Author Archive for shiragilbert

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s Continues its Ground Breaking Season

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra with Music Director Otto Tausk

VSO’s new streaming service amasses 3,000 subscribers and 30,000 concert views, in just 3 months!

During this unusual and unforgettable season, without in-person concerts, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) continues to offer extraordinary music and to build new audiences – all via its new virtual home,, presented by TELUS. The VSO’s musicians and guest artists are beautifully recorded in 360-degree views, using state-of-the-art audio and video technology, while following strict social distancing protocols. Highlights of the season on, since its launch in October 2020 – 13 concerts to date – include Bach with James Ehnes, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, holiday programming for families, and VSO Music Director Otto Tausk, leading music by Beethoven, Mussorgsky and Sibelius, as well as contemporary works by Jennifer Butler, George Walker, and others. 

CNN highlights the final performance of the VSO’s BeethovenFest in March 2020, which reached over 100,000 worldwide

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s new initiative was inspired by the Berlin Philharmonic’s Digital Concert Hall and its model of offering audiences access to every concert that has been performed and recorded, all for a monthly subscription fee. (Annual subscriptions to are $129.99, with options for weekly and monthly viewing). The VSO is the first orchestra in North America to adopt this model, and plans to release more than 40 performances over the course of this inaugural season. With, the VSO continues to develop new ways to bring the concert experience to its loyal listeners, while attracting many new ones online. To date, 25% of subscribers come from outside the Vancouver area.

In reviewing’s first performance, the Vancouver Sun praised Maestro Tausk’s “calm confidence” as he navigated the new and “unorthodox setup.” Vancouver Classical Music called it “an impressive and innovative effort” and “a cause for celebration.” VSO audiences have responded enthusiastically, with over 3,000 subscribing to the monthly service. Concerts on the new platform have received well over than 30,000 views to date.


The VSO celebrates the New Year and Mozart’s birthday with a Month of Mozart! The virtual mini-festival on features Mozart’s first and last symphonies, the Gran Partita for wind ensemble, as well as music influenced by Mozart from Mahler, Alfred Schnittke, Friedrich Gulda, and former VSO Composer-In-Residence Jocelyn Morlock.

“Mozart always lifts the spirits,” comments Maestro Otto Tausk, “As we head into another year of turbulence, but with hope on the horizon, nothing seems more appropriate than to celebrate Mozart and his impact on our musical world. This music brought much joy to me and the musicians of the VSO as we recorded it. I hope you will share in this emotion as we dive into a new year.”

Mo-Zart! – Release date January 17

RGF Integrated Wealth Management Spotlight Series

Mozart: Gran Partita, the Serenade No. 10 for winds in B-flat major, is notable for its beauty as well as its key appearance in the film Amadeus. Scored for 12 winds and string bass, the work highlights the orchestra’s clarinets and their big brothers, the basset horns, in music that is richly textured, intricate and playful. Listen for contributions by the VSO’s Jeannette Jonquil (principal clarinet), Roger Cole (principal oboe), Michelle Goddard (basset horn), Julia Lockhart (principal bassoon), Olivier de Clercq (principal horn), and their colleagues.

Also on the program is Zart (2006) by former VSO Composer-In-Residence Jocelyn Morlock. The work is inspired by the sweeter side of Mozart, The Magic Flute in particular.

A Tale of Two Mozarts – Release date Jan 22

Assante Vancouver Centre Stars Series

One of history’s greatest prodigies, Mozart wrote his first sonata at the age of five and his first symphony at the age of eight. This program contrasts Mozart’s astonishing 1st Symphony with his last and greatest symphonic achievement, the Symphony No. 41, or “Jupiter” Symphony. Composed just three years before the composer’s tragic, early death at 35, the “Jupiter” is among the most transcendent music ever written, featuring a melody which echoes back to the 1stsymphony.  

Viennese Reflections – Release date Jan 29

Newmont series

Viennese jazz/classical composer-pianist Friedrich Gulda (1930-2000) was renowned for his interpretations of Mozart. Echoes of that genius can be heard in his Concerto for Cello and Wind Orchestra (1988), a surprising and dazzling collage of lyrical tunes and frenetic dances. The performance features the VSO’s newly appointed principal cellist Henry Shapard. At just 21, Shapard is the youngest musician to hold this position with a major orchestra in North America.

Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) adored Mozart and, as a conductor, was in large part responsible for the revival of his music on opera and concert stages. The gorgeous Adagietto from Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, scored for harp and string ensemble, was a declaration of love to his wife Alma.

Finally, the great Russian postmodernist Alfred Schnittke dissects Mozart and his mentor, Haydn, in Moz-Art à la Haydn (1977), a clever and virtuosic piece of musical theatre. The work features musical quotations played by two violins, highlighting VSO Concertmaster and Associate Concertmaster Nicholas Wright and Timothy Steeves.

Special Event: Otto Tausk & Rodney Sharman in conversation – Thursday, Jan 21, 2pm

A conversation about Mozart, with Maestro Otto Tausk and former VSO Composer-In-Residence Rodney Sharman. Sharman has spent significant time studying the works of Mozart, extending the master’s works into new compositions, and even uncovering the original notes Mozart wrote for his first symphony – before his father Leopold made a few “corrections.”


All performances available for streaming in, the virtual home of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. 30-day passes for a Month of Mozart are available for only $15.99 CAD. Includes access to all previously released concerts as well as new releases.


Founded in 1919, the Grammy and Juno-award winning Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is the third largest orchestra in Canada, the largest arts organizations in Western Canada, and one of the few orchestras in North America to have its own music school. Led by Music Director Otto Tausk since 2018, the VSO performs more than 150 concerts each year, throughout Vancouver and the province of British Columbia, reaching over 270,000 people annually. On tour the VSO has performed in the United States, China, Korea and across Canada. The orchestra presents passionate, high-quality performances of classical, popular and culturally diverse music, creating meaningful engagement with audiences of all ages and backgrounds. For the current season, the VSO may be heard in its virtual home, 


In this challenging COVID season, the VSO acknowledges the incredible support of its sponsors and many donors. This season celebrates the 70th anniversary of the VSO’s partnership with TELUS, marked fittingly by TELUS presenting The VSO also thanks Assante Vancouver Centre, Newmont, RGF Integrated Wealth Management, London Drugs, and OriginO – series sponsors of the 2020-21 season. 


Grammy Nomination for LUNA PEARL WOOLF: Fire and Flood

Composer-Portrait Album on PENTATONE Oxingale Series Features Powerful and Profound Vocal & Choral Music Spanning 25 Years

Featuring Cellist Matt Haimovitz, the Choir of Trinity Wall Street and NOVUS NY, conducted by Julian Wachner & More

LUNA PEARL WOOLF: Fire and Flood has been nominated for a 2021 GRAMMY Award in the category of Best Classical Compendium. The composer-portrait album, released in February, encompasses 25 years of dramatic vocal and choral works and hauntingly re-imagined Leonard Cohen masterpieces by the innovative American-Canadian composer. LUNA PEARL WOOLF: Fire and Flood (PENTATONE Oxingale Series) features performances from The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and NOVUS NY conducted by Julian Wachner, cellist Matt Haimovitz, soprano Devon Guthrie, mezzo-soprano Elise Quagliata, and Broadway actress Nancy Anderson. 

Noted among a new generation of politically conscious and artistically progressive composers, Luna Pearl Woolf’s music is praised by The New York Times for its “psychological nuances and emotional depth.” Opera Going Toronto called her recent Dora Award-winning opera, Jacqueline, “brilliant, wrenching… profoundly moving.” 

Read more about Luna Pearl Woolf 

Of the album, The New York Times contributing writer Corinna Da Fonseca-Wollheim writes, “Luna Pearl Woolf trains a zoom lens on the collective experience, plunging us right into the midst of destruction and anarchy only to pull back, in one swoop, to a clear-eyed plane of compassion.”

The album includes the dramatic, To the Fire, with text from the Book of Ezekiel; Missa in Fines Orbis Terrae, composed for the choir and organ of St. James Cathedral, Toronto; and the inventive One to One to One, inspired by the towering redwood sculptures at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Also featured is Après moi, le deluge, concerto for cello and a cappella choir written in the tragic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. One of Woolf’s most frequently-performed works – including in New Orleans and at Carnegie Hall in New York – it was described as “by turns blazingly ardent and softly haunting” by The New York Times. 

Finally, Woolf boldly reconfigures Leonard Cohen’s Everybody Knows and Who By Fire in haunting new arrangements. Combining the three women’s voices and Haimovitz’s cello, Woolf captures Cohen’s deep-voiced essence in a kaleidoscopic expansion of the original songs’ colors and timbres. 

