Archive for Classical Music

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.

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.

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. 

The Astonishing Eybler Quartet Completes Their Much-Awaited Survey of Beethoven’s Op. 18 Quartets

“Simply stunning … jaw-dropping agility, clarity and accuracy in the playing, allied with terrific dynamics and nuance, outstanding ensemble work …I doubt if you’ve heard these works sound like this before – it’s absolutely essential listening.” – The WholeNote (on Beethoven, Op. 18, Vol. 1)

[Français ci-dessous]

When British label CORO Connections released their first recording from Toronto’s Eybler Quartetlast spring, they may havebeen surprised to have a controversy on their hands. The Eybler’s versions of Beethoven’s Op. 18 quartets, nos. 1-3, on period instruments, took many aback due to their astonishing speed, particularly in the scherzofrom Quartet No. 1. Gramophonecalled it “straight-up hilarious … this set might infuriate you or it might delight you,” continuing, “ either way, I suspect, Beethoven would have been more than happy.” The Times of Londonbemoaned that “this brilliant Canadian quartet [left] me feeling my age … yet there is no denying the Eyblers’ verve and delicacy of touch.” Now, the new recording of the Beethoven Op. 18 Quartets, nos. 4-6fulfils the wish of Early Music America, who wrote last year: “With nearly 70 minutes of masterfully played Beethoven, this recording leaves you waiting for the Eybler to complete the Opus 18 cycle.” The new release is available in digital form from May 31, with the CD version for sale as of June 7.

The musical controversy arose from the Eybler’s choice to follow Beethoven’s original and supposedly “impossible” metronome markings – which have caused some to speculate on Beethoven’s sanity – to the letter. As an early music quartet, the Eyblers approached Beethoven’s Op. 18 as “new music,” working from different editions of the score while delving deeply into exhaustive critical notes on the works. Violist Patrick Jordan comments, “Looking back through the almost 200 years since Ludwig van Beethoven’s death, it is remarkably easy to repeat to ourselves the narrative of Beethoven’s transcendent seriousness, greatness and genius.” However, he continues, “we also discovered depths of humour, wit and irony in Beethoven that we had not found before, in particular his ready embrace of the commedia dell’arte.” Jordan’s unusually witty liner notes describe the almost operatic Quartet no. 4 in C Minor, with its “blisteringly fast coda”;  the cheerful Quartet no. 5 in A Major, with its “lilting Ländler” leading to a “slightly tipsy” Trio; and the Quartet no. 6 in B-flat Major, which“displays the widest emotional range to be found in the set.” 

The Eybler Quartetbrings a unique combination of talents and skills: years of collective experience as chamber musicians, technical prowess, experience in period instrument performance and an unquenchable passion for the repertoire. Violinist Julia Wedmanand violist Patrick G. Jordanare members of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra;Violinist Aisslinn Noskyis concertmaster of the Handel and Haydn Society and Principal Guest Conductor of the Niagara Symphony Orchestra; Julia and Aisslinn are also members of I FURIOSI Baroque Ensemble. Cellist Margaret Gay is much in demand as both a modern and period instrument player. The Eybler Quartet’s previous, critically-acclaimed albums includechamber music of Vanhal, Haydn, Mozart, Backofen, and of course, the quartet’s namesake, Joseph Leopold Edler von Eybler. 

CORO Connections is an imprint of the award-winning CORO record label.All of the artists on CORO Connections have links toHarry Christophers, The Sixteen, or the Handel and Haydn Society. Eybler Quartet violinist Aisslinn Noskyis concertmaster of Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society.

Quand la maison britannique CORO Connections a fait paraître son premier enregistrement du Quatuor Eybler de Toronto, au printemps dernier, elle ne s’attendait pas à une controverse. Cette interprétation des quatuors de Beethoven, opus 18, nos 1 à 3, avec des instruments d’époque, en a surpris plus d’un par sa vitesse ahurissante – surtout en ce qui concerne le scherzodu premier quatuor. Gramophonel’a décrite comme « proprement hilarante; cette prestation pourrait soit vous ravir, soit vous enrager », ajoutant que « dans tous les cas, Beethoven lui-même serait aux anges. » Selon le Timesde Londres, « ce brillant quatuor canadien est difficile à suivre passé un certain âge. Cela dit, impossible de nier la verve et la délicatesse du Eybler ». Ce nouvel enregistrement des Quatuors de Beethoven, opus 18, nos 4 à 6, a quant à lui su combler les attentes de Early Music America, qui a écrit l’an dernier : « Avec près de 70 minutes d’un Beethoven interprété avec brio, l’enregistrement ne donne qu’une envie : que le Quatuor Eybler complète le cycle de l’opus 18. »La nouvelle parution sera disponible en format numérique dès le 31 mai, et l’album, en vente à partir du 7 juin.

S’il y a eu controverse, c’est que le Quatuor Eybler suit à la lettre la cadence originale choisie par Beethoven, réputée irréalisable – à tel point que certains l’ont cru fou. En tant que quatuor spécialiste de la musique ancienne, le Eybler envisage l’opus 18 de Beethoven comme une œuvre « nouvelle », comparant différentes versions des partitions tout en étudiant en profondeur les essais critiques à leur sujet. Selon l’altiste Patrick Jordan, « au fil des quelque 200 ans écoulés depuis la mort de Ludwig van Beethoven, on a dressé le portrait d’un homme éminemment sérieux, au génie grandiose. Toutefois, poursuit-il, nous avons également relevé chez lui des traits d’humour, de vivacité et d’ironie que nous ne lui connaissions pas, notamment une grande affection pour la commedia dell’arte. » Dans son humoristique texte de pochette, Patrick Jordan décrit la coda du quasi opératique Quatuor no 4 en do mineur, « rapide à en provoquer des ampoules », le Ländler cadencé du joyeux Quatuor no 5 en la majeur, prélude à un Trio « légèrement ivre », et le Quatuor no 6 en si bémol majeur, l’œuvre du cycle « offrant la plus riche gamme d’émotions ».

