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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 17, No. 1 September 2011

Music This Fall

September 1, 2011

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by Françoise Bellemare

Quebec City is fueled up and ready to go with enticing new musical events for this fall. The Club musical de Québec, the Opéra de Québec, the Violons du Roy, the Orchestre symphonique de Québec, the Rhapsodes, and many others have very interesting upcoming seasons. Here is a look at the main concerts and events you won’t want to miss.

Club musical de Québec
Celebrating its 120th anniversary, Club musical de Québec has an intriguing programme in store. On September 28, Chanticleer brings us a wide range of eclectic repertoire. Hailed by critics as the most important male vocal ensemble in the world, this American chorus will perform at Quebec City’s Grand Théâtre between its concerts at Vienna’s Musikverein and New York’s Carnegie Hall.

Sergey and Lusine Khachatryan (violinist and pianist respectively) will be making a much-anticipated stop on Quebec soil, three years after their first visit—the brother-sister duo performs at the Grand Théâtre on November 8. Twenty-six-year-old Sergey Khachatryan has received overwhelming critical acclaim for his performances. Since winning the grand prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels in 2005, he has been praised by Europe and North America’s most renowned orchestras and concert societies time and again. The siblings, born in Armenia to pianist parents, have both won numerous prestigious international competitions. clubmusicaldequebec.com

Opéra de Québec
The Opéra de Québec presents Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, accompanied by Québec City’s opera chorus and the Orchestre symphonique de Québec. The original Russian version will be performed, ensuring an evening that combines romanticism, exoticism and elegance. Daniel Lipton, whose clarity, understanding of composers and mastery have been widely recognized and praised, will conduct the concert. At the Grand Théâtre de Québec on October 22, 25, 27 and 29. operadequebec.qc.ca

Les Violons du Roy
Concertgoers will be joining Les Violons du Roy at Palais Montcalm this fall. On September 16, Russophiles can enjoy excerpts from Tolstoy’s novella The Kreutzer Sonata, read by actor Jack Robitaille and alternated with the music of Beethoven and Janáček inspired by this work.

In October, the orchestra welcomes Karina Gauvin, a rich-voiced soprano known for her baroque music performances. The Montrealer will perform works by Rigel, Porpora, Mozart and Haydn under the direction of Bernard Labadie.

On October 21, renowned trumpeter Benjamin Raymond will perform at a concert entitled “Une trompette royale,” under the baton of Jeanne Lamon, founder of the Toronto-based baroque orchestra Tafelmusik,

On November 4, Valérie Milot joins Les Violins du Roy in a performance of “After a Dream,” and other French repertoire, including works by Roussel, Debussy and Elgar.

On November 10, Ricardo Morales, solo clarinetist for the Philadelphia Orchestra, gives us the chance to hear his refined playing at the “Mozart et la clarinette” concert. Les Violons du Roy chorus and orchestra perform the Messiah on December 8 and 9—a work they are famous for.

Another Quebec opera star joins Les Violons du Roy this holiday season for a must-see performance. Marie-Nicole Lemieux, known for her unique voice and charisma, sings Bach for Christmas on December 17. violonsduroy.com

Orchestre symphonique de Québec
Many of the Orchestre symphonique de Québec’s Grand Théâtre events will also appeal to music lovers. Canadian pianist Alain Lefèvre, known for his great sensibility and exuberant personality, opens the season on September 14, under the direction of Rossen Milanov. On November 9, Karina Gauvin sings the great moments of life through the works of Debussy, Berlioz, Liszt and Richard Strauss, conducted by Justin Brown.