This new Grammy nomination coincides withthe 20th anniversary of the ground-breaking, Grammy Award-winning OXINGALE RECORDS. Launched in 2000 by cellist Matt Haimovitz and composer Luna Pearl Woolf, the label embraces both mind and heart, melding genres and boldly navigating between the worlds of classical, new music, Jazz, crossover and opera. Releasing their first recording of the Bach cello suites in 2000, they boldly took the music of Bach into then-unimaginable venues for classical music, like punk palace CBGB, sparking what would become the alt-classical genre. Cutting-edge collaborators over two decades have included DJ Olive, David Sanford, John McLaughlin, Vijay Iyer, pianist Christopher O’Riley, the Miró Quartet, and conductor Dennis Russell Davies, among many others. January 2015 marked the debut of the PENTATONE Oxingale Series, a new partnership with the Amsterdam-based label, renowned for its discerning artistic quality and superior audiophile technology.

Jaap Nico Hamburger: Chamber Symphonies Nos.1 & 2

With Ensemble Caprice conducted by Matthias Maute  & l’Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal conducted by Vincent de Kort

In honour of Remembrance Day and the 75th Anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands, Canadian composer Jaap Nico Hamburger presents Chamber Symphonies Nos.1 & 2, featuring Ensemble Caprice and l’Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal. The album will be released November 6, 2020 on the Canadian label, Leaf Music. While confronting serious and challenging themes, these two new works for chamber orchestra are imbued with hope and optimism.

Chamber Symphony No. 1 “Remember to Forget” is performed by Ensemble Caprice under the direction ofMatthias Maute“Remember to Forget,” a phrase from the Tenach or Old Testament, alludes to the notion that doubt (“I should have”/”I could have”), as opposed to being critical (“Where can I improve?”) is inherently self-destructive. Inspired by the biography of György Ligeti (1923-2006), “Remember to Forget” is a tone poem, using the colours and structures of sound to tell the story. Ligeti’s own musical influences stretch back to the 15th century and polyphony, from folk inspirations to chromaticism through to jazz and polyrhythms. (Ligeti is perhaps best known for his soundtrack to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 – A Space Odyssey.) “Remember to Forget” is a metaphor of a train journey, moving from youth to catastrophe, through survival to rebuilding and finally, forgiveness.

Chamber Symphony No. 2 “Children’s War Diaries is performed by l’Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal under the direction of Vincent de Kort and was recorded at the “Violins of Hope” concert at Maison symphonique de Montréal in November of 2019. The work was inspired by the diaries of five teenagers murdered during the Second World War. Twenty years after he had read these diaries, the composer’s 89-year-old mother, Jannie Moffie-Bolle, published her own autobiography “Een hemel zonder vogels” (“A sky without birds”). She too was a teenager at the outbreak of the war in Europe and the book describes her experience in multiple Nazi death camps, including Auschwitz-Birkenau. In 2010, Jaap travelled with her to Israel on the occasion of the presentation of her book at Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Memorial Center in Jerusalem, and it was the Children’s Memorial there – uniquely sobering in its memorial to 1.5 million murdered children which represented approximately 95% of all Jewish children in occupied Europe at the time – inspired the piece. Overwhelmed by the starkness of the Memorial, Jaap left the building and stepped into the blazing Jerusalem sunlight, where the contours of the new symphonic work came to mind, virtually complete.

This album follows the August 2020 release of Jaap Nico Hamburger: Piano Concerto, also on Leaf Music.

Jaap Nico Hamburger is Composer in Residence with Mécénat Musica in Montreal. His compositions include commissions from Turning Point Ensemble, Ensemble Caprice, the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra, and an original contribution for the project 400 years of Dutch Keyboard Music. He was recently commissioned by the Dutch Government and the United Nations’ International Court of Justice to compose a new concerto for harp and orchestra, to be premiered by Lavinia Meijer and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in 2021. Other commissions include works for Discovery Channel, and broadcasting companies in the UK and the Netherlands. He is a Canadian Music Centre Associate Composer, and President and CEO of Orange Music Inc., a Vancouver music production company. Born in Amsterdam, Hamburger began his musical education at the age of three, and studied piano with Ruben Lifschitz, Alexandre Hrisanide and Youri Egorov. He graduated from the Royal Sweelinck Conservatorium of Music in Amsterdam, with a soloist degree in piano. He has lived in Canada since August 2000. 

Since its founding by Matthias Maute three decades ago, Ensemble Caprice has become one of the most sought-after ensembles on the classical music scene, known for its innovative programming and vibrant, compelling performances. In a 2009 full article, The New York Times praised the ensemble as a progressive force on the contemporary musical scene.

Conductor Matthias Maute has gained an international reputation as one of the great recorder and baroque flute virtuosos of his generation, as well as for his work as a composer and conductor. As artistic director and conductor of Ensemble Caprice, Maute tours around the globe.

One of Quebec’s leading cultural ambassadors, the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal was founded in 1981. For more than 20 years, the OM has grown alongside its artistic director and principal conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, whose career continues to reach new heights.

Netherlands-born conductor Vincent de Kort is highly in demand as a symphonic and opera conductor. Recently he made successful debuts at the  Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow as well as at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, invited by Valery Gergiev. He is a regular guest at the opera houses of Dresden, Stockholm, Edinburgh, Leipzig, Tokyo, Vienna, among others.           

The Show Must Go On(line)!


in its 61st year as Canada’s Premiere Orchestral Training Institute

Last spring, the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (NYO Canada) joined the rest of the nation – and the world – in struggling to meet the new realities of the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the many challenges, NYO Canada was determined not to let down the deserving and gifted young musicians who had worked so hard to earn a place for its 60th anniversary season and international tour. In just a few short weeks, NYO launched a successful 45-day online musical training and professional development session, providing a much-needed lifeline for these newly-isolated young musicians. Now, for its 61st season, NYO Canada is poised to launch a comprehensive “cancel-proof” training institute, with expanded programs, scholarships for all, and masterclasses with international marquee artists – while preparing musicians to be performance-ready, as soon as it is possible to reunite in person.

“With uncertainty around the virus set to continue well into 2021, we have been hard at work reimagining the future,” comments Barbara Smith, President and CEO of the National Youth Orchestra Canada, “Rather than taking a step back, we are innovating and growing forward, developing an unsurpassed online program to become a core element of our training long into the future. Our goal is to galvanize our young musicians to be better prepared than ever to ‘shoot out of the gate’ as Canada’s next-generation of orchestral music leaders, when the pandemic is behind us.”

NYO’s 2021 virtual training institute will be comprised of workshops, masterclasses with international luminaries, a vastly expanded mental performance and mindfulness skills program, online performances, business skills development, recordings, and more. And, for this exceptional year, NYO is expanding membership from 92 up to 140 musicians, offering more opportunities to more talented young performers.


In addition to free tuition, each NYO Canada musician receives a $1,000 scholarship, and each has the chance to compete for 10 new Awards of Excellence of $5,000 each. These awards are in addition to the annual Michael Measures Prizes ($25,000 and $15,000 for First and Second Prizes), in partnership with the Canada Council for the Arts. Microphones for use during the session will be provided free to all musicians who need them, with faculty also receiving training and support to create an optimal online teaching environment.


With online instruction now opening unlimited geographical possibilities, NYO has assembled an extraordinary international faculty for 2021, joining our illustrious core faculty in Canada. These musical luminaries from prestigious schools and orchestras around the world include: Andrew Wan, violinist and Concertmaster of Orchestre symphonique de Montréal; Stephen Rose, head of the violin department at the Cleveland Institute of Music and principal second violin of the Cleveland Orchestra; Atar Arad, viola faculty at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University; Violist Harmut Rohde, founding member of the Mozart Piano Quartet and faculty at the Universität der Künste Berlin; Peter Wiley, cello faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music; Timothy Pitts, professor of double bass at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music; Hans Jørgen Jensen, professor of cello at Northwestern University; Elaine Douvas, principal oboe of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and instructor at The Juilliard School; Yehuda Gilad, clarinet faculty at the Colburn School in Los Angeles; Benjamin Kamins, bassoon faculty at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music; Sarah Willis, the first-ever female horn player with the Berlin Philharmonic; Roger Bobo, tuba and low brass instructor at the Musashino School of Music in Tokyo; Mariko Anraku, Associate Principal Harp of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; Jauvon Gilliam, principal timpanist of the National Symphony Orchestra; and Anneleen Lenearts, solo harpist of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

Additional faculty to be announced; artists are subject to change. 


Since launching the three-year J & W Murphy Initiative in Mental Health pilot-project (2018-2020), NYO Canada has already become a world leader in musician mental health, among both training and professional orchestras. The onset of the pandemic has reinforced the need for ongoing mental health and wellness support, which has been endorsed unanimously by NYO musicians. NYO is thrilled to have secured support from the J & W Murphy Foundation for an expanded program, including custom-designed one-on-one high-performance focus training, and mindfulness and meditation support. NYO faculty for these initiatives include Matt Eldridge, social worker and former Cirque du Soleil performer; Dr. Sommer Christie, a consultant to Olympic athletes, surgeons, and performers in mental skills training; Carolyn Christie, former flautist with Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and a specialist in teaching mental skills to musicians; and Dr. John McMillan, Associate Physician at Musicians’ Clinics of Canada.


