Browsing All Posts filed under »Piano«

Politics. Music. Bacon.

September 13, 2014


A number of things on my calendar over the next three weeks: Ubu Mayor: A Harmfu Bit of Fun, a play with music written and directed by Adam Seelig, is being performed at the Artscape Wychwood Barn Sep 12-21. It tackles (uhm) our current ruling mayoral bottom-of-the-barrel dynasty via the absurdist theatre of Alfred Jarry. I […]

A Moveable Beast, the work-in-progress showing at the Theatre Centre

August 4, 2014


The second work-in-progress showing for A Moveable Beast took place this past weekend at the new digs of the Theatre Centre. I really like what they’re doing with this ‘history of feeling’ project retelling cultural history without a single word of written text. Neema Bickersteth is the sole on stage performer, taking on the role loosely […]

When the Sun Comes Out – the Toronto Concert Premiere

June 27, 2014


Let’s hope that we will be able to see When the Sun Comes Out properly staged and orchestrated for at least a handful of instruments in the near future. (AtG, I’m looking at you?) Vancouver has seen the work staged (albeit minimalistically) and orchestrated for single violin, flute, clarinet cello and the piano and conducted […]

What Women Want, or AtG’s Pélleas & Mélisande

June 20, 2014


Certain stagings expand the meaning of an operatic work, and I think the Against the Grain’s Pélleas managed to accomplish that and with very few resources at its disposal. The ‘set’–an inner courtyard in a downtown red brick building covered in ivy—contained an intimate, claustrophobic family drama reminiscent of Ibsen, who was after all Debussy’s and […]

For Bunita Marcus by Morton Feldman at 21C Festival

May 26, 2014


For Bunita Marcus by Morton Feldman is probably about the extraneous sounds that inevitably accompany its performance and the communal event created by it, as much as it is about its musical material. Namely, a lot of the 70-minute piece written for the piano solo is to be played pianissimo, and a lot of it consists of the silent pauses between the sparse […]

Hatzis, Current, Schafer, Andriessen at 21C Festival

May 23, 2014


Christos Hatzis: String Quartet No. 3 (The Questioning) -  Afiara String Quartet + Vassilis Agrocostas (pre-recorded) Brian Current: Faster Still for violin, piano + string quartet – Veronique Mathieu (violin solo), Claudia Chan (piano), Nyx Quartet R. Murray Schafer: Quintet for Piano and Strings – ARC Ensemble Louis Andriessen: Anaïs Nin – Wallis Giunta (mezzo), Veronique Mathieu (violin) + 21c […]

Jennifer Higdon at the 21C Festival

May 21, 2014


I spoke with American composer Jennifer Higdon for DailyXtra, and the result is now online. A couple of things from my notes that did not make it due to word count constraints: The composing process depends on what musical form she’s working on. For concertos, she starts from the solo instrument. “For example, the violin line in the violin concerto, and then […]

Stepping Stone Competition, May 21-29

May 15, 2014


I wasn’t aware of this competition before I got asked by the arts editor at Xtra to write about one of the participants (Québécois pianist Olivier Hébert-Bouchard–the wee profile can be found in the print issue out today). Musicians of all kinds compete, instrumentalists and vocalists both, and anything can happen. A recorder player won last year: Vincent Lauzer, […]

Holly Mathieson does #AskAConductor, and how

April 26, 2014


Spent a divine hour following and taking part in this multi-stream Twitter conversation with the young globe-trotting conductor Holly Mathieson, who is among many other things, a Marin Alsop’s mentee. Just a few highlights… .@DundasKeele Marin & I talked abt the differences btwn make and female body, and energy, with regards to technique. V imp. #AskAConductor — holly […]

Sorry, what was that?

April 13, 2014


Been working on Winterreise. Am I crazy? Am I mega daunted? Yes and yes. Always been a dream of mine. — Adrianne Pieczonka (@vatosca) April 13, 2014 HEL-LO WORLD. PLEASE MAKE THIS HAPPEN.