Archive for composer

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.

Composer Luna Pearl Woolf ~ 8 New & Acclaimed Works Heard This Spring

The music of Luna Pearl Woolf, praised by The New York Times for its “psychological nuances and emotional depth” is heard far and wide this spring with both existing works and new commissions, with artists including Dame Evelyn Glennie and ensembles such as the Deutsches Kammerorchester. Utilizing a huge variety of instrumentation  –  from solo clarinet to orchestra to cello-and-choir  –  Woolf’s poignant subjects range from devastating floods to the sumptuous love poetry of Rumi.  Last month, Woolf served as the inaugural composer-in-residence for San Francisco’s Bard Music West with a newly-commissioned score for the mime play Act Without Words I by Samuel BeckettSan Francisco Classical Voice called it “a fabulous new production” praising how “Woolf’s illustrative music skillfully augments the performers’ movements.”

NEW YORK – On Thursday, April 27th at 8:00 pm, Luna Pearl Woolf’s Rumi: Quatrains of Love (2012) will have its New York premiere on a program by ChamberMusicNY and the American Modern Ensemble at Merkin Hall, featuring soprano Marnie Breckenridge. San Francisco Classical Voice said the work, which features translations of nine poems by the 13th-century Sufi mystic, “alluringly displayed diverse facets of love refracted through a variety of genres … timeless and borderless.” Free tickets to the New York concert are available here. Woolf will also be on hand for an onstage Q&A.

MADISON – Woolf’s acclaimed Après moi, le Déluge is heard the following day at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, on Friday, April 28th at 8:00 pm. The performance features cellist Matt Haimovitz and the UW Concert Choir, directed by Beverly Taylor, who also premiered the work in 2005. A response to the tragic aftermath following Hurricane Katrina, with an original text by poet Eleanor Wilner, Après Moi has been heard in numerous cities over the past 12 years, including New York City, Washington, DC, Houston, Austin, Montreal, and, most significantly, New Orleans.  Strings Magazine calls it “sorrowful, deeply political, and aching with universal regret.”

NEW YORK – Trinity Wall Street’s contemporary music orchestra, NOVUS New York, conducted by Julian Wachner, performs After the Wave on Thursday, May 18 at 1:00 pm, part of the Concerts at One series. Woolf’s 2005 work is dedicated to the survivors of the South Asian tsunami of December 24, 2004, which killed 225,000 people. Calling upon the emotional abyss between panic and grief, productivity and hope, After the Wave attempts to span the physical void from North America’s comfortable coasts to the ravaged one in Sumatra. The concert, on the theme of the 2017 Trinity Institute National Theological Conference on climate change and water crises, also includes John Luther Adam’s Pulitzer Become Ocean.

CALGARY – Further expanding her forays into dramatic instrumental music, Woolf has created Entanglement, a choreographed work for renowned percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie and cellist Ruth Sandvoss of Calgary’s Land’s End Ensemble. The commission celebrates the ensemble’s 20th Anniversary season and will be premiered on Friday, May 26 at 7:30 pm. Using only use the cello, the floor, and the two performers’ bodies as percussion instruments, this sensual and surprising work pushes the musical, dramatic, and physical possibilities for a percussionist and cellist.

BERLINLINZ – In June, Woolf’s works are heard in Germany and Austria. On Tuesday, June 6 the Deutsches Kammerorchester in Berlin performs a premiere arrangement of Schubert’s Arpeggionne sonata for cello and strings, featuring Matt Haimovitz. Then, on Friday, June 9 Woolf’s Suspense, new music for the 1913 silent film by Lois Weber, for 8 cellos and 4 percussionists, is presented by the Bruckner Orchestra’s new music festival in Linz.

TORONTO – Woolf has also been commissioned to write a new mass in three movements, Missa in Fines Orbis Terrae (To the Ends of the Earth), for the Choir of The Cathedral Church of St. James, in Toronto accompanied by that cathedral’s renowned organ. The mass, under the direction of Robert Busiakiewicz, will be premiered on Sunday July 30.

