Highlights | Actress Sophie Desmarais Conducts OM, TSO Emails Hacked, New Ergonomic Curved Keyboard

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Welcome back to La Scena Musicale‘s Highlights, a curated, weekly list of arts-related news stories from across the world!

Music Industry

Image by Markus Spiske (CC0C/Pixabay)

Ludwig Van | Toronto Symphony Orchestra among international cultural institutions victimized by hack
WordFly, a email software used by institutions like the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) and the Canadian Opera Company (COC), was hacked in early July. Personal information like names, email address, TSO and COC account IDs, and survey responses were stolen – no credit card or financial data was accessed by the hacker. The data was removed from the hacker’s possession less than a week later.

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La Presse | Sophie Desmarais conducts OM in Chloé Robichaud’s new film
(This article is written in French.)
Quebecois conductor and pianist Yannick Nézet-Séguin is an artistic consultant for Chloé Robichaud’s upcoming film, Les jours heureux. Nézet-Séguin is mentoring actor Sophie Desmarais so she can accurately play her role as an orchestral conductor. There are also plans for the Orchestre Métropolitain to perform for the film’s soundtrack.

Washington Post | Classical music is ditching printed programs. We’re not happy.
In this opinion article, Michael Andor Brodeur makes the case for keeping the tradition of printed programs over PDF programs. Digital programs have been standardized recently due in part to COVID.

Susan V. Booth will take on her new role as artistic director of the Goodman Theater in Chicago in October.

Susan V. Booth will take on her new role as artistic director of the Goodman Theater in Chicago in October (Credit: Johnathon Kelso)

The New York Times | Goodman Theater names Susan V. Booth as artistic director
Booth will be the first theater’s first female artistic director since its founding in 1922. From 1993-2001, Booth was Goodman’s director of “new play development”.

La Presse | Eurovision 2023 will take place in the United Kingdom instead of Ukraine
(This article is written in French.)
Organizers have concluded that it would be too dangerous to host Eurovision in Ukraine next year, so they will relocate to the United Kingdom while retaining the event’s celebration of Ukrainian culture and creativity.

Montreal Gazette | The long road back to Osheaga: ‘Let’s just say we’re very excited’
After two years of cancelled events, Nick Farkas will finally be hosting the 15th Osheaga Music and Arts Festival.

CBC | Barmp! The Harbour Symphony marks a return to normality in St. John’s
The Harbour Symphony, a classical music/jazz festival in Newfoundland, will present its 20th season at St. John’s harbour.

Slipped Disc | This Summer’s Proms will be the last as we’ve known them
BBC Proms will be hosting its last festival this summer, which will be the end of the British orchestra according to Norman Lebrecht.

Music Culture

The Maene-Viñoly Concert Grand (Photo courtesy of Rafael Viñoly Architects)

The Maene-Viñoly Concert Grand (Credit: Rafael Viñoly Architects)

Ludwig Van | Curved Keyboard: the Maene-Viñoly Concert Grand makes its debut at international festival
The Maene-Viñoly Concert Grand has an ergonomic curved shape that is designed to accommodate musicians with disabilities. Kirill Gerstein performed the first concert on this piano at the Verbier Festival on July 19.

Slipped Disc | I’m an introvert. How did I get on stage?
Watch Zsolt Bognar interview Karen Gomyo, a Japanese-born violinist who was raised in Canada by a single mother, about her musical influences and career.

City News | Sistema Toronto’s after-school program brings orchestral music to east Scarborough
13-year-old viola player Desiree has long been part of Sistema Toronto, a charity that runs an after-school music program in the Scarborough area.

Matthew Cairns (Credit: Sam Gaetz Photography)

OperaCanada | New on the Scene: Matthew Cairns
This 27-year-old tenor has already won top prize at the COC and has become part of their Ensemble Studio.

Washington Post | Frida Kahlo’s life story is being made into a Broadway musical
The Broadway show about this famous Mexican artist will first hit stages in 2024.

Ludwig Van | Variants & variations: returning to music in a post-mandate world
People still want to attend in-person concerts – the screen just doesn’t compare to the real thing. But how do audiences feel while they’re sitting in the auditorium, surrounded by hundreds of potentially sick people? And how comfortable does that make the musicians? Robin Roger breaks these questions down in this feature article.

