LSM Newswire

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Edith Wiens Voice Masterclasses

Order of Canada soprano presents masterclasses at Faculty of Music

TORONTO – The Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto presents renowned soprano Edith Wiens in masterclasses with students of voice and opera. On Monday, March 23 and Tuesday, March 24, the soprano will coach students singing opera, oratorio, and Lieder repertoire. Other stops on Wiens' 2009 teaching tour include masterclasses at Juilliard and the Royal College of Music in London.

*Edith Wiens was born in Saskatoon and educated at Oberlin, making her debut with the Berlin Philharmonic in 1981. As a soprano in the concert field, Wiens has performed with such conductors as Daniel Barenboim, Colin Davis, Charles Dutoit, Sir Neville Marriner, and Sir Georg Solti, and appeared at many major music festivals. She has sung with many major London and North American orchestras, as well as the Israeli Philharmonic, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic, and the Dresden State Orchestra. In Canada Wiens has sung with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony, the Calgary Philharmonic, the CBC Vancouver Orchestra, and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

Highlights of Wiens' busy recording career include Bach cantatas and the St. Matthew Passion with conductor Helmuth Rilling, multiple recordings of Mozart's Mass in C Minor, numerous discs of German song, and the album Ae Fond Kiss with CBC Records.

In recital, Wiens favoured works by Brahms, Schubert, Schumann, and Strauss, but her repertoire extended to Gershwin, Stephen Foster, and North American folksongs. She made her Toronto recital debut in 1994, a year in which she also gave masterclasses at the University of Toronto. She was inducted into the Order of Canada in 2000.

Monday, March 23, 12:10 pm, Walter Hall, and
Tuesday, March 24, 12:10 - 2:30pm, Geiger Torel Room

Edward Johnson Building, University of Toronto, 80 Queens Park. Free admission.

*with materials from and the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada

Labels: , , , , , ,

Thursday, January 29, 2009

master classes José Cura 2009

En septembre 2007, Nancy Opéra Passion, association nancéienne pour la promotion des jeunes artistes lyriques, avait organisé des master classes autour du célèbre ténor José Cura. Quatorze jeunes chanteurs sélectionnés parmi plus de 100 candidats venus des quatre coins de l'Europe avaient perfectionné leur jeu d'acteur et la construction de personnages sous la houlette du Maestro, accompagnés par l'Orchestre symphonique et lyrique de Nancy dirigé par Mario De Rose, dans le cadre prestigieux de l'Opéra national de Lorraine.

Cette édition 2007 avaient rassemblé un grand nombre de mélomanes et le concert final quelques 800 personnes frustrées de n'avoir que très peu entendu José Cura qui s'était volontairement effacé pour laisser le devant de la scène aux élèves.

Forte d'un nombre de membres grandissant et reconnue d'intérêt général en mars 2008 par le Ministère des Finances, Nancy Opéra Passion a programmé un concert en octobre 2008, concert au cours duquel Maestro Cura a chanté seul ou Julija Samsonova, une jeune soprano lituanienne de la master classes 2007 des airs de Puccini et Verdi entre autres. « Standing Ovation » du public sous le charme….

C'est donc tout naturellement qu'une nouvelle master classes aura lieu les 3, 4, 5 septembre 2009 avec un concert de clôture le dimanche 6 septembre.

Elle devrait déboucher sur une Youth production intégrée à la saison 2011 de l'Opéra national de Lorraine

La date limite de réception de candidatures est fixée au 1er avril 2009.