Other recent projects for Luna Pearl Woolf include Better Gods, an opera about last queen of Hawaii and the fall of the Hawaiian monarchy, commissioned by Washington National Opera’s American Opera Initiative; Lili‘uokalani for solo cello piccolo, an overture to Bach’s Cello Suite VI commissioned by Matt Haimovitz for his Overtures to Bach, widely performed across the US, Canada and in Germany and recorded on the PENTATONE Oxingale Series (Grammy winner for producer David Frost); and One to One to One, commissioned by the Arte Musica Foundation for a composer portrait concert at Bourgie Hall at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Woolf has also been named a finalist for Houston Grand Opera’s 2017 Song of Houston, an initiative which commissions new projects that resonate with contemporary life in Houston. Upcoming projects soon to be announced include a new co-commission from with opera companies on Toronto and San Francisco.

 

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!

 

PRE-FESTIVAL PRESTIGE SERIES

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.

 

THE BEETHOVEN STRING QUARTETS:  DOVER QUARTET & McGILL LECTURE SERIES

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 ART OF JAN LISIECKI

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.

 

 TD JAZZ SERIES – 3 SPECTACULAR SATURDAY NIGHTS

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 & TWO PREMIERES

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.

 

MUSICAL INSTRUMENT BANK WINNERS:  A CONCERT FOR FAMILIES

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.

 

NEW AND FREE!

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 http://www.saint-joseph.org/en/culture/the-music/sunday-concerts/

 

ALL FESTIVAL TICKETS ON SALE VIA ADMISSION

www.admission.com 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

festivalmontreal.org

 

Cellist Matt Haimovitz Reaches New Heights in His Intense Engagement with the Bach Suites with Six Commissions and Premiere Recordings

PTC5186561_Coverart_SGPRMatt Haimovitz’s continuously-evolving and intense engagement with the Bach Cello Suites reaches a new zenith with Overtures to Bach, six new commissions that anticipate and reflect each of the cello suites. The new overtures expand upon the multitude of spiritual, cross-cultural, and vernacular references found in the Bach, building a bridge from the master’s time to our own. Overtures to Bach, released internationally on the PENTATONE Oxingale Series in August, follows the 2015 release of Haimovitz’s profound new interpretation of the Bach Suites, inspired and informed by an authoritative manuscript by Bach’s second wife and performed on period instruments.

“I’ve been playing and thinking about the Bach Cello Suites for over three decades,” says Haimovitz, “and with these new commissions – a culminating moment in my relationship with the Suites – I feel like I’m giving back to Bach. I’ve asked six composers, whom I admire so much, to engage with his music. It’s my form of time travel – going back into the mind of Bach through the compositional process of these composers today.”

Overtures to Bach pairs each of the new works with the Prélude, newly recorded here, from the Suite it introduces. Philip Glass simply and eloquently prepares the audience for the first Suite with his Overture, encouraging an open frame of mind. For the second suite, Du Yun creates a heartbreaking lament in The Veronica, referencing a Russian Orthodox prayer for the dead, Serbian chant, and central European gypsy fiddle music. Vijay Iyer’s Run responds to Bach’s third suite with infectious energy and kinesthetic rhythms that celebrate the natural resonance of the instrument as well as the composer’s jazz roots. Then, Roberto Sierra’s La memoria plays on our memory of Bach’s Suite IV, referencing motivic fragments while creating a kaleidoscopic musical perspective, underpinned by Caribbean bass lines and salsa rhythms. David Sanford’s tour de force, Es War, leads into the fifth suite, with a Mingus-inspired pizzicato intro, alluding to Bach’s epic fugue and quoting a Bach cantata. For the sixth and final suite, Luna Pearl Woolf is inspired by pre-Western Hawaiian chant, taking full advantage of the virtuosic properties of the 5-string cello piccolo and treating it operatically, from the low bass to the soprano stratosphere. Overtures to Bach spans more than time, linking us to far-flung corners of our musical world and offering an entrée into six distinct compositional voices. Then, as Philip Glass writes, “Just let Bach’s music begin. It’s there for the listening.”

PENTATONE – which has named Matt Haimovitz their Artist of the Season – has created an online enhanced booklet, with “In Session” videos of Haimovitz and each of the composers in the recording studio, where the new works were further developed and shaped. (The new videos – seven in total – will be available one every two weeks, starting August 1.) Also included as exclusive bonus material on iTunes is a three-movement reflection on Bach by Mohammed Fairouz called Gabriel.

