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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 16, No. 8


by Wah Keung Chan / May 2, 2011

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For the 15th straight year, La Scena Musicale celebrates the summer season in music. This month the magazine directs our eyes, ears and feet to over 140 Canadian jazz, world and folk music festivals. In the same vein our national issue in June explores over 200 classical music and arts festivals that will enliven Canada this summer.

May’s La Scena Musicale throws its spotlight on jazz. Our cover “cat” is British-born bassist Dave Holland, now a guru of the American contemporary jazz scene, who will headline several shows at the Montreal International Jazz Festival. The festival will also pay homage to George Wein, founder of the legendary Newport Jazz Festival. Now 85, Wein is certain to offer his irrepressible views as both ardent promoter of the music and pianist in his own right.

La Scena also features Canadian up-and-comer composer Darcy James Argue, who plans to crisscross the land with his own Big Band, the Secret Society. Performances are slated for Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver. Finally we call on the much-admired pianist, composer, and musical director Lorraine Desmarais, who speaks with us about her upcoming performance at the Montreal Chamber Music Festival—as well as her honorary doctorate from UQAM, to be awarded in June.

To help navigate the summer’s jazz offerings, our critics offer their expert picks. Further, we’re proud to provide readers with three festival guides in this issue: guides to Canadian jazz, to Canadian folk and world music festivals, and to International Jazz fests. We’ll highlight some of the smaller Canadian jazz festivals as well as the fests in Burlington, Copenhagen and Lisbon.

In our classical music section, we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Chants libres and the 25th anniversary of La Petite maison des arts. We look at the unusual origins of Beethoven’s string quartets, works that the Montreal Chamber Music Festival will present in their entirety over six concerts. We talk to the jury of the Montreal International Musical Competition, which is devoted to piano this year. And we look back at maestro Yoav Talmi through the prism of his autobiography.

In La SCENA Express, we preview Les Grands Ballets’ new choreography of Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire and Stephan Thoss’s Searching for Home, danced to the music of Philip Glass. We also lend an ear to the fifth anniversary of the Festival TransAmériques.

Concert previews and calendars round out our musical scheduling. Don’t miss our regular columns and comprehensive review section. Print subscribers will also receive a monthly Discovery CD of recordings by piano duo Victor Bouchard & Renée Morisset, courtesy of XXI Records.

Happy Summer listening!

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