the Creator sits.” The name of Manitoba finds its origin in this special place. The Manito Ahbee Festival, whose 13th edition just ended, celebrates Indigenous arts, music and culture at large. It presents international powwows, a conference on international Indigenous…

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Now residing in Montreal, Inuit singer-songwriter, film director and activist Elisapie will release The Ballad of the Runway Girl at the end of summer. About 30 concerts are already planned in connection with this new album. Elisapie launches her cross-province tour in Lavaltrie and travels to Val-d’Or. Montreal welcomes her on Sept. 27. Elisapie’s fourth album was inspired by the life of Willie Thrasher, an Inuit singer. “Sent to a residential school in the south, deprived of his language and traditional lifestyle, Willie Thrasher did not have an easy life, but this fighter gave me force and influenced my work,”…

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Singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie is a trailblazer, the first Indigenous musician to come to prominence in Canada. Her first album, It’s My Way!, was released by Vanguard Records in 1964. Last November, Medicine Songs, her 19th album, was released to critical acclaim. It contains some new material, like You Got to Run (Spirit of the Wind), in which she is joined on vocals by well-known throat singer Tanya Tagaq. Almost all the other songs have new arrangements. Overall, Sainte-Marie continues to have a remarkable career, enriched (although commercially hindered at one point) by her educator/outreach work and activism on behalf of…

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