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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 16, No. 10 July 2011


by Rebecca Clark & Aleshia Jensen / July 1, 2011

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The New TSO Concertmaster: Jonathan Crow
Toronto Symphony Orchestra music director Peter Oundjian is excited about the TSO's new concertmaster. The post has been vacant for three years, but it was worth the wait for Toronto concertgoers. Oudjian made the announcement at a TSO concert where Crow was playing as guest concertmaster, before any details had been confirmed. B.C.-born violinist Jonathan Crow began his career at the age of 19, becoming the youngest person to hold the prestigious position of concertmaster within a major North American orchestra, the Montreal Symphony, at 25. RC

In fond memory of Albert Devito

The accomplished musician and professor at the Université de Montréal’s music department passed away on June 19th at the age of 65. The funeral service for Alberto Devito took place on Friday June 24, 2011 in Alexandria, Ontario.

Albert Devito, a beloved colleague and mentor, will be fondly remembered by faculty and students at the university, where he worked for almost 30 years teaching trombone and conducting brass ensembles. He will also be in the hearts of his wife Catarina, his children, Raymond and Nancy, and his grandchildren, Ryan and Lauren, as well as his parents and friends.

Memorial donations to Pancreatic Cancer Canada would be much appreciated by the family. AJ

Susie Napper Named Women of Distinction Laureate by the Y

Susie Napper, founder and Artistic Director of the Montreal Baroque Festival, has been selected as the 2011 Women of Distinction laureate in the Arts and Culture category. Given by the Women’s Y Foundation, the award honours the cellist’s musical achievements, as well as her role as a mentor. The winners in other categories will be announced in the next few weeks, and there will be a benefit event on September 28th to help raise funds for the numerous programs offered to Montreal women through the YMCA. AJ

Calgary National Music Centre unveils winning design
The National Music Centre revealed the final design for its new building, created by contest-winners Allied Works Architecture.

The new building in Calgary’s vibrant East Village will be built around the old King Edward Hotel, a landmark in Blues history once frequented by musical legends B.B. King and Muddy Waters. The design plans include the restoration of the now-dilapidated historic hotel and a new five-storey structure that incorporates elements of Canada’s western landscapes.

With the help of Canada-wide fundraising campaigns and partnerships with the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and the Canadian Country Music Association, the National Music Centre is slated to open in 2014. AJ

Telefilm Canada Recognizes Top-Grossing Film
Telefilm Canada has awarded the 2010 Guichet d'Or prize to director Sylvain Archambault and writer Ian Lauzon for Piché: Entre Ciel et Terre. Awarded annually for the past four years, the Guichet d'Or recognizes the highest-grossing French-language films in Canada, and goes to a film's writer and director, along with $20,000 each. According to Telefilm Executive Director Carolle Brabant, "Normally, prizes that reward box-office performance are given to a film's distributor or producer. At Telefilm, we believe it's crucial to also congratulate the artists behind the camera, those who bring movies to life. This prize […] enhances the visibility of our industry's success stories, which underlines our goal of stimulating demand for Canadian content." Piché: Entre Ciel et Terre grossed $3.7M at Canadian box offices in 2010. RC

Michael Snow Wins Gershon Iskowitz Prize
Illustrious Toronto artist Michael Snow has won the 2011 Gershon Iskowitz Prize. Snow's work, which spans such media as film, photography, painting, drawing, sculpture, and sound, is featured in galleries around the world and includes Toronto icons Flightstop, the geese at the Eaton Centre, and The Audience, the gold-painted spectators adorning the Skydome. Other notable works include Snow's 1967 film Wavelength and the Walking Women sculpture first exhibited at Expo 67. The Gershon Iskowitz Prize was created in 1985 by the abstract artist in order to give promising mid-career Canadian artists the resources to create new works or to continue their professional development. In 2007, the Gershon Iskowitz Foundation teamed up with the Art Gallery of Ontario to offer an exhibit in addition to the cash prize. Originally $25,000, the prize money was increased this year to $40,000. RC

Gillis at Centre of Funding Debate
Dancer and 2011 Governor General's Award winner Margie Gillis was recently put on the spot by Sun News anchor Krista Erickson, who used a discussion (or, some would say attack) on the funding she's received throughout her career to criticize taxpayer money going towards the arts in general. The interview led to a large backlash, with many Gillis supporters expressing their indignation and anger towards Erikson and Sun News. Read our summary of the response and some telling statistics and facts behind the debate on taxpayer-funded arts at at http://blog.scena.org.

(c) La Scena Musicale