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Mia Brentano’s River of Memories: A Mystery Trip Benyamin Nuss, piano, Andy Miles, clarinets & bass clarinets and friends Mons Records, 2019, MR874621 After Hidden Sea, released in 2018, Mia Brentano comes back with a new album, named River of Memories: A Mystery Trip. Over the course of 15 pieces, the composer alternates between a vast array of styles. From various forms of jazz, using piano and clarinet, to almost pop-sounding music, using electric guitar; from aquatic sounds – underwater and rain, more specifically – to what we would be tempted to call “modern music.” With its warm and sensual…

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On Dec. 5, the magnificent Pratt & Whitney Canada Hall of the Théâtre de la Ville in Longueuil will be the site of the Grand Christmas Concert of the Orchestre Symphonique de Longueuil (OSDL) under the direction of Alexandre Da Costa. The evening features some special guests: Giorgia Fumanti, one of today’s best classical crossover singers, and the very popular QW4RTZ vocal quartet with its four eccentric and inspired guys. “It’s nice to have been invited to the show,” says François Dubé. This member of QW4RTZ, also known by his artistic alias Fa2, states that his group will present Christmas…

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For Immediate Release, October 8, 2019, Montreal, Quebec … It is with great pleasure and pride that the Orchestre classique de Montréal, at the outset of its 80th anniversary season, announces new appointments to its Board of Directors, along with key new diversity initiatives to launch the orchestra into its next decade. Deborah Corber, LL.M. has been appointed Chair of the Board, after joining the OCM Board of Directors in 2017. Ms. Corber is founder of Corber Consulting, a practice dedicated to advancing Reconciliation between Indigenous peoples and non-Indigenous Canadians. Her work is informed by 25 years of experience providing…

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AtG, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and CBC Arts celebrate the opera company’s 10th anniversary with a historic livestream from Toronto’s Tranzac Club on CBC Gem  September 25, 2019 — Against the Grain Theatre (AtG) today announced that as part of its upcoming cross-country tour of  LA BOHÈME, reimagined for contemporary settings and staged in bars across Canada, CBC’s free streaming service, CBC Gem, will carry the company’s October 13 performance live, marking Canada’s first-ever professional opera livestream. As announced earlier this month, La Bohème, the innovative AtG production that started it all and uprooted opera from the opera house…

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Beethoven’s first self-promoted concert in Vienna in April 1800 contained works by Mozart and Haydn alongside his own first symphony, piano concerto and a septet, opus 20, that was the hit of the night. On the notion that nothing succeeds like success, Beethoven sold his publisher an additional version of the septet, scaled down to a trio for clarinet (or violin), cello and piano and registered as his opus 38. Contrary to expectations, it never matched the popularity of the septet, then or since. I cannot recall a really gripping recording. This performance, by Alexander Bedenko, Kyril Zlotnikov and Itamar…

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THE 30th ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF DISTANT HARMONY: PAVAROTTI IN CHINA ACADEMY-AWARD WINNING FILMMAKER DeWITT SAGE’S ACCLAIMED DOCUMENTARY ABOUT OPERA STAR LUCIANO PAVAROTTI, IS NOW AVAILABLE WORLDWIDE FROM GIANT PICTURES Experience every moment of Luciano Pavarotti’s 1986 travels to Beijing. Los Angeles, CA – (September 10, 2019) – The 30th Anniversary Edition of director DeWitt Sage’s award-winning feature documentary Distant Harmony: Pavarotti in China is now available from Giant Pictures, the digital film distribution division of Giant Interactive, on digital platforms worldwide & DVD. Direct trailer link: https://youtu.be/Q1sPNHNntaA In 1986, Luciano Pavarotti was invited to Beijing to present La Bohème, conduct…

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Cellist Matthew Christakos has won the 2019 Michael Measures First Prize, a prestigious award which recognizes promising young Canadian classical music performers enrolled in the summer training program of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. Moreover, the 19-year-old has won several first prizes at the Kiwanis Festival of Greater Toronto, placing second overall in the Ontario strings category. Christakos owes this recognition to the many teachers who guided him, combined with his parents’ ongoing support. He studied with former Toronto Symphony Orchestra associate principal cellist David Hetherington at the Royal Conservatory’s Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists.…

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Just when everyone has given up on concept albums, up pops Pat Kop with a really interesting concept, one that – being Pat Kop – is strictly inimitable. The title hints at vague cosmic fusions between great faiths, but the material the great violinist assembles is pertinent, unusual and brilliantly played. She starts with the Jewish Yom Kippur invocation of Kol Nidrei – not the overworked Bruch, nor even the Schoenberg, but a deep, dark, treasurable meditation by the New York composer, John Zorn, that I had never heard before. She follows that with three voices singing the post-Sabbath hymn…

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The Orchestre symphonique de Longueuil (OSDL) is preparing to enter a new era under the baton of Alexandre Da Costa, the unconvnetional 39-year-old artist taking over from Marc David, who conducted this musical institution con brio for 25 years. Da Costa promises a “symphonic turn” with the 2019-20 program, which comprises musical experiences that attempt fusions of classical music and expressions that are clearly in tune with the times. “It’s a great responsibility, but it’s also a great opportunity for me to open up the OSDL’s program to something that reflects me the most,” said Alexandre Da Costa, perfectly aware…

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Les Sons et les Parfums Music by Tailleferre, Fauré, Poulenc, Chabrier, Debussy and Ravel. Janina Fialkowska, piano ATMA Classique ACD2 2766 Total Time: 56:11 ***** (5 stars) Montreal-born and internationally celebrated pianist Janina Fialkowska has recorded 13 CDs for ATMA Classique but none better than this one. This carefully selected survey of French piano music ranges from Fauré’s Nocturne Op. 36 No. 4 in E flat major to Ravel’s Jeux d’eau and Sonatine. Fialkowska plays everything with a sure sense of style. The first four pieces, by Tailleferre, Fauré, Poulenc and Chabrier, are beautifully crafted salon miniatures. Each demonstrates how…

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