Le Quatuor Eyblerpropose 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 Wedmanet l’altiste Patrick G. Jordansont membres du Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra; Aisslinn Noskyest premier violon de la Handel and Haydn Society et principale chef invitée de l’Orchestre symphonique de Niagara. Ajoutons que Mmes Wedman et Nosky sont également membres de l’ensemble baroque I FURIOSI. Enfin, la violoncelliste Margaret Gaymaîtrise aussi bien les instruments contemporains que les instruments d’époque. La discographie acclamée du Eybler Quartet comprend aussi des œuvres de chambre de Vanhal, Haydn, Mozart, Backofen et, bien entendu, Joseph Leopold Edler von Eybler, qui a donné son nom au quatuor.

CORO Connections est une branche de CORO, maison de disques primée. Tous les artistes représentés par CORO Connections sont liés à Harry Christophers, à The Sixteen ou à la Handel and Haydn Society. Aisslinn Nosky,violoniste du Eybler Quartet, est d’ailleurs premier violon de la Handel and Haydn Society, à Boston.

Orchestre classique de Montréal ~ A New Name for The McGill Chamber Orchestra!

80th Anniversary Season

[Français ci-dessous]

In anticipation of its 80th anniversary season (2019-2020), the McGill Chamber Orchestra is to be rebranded Orchestre classique de Montréal or OCM, as announced today by Artistic Director Boris Brott and Executive Director Taras Kulish. The celebratory launch event took place at the headquarters of BMO Bank of Montreal, the orchestra’s presenting sponsor, with the orchestra’s friends and subscribers in attendance.

Founded in 1939 by violinist, conductor, and composer Alexander Brott and his wife Lotte Brott, the McGill Chamber Orchestra quickly became one of Canada’s most established chamber orchestras, touring to five continents, recording extensively, and appearing regularly on radio and television. Now led by Boris Brott, OC, OQ, the elder son of Alexander and one of Canada’s most internationally renowned conductors, the MCO is a vibrant, innovative, and flexible ensemble consisting of the city’s best professional musicians, which presents concerts throughout the year in the finest halls of Montreal.

“My parents founded this orchestra with the highest musical standards as well as a desire to grow and educate audiences, and to champion Canadian music and artists,” comments Brott, “Our current musicians form an outstanding ensemble, including our recently-named concertmaster Marc Djokic. It continues to be a privilege to carry on the legacy of this wonderful ensemble of musicians and we look forward to this new era as the Orchestre classique de Montréal.” Maestro Brott first joined the orchestra as Associate Conductor in 1989 and was appointed co-conductor in 2000. Upon the death of his father in 2005, he was appointed Artistic Director of the MCO. 

Executive Director Taras Kulish comments, “While the orchestra was founded by Alexander Brott and his colleagues at the McGill Conservatory, our new name better reflects our identity as a professional orchestra performing in various parts of Montreal, often in collaboration with other Montreal arts organizations. In recent seasons, we have worked to extend our reach to inspire young audiences and also to welcome new Montrealers to our events. The orchestra will mostly remain as a chamber ensemble however it will expand into a larger ensemble for various concerts and collaborations as it has in the past. Our new name will more clearly define who we are while continuing to maintain our welcoming and approachable atmosphere for both new and returning audiences.”

Since its founding, many of the world’s greatest artists have appeared as soloists with the orchestra. At the same time, the McGill Chamber Orchestra has championed many up and coming artists from closer to home – including offering Quebec star Stéphane Tétrault his orchestral debut back in 2007. The OCM has also built a strong reputation of championing and creating a new repertoire of orchestral music by Canadian and Quebec composers, predating the existence of the arts councils. These new works include such composers as Pierre Mercure, Jean Vallerand, Claude Champagne, Maxime Goulet, Nicole Lizée, François Morel and of course Alexander Brott. Artistic Director Boris Brott plans to continue to develop this tradition with the Orchestre classique de Montréal. 

“It is a joy for me to share our orchestra’s passion, tone and excellence, the hallmarks of our magnificent OCM, on our 80th anniversary” comments Boris Brott, “We mark this milestone by bringing you a remarkable season featuring superb Quebec and international soloists, and partnerships with the best of the best of Montreal arts organizations. We celebrate our new name but continue our long tradition of performances with energy, elegance and a commitment to excellence, where everyone is made to feel welcome!”

Fulfilling its mission of celebrating inclusivity and diversity, the OCM has created a new program called Culture for Everyone. This program allows us the wonderful opportunity to collaborate with new immigrant communities, women’s shelters, and other Montreal organizations in offering complimentary tickets to all our performances. We have also reduced our student ticket prices to only $10 for the majority of our concerts. The OCM wants the magic of music to be accessible to everyone. 

En prévision de la saison de son 80e anniversaire (2019-2020), l’Orchestre de chambre McGill est rebaptisé Orchestre classique de Montréal,ou OCM, tel qu’annoncé aujourd’hui par Boris Brott, directeur artistique, et Taras Kulish, directeur général.Cette nouvelle appellation a d’ailleurs été soulignée par un événement festif au siège social de la BMOBanque de Montréal, présentateur de saison, où étaient conviés amis et abonnés de l’orchestre.