The new album will be launched at Salon Christophori in Berlin on August 12 followed by select Overtures performed on tour in London, Oxford, and Bayreuth. Haimovitz’s “A Moveable Feast” – residencies that bring the Overtures and Suites to unusual locations before culminating in concert-hall performance – premiered last October at Miller Theater at Columbia University and featured in The New York Times, continue this season in cities in Arizona, Utah, Florida, New York, California, Kansas, Iowa, Connecticut, and Quebec.

The PENTATONE Oxingale Series, a new collaboration between the two labels, was launched in January 2015 with BEETHOVEN, Period., the complete Beethoven Sonatas and Variations with Christopher O’Riley. Gramophone said “Haimovitz and O’Riley play the living daylights out of these works” and included it among its list of Top Ten Beethoven Recordings. This was followed by the ORBIT, a new compilation of contemporary solo cello works, which The New York Times called “fascinating … heartwarming, scary, playful and groovy, this recording reveals worlds inside a single instrument.” PENTATONE has also released newly-remastered SACDs of Schubert recordings by Haimovitz, with Itamar Golan and the Miró String Quartet, and Haimovitz and O’Riley’s genre-blurring double-album Shuffle.Play.Listen. The 2015 release of J.S. Bach: The Cello Suites According to Anna Magdalena was critically-acclaimed. Gramophone said: “Those who want to be challenged without compromising tone or tuning, both of which are impeccable here, should look no further,” and ICI Musique concurred, “Matt Haimovitz has made us well aware that this music is alive, breathes, and refuses to be walled up in a stylistic protective shell. And that is the greatest achievement of this exceptional musician.”

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” and by The New Yorker as “remarkable virtuoso” who “never turns in a predictable performance.” He has been closely associated with J.S. Bach’s Cello Suites since the year 2000, when the former child prodigy jump-started the alt-classical revolution by taking his cello on the road across the U.S., playing the Suites in bars and coffeehouses, including New York’s now-defunct punk palace CBGB’s. Additional performance highlights this season include concerti with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, the Atlanta Symphony, and Tokyo’s New Japan Philharmonic. Haimovitz will also lead the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie at the Berlin Philharmonie, and perform a concerto by Isang Yun – marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Korean composer and political prisoner – with the Bruckner Orchestra with Dennis Russell Davies on tour in Austria.

Composer Wlad Marhulets is the Winner of the Inaugural Azrieli Prize in Jewish Music

Wlad_SGPRThe Azrieli Music Project (AMP) is proud to announce that composer Wlad Marhulets is the winner of the inaugural Azrieli Prize in Jewish Music for his Klezmer Clarinet Concerto. Marhulets, who submitted a completed orchestral work on a Jewish theme or subject – along with applicants from around the world – has been granted the second of two $50,000 prizes, which were offered for the first time by the Azrieli Foundation. Dr. Sharon Azrieli Perez, noted operatic soprano and scholar in Jewish and cantorial music, created the new prize in 2015 to bring new Jewish music into the world. In September 2015, the Azrieli Music Project announced that Brian Current was the winner of the inaugural Azrieli Commissioning Competition for Canadian composers. Marhulets’s 2009 concerto and Current’s newly created work, The Seven Heavenly Halls, will both be performed at the Azrieli Music Project Inaugural Concert by Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Maestro Kent Nagano on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at Maison symphonique de Montréal.

Wlad Marhulets (b. 1986) describes his Klezmer Clarinet Concerto as the most important work of his career. Born in Minsk, Marhulets moved with his family to Gdansk, Poland, as a child. It was there, at the age of 16, that he first heard a recording by the acclaimed klezmer clarinetist David Krakauer. “Listening to this modern reinvention of klezmer music changed my life,” says Marhulets, who immediately picked up the clarinet and formed his own klezmer band. Before travelling to New York City, with the goal of meeting Krakauer, the twenty-year-old composer – who barely spoke a word of English – also sent his compositions to John Corigliano. The Oscar- and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer immediately took Marhulets under his wing at the Juilliard School. Marhulets’s Klezmer Clarinet Concerto was premiered by David Krakauer and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 2009, under the baton of Maestro Andrew Litton. The concerto has since been performed by the National Orchestra of Lyon and the Bialystok Symphony in Poland.