Classical Voice | This musician went from career-ending injury to playing again
After a terrible accident left bassist and composer Giulio Cetto with little movement in his left arm, he thought his playing days were done. Now Cetto is performing with the likes of saxophonist Kazemde George and vocalist Sami Stevens.

German pianist Gina Alice Redlinger shines in her own light

Gina Alice Redlinger and her husband Lang Lang play a piano duet in Shanghai last September (Credit: Ti Gong)

Shine | German pianist Gina Alice Redlinger shines in her own light
Wife of the famous pianist Lang Lang, Gina Alice Redlinger, is also a piano-player who has performed alongside orchestras like the Guangzhou Symphony and the Shenzhen Symphony.

Classic FM | World Athletics long jump champion is also a classical pianist with a passion for Chopin and Schubert
Malaika Mihambo isn’t just a long jump Olympic gold medalist – she also enjoys playing Schubert and Chopin in her spare time.

The New York Times | A maestro and his musicians face scrutiny over ties to Russia
Conductor Teodor Currentzis and his orchestra ensemble, MusicAeterna, have been criticized for not outwardly denouncing Russia’s war against Ukraine, and for continuing to work with some of Putin’s associates.

La Presse | The great Sylvain Lelièvre will be inducted into the Canadian Authors and Composers’ Hall of Fame
(This article is written in French.)
Sylvain Lelièvre (1943-2002), an important figure in Quebec music, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on August 7 by Daniel Lavoie, following a performance of What do we make of our dreams….homage to Sylvain Lelièvre.


La Presse | Music on a golden platter
(This article is written in French.)
Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Metropolitan Orchestra’s performance at the Domaine Forget de Charlevoix had a rare quality, says Emmanuel Bernier.

Nance Williamson and Kurt Rhoads as Juliet and Romeo in a production at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival in Garrison, N.Y.

Nance Williamson (left) and Kurt Rhoads (right) as Juliet and Romeo in a production at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival in Garrison, N.Y. (Credit: T. Charles Erickson)

The New York Times | ‘Romeo & Juliet’ review: older, gentler star-crossed lovers

Le Devoir | “Louis Lortie plays Chopin, volume 7”, Louis Lortie
(This article is written in French.)
Chrisophe Huss gives Louis Lortie’s album 4/5 stars for his brilliant and extroverted of Chopin’s mazurkas.

The New York Times | Review: ‘The Silent Woman,’ an opera about putting on an opera
have sought to to reconstruct it for modern audiences. According to , they have succeeded.

Le Devoir | “Mozart. Piano concertos”, Éric Le Sage
(This article is written in French.)
Christophe Huss gives Éric Le Sage’s album 4/5 stars for the tactful, dramatic order of Mozart’s piano concertos.

Classical Voice | West Edge Opera makes the case for a nearly forgotten masterpiece
While the ending feels locked in the past, West Edge Opera’s performance of Ariane & Bluebeard is a masterpiece by all other accounts, says Steven Winn.


Slipped Disc | International Contemporary Ensemble mourns key player
Ryan Muncy (1945-2022) was the saxophonist and curator for the International Contempoary Ensemble. He helped compose more than 250 works for saxophone over the course of his musical career.

Maestro dies while conducting Strauss opera in Munich

Stefan Soltész

Slipped Disc | Maestro dies while conducting Strauss Opera in Munich
Stefan Soltész (1949-2022) collapsed while conducting at Bavarian State Opera on July 22 and later passed away. He was the chief conductor at Flemish Opera for 6 years, and the artistic director for Aalto-Theater.

Slipped Disc | Artistic director, 37, is killed in US car crash
Caleb Flick (1985-2022) was a pianist and the artistic director of the German International Piano Academy.

Slipped Disc | A Rimsky expert dies in Russia
Marina Pavlovna Rakhmanova (19??-2022) was a prolific author and one of the world’s foremost experts on the topic of Russian 19th century music.

Baroque organ expert dies, 95

David R. Fuller

Slipped Disc | Baroque organ expert dies, 95
David R. Fuller (1927-2022) was a University of Buffalo professor and curator.

Slipped Disc | Label chief dies in Milan
Nikolaos Velissiotis (19??-2022) was the founder of the Greek Arkadia label, and one of the founders of the Musica magazine.

Slipped Disc | Italians mourn a Modernist pianist
Giancarlo Cardini (1941-2022), who worked with avantgarde composers like Dallapicciola and Morton Feldman, has passed away at the age of 81.

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