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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 10, No. 9


by Danielle Dubois / August 7, 2005

There will be music of all sorts performed all over Western Canada this summer by both up-and-coming young talents and world-class musical masters. Here is a sampling of concerts, workshops and master classes taking place in both urban and rural settings.


Winnipeg hosts the Agassiz Summer Chamber Music Festival from June 20 to 29. The opening gala on June 20, hosted by CBC's Andrea Ratuski, features music from Respighi, Grieg, Barto´k and Dvor?a´k. Pianist Hae Sun Paik, winner of the William Kapell International Piano Competition and silver medalist in the 1991 Queen Elisabeth International Piano Competition, will be performing in four concerts alongside seasoned and emerging artists. Brahms's String Sextet in G and Schumann's Piano Quintet make up the program for the finale concert, entitled Hausmusik. All concerts take place at the Eckhardt-Grammaté Hall at the University of Winnipeg. For more information: www.agassizmusic.ca.


The Mountain View Festival of Song and Chamber Music in Calgary offers five concerts from August 1 to August 14 at the Rozsa Centre at the University of Calgary. Yegor Dyachkov, Christie Reside, Cédric Blary, Charles Foreman, Kathleen van Mourik, Olivier Thouin and Kirill Kalmykov are some of the musicians featured in The Devil's Music and Heine's Journey to Paris, two of the five concerts. In addition, there will be master classes for singers and pianists with Rudolf Jansen and Elly Ameling. For more information: www.mountainviewconnection.com

The Summer Concert portion of the Banff Summer Arts Festival runs from June 17 to August 12. The opening concert of the summer music series features the Euphoric Wind Quintet from Norway as well as the inaugural Rolston Fellowship winners Duo Diorama, violinist Minghuan Xu and pianist Winston Choi, performing Strauss's Sonata in E-flat Major and cellist Laurence Lesser and pianist Bernadene Blaha performing Beethoven's Sonata No. 5 in D Major. For more information:


Carlisle Floyd's Susannah and Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream are the main performances of the Canadian Vocal Arts Festival presented by the Newly United Operatic Association (NUOVA). The festival runs in Edmonton until June 19. For more information: www.operanuova.ca/vocalarts.htm

British Columbia

Madeira Park on the beautiful Sunshine Coast hosts the Pender Harbour Chamber Music Festival from August 19 to August 21. Yariv Aloni, Andrew Dawes, Paul Marleyn, Oleg Pokhanovski and Alexander Tselyakov play a repertoire ranging from Haydn to Hatzis at the Performance Centre. For more information: www.penderharbour.ca/events.htm

There's a little of everything at Festival Vancouver, one of Canada's largest classical festivals which runs from August 1 to August 14. Here's a sampling: Joanna MacGregor performs works by British composers with the CBC Radio Orchestra. Canadian soprano Donna Brown and French pianist Philippe Cassard perform an intimate program of songs. The Elektra Women’s Choir, the Stockholm Bach Choir, the Nathaniel Dett Chorale and the Vancouver Chamber Choir also perform in the choral series.

For more information:


The Vancouver Early Music Festival features concerts from the mediæval through to the high Baroque periods, as well as a piece written for viols by Elvis Costello. Musicians include Sequentia, Fretwork, and many other local and international artists. Concerts take place at the UBC Recital Hall from July 24 to August 13. For more information: www.earlymusic.bc.ca

The Vancouver Chamber Music Festival running from July 21 to July 30 features some of today's hottest young musicians, including the Imani Winds, the Leopold String Trio, cellist Daniel Muller-Schott and pianist and composer-in-residence, Heather Schmidt. Enjoy a Free Outdoor Sunset Concert, the popular Free Family Concert & Musical Instrument Petting Zoo, and Music Matters, a series of informative chats with CBC Radio host Robert Harris. For more information: www.vanrecital.com

The Vancouver Island Symphony under the direction of Marlin Wolfe presents Symphony in the Harbour on August 6 at Maffeo-Sutton Park. Music lovers are invited to bring blankets, lawn chairs and a picnic supper to the free concert.

The Victoria Conservatory of Music Summer Music Academy held from July 3 to August 13 is asmorgasbord of concerts, master classes, workshops, and open rehearsals. Highlights include the Opening Gala with tenor Benjamin Butterfield and the Grand Finale with Malcolm Forsyth conducting the Academy String Orchestra, both held at the Alix Goolden Performance Hall. For more information: www.vcm.bc.ca /Metevents.html

Music Festivals and Adjudicators

John Defayette

Every year in Canada, there are musical and performing arts festivals in dance, speech and dramatic arts. Most teachers encourage their students to enter one or more classes in order to gain the experience and hopefully obtain confidence in their ability to perform in front of an audience. In the beginning, students are usually nervous, even to the point of not showing up for their allotted time. However, with more practice, an expanded repertoire, and a greater number of performances under their belt, participants develop their personal style and become more proficient artists.

There are a number of important factors that the student, parent and teacher usually consider before entering a festival. These include dates, venue, location, cost, time, the possibility of winning prize money, and of course, the adjudicator. The quality of adjudicators is difficult to assess without actually attending an adjudicated performance, and even then, some circumstances, such as a great number of participants, sometimes prevent adjudicators from commenting on the performances of all participants.

There are many opportunities for adjudicators to be employed either with or without remuneration. Jane Hayes is the President of the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators Association (CMFAA). At a recent festival, she expressed her desire to see an increase in the number of members and suggested that the membership list be distributed to all festivals in Canada. Jane is gentle in her comments to performers, yet insistent in suggesting improvements. Herself an accomplished pianist, her repertoire covers strings through low brass as well as vocal. Ms Hayes style as an adjudicator is one that many others could emulate. www.cmfaa.ca

(c) La Scena Musicale