“The discovery of Jewish music as a teenager truly turned my life around,” comments Marhulets. “It inspired me to become a musician and to explore my own roots and culture through music. Since then, I’ve been trying to give back by writing music that is primarily inspired by Jewish culture. I’m thrilled and honoured to be the winner of the Azrieli Prize and I could not be more grateful to the Azrieli Foundation. I can’t wait to hear the concerto performed by the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Maestro Nagano!”

Dr. Sharon Azrieli Perez comments, “I am truly delighted by the jury’s choice for the inaugural Azrieli Music Prize, which was selected amongst applications from across the globe and from composers of all ages, affiliations and faiths. The Klezmer Clarinet Concerto is a dynamic work that is entirely modern, yet hearkens back to traditional Jewish music. In Wlad Marhulets, we have a young composer who is poised for a major career.” The jury for both Azrieli Music Project prizes consisted of conductor Boris Brott; composer Aaron Jay Kernis; musicologist Neil Levin; conductor and composer Steven Mercurio; and composer Ana Sokolović.

Now based in Los Angeles, Wlad Marhulets has been gaining great acclaim as both a concert and film composer. Marhulets has composed music for such films as The Orchestra of Exiles (an acclaimed documentary about the creation of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, directed by Oscar nominee Joshua Aronson), The Giver, The November Man, and Sabotage, among others. His notable concert works include The Property, a “Klezmer Opera” commissioned by Lyric Opera of Chicago; the oratorio Return, written for the beginning of the Polish Presidency in the European Union; and the string quartet “Dybbuk,” written for the JACK Quartet, and also performed by the Kronos Quartet. Marhulets has received the Susan W. Rose Fund Grant, the Peter D. Faith Prize, and five ASCAP Awards, including the prestigious Leonard Bernstein Award. He is currently working on a symphonic piece commissioned by the Festival of Jewish Culture in Krakow, to be performed this June.

The Azrieli Music Project Inaugural Concert featuring Wlad Marhulets’s Klezmer Clarinet Concerto and Brian Current’s The Seven Heavenly Halls will take place on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at Maison symphonique de Montréal with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, the OSM Chorus and Maestro Kent Nagano. Complete programming and soloists will be announced soon. Tickets ($40-$100) are on sale now at OSM.ca.

The Azrieli Foundation is a Canadian philanthropic organization that supports a wide range of initiatives and programs in the fields of education, architecture and design, Jewish community, Holocaust commemoration and education, scientific and medical research, and the arts.

www.azrielifoundation.org/music

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Le Projet de musique Azrieli a le plaisir d’annoncer que le compositeur Wlad Marhulets a remporté le tout premier Prix Azrieli de musique juive pour son Klezmer Clarinet Concerto. L’heureux lauréat été choisi parmi des candidats du monde entier qui ont soumis une œuvre orchestrale complète sur un thème ou un sujet juif. Wlad Marhulets a remporté le second de deux prix de 50 000 dollars chacun, offerts pour la première fois par la Fondation Azrieli. Dr Sharon Azrieli Perez, soprano opératique réputée et également érudite en matière de musique juive et cantoriale, a créé le prix en 2015 pour apporter au monde de la nouvelle musique juive. En septembre 2015, le Projet de musique Azrieli avait en effet annoncé que Brian Current remportait le premier Concours de commandes Azrieli destiné aux compositeurs canadiens. Le concerto composé par Wlad Marhulets en 2009 et la nouvelle œuvre de Brian Current, The Seven Heavenly Halls, seront interprétés par l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal sous la direction de maestro Kent Nagano le mercredi 19 octobre 2016, à la Maison symphonique de Montréal.

