Highlights | Interim Conductor for Bramwell Tovey, Yannick Nézet-Séguin at Mount Royal, Broadways Diversifying

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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

Slipped Disc | Interim chief to replace Bramwell Tovey
Tania Miller has been chosen as the interim conductor for the Philharmonic Orchestra.

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CityNews | Hope fades fast for Ever After Music Festival
A music and camping festival in Kitchener, Ontario is at risk being cancelled after the Township of Oro-Medonte denied them a special event permit.

Stir | Vines Art Festival focuses on land justice through the healing power of the arts
The eighth season of the Vines Art Festival will feature over 100 artists whose performances are all centered around the ideas of nature of justice.

Ludwig Van | The Kun Shoulder Rest: A 50-Year Canadian Success Story
Anya Wassenberg explores the history of the “violin support” to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Kun Shoulder Rest, a now-indispensable tool for violin patented by Canadian violin maker Joseph Kun.

OperaCanada | Edmonton Opera Announces Inaugural Rumbold Vocal Prize To Canadian Emerging Professional Opera Singers
Applications for the Rumbold Vocal Prize, which aims to help Canadian vocalists develop their musical careers, are open until September 1. The competition includes access to seminars with vocal master Adrianne Pieczonka and a top prize of $12,000.

Classic FM | Royal College of Music suspends professor who played piano amid Russian ‘war crime’ remains
Alexander Romanovsky, played piano outside the bombed remains of the Donetsk Regional Drama Theatre for Russian-controlled media, alongside Russian violinist Petr Lundstrem. The Royal College of Music has since suspended Romanovsky.

SF Classical Voice | LA County Hands Out $4.5 Million in Arts Grants
Among the arts grants recipients are the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles, the Jacaranda concert series, and the Piano Spheres keyboard recitals.

SF Classical Voice | Steinway Society Bay Area Presents a Plethora of Award-Winning Pianists
Van Cliburn winners Yuncham Lim and Vadym Kholodenko and seven other pianists of international renown will play at the Steinway Society – Bay Area’s 28th season.

Slipped Disc | Classic FM loses half a million listeners
A recent analysis from Radio Join Audience Research reveals that Classic FM has fallen under 5 million listeners for the first time.

Michael Spyres

La Scena Musicale | Tête-à-tête: Michael Spyres
In this Tête à tête segment, Don Adriano interviews Michael Spyres for La Scena Musicale during his passage through Montreal to sing at the Lanaudière festival in July 2022! During the interview, Adriano and Spyres discuss Rossini, operatic traditions, voice technique, the Baritenor voice and much more. The following is a sample of their discussion.

La Presse | Next year’s Junos pushed back by one day
(This article is written in French.)
To make sure the Junos and Oscars aren’t hosted concurrently, the Junos have been pushed back to March 13, 2023.

Music Culture

CBC | Broadway’s comeback led by diverse casts
After the pandemic silenced Broadways for more than a year, they are back in full force with a diverse slate of performers and stories.

OperaCanada | Honesty Resonates
In this article, voice teacher and soprano Frédérique Vézina discusses how musicians find their “It” factors, the intangible feelings that drive them to perform, and to evolve as people.

OperaCanada | Second Act: Suzie LeBlanc
Soprano Suzie LeBlanc was not expecting to become artistic director of Early Music Vancouver, according to her interview with Sylvia L’Écuyer.

CBC | 30 hot Canadian classical musicians under 30, 2022 edition
CBC’s 2022 edition of “30 under 30” includes cellist India Gailey, soprano Sarah Dufresne and conductor Trevor Wilson.

CBC | Why music, especially old music, can tap into our deepest, most meaningful life memories
Music was an important coping method for many people during the pandemic: it let them relive moments with their friends and their families. But the pandemic also kicked off an increased interest in older music.

Toronto Star | The opera ‘Gould’s Wall’ has the soprano climbing an 18-metre rock wall
In Brian Current’s upcoming opera “Gould’s Wall”, soprano Lauren Pearl will play The Climber, an artist who is on a journey of musical self-discovery.

SF Classical Voice | Michael Tilson Thomas Busy in What Was to Be “Retirement”
Despite announcing his retirement due to health issues several months ago, renowned conductor Michael Tilson Thomas hasn’t truly retired. For the 2022-2023 season, he will conduct the San Francisco Symphony, the New World Symphony, The Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic and Tonhalle-Orchestra Zürich!

Stir | Kessler Academy connects music by Polish and Ukrainian composers to tumult of today’s world
Marc Destrubé chose the repertoire for Kessler Academy’s August 7 program before the Russian invasion of Ukraine – they were originally chose to reflect the chaos and tumult of the world amid the pandemic.