Musicians will benefit from triple the number of individual lessons. Additional workshops will include audio capture, video production, online marketing, earning royalties, and how to use social media as an artistic medium. The work of the training institute will flow into a series of online public performances, which will be accessible not only to Canadian audiences, but to orchestral music lovers around the world.


While ramping-up its online capacity in 2021, NYO Canada is remaining at the ready, guarding the possibility of in-person study and performance when public health allows. As soon as we are able meet again in person to experience the magic of live performance, NYO Canada’s musicians will be ready to tour in small groups, possibly as one or two small orchestras, regionally or nationally. Post Covid-19, the NYO experience will extend over a longer period, blending its online training institute with the in-person session and tour, creating a more robust, hybrid NYO Canada in the years ahead.

NYO Canada is grateful to the RBC Foundation, stepping forward as the Digital Innovation and Development partner, the J & W Murphy Foundation, for supporting the mental health and performance focus components, our generous government supporters from the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Ontario Arts Council, and the many individuals, foundations and corporations who have continued and even advanced their support during these uncertain times.

Applications for NYO 2021, are open starting November 1st through to January 1st. Visit for more information.

The National Youth Orchestra of Canada (NYO Canada), has enjoyed an iconic reputation as Canada’s orchestral finishing school, providing the most comprehensive and in-depth training program available to the country’s best young classical musicians. Each summer, 100 gifted musicians between the ages of 16 and 28 come together to attend an intensive training institute followed by a national and international tour. NYO Canada discovers and inspires well-rounded and skilled orchestral musicians, supporting Canadian emerging composers and artists, and building an appreciation for classical music among audiences in every corner of the nation. NYO Canada has performed in every major Canadian city and has travelled to 12 countries across Europe and Asia. Today, one-third of Canada’s professional orchestral musicians are alumni of NYO Canada. The orchestra is the subject of “That Higher Level” (2018), feature-length documentary from the National Film Board of Canada.

Le spectacle continue… en ligne!


en sa 61e année en tant qu’institut de formation orchestrale prééminent au Canada

Le printemps dernier, l’Orchestre national des jeunes du Canada (NYO Canada) s’est joint au reste du pays, et au monde entier, pour affronter la nouvelle réalité présentée par la pandémie de la Covid-19. Malgré une multitude de défis, NYO Canada était déterminé à ne pas décevoir les jeunes musiciens méritoires qui avaient travaillé si fort pour remporter un poste dans le cadre de sa saison et de sa tournée internationale du soixantième anniversaire. En quelques semaines seulement, NYO a réussi à lancer un programme en ligne de 45 jours, couronnée de succès, englobant formation musicale et ateliers de perfectionnement professionnel. Le programme a constitué une véritable bouée de sauvetage pour ces jeunes musiciennes et musiciens récemment isolés. Actuellement en sa 61e saison, NYO Canada s’apprête à lancer un institut de formation complet « à l’épreuve de annulations » avec des programmes élargis, des bourses pour tous et des ateliers de maître présentés par des artistes de renommée internationale, tout cela en préparant nos musiciens à être prêts à se produire, dès qu’il sera possible de se réunir en personne.

« Comme nous prévoyons que l’incertitude liée au coronavirus continuera de nous hanter en 2021, nous travaillons fort pour imaginer l’avenir, explique Barbara Smith, présidente et chef de la direction de l’Orchestre national des jeunes du Canada. Au lieu de prendre du recul, nous innovons et avançons en grandissant. Nous créons un programme en ligne inégalé qui deviendra l’un des importants piliers d’un avenir que nous imaginons déjà. Notre objectif est de galvaniser nos musiciens afin qu’ils soient plus prêts que jamais à se lancer en grand en vue de devenir la prochaine génération d’étoiles de la musique orchestrale au Canada, une fois que la pandémie sera devenue chose du passé. »

L’institut de formation virtuel 2021 de NYO sera composé d’ateliers, de cours de maître présentés par de grands noms à l’échelle internationale, d’un programme de performance mentale et de pleine conscience grandement élargi, de prestations en ligne, d’ateliers sur le perfectionnement d’aptitudes commerciales, d’enregistrements, et plus encore. Et pour marquer cette année exceptionnelle, NYO élargit son orchestre de 92 à 140 musiciennes et musiciens, offrant encore plus d’occasions de briller à encore plus de jeunes artistes doués.


En plus de profiter de l’expérience de NYO Canada sans frais de scolarité, chaque musicien reçoit une bourse de 1 000 $ et a la chance de concourir pour remporter l’un des six nouveaux prix d’excellence de 5 000 $ chacun. Ces prix s’ajoutent aux prix Michael-Measures annuels (de 25 000 $ et 15 000 $ pour le premier et le deuxième prix, respectivement), dans le cadre d’un partenariat avec le Conseil des arts du Canada. Des microphones à utiliser pendant la formation seront fournis gratuitement à ceux et celles qui en ont besoin, et nos enseignants recevront de plus de la formation et de l’appui pour créer un environnement optimal pour la formation en ligne. 


Les cours en ligne éliminant maintenant tous les obstacles imposés par l’éloignement géographique, NYO a rassemblé pour 2021 un corps enseignant à l’échelle internationale qui se joint à nos enseignants ici même au Canada. Ces grands noms de la musique, nous venant d’écoles prestigieuses et de grands orchestres de partout au monde, englobent : Andrew Wan, violoniste et premier violon de l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Stephen Rose, chef du département du violon du Cleveland Institute of Music et second violon solo du Cleveland OrchestraAtar Arad, faculté d’alto de la Jacobs School of MusicIndiana University, l’altiste Harmut Rohde, membre fondateur du Mozart Piano Quartet et membre du corps enseignant de l’Universität der Künste BerlinPeter Wiley, faculté de violoncelle du Curtis Institute of MusicTimothy Pitts, professeur de contrebasse à la Shepherd School of Music de l’université Rice; Hans Jørgen Jensen, professeur de violoncelle à l’université Northwestern, Elaine Douvas, hautbois solo du Metropolitan Opera Orchestra et instructrice à la Juilliard School, Yehuda Gilad, faculté de clarinette à la Colburn School de Los Angeles, Benjamin Kamins, faculté de basson à la Shepherd School of Music de l’université Rice, Sarah Willis, premier cor auprès du Berlin PhilharmonicRoger Bobo, instructeur en tuba et en cuivres graves à la Musashino School of Music de Tokyo, Mariko Anraku, harpe solo associée au Metropolitan Opera OrchestraJauvon Gilliam, timbalier solo du National Symphony Orchestra et Anneleen Lenearts, harpe solo du Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

D’autres enseignants seront annoncés; les artistes peuvent changer. 


Depuis le lancement du projet-pilote de trois ans Initiative J & W Murphy en santé mentale (2018-2020), NYO Canada est déjà devenu un chef de file mondial en santé mentale des musiciens, autant parmi les orchestres de formation que les orchestres professionnels. L’arrivée de la pandémie a souligné encore davantage le besoin pour un soutien permanent à la santé mentale et au bien-être mental, une exigence que les musiciennes et musiciens de NYO ont corroborée d’une même voix. NYO est emballé d’avoir gagné le soutien de la J & W Murphy Foundation pour un programme élargiincluant des formations individuelles personnalisées en entraînement de pointe et du soutien à la pleine conscience et à la méditation. Les enseignants de NYO pour ces initiatives incluront Matt Eldridge, travailleur social et ancien artiste au Cirque du Soleil, Sommer Christie, conseillère en aptitudes mentales auprès d’athlètes olympiques, de chirurgiens et d’artistes, Carolyn Christie, ancienne flûtiste à l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal et spécialiste en enseignement d’aptitudes mentales aux musiciens et DrJohn McMillan, médecin associé à la Musicians’ Clinics of Canada.


Les musiciennes et musiciens de NYO profiteront de trois fois plus de cours individuels. Parmi les ateliers additionnels, mentionnons la saisie audio, la réalisation vidéo, le marketing en ligne, percevoir vos redevances, et comment utiliser les médias sociaux comme médium artistique. Le travail effectué pendant l’institut de formation mènera à une série de prestations publiques en ligne qui seront accessible aux publics canadiens, bien sûr, mais aussi aux mélomanes du monde entier.