Renseignements : ou

Nancy Opéra Passion -13 rue Palissot- 54000 Nancy

Labels: ,

Monday, January 26, 2009

NAC Feb. 3: Manhattan on the Rideau: trumpet legend Randy Brecker

The NAC Manhattan on the Rideau jazz masterclass series continues with trumpet and flugelhorn legend Randy Brecker on February 3

Ottawa, Canada – The National Arts Centre’s 2008-2009 “Manhattan on the Rideau” series of jazz masterclasses continues on Tuesday, February 3 with American trumpeter and flugelhorn legend Randy Brecker at the NAC’s Fourth Stage from 12 noon to 2 p.m. Admission is free. Manhattan on the Rideau links leading jazz faculty members of Manhattan School of Music (MSM) with accomplished music students at the National Arts Centre. The sessions use the very latest in broadband videoconference technology to connect teachers and students in real time with high fidelity audio and video. The series is produced by NAC New Media as part of the Hexagon Project in association with MSM.

Randy Brecker will teach students from the Schulich School of Music at McGill University, the University of Toronto and Humber School of Creative and Performing Arts, who will be backed by J.P. Allain on piano, Tom Denison on bass and Don Johnson on drums. A masterclass is a one-on-one lesson in which a master musician teaches a selected student or ensemble under the watchful eyes of fellow students and members of the public. The audience can learn from the master along with the talented student in the spotlight. Each masterclass involves 2 to 3 students in succession followed by questions-and-answers.

Randy Brecker has been shaping the sound of Jazz, R&B and Rock for more than three decades. He has performed and recorded on trumpet and flugelhorn with a wide range of artists from James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, Lou Reed, Charles Mingus, Chaka Khan, George Benson and Parliament-Funkadelics to Frank Sinatra, Steely Dan, David Sanborn, Horace Silver, Jaco Pastorius and Frank Zappa. Randy Brecker continues to influence and inspire young musicians, and thoughout the years, has been in constant demand as a Yamaha Clinician, performing at Colleges and Universities the world over. His recordings have been nominated many times over, and his Brecker Brothers CD Out of the Loop was a double Grammy winner. He won his first Grammy as a soloist when Into the Sun was named “Best Contemporary Jazz Performance” in 1998.

The NAC’s Hexagon project supports education outreach activities by leveraging next-generation networks like Canada’s CA*net4 ( and Internet2 ( in the United States as well as regional high speed networks throughout the world. The NAC’s broadband infrastructure includes state-of-the-art optical network access in all its performance spaces as well as on-site videoconference and audio-video production facilities. Hexagon projects include tele-mentoring sessions with master teachers in music, theatre and dance.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Pianist Florian Uhlig performs with Symphony Nova Scotia

Pianist Florian Uhlig performs with Symphony Nova Scotia

Halifax, NS – Young German pianist Florian Uhlig joins Symphony Nova Scotia on Thursday, January 15 at 7:30 pm at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium for an evening of favourite romantic works.

Regarded as "one of the most individual and imaginative young pianists of our time" (Musical Opinion), Florian has performed with Symphony Nova Scotia's Maestro Gueller in the past and is looking forward to his first Canadian performance.

"It is wonderful to be working with conductor Bernhard Gueller again," he says. "I am very excited to meet and perform with Symphony Nova Scotia!"

Florian will be performing Felix Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto no. 1. "It is a brilliant work for piano and orchestra. The slow movement must be some of the most heartfelt music that has ever been written."

Symphony Nova Scotia will also perform Charles Gounod's Symphony no. 1 and Tchaikovsky's beautiful String Serenade. The String Serenade was one of Tchaikovsky's favourite works, and has been beloved by performers and audiences ever since its premiere in 1881.

The three works on the evening's program are also all part of a fascinating web of musical connections. Charles Gounod was inspired by Felix Mendelssohn's older sister Fanny, and Tchaikovsky was in turn inspired by the operas of Gounod.

Get your tickets now! Prices range from $32-47.50 (HST included), or you can pick up a subscription and save up to 30%. Student and group discounts are also available. Call 494.3820 or 1.800.874.1669, or visit

Florian will also be giving a masterclass at Dalhousie University on Friday, January 16 at 1:30 pm in Room 111 of the Dalhousie Arts Centre. Tickets are $15 for community auditors/ $10 for students and seniors, and are available at the Music Department office and at the door.