Fondé en 1939 par le violoniste, chef d’orchestre et compositeur Alexander Brott et son épouse, Lotte Brott,l’Orchestre de chambre McGill est rapidement devenu l’un des orchestres de chambre les mieux établis au Canada, cumulant les tournées dans cinq continents, les enregistrements et les apparitions à la radio et à la télévision. Aujourd’hui dirigé par Boris Brott, O.C., O.Q., fils aîné d’Alexander et chef d’orchestre canadien parmi les plus connus sur la scène internationale, l’OCM est un ensemble vibrant, novateur et flexible, composé des meilleurs musiciens professionnels de la ville et habitué des plus belles salles de concert de Montréal.

« Mes parents ont fondé cet orchestre selon les critères musicaux les plus rigoureux, dans l’intention d’inspirer et d’éduquer leur public tout en faisant la promotion de la musique et des artistes du Canada, explique Boris Brott. À l’heure actuelle, nos musiciens, parmi lesquels le premier violon Marc Djokic, qui a obtenu ce poste récemment, forment un ensemble remarquable. Perpétuer la tradition de ce superbe orchestre est un privilège toujours renouvelé, et nous avons hâte d’entamer une nouvelle ère sous le nom d’Orchestre classique de Montréal. » Maestro Boris Brott fait ses débuts à l’OCM à titre de chef d’orchestre adjoint, en 1989, avant de devenir cochef d’orchestre en 2000. Après le décès de son père, en 2005, il est nommé directeur artistique de l’ensemble. 

Taras Kulish, directeur général, affirme : « Bien que l’orchestre ait été fondé par Alexander Brott et ses collègues au Conservatoire de McGill, notre nouveau nom représente mieux notre identité d’orchestre professionnel qui se produit un peu partout à Montréal, souvent en collaboration avec d’autres organismes artistiques locaux. Au cours des dernières saisons, nous avons cherché à étendre notre portée, tant pour inspirer de jeunes publics que pour inviter à nos concerts de nouveaux Montréalais. L’orchestre demeure avant tout un ensemble de chambre, mais pourra prendre de l’ampleur selon les besoins des concerts et des collaborations, comme par le passé. Grâce à ce nouveau nom, nous affichons plus clairement notre identité tout en préservant un caractère chaleureux et accueillant à l’intention de nos publics, nouveaux ou initiés. »

Depuis sa création, l’orchestre a pu partager la scène avec certains des plus grands artistes internationaux. Il a également contribué à propulser les carrières de nombreux artistes de chez nous, offrant notamment à l’étoile québécoise Stéphane Tétreault sa première prestation avec orchestre, en 2007. L’OCM est aussi reconnu pour la défense et la création de nouvelles œuvres classiques des répertoires canadien et québécois, et ce, avant même l’apparition des conseils des arts. Parmi les compositeurs soutenus par l’orchestre, citons Pierre Mercure, Jean Vallerand, Claude Champagne, Maxime Goulet, Nicole Lizée, François Morel et, bien entendu, Alexander Brott. Le directeur artistique actuel, Boris Brott, a la ferme intention de poursuivre cette tradition avec l’Orchestre classique de Montréal.

« Transmettre la passion, l’excellence et la musicalité qui ont fait la réputation de l’OCM est pour moi un véritable plaisir. Il y a 80 ans que ses fondateurs, Alexander et Lotte Brott, ont eu l’ambition de créer un important orchestre qui enrichirait le paysage culturel de Montréal » dit Boris Brott. « Cette saison, notre programme soigneusement élaboré met en vedette de merveilleux solistes du Québec et d’ailleurs, en collaboration avec certaines des organisations artistiques les plus prestigieuses de la ville. Nous célébrons le nouveau nom de l’orchestre tout en perpétuant sa tradition : des spectacles énergiques, élégants et de qualité, où chacun se sent bienvenu. »

Poursuivant sa mission de célébrer l’inclusion et la diversité, l’OCM a créé un nouveau programme : Culture pour tous. Ce dernier a pour but de collaborer avec plusieurs organisations montréalaises, telles que les communautés de nouveaux arrivants, les refuges pour les femmes et bien d’autres, et de leur procurer des billets de faveur pour chaque concert. L’OCM a aussi réduit le prix des billets étudiants à 10 $ pour la plupart de ses spectacles. L’ensemble veille ainsi à ce que la magie de la musique soit accessible à tous.

Violinist Roman Mints Releases a New Exploration of Hindemith’s Works for Violin & Piano

Possessing a passion for the avant-garde and an extraordinary creative energy, Roman Mints is considered one of the most original musicians of his generation. The acclaimed Russian violinist is joined by Van Cliburn International Piano Competition winner Alexander Kobrin for a new recording of Hindemith’s Complete Works for Violin and Piano, available from Quartz Music on April 5, 2019.

A longtime champion of of contemporary composers, Roman Mints’s deep appreciation for the works of Paul Hindemith began when he was a young violinist, studying in Moscow in the 1980s: “This music, written not just before I was born but closer to the time of my grandparents’ birth, felt completely contemporary, and daringly advanced in its sound … From the time I put Sonata in D on the stand, I was gripped by the first subject, constructed from seconds and sevenths, marked to be played with stony defiance. I was never the same again and Hindemith became my window into contemporary music.”