Nous nous préparons à développer nos initiatives en ligne en 2021, mais NYO demeure prêt aux études et prestations en personne dès que la santé publique les permettra. Dès que nous pourrons de nouveau nous rassembler en personne pour vivre la magie des concerts en direct, les musiciennes et musiciens de NYO Canada seront prêts à partir en tournée en petits groupes, possiblement sous forme d’un ou de deux petits orchestres, et à se produire à l’échelle régionale ou nationale. Après la Covid-19, l’expérience de NYO durera plus longtemps, associant son institut de formation en ligne à des séances en personne et à une tournée afin de créer un NYO hybride, encore plus robuste, pour des années à venir.

NYO Canada exprime sa gratitude à la Fondation RBC qui devient notre partenaire en innovation et développement numériques, à la J & W Murphy Foundation pour son appui à la santé mentale et à l’entraînement de pointe, à nos généreux bailleurs de fonds gouvernementaux du ministère du Patrimoine canadien et du Conseil des arts de l’Ontario, ainsi qu’aux nombreux particuliers, fondations et sociétés qui ont poursuivi ou même augmenté leur appui pendant ces moments remplis d’incertitude.

L’Orchestre national des jeunes du Canada (NYO Canada) jouit d’une réputation stellaire à titre d’école de préparation orchestrale au Canada, et offre aux meilleurs jeunes musiciens classiques du pays le programme de formation le plus complet et le plus approfondi. Chaque été, 100 musiciennes et musiciens doués, de 16 à 28 ans, se rassemblent pour participer à un institut de formation intensive suivi d’une tournée nationale et internationale. NYO Canada dévoile et inspire des musiciens d’orchestre accomplis et habiles, appuie les compositeurs et artistes canadiens en émergence et stimule de l’intérêt à l’égard de la musique classique chez les publics des quatre coins du pays. NYO Canada s’est produit dans toutes les grandes villes canadiennes et s’est rendu dans 12 pays d’Europe et d’Asie. Aujourd’hui, un tiers des musiciens d’orchestre professionnels au Canada sont des anciens et anciennes de NYO Canada. L’orchestre est mis en vedette dans le long métrage documentaire « Le plus haut niveau » (2018) de l’Office national du film du Canada.

MON AMI, Mon Amour


Joie de Vivre in Times of Darkness


The vibrant, expressive musical palette of cellist Matt Haimovitz and the graceful insight of pianist Mari Kodama meld in MON AMI, Mon amour, the new album from the PENTATONE Oxingale Series, available internationally on November 6, 2020. Haimovitz’s soaring cello and Kodama’s incisive piano flow together in constant, colorful conversation for rarities by sisters Lili and Nadia Boulanger, in the poignant Kaddish by Ravel and the melancholic Élégie by Milhaud, for iconic works by Poulenc and Debussy, and in beloved gems by Fauré. Framed by the 20th century’s two world wars, these French composers overcome profound moments of darkness, never losing sight of their joie de vivre.

An experience with the Poulenc Sonata – a work replete with musical ironies – set in motion the idea for MON AMI, Mon amour. In 2016, while working with a student on this sonata, Haimovitz reached for the score and lost his balance. His priceless 1710 Goffriller cello crashed to the ground, dramatically breaking in two. After the attentions of an expert luthier, the cello emerged 15 months later to new life. The cello and Haimovitz are reunited on this recording. 

“Poulenc illuminates the human instinct to connect, to engage, to share life and love with each other,” Haimovitz notes. Recalling the recording sessions, he continues: “It feels like a dream … making music without a care in the world – certainly with no worry of viruses and social distancing. We played the music of French masters to our heart’s content … the memories of friendship, and once again being transported to this pictorial sound world, takes me out of the oppression of this moment.” 

Additional information on the recorded works may be found in the booklet notes, here.

MON AMI, Mon amour marks the 20th anniversary of the ground-breaking, Grammy Award-winning OXINGALE RECORDS. Launched the in 2000 by cellist Matt Haimovitz and composer Luna Pearl Woolf, the label embraces both mind and heart, melding genres and boldly navigating between the worlds of classical, new music, Jazz, crossover and opera. Releasing their recording of the Bach cellos suites in 2000, Haimovitz boldly took the music of Bach into then-unimaginable venues for classical music, like punk palace CBGB, sparking what would become the alt-classical genre. This was followed by his 2003 tour of “Anthem” to all 50 US states. Cutting-edge collaborators over two decades have included DJ Olive, David Sanford, John McLaughlin, pianist Christopher O’Riley, the Miró Quartet, and conductor Dennis Russell Davies, among many others. January 2015 marked the debut of the PENTATONE Oxingale Series, a new partnership with the Netherlands-based label, renowned for its discerning artistic quality and superior audiophile technology.

MATT HAIMOVITZ is praised by The New York Times as a “ferociously talented cellist who brings his megawatt sound and uncommon expressive gifts to a vast variety of styles.” Along with his performances around the world, he currently holds positions at the Schulich School of Music in Montreal and as the first John Cage fellow at The New School’s Mannes School of Music. Haimovitz made his debut in 1984, at the age of 13, as soloist with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic. At 17 he made his first recording with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, for Deutsche Grammophon. He has gone on to perform on the world’s most esteemed stages. His honors include the Trailblazer Award from the American Music Center, the Avery Fisher Career Grant, and the Grand Prix du Disque. He studied with Leonard Rose at the Juilliard School and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University. Haimovitz plays a Venetian cello, made in 1710 by Matteo Gofriller. 

Born in Osaka and raised in Germany and Paris, MARI KODAMA is consistently praised for her virtuosity across a wide range of repertoire. She studied piano with Germaine Mounier and chamber music with Genevieve Joy- Dutilleux at the Conservatoire National in Paris, in addition to private studies with Tatiana Nikolaeva and Alfred Brendel. Since her Carnegie Hall recital debut at in 1995, Kodama has performed with renowned orchestras and conductors including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. In her native Japan, she has played with the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo and and many others. Kodama has brought infrequently heard gems of the piano repertoire to global audiences, including performances of Stenhammer’s Piano Concerto no. 2 and Alban Berg’s Chamber Concerto for Piano and Violin.

2020 Azrieli Music Prizes Gala Concert Features Four World Premieres

Medici TV to livestream the performance with works by 2020 Azrieli Music Prize-Winners Keiko Devaux, Yotam Haber and Yitzhak Yedid

Performers include Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne led by Lorraine Vaillancourt, mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó and soprano Sharon Azrieli

[Français ci-dessous] The Azrieli Foundation presents its biennial Azrieli Music Prizes (AMP) Gala Concert on October 22, 2020 at 8:00 PM ET featuring world premieres by the three 2020 AMP Laureates. The concert will be livestreamed by the world’s leading classical music channel, Medici TV, and on Azrieli Music Prizes’ Facebook page, free for all to enjoy.

Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (Le NEM) – an international leader in the performance of 20th and 21stcentury classical music – makes its debut on Medici TV under the direction of its founder Lorraine Vaillancourt. Canadian soprano Sharon Azrieli and Hungarian-Canadian mezzo Krisztina Szabó join Le NEM as soloists.

These world premiere performances form part of the total prize package each AMP Laureate receives – valued at over $200,000 CAD – which also includes a cash award of $50,000 CAD; two subsequent international performances; and a recording of the winning work released on Analekta. 

Keiko Devaux, the first winner of the new Azrieli Commission for Canadian Music, comments,

“Canadian music is defined by the voices of the people living here, and because of this country’s dynamic and multi-faceted identity, it is a tapestry containing influences of many traditions and histories woven together. These collective sonic memories that we have held onto, shared, diffused and celebrated together are what define the Canadian sound to me.” Her work, Arras, weaves together the tapestries of her French and Japanese-Canadian heritage.

Yotam Haber, winner of the 2020 Azrieli Commission for Jewish Music, wrote Estro poetico -armonico III for mezzo-soprano solo, chamber orchestra and pre-recorded audio to continue his ongoing exploration into the music of the Jewish community of Rome. Haber explains, “As a composer of Israeli background, I have spent years thinking about how I should look back at my past while looking forward at my future. I wished to compose a work using text by modern Israeli poets sung by a mezzo-soprano in conjunction, or in opposition to, traditional cantillation and liturgical texts found in the Leo Levi recordings, virtually always recited by men.”

Yitzhak Yedid, winner of the 2020 Azrieli Prize for Jewish Music, wrote Kadosh Kadosh and Cursed, which consist of twenty tableaux, or musical scenes, that bridge between variegated compositional approaches originating from remote, opposing musical traditions. Yedid remarks, “My attempt in this composition, and my endeavour for over a decade, has been to broaden the aesthetic resources of Western art music through the incorporation of musical elements of Sephardic Jewish music. My interest in textures, derived from micro-intonations of Jewish tunes, led me to compose multi-layered voice textures and to embed a Baqashot-Piyyut of Sephardic music into the sound of textural harmony in order to create a strange, surreal atmosphere.”