About Florian Uhlig

Florian Uhlig is "one of the most individual and imaginative young pianists of our time" (Musical Opinion). He is renowned for his creative resourcefulness and his wide-ranging repertoire from Bach to contemporary composers. Born in Düsseldorf, Uhlig gave his first solo recital at the age of twelve. Constantly searching to explore the possibilities of musical expression, he is also dedicated to composition, improvisation, musicological research and projects with literature.

About Symphony Nova Scotia

Expect the Unexpected with Symphony Nova Scotia – from Baroque to Berlioz to bluegrass! Each year the 37-member ensemble performs for more than 40,000 audience members (including 14,000 young music lovers) in communities across Nova Scotia. Under the inspirational leadership of Bernhard Gueller, Symphony Nova Scotia is recognized as one of the finest orchestras in the country. Join the orchestra in celebrating its 25th anniversary this season!

Symphony Nova Scotia

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, October 31, 2008

Renowned baritone Sherrill Milnes to give Master Class

Opera superstar Sherrill Milnes to visit faculty of music for master classes

"Milnes knows exactly how to clothe his voice with the unique mixture of lyricism and bravado that Verdi demands. It was vintage Verdi, sung by a master of this extremely difficult art." ­ Detroit Free Press

TORONTO – Universally acclaimed as the foremost operatic baritone of his generation, American opera superstar Sherrill Milnes will visit the University of Toronto as the Faculty of Music’s John R. Stratton Visiting Artist for two voice master classes. A superstar in every sense, Milnes’s remarkable voice, artistic integrity, commanding stage presence and rugged handsomeness have made him a favorite for all audiences. Details of the master classes are as follows:

Friday, November 7, 2008
7:30 – 10 pm. Walter Hall. Free

Saturday, November 8, 2008
2:30 – 5 pm. Walter Hall. Free

Sherrill Milnes has conquered all of the great opera capitals of the world: the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; La Scala, Milan; Berlin's Deutsche Oper; the Paris Opera; Buenos Aires' famed Teatro Colon; the Liceu in Barcelona; the Bavarian State Opera in Munich; the Salzburg Festival; the Hamburg Opera and Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre. He has also appeared with the San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and the opera companies of Pittsburgh, San Diego, Miami and Denver, among others in the United States. At the Metropolitan Opera he has been honored with 16 new productions, seven opening nights, and ten national telecasts, and he also performed at the 25th anniversary gala honoring James Levine. In 2008 he is honored with the receipt of the Opera News Award for Distinguished Achievement.

In recent seasons, Sherrill Milnes expanded his vast operatic repertoire to include performances of new roles, including the title role in Falstaff (several productions including New York City Opera, Florida Grand Opera and Baltimore Opera); Count Westmoreland in Wolf-Ferrari's Sly (Barcelona's Gran Teatre del Liceu, Washington Opera on tour in Japan); Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd (Ravinia Festival); the title role in Gianni Schicchi (Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, also with performances of Michele in Il Tabarro); and Ajax in Georges Antheil's Transatlantic (Minnesota Opera, United States premiere). However, Mr. Milnes continued to perform most of the roles which have brought him great acclaim, including Amonasro in Aida at the Metropolitan Opera; Scarpia in Tosca (Budapest and Torre del Lago); Iago in Otello (Budapest and Karlruhe); Mendelssohn's Elijah (performances throughout the United States); Gerard in Andrea Chenier (Pittsburgh Opera); Germont in La Traviata (L'Opéra de Montréal); and performances of Verdi and Puccini arias with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center.

Mr. Milnes was also in great demand as a recitalist and in concert, appearing on the world's major recital stages and with the great orchestras of North America and Europe. He had the honor of performing for every United States president since Gerald Ford, and has appeared in recital at the White House at the request of Presidents Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and George Bush.

Conducting has become an integral part of Mr. Milnes' multi-faceted career. Two recent engagements include Elijah at Carnegie Hall (which marked his New York conducting debut), and Aida with Opera Memphis (his operatic conducting debut).