First and foremost a violinist and a violist himself, Hindemith’s four violin sonatas span the composer’s lifetime, offering an overview of his stylistic influences, from the German Late Romantics to polytonality and atonality, to his own eclectic, personal style intergrating Baroque and Classical elements. Also included in this survey are the the Kleine Sonata for viola d’amore and piano and Trauermusik, written in just one day in honor of the death of King George. Reflecting upon this new recording with Alexander Korbin, Mints said, “We had drawn the portrait of a man whose wildness hid a tender side, whose severity concealed humour, and behind whose crustiness there lay a capacity for ecstasy. I began to understand how he had resonated with me as a 13-year-old, and why he continues to hold a special place in my heart.”

Most recently for Quartz Music, Roman Mints released an album of music by the contemporary Russian composer Leonid Desyatnikov, which received a 5-star review in BBC Music Magazine and Audiophile Audition called “some of the most interesting music you’ve never heard of.” Also for Quartz Music, Roman Mints released an album of works for violin and piano by Alfred Schnittke, which the San Francisco Chronicle called “a thrilling reminder of the eloquence this composer … superb performances from Mints and [Katya] Apekisheva.” The New York Times called his previous release, Dance of Shadows, an innovative program of music by Ysaÿe, Piazzolla, and Schnittke, as well as a premiere by Dobrinka Tabakova “fascinating and technically brilliant,” while Strings Magazine called the recital “a thing of haunting beauty and magic.”

ROMAN MINTS was born in Moscow and began playing the violin at the age of five. In 1994, Mints won a Foundation Scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London and also studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, winning prizes at each, alongside contemporaries Dobrinka Tabakova, Elena Langer, Maxim Rysanov, and Kristina Blaumane. Along with championing the work of Leonid Desyatnikov, Mints has given the Russian premieres of works by Golijov, Tavener, MacMillan, Mozetich and world premieres of over fifty works including compositions from Tabakova, Bennett, Langer, Finnissy, Irvine and others. He has worked alongside conductors Andrew Davis, Saulius Sondeckis, Vladimir Ziva, Vladimir Ponkin, and Philipp Chizhevsky, amongst others. Mints has performed with such prominent groups as London Mozart Players, London Chamber Orchestra, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, Musica Viva Orchestra, Russian Philharmonia, Kremerata Baltica, Prague Soloists and Prague Sinfonia. In 1998, alongside oboist Dmitry Bulgakov, he founded the Homecoming Chamber Music Festival which takes place annually in Moscow. Mints’s previous recordings also include the Grammy-nominated String Paths for ECM, and releases for the Black Box and Harmonia Mundi labels.  Roman Mints plays a Francesco Ruggieri violin, circa 1685.

Pianist ALEXANDER KOBRIN’s prize-winning performances have been praised for their brilliant technique, musicality and emotional engagement with the audience. In 2005, Alexander Kobrin was awarded the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Gold Medal at the Twelfth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth. His numerous successes in competitions also include top prizes at the Busoni, Hamamatsu, and Scottish International Piano Competitions. Kobrin has performed with many of the world’s great orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic, Russian National Orchestra, Belgrade Philharmonic, English Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Verdi, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, among many others, with conductors including Mikhail Pletnev, Mikhail Jurovsky, James Conlon, Vassiliy Petrenko and Yuri Bashmet. His piano recitals have been heard in major halls worldwide, including Avery Fisher Hall in New York, the Kennedy Centre in Washington, the Albert Hall and Wigmore Hall in London, Louvre Auditorium, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire, Sala Verdi in Milan, and annual concert tours in Japan, China and Taiwan. His recordings can be heard on the Harmonia Mundi, Quartz, and Centaur labels.




Isang Yun: Sunrise Falling, a Centenary Composer Portrait

From a life wrought with struggle and torture, comes extraordinary music of stunning virtuosity and raw emotional power.

Uncompromising in his life as he was in his music, Korean composer Isang Yun(1917–95)held fast to his dream of a united people, even as he was unjustly accused of espionage for North Korea and sentenced to imprisonment and death. From this life of unimaginable oppression and torture emerges music of raw emotional power, now heard onISANG YUN: Sunrise Falling, a centennial commemoration of Yun’s life and music from the PENTATONE Oxingale Series. Maestro Dennis Russell Davies, a longtime collaborator and advocate for Yun, curates the program and conducts the Bruckner Orchester Linz, with remarkable, searing solo performances from cellist Matt Haimovitz, violinist Yumi Hwang-Williams, and pianist Maki Namekawa. Called an “important, courageous release” by Deutschlandfunk Kultur,this is the first in a new series of composer portraits from the PENTATONE Oxingale series. ISANG YUN: Sunrise Falling is available for digital download and streaming starting today with the CD release to follow October 5.

A cellist himself, Yun’s fascinating, highly autobiographical Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra (1975/76) anchors the album, bursting with passion, despair, and new timbral textures bridging Schoenbergian serialism and indeterminate pitch worlds, with radically precise technical demands. The work also integrates the sonic world of Asian instruments and forms, such as the use of a plectrum to emulate the Korean zither, the kŏmun’go. Cellist Matt Haimovitzhad not come across Isang Yun’s work, nor heard of his harrowing personal narrative, until recently: “I tapped into every aspect of my musical toolbox as I approached what at first glance appeared impossible. At the end of my solitary work was confirmation of the rich treasure I had in my possession. Isang Yun’s Cello Concerto deserves to stand alongside Lutoslawski’s and Dutilleux’s in the pantheon of the genre’s late 20th century innovations.” Haimovitz performed Yun’s “Glissées for Solo Cello” (1970), also heard on Sunrise Falling,at the Isang Yun Haus in Berlin on September 17, which would have been the composer’s 101st birthday, and will perform music by Yun at selected upcoming performances in Moscow, Washington, DC, Boston, New York, and elsewhere this fall.