Lastly, Canadian composer Jonathan Monro has prepared a special new arrangement for Le NEM and Sharon Azrieli of Canadian composer Pierre Mercure’s song cycle Dissidence. These three songs form part of Mercure’s seminal Cantate pour un Joie (1955), which sets poems by Gabriel Charpentier that express modern man’s search for the happiness of faith.

The gala concert will take place at University of Montréal’s Salle Claude-Champagne with the help of Azrieli’s livestream production partner, Prodcan Inc. Viewers may tune in to the concert for free at home on Medici TVor Azrieli’s Music Prize’s Facebook page.


Yitzhak Yedid: Kadosh Kadosh and Cursed (2020 Azrieli Prize for Jewish Music) 

Pierre Mercure (arr. by Jonathan Monro): Dissidence
Yotam Haber: Estro poetico-armonico III for mezzo-soprano solo, chamber orchestra and pre-recorded audio (2020 Azrieli Commission for Jewish Music)
Keiko Devaux: Arras (2020 Azrieli Commission for Canadian Music)

About Keiko Devaux, 2020 Azrieli Commission for Canadian Music Winner

Keiko Devaux is a Montréal-based composer who writes for ensembles, dance and film. Her compositions focus on musical ‘translations’ of experience through the interpretation of extra-musical form and patterns. She holds a Master’s in Instrumental Composition from the University of Montréal and is currently completing a Doctorate in Composition under the direction of Ana Sokolović and Pierre Michaud. She has been awarded several distinctions, including the 2019 Jan V. Matejcek Award from the SOCAN Foundation and the audience and jury prizes of the 2017 Accès Arkea Competition. She was the 2016-18 composer in residence with Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne.

About Yotam Haber, 2020 Azrieli Commission for Jewish Music Winner 

Yotam Haber was born in Holland and grew up in Israel, Nigeria and Milwaukee. He is the recipient many prestigious prizes, residencies and commissions, and is widely performed by the leading new music groups around the world. Haber is Associate Professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory and Artistic Director Emeritus of MATA, the non-profit organization founded by Philip Glass that, since 1996, has been dedicated to commissioning and presenting new works by young composers from around the world.

About Yitzhak Yedid, 2020 Azrieli Prize for Jewish Music Winner

The multi award-winning Yitzhak Yedid melds the music of his ancestral Syrian and Iraqi Jewish background with Western art music. His musical style is eclectic, multicultural and very personal, blending jazz and Jewish cantorial music with classic European and avant-garde techniques. His added experience as an improvising concert pianist allows him to create a highly expressive, eclectic and alluring new Jewish music. Yedid studied piano at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, continued his schooling at the New England Conservatory and earned a Ph.D. from Monash University. He currently lectures in composition and piano at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University in Brisbane.

About Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne
Guided by a duty to interpret the great modern and contemporary repertoire and by a desire to stimulate the creation of original works, Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (Le NEM)’s mission is to disseminate and to promote the music of our time. An essential leader in both Canada and on the international scene, Le NEM is recognized for its modernism and excellence in all aspects of the interpretation, creation and preservation of musical works of the 20th and 21st centuries. In residence at the University of Montréal’s Faculty of Music, Le NEM has performed in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Japan, Australia, China, Singapore and eight European countries. Since its inception, more than 185 pieces have been written specifically for the Ensemble.

About the Azrieli Music Prizes

Established in 2014, the biennial Azrieli Music Prizes (AMP) seek to fulfill the Azrieli Foundation’s pursuit of its belief in music as a vital human endeavour that allows humankind to express its creativity; to expand its worldview; and to foster positive cultural exchanges. Open to the international music community, AMP accepts nominations for works from individuals and institutions of all nationalities, faiths, backgrounds and affiliations, which are then submitted to its two expert juries through a biennial open call for scores and proposals. The three AMP prize packages – valued at $200,000 CAD per Laureate – currently makes it the largest music competition for music composition in Canada and one of the largest in the world.   Past prize-winners include Israeli-American composer Avner Dorman (2018), Canadian composer Kelly-Marie Murphy (2018), Canadian composer Brian Current (2016) and US-based Polish composer Wlad Marhulets (2016). 

About The Azrieli Foundation

One of the largest philanthropic foundations in Canada and in Israel, the Azrieli Foundation fulfills the philanthropic legacy of David J. Azrieli and has been funding institutions as well as operating programs since 1989. Driven by a strong belief in the powerful role and responsibility of philanthropy, the foundation empowers and supports a broad range of organizations in the fields of Education, Research, Healthcare and the Arts. Through the Azrieli Music Initiatives (AMI), of which AMP is a part, the Foundation is committed to discovering, elevating and amplifying artistic voices, granting broad access to meaningful musical experiences that both exhibit artistic excellence and advance a shared pursuit of learning and wellness. AMI creates meaningful and practical realizations of the Foundation’s mission to improve the lives of present and future generations.

Le Concert gala des Prix Azrieli de musique 2020 présente quatre premières mondiales

Medici TV diffusera la prestation des œuvres des lauréats des Prix Azrieli de musique 2020, Keiko Devaux, Yotam Haber et Yitzhak Yedid.

Les œuvres seront interprétées par Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne sous la direction de Lorraine Vaillancourt, la mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó et la soprano Sharon Azrieli.

Krisztina Szabó, mezzo-soprano

La Fondation Azrieli présentera le Concert gala biennal des Prix Azrieli de musique (PAM) le 22 octobre 2020 à 20h00 HE. Proposant trois premières mondiales composées par les lauréats des PAM 2020, le concert sera diffusé gratuitement en direct par Medici TV, la plus importante chaîne de musique classique du monde, ainsi que sur la page Facebook des Prix Azrieli de musique

Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (NEM) – un des principaux ensembles du monde à défendre le répertoire classique des XXe et XXIe siècles – fera ses débuts sur Medici TV sous la direction de sa fondatrice, Lorraine Vaillancourt. La soprano canadienne Sharon Azrieli et la mezzo canado-hongroise Krisztina Szabó se joindront au NEM en tant que solistes. 

Ces premières mondiales font partie de la récompense décernée à chacun des lauréats des PAM. D’une valeur de plus de 200 000 $ CAD, les PAM comprennent notamment une bourse de 50 000 $ CAD; deux performances internationales subséquentes, ainsi qu’un enregistrement commercial de l’œuvre primée sous étiquette Analekta. 

Selon Keiko Devaux, première lauréate de la Commande Azrieli de musique canadienne, « la musique canadienne est définie par les voix de ceux et celles qui vivent ici; compte tenu de l’identité dynamique et plurielle de ce pays, [notre musique] est une tapisserie dans laquelle se retrouve l’influence de nombreuses traditions et histoires interreliées. Ces souvenirs sonores collectifs que nous avons préservés, partagés, diffusés et célébrés ensemble constituent pour moi ce qui définit le son canadien. » Sa composition primée, Arras, se veut le reflet de son double héritage français et canado-japonais. 

Yotam Haber, lauréat de la Commande Azrieli de musique juive 2020, a composé Estro poetico – armonico III pour mezzo-soprano solo, orchestre de chambre et matériel audio préenregistré. Pour Haber, cette œuvre s’inscrit dans une exploration continue de l’héritage musical de la communauté juive de Rome. « En tant que compositeur de souche israélienne, explique-t-il, je me penche depuis plusieurs années sur les manières d’explorer mon passé tout en portant un regard sur mon avenir. Mon objectif était de composer une œuvre basée sur des textes de poètes israéliens contemporains chantés par une mezzo-soprano, et d’y marier – ou d’y opposer – des cantillations traditionnelles et des textes liturgiques tirés des enregistrements réalisés par Leo Levi, lesquels sont pratiquement toujours récités par des hommes. »

Yitzhak Yedid, lauréat du Prix Azrieli pour la musique juive en 2020, a composé Kadosh Kadosh and Cursed, une œuvre en vingt tableaux, ou scènes musicales, qui font le pont entre des approches très variées de la composition, issues de traditions musicales distantes, voire opposées. Comme le souligne Yedid, « S’inscrivant dans une démarche entreprise il y a plus d’une décennie, cette composition vise à accroître les ressources esthétiques de la musique savante occidentale en y intégrant des éléments issus de la musique juive sépharade. Mon intérêt pour les textures, qui découle des micro-intonations des mélodies juives, m’a mené à créer des textures vocales multicouches et à intégrer les bakkashot et les piyyoutim de la musique sépharade au son des harmonies texturales, afin de conjurer une atmosphère étrange et surréelle. » 

Enfin, le compositeur canadien Jonathan Monro a créé un arrangement inédit de Dissidence, le cycle de mélodies de son compatriote Pierre Mercure, pour le NEM et la soprano Sharon Azrieli. Ces trois mélodies font partie de la Cantate pour un Joie (1955), une œuvre majeure de Mercure, qui met en musique des poèmes de Gabriel Charpentier exprimant le bonheur dans la foi auquel aspire l’humain. 