He has the distinction of being the most recorded American opera singer, with a discography encompassing his great opera roles, as well as lieder, oratorio, symphony and Broadway. His recordings of Così fan tutte, Aida, and La bohème had the distinction of receiving Grammy Awards, and his recordings of Brahms's Four Serious Songs (with Erich Leinsdorf at the piano) and the sacred recording Amazing Grace received Grammy Award nominations. In 1997, Video Arts International (VAI) released two of several live recital albums: There but for You Go I and Kingdom by the Sea. The baritone is also featured on three music videos: Homage to Verdi, Sherrill Milnes: All Star Gala, and Sherrill Milnes at Juilliard: An Opera Master Class, as well as on his Metropolitan Opera performances on current release. His autobiography, American Aria: From Farm Boy to Opera Star, was published by Schirmer Books.

Throughout his remarkable career, Mr. Milnes has shown an affinity for Verdi, whose works form the cornerstone of his repertoire which comprises some 70 roles, including the lead baritone roles in Otello, Don Carlo, Aida, La Traviata, Il Trovatore, La Forza del Destino, Luisa Miller, Ernani, and Un Ballo in Maschera, as well as the monumental title roles of Rigoletto, Simon Boccanegra, Macbeth, and Nabucco, all sung to overwhelming acclaim. He has also triumphed as Mozart's Don Giovanni, at the famed Salzburg Festival, as well as Bizet's Escamillo in Carmen, Rossini's Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Puccini's Scarpia in Tosca, Jack Rance in La Fanciulla del West, Ambroise Thomas's Hamlet, Athanael in Massenet's Thaïs, and the title role of Henry VIII by Saint-Saëns, among many others.

Mr. Milnes grew up on a dairy farm in Downers Grove, Illinois. Despite a childhood devoted to daily chores, he, in addition to taking voice lessons, studied piano, violin, viola, double bass, clarinet and tuba. But when it came time for college, he could see no future in music and pursued pre-medical studies. After a year and a half, however, during which he had banished music from his life, he realized that it was his true calling and enrolled at Drake University where he studied with Andrew White, earning his bachelor's and master's degrees in music in the hope of becoming a teacher. Additional graduate studies with Hermanus Baer followed at Northwestern University. During these years, the young baritone supported himself by playing in local jazz bands and singing wherever he could at women's clubs, with local opera groups, in churches and synagogues, and for television and radio commercials. A great opportunity came when the baritone won an audition with the Boris Goldovsky Opera Company, an event he has called the "luckiest possible beginning" for his career. He toured throughout the United States with the Goldovsky Opera Company - over 100,000 miles by bus - singing in over 300 performances of more than a dozen roles.

It is fitting that the career of this artist was launched in his native land, belying the notion that singers must work their way through the small European opera houses before earning the respect of American critics and audiences. In fact, it was at the quintessential American house, the New York City Opera, that Mr. Milnes made his first important debut, Valentin in Gounod's Faust. It was in this same role that Sherrill Milnes made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera to great public and critical acclaim. Sherrill Milnes was launched to stardom, however, when his riveting performance as Miller in Verdi's Luisa Miller literally stopped the show at the Met and immediately made him the dominant baritone of our time. His international career began with a triumphant Macbeth at the Vienna Staatsoper.

The baritone has received numerous honors during his distinguished career, including seven honorary doctoral degrees. He is particularly proud of being named as a Commendatore of the Italian Republic for his long commitment to Italian opera. In 1987 he received New York City's Seal of Recognition for his rich contribution to the city's cultural life. Mr. Milnes was also chosen by the American Bible Society to receive the 25 millionth copy of its Good News Bible, and in 1993 he organized a benefit concert in Vienna's famed St. Stephen's Cathedral for the victims of the Bosnia-Herzegovina War. In September 1996, Mr. Milnes was honored by the French government with the distinguished Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and in 2003 he became a member of the Lincoln Academy, the highest honor awarded by the state of Illinois.