“A composer cannot view the world in which he lives with indifference. Human suffering, oppression, injustice … Where there is pain, where there is injustice, I want to have my say through my music.”– Isang Yun, 1983

Yun’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No.1(1981) features violinistYumi Hwang-Williams, who reflects upon her own emotional return to Korea in 2015, where she performed the concerto at the Tongyeong International Music Festival held in honor of Isang Yun. Hwang-Williams also performs the wonderfully imaginative Kontraste. Two Pieces for Solo Violin (1987), and Gasa for Violin and Piano (1963), with Dennis Russell Davies at the piano. The double album also includes the orchestralFanfare & Memorial, and the intricate solo piano work, Interludium A(1982)– the note A also being an important reference point in the cello concerto and other works by Yun – performed by pianist Maki Namekawa.

Today, one hundred years after Isang Yun’s birth, the two Koreas still teeter on a razor’s edge, with ever more global ramifications. As unlocked and performed by these extraordinary artists, this music opens the gate to a lost, united land, with Yun’s own heart bleeding, but ever hopeful.

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’s recent recordings include an album solo cello music by Philip Glass, on the Orange Mountain Music label, and, for the PENTATONE Oxingale series, TROIKA, music of the Slavic soul; The Cello Suites According to Anna Magdalenaand its companion album, Overtures to Bach; among others.

DENNIS RUSSELL DAVIES is known for his extraordinary range of repertoire, technical brilliance and fearless music-making. An esteemed presence consistently at the forefront of both orchestral and operatic worlds, Davies is also an accomplished pianist.2018 marks 49 seasons that Davies has held music directorships of prestigious international orchestras, while frequently guest conducting with major orchestras and opera companies worldwide. Davis is Music Director and Chief Conductor of the BRUCKNER ORCHESTER LINZ, one of the leading orchestras of Central Europe, and was recently appointed Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Filharmonie Brno.

YUMI HWANG-WILLIAMSis an American violinist of exceptional musicianship, recognized both for her stylish performances of the classics and her commitment to the works of present-day composers. Stringscalls her “a modern Prometheus” who has “emerged as a fiery champion of contemporary classical music.” Hwang-Williams recently celebrated Leonard Bernstein’s 100th by performing Serenade with the Colorado Symphony (Denver), where she has been Concertmaster since 2000.

A leading figure among today’s pianists, MAKI NAMEKAWA is equally at home in classical music and the repertoire of our time. Namekawa records and performs frequently for major radio networks in Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and France. In 2013, she performed the world premiere of the entire cycle of Philip Glass’ 20 Études for Solo Pianoat Perth International Arts Festival under the participation of Glass himself, followed by concerts around the world. A best-selling double-CD of the complete Glass etudes was released by Orange Mountain Music in 2014.

Live Recording Captures Inaugural Concert Season of TIPPET RISE Art Center in Montana

Music by Scriabin, Chopin, Stravinsky, Rachmaninoff, and Antón García Abril

From a summer of world-class performances in the intimacy of a concert barn, located on a 10,260-acre, working ranch dotted with majestic large-scale sculptures – all nestled against the backdrop of the Beartooth Mountains – comes Tippet Rise OPUS 2016: Domo, new from the PENTATONE Oxingale Series. In a centennial Scriabin year, music by the Russian mystic composer, alongside Chopin, Stravinsky, Rachmaninoff, and Antón García Abril, are realized live by pianists Yevgeny Sudbin, Svetlana Smolina, Christopher O’Riley, Anne-Marie McDermott, Stephen Hough, Jenny Chen and Julien Brocal with cellist Matt Haimovitz, trumpeter Elmer Churampi, and soprano Emily Helenbrook. The inspiration of artists Cathy and Peter Halstead, the Tippet Rise Art Center celebrates the concept that art, music, architecture, and nature are inextricably linked in the human experience, each amplifying the other. Reflecting that bold and expansive mission, Tippet Rise OPUS 2016 presents a cornucopia of virtuosity, fantasy, and transcendence. 

The album’s cover reveals a view of the megalith, Domo, the largest outdoor sculpture at Tippet Rise: a giant’s table in the mystical shape of a neolithic dolmen, designed and created by architects Antón García-Abril & Débora Mesa of Madrid’s Ensamble Studio. Under the spreading canopy of this colossal structure, music can be heard spinning out over the hilly prairie. But when the wind whips up, or storm clouds barrel down, we return to the comfort of the Olivier Music Barn, where pianists have their pick of a veritable Eden of instruments – ten Steinway pianos grace the Tippet Rise collection.

Oxingale’s Luna Pearl Woolf and Matt Haimovitz curated this compilation. “This first summer at Tippet Rise, themes and symmetries emerge organically from live performances by extraordinary artists. The OPUS 2016 program, oscillating back and forth between solo piano and duos of varying formation, celebrates the expansive, symphonic dialogue of human imagination and nature at Tippet. Nothing can replace the combined intimacy and grandeur of attending these concerts live, but with the new Tippet Rise OPUS series, we hope to share these musical moments, and their captivating surroundings, with the world.”