Wlad Marhulets (né en 1986) voit dans son Klezmer Clarinet Concerto sa plus importante composition à ce jour. Né à Minsk, il était enfant lorsque sa famille s’est installée à Gdansk, en Pologne. C’est là qu’à 16 ans, il a pour la première fois entendu un enregistrement du célèbre clarinettiste klezmer David Krakauer. « Cette version contemporaine de la musique klezmer a changé ma vie », affirme Wlad, qui a immédiatement opté pour la clarinette et formé son propre ensemble klezmer. À 20 ans, avant de se rendre à New York dans le but de rencontrer David Krakauer, le jeune compositeur – qui parlait à peine l’anglais – a aussi envoyé ses compositions à John Corigliano. Le compositeur, détenteur d’un Oscar et d’un prix Pulitzer, l’a immédiatement pris sous son aile à la Juilliard School. Le Klezmer Clarinet Concerto a été interprété pour la première fois par David Krakauer et l’Orchestre symphonique de Détroit en 2009, sous la direction de maestro Andrew Litton. Depuis, l’Orchestre national de Lyon, en France, et l’Orchestre symphonique de Białystok, en Pologne, l’ont aussi joué.

« La découverte de la musique juive pendant mon adolescence a transformé mon existence, dit-il. Elle m’a incité à devenir musicien et à explorer, par le biais de la musique, mes racines et ma culture. Depuis, j’ai tenté à mon tour d’apporter ma contribution en composant de la musique essentiellement inspirée par la culture juive. Je suis très honoré de remporter le Prix Azrieli et extrêmement reconnaissant envers la Fondation Azrieli.  J’ai vraiment hâte d’entendre l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal jouer mon concerto sous la direction de maestro Nagano ! »

De son côté, Dr Sharon Azrieli Perez déclare : « Je suis vraiment ravie du choix des membres du jury pour cette première édition du Prix Azrieli de musique. Ils ont eu à sélectionner parmi des œuvres venues de partout dans le monde et soumises par des compositeurs de tous âges, de toutes affiliations et de toutes croyances. Le Klezmer Clarinet Concerto est une œuvre dynamique, totalement moderne, mais qui évoque la musique juive traditionnelle. En la personne de Wlad Marhulets, nous avons un jeune compositeur à l’aube d’une importante carrière. » Le jury des deux prix du Projet de musique Azrieli réunissait le chef d’orchestre Boris Brott, le compositeur Aaron Jay Kernis, le musicologue Neil Levin, le chef d’orchestre et compositeur Steven Mercurio, et la compositrice Ana Sokolović.

Désormais établi à Los Angeles, Wlad Marhulets rencontre un succès grandissant avec ses compositions pour concerts et pour films. Il a en effet créé la musique de films tels que The Orchestra of Exiles, (un documentaire exceptionnel portant sur la création de l’Orchestre philharmonique d’Israël, et réalisé par Joshua Aronson), The Giver, The November Man et Sabotage, entre autres. On compte parmi ses principales œuvres orchestrales The Property, un « opéra klezmer » commandé par l’Opéra lyrique de Chicago, l’oratorio Return, écrit pour inaugurer la présidence polonaise du Conseil de l’Union européenne (2011), et le quatuor à cordes Dybbuk, composé pour le JACK Quartet, et interprété également par le Kronos Quartet. Par ailleurs, Wlad Marhulets est récipiendaire d’une bourse Susan W. Rose, d’un prix Peter D. Faith, et de cinq récompenses de l’ASCAP parmi lesquelles le prestigieux Prix Leonard Bernstein. Il travaille actuellement à une pièce symphonique commandée par le Festival de la Culture juive de Cracovie. Elle sera jouée pour la première fois en juin.

Le concert inaugural du Projet de musique Azrieli, qui comprendra notamment le Klezmer Clarinet Concerto de Wlad Marhulets et The Seven Heavenly Halls de Brian Current, aura lieu le mercredi 19 octobre 2016, à la Maison symphonique de Montréal avec l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, le Chœur de l’OSM et maestro Kent Nagano. Le programme complet et les noms des solistes seront annoncés sous peu. Les billets (de 40 $ à 100 $) sont en vente sur le site OSM.ca.

La Fondation Azrieli est une organisation philanthropique canadienne qui apporte son soutien à de nombreux programmes et initiatives dans le domaine de l’éducation, de l’architecture, du design, de la communauté, de la commémoration et de l’éducation sur l’Holocauste, de la recherche médicale et scientifique, ainsi que dans le domaine des arts.