Sherrill Milnes has worked extensively with young singers throughout his career, including master classes and more extensive teaching during his concert and opera tours. He has led master classes at the Juilliard and Manhattan Schools in New York, at major universities throughout the country, and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. More extensive teaching has been done at the Yale University School of Music, Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, at the Northern Royal College of Music in Manchester, the Israel Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, and the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Chiari, Italy. Mr. Milnes has judged several international competitions including the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. He is currently the John Evans Distinguished Professor of Music at Northwestern University.

In 2000, Mr. Milnes with his wife Maria Zouves, founded VOICExperience, a not-for-profit organization. VOICExperience helps young singers develop and pursue their careers with programming throughout the country. They bring the best coaches and teachers, as well as the stars, from both the operatic and theatrical world to interact with the singers.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, October 17, 2008

Cellist Steven Isserlis visits U of T

British cellist Steven Isserlis to perform and teach master classes at faculty of music as 2008 Lorand Fenyves resident artist

"The music world - and music itself - is infinitely richer for the presence of Steven Isserlis." - Gramophone Magazine (UK)

TORONTO – Steven Isserlis is acclaimed worldwide for his musicality and technique alike. A leading cellist of his generation, he is especially renowned for his interpretation of the music of Robert Schumann, and has received the coveted Schumann Prize of the City of Zwickau (Schumann’s birthplace). From November 3 -5, Mr. Isserlis will visit the University of Toronto Faculty of Music as the Lorand Fenyves Resident Artist. His residency includes a cello recital with pianist Connie Shih (including works by Schumann) and two cello master classes featuring advanced cello students of the Faculty of Music.

Details of the residency:

Monday, November 3, 2008
Cello Recital with Connie Shih on the Chamber Music Series

Mendelssohn: Variations concertantes
Schumann: Adagio and Allegro, op 70
Schumann (arranged for cello by Isserlis): Violin Sonata No. 3
Britten: Sonata
Poulenc: Sonata

The concert takes place at 7:30 pm in Walter Hall in the Edward Johnson Building at 80 Queen’s Park. Tickets ($25 adults and $15 seniors/students) can be purchased at the box office in person or by calling 416-978-3744.