Le Concert gala aura lieu à la Salle Claude-Champagne de l’Université de Montréal et sa captation audiovisuelle sera réalisée par le partenaire de la Fondation Azrieli, Prodcan Inc. Le concert pourra être visionné gratuitement à domicile sur Medici TV ou sur la page Facebook des Prix Azrieli de musique.  


Yitzhak Yedid : Kadosh Kadosh and Cursed (Prix Azrieli pour la musique juive 2020) 

Pierre Mercure (arr. par Jonathan Monro) : Dissidence 

Keiko Devaux : Arras (Commande Azrieli de musique canadienne 2020) 

Yotam Haber : Estro poetico-armonico III pour mezzo-soprano solo, orchestre de chambre et matériel audio préenregistré (Commande Azrieli de musique juive 2020) 

Au sujet de Keiko Devaux, lauréate de la Commande Azrieli de musique canadienne 2020 

Établie à Montréal, Keiko Devaux compose des œuvres pour divers ensembles et collabore avec des chorégraphes et des cinéastes. Ses compositions visent à traduire des expériences en musique par le biais de l’interprétation de formes et de motifs extramusicaux. Elle détient une maîtrise en composition instrumentale de l’Université de Montréal et termine actuellement un doctorat en composition sous la direction d’Ana Sokolović et de Pierre Michaud. Elle est lauréate de nombreux prix et distinctions, y compris le Prix Jan V. Matejcek (2019) de la Fondation SOCAN, ainsi que les prix du public et du jury de l’édition 2017 du Concours Accès Arkea. De 2016 à 2018, elle a été compositrice en résidence au Nouvel Ensemble Moderne.

Au sujet de Yotam Haber, lauréat de la Commande Azrieli de musique juive 2020

Yotam Haber est né aux Pays-Bas et a grandi en Israël, au Nigeria ainsi qu’à Milwaukee. Il est lauréat de nombreux prix, résidences et commandes prestigieux, et ses compositions sont fréquemment jouées par les plus importants ensembles de nouvelle musique du monde. Haber est professeur agrégé au Conservatoire de l’Université de Missouri-Kansas City et directeur artistique émérite de MATA, l’organisation sans but lucratif créée par Philip Glass qui, depuis 1996, commande et présente de nouvelles œuvres de jeunes compositeurs des quatre coins du monde.

Au sujet de Yitzhak Yedid, lauréat du Prix Azrieli pour la musique juive 2020

Récipiendaire de nombreux prix, YitzhakYedid marie la musique de ses ancêtres juifs d’origines syrienne et irakienne à la musique savante occidentale. Adoptant une approche éclectique, multiculturelle et hautement personnelle, il combine le jazz et les chants sacrés de la tradition juive à des techniques européennes classiques et d’avant-garde. En alliant ces éléments à son expérience de pianiste improvisateur, il a créé une nouvelle forme de musique juive qui est à la fois expressive, éclectique et séduisante. Yedid a étudié le piano à l’Académie de musique et de danse de Jérusalem, pour ensuite poursuivre ses études au New England Conservatory et obtenir son doctorat de l’Université Monash, à Melbourne. Il enseigne actuellement la composition et le piano au Queensland Conservatorium de l’Université Griffith, à Brisbane. 

Au sujet du Nouvel Ensemble Moderne 

Guidé par le devoir d’interpréter les grandes œuvres musicales et le répertoire du XXe et du XXIe siècle et par le désir de stimuler la création d’œuvres originales, le NEM a pour mission de diffuser et de promouvoir la musique de notre temps. Chef de file incontournable dans son milieu et sur la scène internationale, le NEM est reconnu pour son modernisme et son excellence dans tous les aspects de l’interprétation, de la création et de la préservation des œuvres musicales des XXe et XXIe siècles. Ensemble en résidence à la Faculté de Musique de l’Université de Montréal, le NEM s’est produit au Canada, aux États-Unis, au Mexique, au Japon, en Chine, à Singapour et dans huit pays européens. Plus de 185 pièces ont été composées spécifiquement pour l’ensemble depuis sa fondation.

Au sujet des Prix Azrieli de musique 

Créés en 2014 et décernés tous les deux ans, les Prix Azrieli de musique (PAM) concrétisent une conviction profonde de la Fondation Azrieli : que la musique et les arts constituent des activités humaines essentielles qui nous permettent d’exprimer notre créativité, de développer notre compréhension du monde et de favoriser les échanges culturels positifs. Ouverts à l’ensemble de la communauté musicale internationale, les PAM accueillent des œuvres provenant d’individus et d’organismes de toutes nationalités, origines, croyances religieuses et affiliations, qui sont évaluées par deux jurys composés d’experts au terme d’un appel biennal à propositions et à partitions. En vertu de la valeur totale des prix – 200 000 $ CAD par lauréat – les PAM représentent le plus important concours de composition musicale du Canada, et l’un des plus importants du monde. Parmi les lauréats des éditions passées, mentionnons l’Israélo-Américain Avner Dorman (2018), la Canadienne Kelly-Marie Murphy (2018), le Canadien Brian Current (2016) et le compositeur polonais établi aux États-Unis, Wlad Marhulets (2016). 

Au sujet de la Fondation Azrieli 

Une des plus importantes fondations philanthropiques au Canada et en Israël, la Fondation Azrieli concrétise depuis 1989 la vision philanthropique de David J. Azrieli z”l, en soutenant divers programmes et établissements. Animée par la conviction que l’action philanthropique a une responsabilité et un rôle importants à jouer, la Fondation appuie une vaste gamme d’organisations dans les domaines de l’éducation, de la recherche, des soins de santé et des arts. Par le biais des Initiatives musicales Azrieli (IMA), dont font partie les PAM, la Fondation s’est engagée à découvrir, cultiver et faire rayonner les voix d’artistes. Elle assure l’accès du plus grand nombre à des expériences musicales significatives et caractérisée par l’excellence, et qui font avancer la quête partagée de l’apprentissage et du bien-être. Les IMA appuient de manière significative et pratique la mission de la Fondation, qui est d’améliorer la qualité de vie des générations présentes et futures. 

Cellist Ofra Harnoy Releases “On the Rock”

An unprecedented musical celebration of the sounds and spirit of Newfoundland

For her second recording on the Analekta label, On the Rock, superstar cellist and five-time Juno Award winner Ofra Harnoy was inspired to celebrate the sounds and spirit of Newfoundland. Upon visiting “The Rock” in the summer of 2018, the cellist immediately fell in love with the place and its people. “The more I explore this beautiful island and get to know the people, food, and the culture, the more I feel Newfoundland becoming a part of me. Through these songs I can really express the wonderful connection I have with my new home,” says Harnoy. 

Her husband, Mike Herriott, multi-instrumentalist, arranger and co-producer of the album, adds “With the guidance and contribution of Bob Hallett, we were able to compile a selection of songs, jigs, and reels that Ofra felt she really connected with and that told a story of what she has come to know and love about the province.”

The new album features an array of special guests, including Alan Doyle, formerly of the iconic Canadian band Great Big Sea, in a new version of the classic St. John’s Waltz by Ron Hynes, Newfoundland’s unofficial poet laureate. This song speaks of a simpler time, when foreign fishing boats still filled the harbour, Portuguese sailors played soccer in the piers, and a night spent waltzing in the bars was as much as anyone could ask. Intrigued and excited by Harnoy’s passion to combine her world of classical music with Newfoundland traditional songs, Doyle says, “I could not be happier to sing St. John’s Waltz with Ofra and in a completely new musical environment.”

The album also includes beloved traditional Newfoundland songs like an elegantly jazz-tinged version of She’s Like the Swallowand the reel Harbour Buffett Double, with Harnoy forming a classic kitchen-party band with fiddler Kendel Carson. Wayne Chaulk’s Saltwater Joys, an ode to the simpler outport life known to many Atlantic Canadians, features vocals by Ofra’s daughter, Amanda CashFergus O’Byrne is a special guest on vocals for the popular The Cliffs of Baccalieu and on banjo for the peaceful Green Shores of Fogo. The haunting melody of Petty Harbour Bait Skiff and its poignant tale of death on the sea features St. John’s jazz chanteuse Heather Bambrick – and the whole rowdy gang gathers at the pub for the traditional mainstay Mussels in the Corner.

With Ofra Harnoy’s cello at the forefront, the result is a magnificently vibrant and unprecedented musical celebration of the rich musical heritage of Newfoundland.

About Ofra Harnoy

Ofra Harnoy was born in Israel and immigrated to Canada at age 6. She has given concerts on five continents and has played at the request of Prince Charles, President Bill Clinton, three Canadian prime ministers, and several times for the Japanese Imperial Family.