The ecstatic music of Alexander Scriabin frames this album: pianist Yevgeny Sudbin’s Sonata No. 5, and Poème de l’extase, arranged for two pianos and trumpet, performed by Christopher O’Riley and Svetlana Smolina with Elmer Churampi. More Russian masters are represented by cellist Matt Haimovitz and O’Riley, with Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise, a magical moment previewing the pair’s 2-CD album of Russian music, TROIKA, to be released fall 2017. We continue with “La semaine grasse” from Stravinsky’s solo piano arrangement of Petrushka with Jenny Chen, and Rachmaninoff’s La nuit … L’amour, movement II of the Suite No. 1, Op. 5 (Fantaisie-Tableaux for two pianos) with O’Riley and Anne-Marie McDermott. Yet another superb pianist, Stephen Hough, entrances with Chopin’s Nocturne Op. 15, No. 2 in F-sharp major. Antón García Abril, a venerated Spanish composer and father to one half of Domo-creators Ensamble Studio, was commissioned to write a new song cycle for this inaugural season. A selection from his setting of seven poems by Tippet Rise’s co-founder Peter Halstead is performed by O’Riley and soprano Emily Helenbrook. Pianist-composer Julian Brocal contributes his own composition, Souvenirs, as an exclusive addition to the digital album.

“Scriabin believed that a weeklong concert outdoors, complete with dancing and drinking, would result in the Apocalypse. We’re delighted Tippet Rise has proved him wrong,” said Tippet Rise founders Cathy and Peter Halstead. “We can aver that a season long outdoor concert series results in musical epiphanies, personal revelations, and a visceral empathy with nature. The pieces chosen for this CD captures how the soul of Tippet Rise’s 10,260 acres is reflected and enhanced by the music made here.

In joining the PENTATONE Oxingale Series, we are thrilled to be in the same company as the classic Philips repertoire and as the great cellist Matt Haimovitz, linking the finest achievements of the past with the technology of the future. We look forward to many more years of our partnership, which brings our audience closer to the ambiance that shapes our summer concerts.”

Tippet Rise OPUS 2016: Domo is available now in HD and SD digital and will be released worldwide on August 4, 2017. An integral part of Montana’s musical scene, the album is always available as a souvenir from the Art Center itself.

For information on the upcoming season (July 7–September 16, 2017), which includes performances by pianists Yevgeny Sudbin, Jenny Chen, Anne Marie McDermott, and Jeffrey Kahane; the Ariel, Escher, and St. Lawrence String Quartets; a world premiere by Aaron Jay Kernis, performed by pianist Pedja Muzijevic and cellist Matt Haimovitz; as well as numerous additional artists and events, please see:

About Tippet Rise Art Center

Tippet Rise Art Center is located in Fishtail, Montana against the backdrop of the Beartooth Mountains, roughly midway between Billings and Bozeman and north of Yellowstone National Park. Set on a 10,260 acre working sheep and cattle ranch, Tippet Rise hosts classical music performances and exhibits large-scale outdoor sculptures. Tippet Rise believes that art, music, architecture, and nature rise to a new level when they collaborate.

As an institution founded to serve its neighbors in Montana as much as visiting musicians, artists, and audiences, Tippet Rise develops and supports year-round education programs in schools at the K-12 level, in local colleges and universities, and other organizations.

BEETHOVEN ~ PASSION ROMANTIQUE: The Montreal Chamber Music Festival’s 22nd Season

Beethoven image_SGPRMay 26 ~ June 18, 2017

Pre-Festival Prestige Series ~ February 1, May 6, and May 10

The Montreal Chamber Music Festival presents Beethoven: Passion romantique, dedicating its 22nd season to the spirit of Beethoven, the great master who represents the transition from the Classical to the Romantic era.  Founder and Artistic Director Denis Brott, C.M. has featured the music of Beethoven on almost all Festival concerts, anchored by the performance of the complete Beethoven string quartets over six concerts by the extraordinary Dover Quartet, who have “enjoyed a “rise to the top [that] looks practically meteoric” (Strings Magazine). Denis Brott comments:  “Like no other composer, Beethoven ushered in a new musical language inspired by the French Revolution’s Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité.  Beethoven’s remarkable prowess and indomitable spirit has influenced all music since, and his emotional expression and compositional innovation continue to inspire and resonate.  The Festival celebrates his genius with gratitude and gusto in 2017.”

This 22nd Festival season, which is preceded by a three-concert “Prestige Series”, features many more extraordinary artists, including superstar Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki, a world premiere by Yoav Talmi, the Israeli Chamber Project, the Rolston String Quartet, the always-popular jazz series with Rémi Bolduc, Robi Botos, and Natalie MacMaster, and much more.  A total of 43 events, at all times of day, fill out the Festival schedule for more concerts, more free events, and more Beethoven than ever before!



To open the 2017 season and the Prestige Series, the Festival is thrilled to welcome back close friends, the Emerson String Quartet for a recital on February 1 at 7:30 pm at Salle Bourgie. This unmatched quartet is celebrating its remarkable 40th anniversary season with a delightful program of Mozart’s Quartet No. 15, K.421; Ravel’s Quartet in F Major; and Tchaikovsky’s String Quartet No. 3.

Beethoven Words & Music brings together several of the composer’s chamber works with texts from his journals and letters for a wonderfully intimate evening on Saturday, May 6 at 7:30 pm at Théâtre Paul-Desmarais, Canadian Centre for Architecture.  The elegant Israeli pianist Alon Goldstein, who thrilled Festival audiences last season with his performances of Mozart concerti in transcriptions for string quartet, returns alongside violinist Andrew Wan, cellist Denis Brott, and narrators in English and French, Eric Friesen and Julie Payette, respectively.