Tuesday & Wednesday, November 4 & 5, 2008
Cello Master Class

1 pm. Walter Hall. Free

Steven Isserlis is a cellist whose passion for music transcends conventional divisions. He is equally at home in chamber music or in recital; delving into the historical archives to emerge with a forgotten gem; or on the concert platform with some of the world's most prestigious orchestras and conductors.
This season's highlights include a residency at Frankfurt's Alte Oper, who prominently features Isserlis as its 'Auftakt' artist, incorporating a concert with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe; and performances with the Orchestre de Paris under Christoph Eschenbach at the Enescu Festival in Bucharest. Isserlis appears with the Philharmonia under Paavo Järvi, the Philadelphia Orchestra under Charles Dutoit and tours with both the City of Birmingham Symphony and the Australian Chamber orchestras. He also participates in a Gala Concert with the Israel Philharmonic to mark the 50th anniversary of the Mann Auditorium, performing Bloch's Schelomo under Zubin Mehta's baton. With a strong interest in authentic performance, Isserlis plays with many of the foremost period instrument orchestras. He has recently performed all Beethoven's works for cello with fortepianist Robert Levin in Boston and at London’s Wigmore Hall. Last season he performed the Dvorák Cello Concerto with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Sir Simon Rattle.
The chamber concerts of Isserlis' devising are renowned, not only for the quality of performance, but also for his ingenuity and innovation in programming. Schumann is a particular passion for Isserlis, and last season he performed Schumann's Cello Concerto on a major tour of Germany with the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie under Marc Albrecht, spearheaded a Schumann project in Japan, and performed in an evening of words and music dedicated to the story of Schumann and Brahms ­ with a script written by Isserlis ­ in London and New York. This season, Isserlis presents a Russian series of his own devising at the Wigmore Hall, French and Russian programmes as part of his residency at Frankfurt's Alte Oper, and a series of chamber music and educational events at the New Zealand International Arts Festival.
Last season, he launched his own series at the 92nd St Y in New York; such was its success that the series continues and develops in the present season. Isserlis’s interest in musical education has another outlet in the masterclasses he gives regularly all over the world; and for the past ten years he has been Artistic Director of the masterclass and chamber music seminar IMS Prussia Cove. He has also published several editions and arrangements, principally for Faber Music.
Steven Isserlis is a keen exponent of contemporary music and works with many composers on new commissions. He recently gave the world première of Wolfgang Rihm¹s Cello Concerto at the Salzburg Festival, and future plans include the première performances of works written for him by Mikhail Pletnev and Thomas Adès.
With an award-winning discography, Isserlis' recordings reflect his diverse interests in repertoire. His most recent release is of the complete Solo Cello Suites by Bach on the Hyperion label, which has been met with the highest critical acclaim and won many awards. Other recent releases include two recordings with Stephen Hough: the Brahms sonatas, coupled with works by Dvorák and Suk, for Hyperion Records, voted Listeners' Disc of the Year on BBC Radio 3's CD review; and a highly-acclaimed disc of children's cello music for BIS Records.
Awarded a CBE in 1998 in recognition of his services to music, Steven Isserlis has received many honours, including in 2000 the Schumann Prize of the City of Zwickau (Schumann's birthplace); previous recipients include Gilels, Masur, Richter and Fischer-Dieskau.
Steven Isserlis plays the Feuermann Stradivarius of 1730, kindly loaned by The Nippon Music Foundation of Japan

Pianist Connie Shih, born in Canada, is considered to be one of Canada's most outstanding young artists. In 1993, she won the Sylva Gelber Award for most outstanding classical artist under age 30. At the age of nine, she made her orchestral debut with Mendelssohn's First Piano Concerto with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. At 12, she was the youngest ever protégé of Gyorgy Sebok at Indiana University, and then continued her studies at the Curtis Institute with Claude Frank. Later studies were undertaken with Fou Ts'ong in Europe. As soloist, she has appeared extensively with orchestras throughout Canada, U.S. and Europe and in recitals she has made countless appearances in Canada, the U.S., Iceland, England, Germany, and China. She frequently performs chamber music with many world renowned musicians. To critical acclaim, she appears regularly in recital with Steven Isserlis. She has performed at London’s Wigmore Hall in London, Carnegie Hall, and at the prestigious Bath Music Festival and the Kronberg Festival. This past season included collaborations with Steven Isserlis, Susan Gritton and Anthony Marwood at the Aldeburgh Festival and other performances with Tabea Zimmermann and Isabelle Faust.

The Lorand Fenyves Residency program was established by the Fenyves family in 2006 to perpetuate the legacy and pedagogical vision of the late Lorand Fenyves, violin professor at the University of Toronto for over 35 years.
The purpose of the Residency is to provide undergraduate and graduate string students direct access to world renowned master teachers and artists in the spirit of Mr. Fenyves. Visiting Artists’ residencies include intensive individual coaching, master classes, and public recitals.

The Faculty of Music Chamber Music Series brings to Walter Hall some of the world’s finest chamber music groups. Recent and upcoming performers include the Miro Quartet, Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet, St. Lawrence String Quartet, cellist Steven Isserlis, and the Gryphon Trio. For more information on this and other Faculty of Music concert series, please visit our website at or contact the Box Office at 416-978-3744.

Ticket sales and general inquiries:

Faculty of Music Box Office
Hours: 1 – 7 pm, Monday to Friday, with extended hours on performance nights.
Phone: 416-978-3744
Address: Lobby level, Edward Johnson Building, 80 Queen’s Park, Toronto ON M5S 2C5

Labels: , , ,