Harnoy has recorded more than 40 solo albums and commands a vast repertoire. Her many recording and live collaborations include Placido Domingo, Sting, Sir Charles Mackerras, Loreena McKennitt, Colin Tilney, Igor Oistrakh, Jesse Cook, Cyprien Katsaris, Claudio Scimone, Charles Dutoit, Jeffrey Tait, Anton Kuerti, and Emmy Verhey.

Her recording catalogue spans many musical styles and genres, and she has won numerous awards and distinctions for her recordings, including five Juno Awards, the Grand Prix du Disque, and critics’ choice awards from a number of international magazines.

About Analekta

Founded in 1987 by François Mario Labbé, Analekta is the largest independent classical music record company in Canada. It has produced more than 500 albums and recorded more than 200 of the country’s most prominent musicians, winning multiple awards in the process. In 2020, Analekta achieved the impressive feat of having the works from its catalogue streamed 200 million times on international streaming platforms.

The Eybler Quartet releases the premiere recording of Franz Asplmayr’s Six Quartets, Op. 2

Renowned Period-Instrument String Quartet Continues Fascinating Mission To Bring to Light Little-Known Composers of the Classical Era

“The Eyblers treat every moment as if the ink were still wet on the page, such is the intoxicating freshness of their delivery.”  – The Scotsman

[Français ci-dessous] Toronto’s Eybler Quartet is internationally-renowned for brilliant performances as well as an unquenchable passion for delving deep into the works of obscure composers of the Classical era, such as Vanhal, Backofen, and Eybler. The period-instrument ensemble has also attracted attention for uncovering gleaming new revelations from the “big three” Classical composers – Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven – earning raves, while ruffling a few feathers among traditionalists. Now, the Eyblers are back with an exhilarating album featuring the music of Viennese composer Franz Asplmayr (1728-1786), the first-known recording of the entirety of his Six Quartets, Op. 2 (published as “Six Quatuors Concertantes, Op. 2” in 1769). The new album is available today from the Gallery Players label. 

“One of the missions of the Eybler quartet is to find music that has been neglected and lost over the years, collecting dust in libraries, and to bring it back to life,” comments violinist Julia Wedman, “Our latest discovery, ’Aspy’, has a simple writing style, but he is able to really get to the heart of the music and to touch you in a deep way.” In fact, violist Patrick Jordan had stumbled on a copy of the modern edition of these quartets by American musicologist Dennis C. Monk in a used bookstore in Toronto around 2006, though the score remained untouched on his shelf until Jordan came across the first edition parts in the Bibliothèque National de France, five years ago. After spending several years studying the original scores and perfecting their performances, the Eyblers have now accorded Asplmayr’s Op. 2 quartets their premiere recording.

Franz Asplmayr was christened on April 2, 1728 in Linz, the son of a dancing master. He was employed at Count Morzin’s court in 1759 as secretariat and violinist, where he would have met the young Joseph Haydn, the court’s Hofkomponist and Musikdirektor. When the Count’s orchestra was dissolved in late 1760 or early 1761, Asplmayr relocated to Vienna, where he continued to work as a composer and violinist until his death in 1786. He composed in several genres, producing at least 41 symphonies, 43 string quartets and 70 trios, but during his lifetime he was best known for his works for the theatre, including at least 25 complete ballets (of which 11 survive) and the first German-language melodrama.

“We are all familiar with Haydn and Mozart,” comments Patrick Jordan, “but we can draw much more depth and richness from the music of this era – representing the history of the string quartet form – by also understanding the context of what was going on around these composers … those like Asplmayr whom you might call the minor characters. We miss a lot by focusing only on a few people; our job is to widen that lens.” In these remarkable works are found genuine experiments with form, as well as an unusually rich harmonic variety and an abundance of invention. While it would be rewriting history to propose that Franz Asplmayr shared the stature of Mozart and Haydn, his work remains remarkable for similar reasons. “Perhaps,” says Jordan, “our 21st-century ears are even better prepared to accept his unique gifts.”

Most recently, the Eybler Quartet released recordings of Beethoven’s Op. 18 quartets, in two volumes, for Britain’s CORO Connections label. Noted for their sometimes controversial and dazzlingly brisk tempos in certain movements, which Gramophone called “straight-up hilarious” and left one Times of London “feeling his age,” the albums were deemed “masterfully played Beethoven” (Early Music America) and absolutely essential listening” (The WholeNote).

The Eybler Quartet brings a unique combination of talents and skills: years of collective experience as chamber musicians, technical prowess, experience in period instrument performance and an ardent passion for the repertoire. Violinist Julia Wedmanand violist Patrick G. Jordan are members of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra; Violinist Aisslinn Nosky is concertmaster of the Handel and Haydn Society. Cellist Margaret Gay, Artistic Director of the Gallery Players of Niagara, is much in demand as both a modern and period instrument player. The Eybler Quartet’s previous, critically acclaimed albums include chamber music of Vanhal, Haydn, Mozart, Backofen, and of course, the quartet’s namesake, Joseph Leopold Edler von Eybler.

On connaît le Quatuor Eybler de Toronto dans le monde entier pour ses prestations remarquables, mais aussi pour son insatiable passion : explorer en profondeur les œuvres de compositeurs méconnus de la période classique, parmi lesquels Vanhal, Backofenet Eybler. L’ensemble spécialisé en instruments anciens a aussi attiré l’attention en mettant au grand jour de nouvelles révélations sur la « trinité » des compositeurs classiques, soit Mozart, Haydn et Beethoven … ce qui leur a valu des louanges, mais aussi quelques froncements de sourcil parmi les traditionalistes ! Le quatuor Eybler est aujourd’hui de retour avec un album passionnant consacré à l’œuvre du compositeur viennois Franz Asplmayr (1728-1786); il s’agit du premier enregistrement connu de ses Six quatuors, Opus 2, dans leur entièreté (publiés sous le titre Six Quatuors Concertantes, Opus 2 en 1769). Le nouvel album, en vente aujourd’hui, est produit par l’étiquette Gallery Players.

« L’une des missions du Quatuor Eybler est de dénicher des œuvres négligées puis perdues au fil des années, condamnées à s’empoussiérer dans les bibliothèques, et de les ramener à la vie, » explique la violoniste Julia Wedman, « Notre dernière trouvaille,’Aspy’, possède un style d’écriture tout simple, mais sait plonger au cœur de la musique pour toucher son public de la façon la plus sincère. » En fait, l’altiste Patrick Jordan est tombé en 2006 sur une édition moderne de ces quatuors, produite par le musicologue américain Dennis C. Monk, dans une librairie usagée de Toronto. La partition n’a pas bougé de son étagère jusqu’à ce qu’il retrouve, il y a cinq ans, les partitions de la première édition lors d’un passage à la Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Après plusieurs années passées à étudier les partitions et à perfectionner leur interprétation, les Eybler ont enfin offert aux quatuors Opus 2 d’Asplmayr leur premier enregistrement.

Asplmayr, baptisé le 2 avril 1728 à Linz, est le fils d’un maître de danse. Il a été engagé à la cour du comte Morzin en 1759 en tant que secretariat et violoniste; c’est là qu’il aurait rencontré le jeune Joseph Haydn, Hofkomponist et Musikdirektor de la cour. Quand l’orchestre du comte est dissout à la fin de 1760 ou au début de 1761, Asplmayr s’installe à Vienne, continuant à travailler comme compositeur et violoniste jusqu’à son décès en 1786. Asplmayr a composé dans de nombreux genres; s’il a produit au moins 41 symphonies, 43 quatuors à cordes et 70 trios, il fut surtout connu de son vivant pour ses œuvres théâtrales, créant au moins 25 ballets complets (desquels 11 ont survécus) et le premier mélodrame en langue allemande.

« Tout le monde connaît Haydn et Mozart, » dit Patrick Jordan, « mais la musique de cette période recèle encore énormément de profondeur et de richesses, représentatives de l’histoire du quatuor à cordes. On cherche aussi à comprendre ce qui entoure les compositeurs qui, comme Asplmayr, étaient en quelque sorte des personnages secondaires. On se prive de bien des choses en n’apprenant à connaître qu’une poignée d’artistes. Notre travail, c’est d’élargir les horizons. » Ces œuvres remarquables sont de véritables expérimentations sur la forme, fortes d’une variété harmonique d’une richesse inhabituelle ainsi que d’une abondance dans l’invention. S’il serait excessif de dire que Franz Asplmayr partage le statut de Mozart et Haydn, son œuvre reste néanmoins remarquable pour des raisons similaires. « Peut-être que nos oreilles du 21e siècle sont encore mieux préparées à accepter ses dons uniques, » dit Jordan.

