Browsing All Posts filed under »Piano«

TSO’s 2015-16 season announcement

February 7, 2015

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Toronto Symphony Orchestra announced the 2015-16 season last week. A few highlights: Matthias Pintscher will make his TSO debut as conductor and composer on April 28, 30 2016. He will conduct his own work towards Osiris, and also Mahler’s First and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24 with Inon Barnatan at the piano. (Pintscher is also conducting a […]

Bob Gilmore’s book Claude Vivier: A Composer’s Life

January 28, 2015

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What is Vivier’s status right now internationally? Is he being performed, known by the concert-going public? I would say the knowledge of his work is growing all the time. Several factors led to that: one, its being taken up by a major publisher in 2005, Boosey & Hawkes. The availability of scores and materials has […]

John’s Your Uncle

December 12, 2014

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Against the Grain’s adapted Don Giovanni takes place in a wedding hall that’s seen better days. The party planning company is owned by il Commendatore, and his daughter Anna is on staff. Zerlina and Masetto are the couple to be wedded, Elvira is Zerlina’s friend who gets invited to the wedding. Ottavio, Anna’s fiancé, is a policeman, though in an earlier version of Uncle John he was, more plausibly, a security guard at the venue. John and Leporello are besties. What brings them to this particular hall, other than a shared interest in breaking up other people’s monogamy contracts is anyone’s guess. Once Elvira shows up and John sets his eyes on Zerlina, they are reluctant to leave.

Politics. Music. Bacon.

September 13, 2014

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 […]