Globe and Mail | Osheaga music festival apologizes after British rapper appears in shirt with swastika
Rapper Tyron Frampton performed at Osheaga wearing a “Destroy” t-shirt with the intention of denouncing fascism and racism. The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs denounced this decision, saying that intention is lost if people can misconstrue the message as anti-semitic.


La Presse | Yannick Nézet-Séguin is all fired up at the foot of Mount Royal
(This article is written in French.)
Orchestre Métropolitain performed works by Montreal composer Airat Ichmouratov, Anishinaabe composer Barbara Assiginaak, 19th century musician Louise Farrenc, as well as Beethoven’s fifth symphony. Aside from the wind affecting the sound quality of the orchestra’s microphones, Emmanuel Bernier found that Nézet-Séguin conducted a wonderful concert.

Nicolas Ellis conducts the TSM Festival Orchestra (Credit: Lucky Tang)

La Scena Musicale | Toronto Summer Music “Inspirations” Concert Features Sensitive Interpretation of Keiko Devaux’s “Arras”
On July 31, Toronto Summer Music (TSM) presented Canadian composer Keiko Devaux’s award-winning piece “Arras,” and Klaus Simon’s chamber ensemble arrangement of Mahler 4, two works whose highly contrasting styles demonstrated the TSM Festival Orchestra’s mastery of both sound worlds in equal measure. The festival’s concert, Inspirations, featured soprano Karina Gauvin and conductor Nicolas Ellis.

Ludwig Van | Mixed Results For TSM Mixed Program
Arthur Kaptainis was generally satisfied by the Norwegian a capella sextet, mezzo-soprano Marion Newman, and the Gryphon Trio’s performances at Toronto Summer Music.

SF Classical Voice | If Coraline is Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Last Opera, It’s a Good One
Coraline, a novella turned movie turned opera, has a top notch cast of performers and stage designers, says Michael Zwiebach.

The New York Times | ‘M. Butterfly’ Metamorphoses Again, as an Opera
M. Butterfly, Broadway hit turned musical, has an excellent cast, but its commentaries on gender and race have not been updated for modern audiences, David Allen says.

Le Devoir | “Paul Wranitzky, Symphonies”, Akamus
(This article is written in French.)
Despite the lack of publicity and resultant rarity of Akamus’s album, Christophe Huss gives it 4.5/5 stars for the band’s eloquent immortalization of Paul Wranitzky’s symphonies.

Le Devoir | “Johann Sebastian Bach”, Benjamin Alard
(This article is written in French.)
According to Christophe Huss, the tonal variety and softness of Benjamin Alard’s keyboard performances on this album grants it a 4.5/5 star rating.

SF Classical Voice | Saxophonist Bobby Watson Lights Up The 222
According to Andrew Gilbert, Bobby Watson’s sensuous and tender jazz performances were easily the highlight of The 222, a non-profit Paul Mahder Gallery event.

SF Classical Voice | Familiar Voices and Powerful Scenes in West Edge Opera’s Julius Ceasar
While all the lead singers’ performances were vivid, the orchestra’s plucked instruments were practically inaudible according to Nicholas Jones.

Stir | David Greenberg and David McGuinness deliver uplift at Vancouver Bach Festival
Violinist David Greenberg and keyboardist David McGuinness expertly combined baroque, folk, Scottish, and Cape Breton music at their July 28 Vancouver Bach Festival performance, says Gail Johnson.

Classical Voice NA | Marlboro Music, Where The Old Guard Gathers And Lemonade’s Still $1
This concert series, whose program is shrouded in mystery for most attendees, has garnered a lot of attention for its 70th anniversary. Leslie Kandell calls the first concert a “moving experience”.


Slipped Disc | A music critic is beaten to death
Le Figaro Lyon reviewer Gérard Corneloup (1946-2022) passed away in the hospital a few days after he was found battered in the foyer of his apartment building.

Slipped Disc | Mourning for a Wagner soprano, 64
Soprano Laura De Souza (1958-2022) was part of the Staatstheater Kassel ensemble and Deutsches Nationalteather Weimar.

Slipped Disc | Death of a retiring British composer, 75
Marcus Blunt (1947-2022) was a composer for large ensembles and soloists.

Slipped Disc | Death of a Japanese soloist, 72
Solo violinist Sato Yoko (1950-2022) passed away in her home due to liver cancer.

Slipped Disc | Death of a US orchestra builder, 89
William Hudson (1933-2022) was an important revitalizing figure for the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra.

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