The final event of the Pre-Festival Prestige Series is Casanova, a theatrical collaboration with Montreal’s Ensemble Caprice on Wednesday, May 10 at 8 pm at Pollack Hall.  Acclaimed baritone Michael Volle takes on the persona of the 18th-century Italian adventurer, best known for his legendary womanizing, in an evening featuring music by Mozart, Vivaldi, and Gluck, with soprano Sharon Azrieli Perez.



Described by The New Yorker as “the young American string quartet of the moment,” the Dover String Quartet catapulted to attention after sweeping the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition, and has quickly become a major presence on the international scene.  With its burnished warmth, incisive rhythms, and natural phrasing, the quartet’s sound is “so distinctive as to be identified within mere minutes” (Philadelphia Inquirer). The Dover Quartet will perform the complete Beethoven String Quartet cycle for the Festival, taking place over six concerts, all at Pollack Hall:  May 26, 28; June 2, 4, 9, and 11.  In partnership with the Festival, McGill’s School of Continuing Education presents a series of bilingual lectures on the Beethoven quartets, directed by Richard Turp with guest speakers including Raffi Armenian, Denis Brott, and Julie Payette.

The Dover Quartet also joins current Banff International String Quartet Competition torch bearers, the Rolston String Quartet for a concert of award winners on Thursday, June 8 at 7:30 pm at Pollack Hall.  Music will include Mendelssohn’s famous String Octet, Op. 20 and the Quebec premiere of Quartet No. 1 by Zosha di Castri, which was written for last summer’s Banff competition.



The Festival is thrilled to present two concerts featuring the spectacular young pianist Jan Lisiecki.  Just 21 years-old, Lisiecki has won acclaim around the world for his extraordinary interpretive maturity, distinctive sound, and poetic sensibility.  The New York Times has called him “a pianist who makes every note count” while Classic FM, praising his most recent album for Deutsche Grammophon, wrote:  “he may be young but Jan Lisiecki plays like a legend.”  Jan’s new album of orchestral works by Chopin, with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, also for Deutsche Grammophon, will be released in March.

On Wednesday, June 14 at 7:30 pm at Pollack Hall, Jan is joined by cellist Denis Brott in a recital of works by Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin.  Then, on Friday, June 16 at 7:30 pm, he performs a solo piano programme including works by Beethoven and Chopin, closing with an arrangement for piano and string quintet of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, with the Festival Strings.



The Festival’s popular TD Jazz Series always brings in tremendous artists from home and away for three fun-filled evenings, and this year is no exception.  The three Saturday night concerts all take place at Salle Bourgie, beginning at 7:30 pm.

On June 3, Canadian saxophone icon Rémi Bolduc brings his dazzling virtuosity, refreshing style and magnetic stage presence to the Festival for a new programme:  Tribute to George Shearing: Lullaby of BirdlandTo salute the legendary pianist, Bolduc brings along a group of outstanding musicians including François Bourassa, piano; Neil Swainson on bass; Pat Labarbera on tenor saxophone, and drummer Rich Irwin, for an unforgettable evening.

Robi Botos is a virtuosic pianist, rooted in everything from Eastern European folk to classical to modern jazz. The Oscar Peterson protégé, and recent Juno winner for “Jazz Album of the Year” for his Movin’ Forward, takes the stage on June 10 with bassist Mike Downes and drummer Larnell Lewis.

To close out the jazz series on June 17, the Festival welcomes beloved Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster and her quartet.  Over the course of 11 record releases, including numerous gold albums, and three decades of performing thousands of live shows, often collaborating with a multitude of world renowned artists, MacMaster has remained true to her traditional and invigorating jigs, reels, and strathspeys, always leaving her audience clapping and hollering for more.


The Israeli Chamber Project comes to the Festival for two concerts at Pollack Hall, both with thrilling premieres. This dynamic ensemble, based in both Israel and New York, comprises strings, winds, and piano, all of them brilliant, prize-winning players.  Time Out New York calls them “a band of world-class soloists … in which egos dissolve and players think, breathe and play as one.”

On Tuesday, June 13 at 7:30 pm, clarinettist Tibi Cziger and cellist Michal Korman are highlighted in the Canadian premiere of Shulamit Ran’s Private Game for clarinet and cello.  They are joined by pianist Assaff Weisman, violinists Yehonatan Berick and Carmit Zori, and violist Nitai Zori, for works by Bartók, Weber, and Brahms.  The concert on Thursday, June 15 at 7:30 pm, features the world premiere of Quintet for Clarinet by acclaimed Israeli conductor, composer, and pianist Yoav Talmi, well-known to Quebec audiences following his 13-year tenure as Artistic Director of the Quebec Symphony.  Talmi will be joined by his colleagues including pianist Alon Goldstein in a concert that will include Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances for four hands and Quintet for Piano and Strings No. 2.



The Montreal Chamber Music Festival once again proudly highlights the talents of the next generation of brilliant classical musicians, including the latest crop of winners of the Canada Council’s Musical Instrument Bank.  On Sunday, June 18 at 3:00 pm at Pollack Hall, the young musicians will perform a delightful and family- friendly programme, on the exceptional collection of great violins and cellos by such legendary makers as Antonio Stradivarius and Guarnerius del Gesù, valued at over 40 million dollars.