Tout récemment, le Quatuor Eybler a fait paraître des enregistrements des Quatuors de Beethoven, Opus 18, en deux volumes, pour la maison britannique CORO Connections. Ceux-ci se sont fait remarquer pour le tempo particulièrement vif et parfois controversé de certains mouvements, que Gramophone a décrit comme « proprement hilarant ». Si un journaliste du Times of London a déclaré qu’une telle vitesse lui faisait « pleinement ressentir [son] âge », les albums ont été décrits comme « une magnifique interprétation de Beethoven » (Early Music America) et « un incontournable, à découvrir absolument » (The WholeNote).

Le Quatuor Eybler propose un mélange unique de talents et d’habiletés, soit des années d’expérience en musique de chambre, de véritables prouesses techniques, une grande connaissance des instruments d’époque et une passion sans borne pour le répertoire. La violoniste Julia Wedman et l’altiste Patrick G. Jordan sont tous deux membres du Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. La violoniste Aisslinn Nosky est le violon solo de la Handel and Haydn Society. La violoncelliste Margaret Gay, Directrice Artistique de la Galerie Players of Niagara, est très en demande à la fois comme interprète sur instruments modernes et d’époque. La discographie acclamée du Eybler Quartet comprend des œuvres de chambre de Vanhal, Haydn, Mozart, Backofen et, bien entendu, Joseph Leopold Edler von Eybler, qui a donné son nom au quatuor.

Iris Trio presents Homage and Inspiration

Masterworks by Schumann and Mozart are paired with modern tributes by György Kurtág and Christof Weiss, for an exquisite and stimulating musical conversation.

Homage and Inspiration is available from Germany’s Coviello Classics label on February 7, 2020.
“A beauty of sound and striking expression that is rarely surpassed.”  – Bremen Weser Kurier

Praised for ensemble playing that is “simply fabulous, perfectly balanced, [and] admirable in its rhythmic security and virtuosity” (Amberger Zeitung), the Iris Trio pairs works by Schumann and Mozart with modern tributes to these masterpieces by György Kurtág and Christof Weiss on Homage and Inspiration, their debut album, available on Germany’s Coviello Classics label on February 7, 2020. Comprised of three outstanding musicians – clarinetist Christine Carter, violist Molly Carr, and pianist Anna Petrova – who first came together in New York City during their years at the Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Music, the Iris Trio has performed extensively across Germany, as well as in North America and elsewhere in Europe, consistently offering “a musical and lively performance, strong in technical nuance, and with an exquisite balance of sound” (Augsburger Allgemeine).

Robert Schumann was inspired to compose his spellbinding Märchenerzählungen (Fairy Tales), Op. 132, for clarinet, viola, and piano, by Mozart’s Kegelstatt Trio for the same unusual instrumentation. One of the composer’s final works, the four character pieces range from dreamy to impetuous. In turn, Schumann’s “Fairy Tales” inspired Hungarian composer György Kurtág (b. 1926) when he coached a student chamber ensemble working on the piece. The resulting work which evokes Schumann’s contrasting moods is Kurtág’s intensely expressive Hommage a R. Sch. op. 15d, completed in 1990. 

Iris Trio is clarinetist Christine Carter, violist Molly Carr, and pianist Anna Petrova.

In a similar spirit, German composer Christof Weiss’ (b. 1986) Conversation Among Friends, commissioned by Mozartfest Würzburg and premiered by the Iris Trio, is a companion piece to Mozart’s Kegelstatt Trio. “Reflecting the friendly atmosphere and conciliatory spirit of Mozart’s trio into a modern musical language was a great challenge,” comments Weiss, “The different voices change and blend into each other over and over again, until the protagonists progressively abandon their individuality in favour of the collective, as the three melodic lines merge into one and travel together to a euphoric ending.” The Trio gave the world premiere of Conversation Among Friends at the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Residence Palace in Würzburg, Germany in 2014.

The Iris Trio made its debut in 2013 for a sold-out audience at the German Consulate in New York City and was immediately invited to appear at the prestigious Mozartfest in Würzburg, Germany.  Each of the three Trio members (Canadian clarinetist, Christine Carter, violist Molly Carr, and pianist Anna Petrova) are active recitalists and educators. Collectively they hold faculty positions at the Juilliard School, University of Louisville, and Memorial University, and have performed around the world on many of the major concert stages from Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall to the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and Sydney Opera House. 

Combining works from the standard trio repertoire alongside commissions by contemporary artists is a concept that Iris Trio continues to explore. Their recent commissions include two new works for the clarinet, viola, and piano by Canadian jazz artist Florian Hoefner (with poetry by Griffin Poetry Prize-winner Don McKay), and the Brooklyn-based American composer, Randall Woolf. “The concept of paying homage, in addition to bringing together these two pairs of works, is also the inspiration that brought us together to create the Iris Trio,” commented the three musicians, “It is a concept that continues to inspire us, asking us to remember the past, while enlivening and refreshing the present.”

Sarah Slean & Symphony Nova Scotia

“New, creative music that transcends any stylistic boundaries.” – CBC

Available January 24 on Centrediscs

Eight years in the making, Canadian songstress Sarah Slean’s electrifying performances with composer Christos Hatzis and Symphony Nova Scotia are now available for the first time on one album from Centrediscs. This ground-breaking collaboration began in 2012 with the premiere of Hatzis’ Lamento, broadcast nationwide by CBC and praised as “marvellously colourful and dramatic” (Chronicle Herald, Halifax). Six years later, Symphony Nova Scotia and conductor Bernhard Gueller – then celebrating his final season as Music Director – jumped at the chance to work with Sarah Slean again. The new work, with texts by Slean and music by Hatzis was Ecstasy, a counterpoint to Lamento. Audience reviews called the project “magical” and “a match made in heaven.”

“Christos Hatzis is one of the most brilliant and prolific musical creators alive today,” comments Slean, “I deeply admire his creative curiosity and openness to different kinds of music, his seemingly endless well of ideas, and the passionate intelligence that informs his work.” The evocative songs combine a pop sensibility with a rich orchestral palette. As CBC Music said, in advance of the 2020 release, “If you’re looking for music that successfully crosses over between classical and popular styles, this is it.” 

Hatzis’s three-song cycle Lamento is a musical meditation on the loss of loved ones, mental illness, and suicide. It is based on the well-known aria “When I Am Laid in Earth” from Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. Hatzis explains that, musically, it is an exploration of the “lamento bass,” a stepwise descending bass line used by composers of the Baroque era to express despondency. Slean herself wrote the texts for Hatzis’s Ecstasy, the dramatic musical antidote to Lamento. This cycle of three songs explores the more luminous regions of the human mind in both its intellectual and mystical expressions. Slean describes angels “in whose clear and shining blood teems the transparent heritage of light,” calling for an accompanying musical language which captures the blissful journey from darkness to light.

Sarah Slean performs with orchestras in London, Ottawa, and Quebec City this spring. For tour dates click here

Signed to Atlantic/Warner Records at the age of 19, Sarah Slean has since been nominated for three JUNO Awards and has released 11 albums in over 10 countries worldwide. Over her 25-year career, Sarah has toured internationally, published two volumes of poetry, starred in short films and a movie musical (spawning one of two Gemini Award nominations), composed chamber music commissions, held numerous exhibitions of her paintings, and shared the stage with 10 of the country’s professional orchestras. Classically trained from the age of five, she routinely collaborates with cutting-edge contemporary classical ensembles and has been invited to sing world premieres by Canada’s leading living composers.

Born in Greece, educated in the United States, a Canadian citizen since 1985, and a Professor at the University of Toronto since 1995, Christos Hatzis is one of Canada’s most important composers. Christos’ eclectic and powerful music captivates audiences internationally, and has been awarded several coveted Canadian and international awards, including two JUNO Awards. He has received commissions from some of the world’s best-known soloists and ensembles, such as violinist Hilary Hahn, percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, the Gryphon Trio, the New Orford and St. Lawrence quartets, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

Music Director Laureate of Symphony Nova Scotia (Music Director, 2002-2018) and Principal Guest Conductor of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, Bernhard Gueller is acclaimed for the interpretations and excitement he brings to the podium. Bernhard has collaborated with many of Canada’s foremost musicians, such as James Ehnes, Jan Lisiecki, Janina Fialkowska, Anton Kuerti, Jon Kimura Parker, and Marc-André Hamelin, along with other international stars such as Joshua Bell, Metropolitan Opera singers such as Pretty Yende and Johan Botha, and the Vienna Boys Choir.

Symphony Nova Scotia is one of Canada’s most versatile and dynamic orchestras. Founded in 1983, the 37-member orchestra proudly performs music that reflects Nova Scotia’s diverse musical interests and history, combining classical masterworks, historically informed baroque, new compositions, and ground breaking collaborations featuring artists from Nova Scotia’s rich pop, indie, and Celtic music scene. With a home base in Halifax and performances across the province, Symphony Nova Scotia reaches more than 80,000 Nova Scotians of all ages each year with its diverse mix of concerts, free community programs, and educational outreach.