Four different superb violinists, to include Dennis Kim, Timothy Chooi and recent OSM Manulife Competition winner Blake Pouliot, take the lead in the movements of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, performed with narration and projections.  The ensemble will also perform Beethoven’s Quartet No. 11, Op. 95, as arranged for string ensemble by Mahler, and Saint-Saëns’ whimsical favourite, The Carnival of the Animals, narrated by Julie Payette.



Matinées musicales

Join us for free concerts on Saturday morning June 10 and 17.  Coffee and croissants are served starting at 10:30 am at Tanna Schulich Hall, with the 1-hour concerts starting at 11:00 am.

Smartphone Concerts

Keep your smartphone turned on Tuesday, June 13 and Thursday, June 15 from 5:15 – 6pm for our unique concerts in the lobby of Tanna Schulich Hall.  Capture the concerts, featuring the young Instrument Bank string players, in your own unique style and post them for an online video competition.

 Concerts dans les rues

A series of free noon-hour concerts featuring up-and-coming musicians, at noon each day from Monday, June 12 to Friday, June 16, locations TBC.

Sunday Concerts at Saint Joseph’s Oratory

Free concerts each Sunday during the Festival: May 28, June 4, June 11, and June 18 – all at 3:30 pm.  More information at


ALL FESTIVAL TICKETS ON SALE VIA ADMISSION or 1 855 790-1245 and at all Admission outlets

Tickets for all Festival concerts:

Regular:  $ 61.84 / Seniors:  $ 51.50 / Students 26 and under:  $ 28.50

Children 12 and under, accompanied by an adult:  FREE

Taxes and fees included


Opera McGill Presents Die Fledermaus ~ A Glittering 60th Anniversary Production!

fledermaus-image_sgprThis season, Opera McGill proudly celebrates 60 incredible years of training, mentoring, and nurturing young artists. The showpiece of this diamond anniversary season is a new production of Die Fledermaus, the beloved and lighthearted masterwork by Johann Strauss II, last presented by Opera McGill in its 30th anniversary season, in 1986. Opera McGill Director Patrick Hansen serves as both Music and Stage Director for this glamorous new production, to be sung in German with German dialogue, with surtitles in French and English. Dramatic sets and costumes inspired by Gustav Klimt in black, white and gold are by the Opera McGill design team, all of whom are alumni of the National Theatre School: Vincent Lefèvre (sets), Ginette Grenier (costumes), Serge Filiatrault (lighting), and Florence Cornet (makeup). Die Fledermaus receives three performances, January 26, 27 and 28, at the Monument National’s Salle Ludger-Duvernay, a rare move to a major Montreal venue off-campus for Opera McGill.

Strauss’s operetta Die Fledermaus (The Bat) premiered in 1874 and its gorgeous melodies, waltzes, and wit – and featuring deceptions and disguises among friends and lovers – made it an immediate part of the regular operatic repertory. The opera centers upon an extravagant masquerade ball hosted by a Russian prince. Opera McGill will maintain the tradition of featuring surprise “guests” at the ball, which will include appearances by some of the program’s illustrious alumni.  Several current Opera McGill students are already making impressive forays in the operatic world, including mezzo-soprano Simone McIntosh (Prince Orlofsky), who recently won First Prize at the Canadian Opera Company’s annual Ensemble Studio Competition as well as the $25,000 Wirth Vocal Prize for 2016-2017.  (Wirth Prize finalists Jean-Philippe Mc Clish and Igor Mostovoi will alternate in the role of the devious Dr. Falke.)

This season also marks the 10th anniversary of Patrick Hansen’s tenure as Director of Opera McGill, a program that was founded in 1956 by Edith and Luciano Della Pergola. Hansen continues to forge a unique career throughout North America as an operatic conductor, vocal coach, and stage director working with such companies as Lyric Opera of Chicago, Pittsburgh Opera, Tulsa Opera, The Juilliard Opera Center, Glimmerglass Opera, and Florida Grand Opera. Hansen has been praised by The New York Times for his “lithe pacing and vivid colors” (conductor, Bluebeard’s Castle) and by Opera Canada for capturing “the opera’s bohemian vitality” for his stage direction of La bohème.

Regarding his dual roles of conducting and staging Opera McGill’s new Die Fledermaus, Hansen says: “I was initially trained in opera by Robert Larsen who conducted and directed every opera he produced. Robert believed that operatic text and music were intrinsically connected, as do I, and when one is properly focused on that connection it makes a great deal of sense to not separate the two by separating conducting and directing responsibilities. In my work as a conductor, I focus on letting the text be sung and acted with as much character as possible. In my work as a director, I help the singers physicalize the music given to them by the composer. For me, music and text are one.”

About Opera McGill

As one of the leading opera training programs in North America, Opera McGill’s students come from all over Canada, the United States, and Europe. At least three new productions are created each season: a mainstage opera with orchestra, a baroque opera with period instruments and tuning (in collaboration with the Early Music program), and a “black box” production. Additionally, Opera McGill has inaugurated a series of Community and Educational Engagement and Events that allow students to perform off- campus in the Montreal area as well as in the CEGEPs and elementary schools.

About the Schulich School of Music

Founded in 1904, the Schulich School of Music of McGill University embodies the highest international standards of excellence in professional training and research. The School is renowned for its programs in orchestra, opera, jazz, early music and contemporary music. Its status as a leader in sound recording and music technology provides unique possibilities for collaboration with the larger musical community.  Recognized as one of the major music schools in North America, the Schulich School of Music has more than 850 students, 240 faculty members and top programs in research and technology.  It hosts some 700 concerts and events each year.