On October 5, the OSQ invites us to a musical evening with André Laplante. This great romantic virtuoso will perform Liszt and Tchaikovsky under the baton of Fabien Gabel. In November, it will be Louis Lortie’s turn to visit the old capital for a concert dedicated to the works of Grieg and Schumann. Later that month, on the 23, Vancouver violinist Corey Cerovsek performs works by Mozart, Berg and Brahms, under the direction of Andreas Delfs. osq.qc.ca

Erreur de type 27
Erreur de type 27 welcomes young Montrealer Gabriel Dharmoo as resident composer from October 10 to 14. His works can be heard on October 14 at Café Babylone, as part of a programme that also includes pieces by Christian Ledroit, Jim Hiscott, Paul Frehner and Ravi Shankar in an evening themed “Musica Masala,” amalgamating new and traditional music. erreurdetype27.com

To celebrate its 50th season, the Rhapsodes de Québec invites us to a romantic evening with the entirety of Brahms’ famous Valses d’amour. Choral singing will showcase the most beautiful pages of German romanticism on November 19, at Palais Montcalm.

Translation: Aleshia Jensen


by Milan Bernard, Aleshia Jensen



This summer’s foretaste of the SMCQ’s upcoming Homage Series, notably at the Orford Festival, presages an impressive 2011-2012 season devoted to Serbian-Canadian composer Ana Sokolovic.

In other news, Christian Gort, musical and artistic director of the Orchestre Symphonique de L’Isle and vocal ensemble Musica Viva, guest conducts the McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble in an auspicious concert at McGill University’s Pollack Hall, at 7:30 p.m. on October 21. mcgill.ca/music/events


Montreal flutist and saxophonist Jean Derome, a leading composer of contemporary music in Canada, presents a solo concert entitled “Le Magasin de Tissu.” Derome’s eclectic creation makes use of various sampling techniques and several instruments, some newly invented. Throughout an exceptional career of over forty years, Derome has possessed a rich palette of expression and style, ranging from improvisation to jazz and film music. His international stature has been recognized with both the Freddie Stone and Opus prizes.

This will also be an opportunity to discover the new Bourgie Concert Hall at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, whose programming seeks “to create a new dialogue between the visual arts and music.” December 1, 6 p.m., fondationartemusica.ca

Brady + Quatuor Bozzini
Following its dazzling success of the past several years, Quatuor Bozzini will present two concerts at the Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur this fall. The first concert on September 30 is devoted to works of Vancouver composer Owen Underhill; the second takes place on November 29. In October, the Chapelle historique will also welcome guitarist Tim Brady, who will present a multidisciplinary show featuring electric guitar, digital processes and video projections (October 8, 8 p.m.).



What better way of celebrating the International Day of Music, created 36 years ago, than to attend a concert of Ensemble Morpheus! The quartet in residence at the Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur, made up of violinist Marc Diokic, violist Frédéric Lambert, cellist Chloé Dominguez and pianist Paul Stewart, continues to grow in popularity. We will be treated to performances of works by Ernest Chausson, as well as a composition by Cleo Palacio-Quintin (October 1, 8 p.m., Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur). ville.montreal.qc.ca/chapellebonpasteur

Camerata Orford, an ensemble created last year by conductor Jean- François Rivest, will present a concert in the new Bourgie Hall. The chamber orchestra, which counts among its ranks the excellent violinist Alexandre Da Costa, will present an all-Russian program including music of Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky, as well as a gypsy-inspired work by Montreal composer Airat Ichmouratov. (October 11, 7:30 p.m.). fondationartemusica.ca

For its 63rd season, the Pro Musica Society will be offering three different concert series, Topaze, les Mélodînes and Émeraude. The Émeraude series consists of several concerts by high-profile artists, notably Pinchas Zukerman (violin) and Angela Cheng (piano), who will perform a program of Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms. (October 10, 7:30 p.m.). This will be followed by a concert of the Wader Trio, a French ensemble, performing works by Liszt, Schumann and Mendelssohn (October 16, 7:30 p.m.). These concerts, and all those of the Émeraude series, will be presented in the new hall at Place des Arts. promusica.qc.ca

Translation: rona nadler


This season, the OSM presents Kent Nagano & Three Masterpieces of Music for the Young, bringing to life three musical works for children: Carnival of the Animals, Peter and the Wolf starring actress Anne Dorval, and The Toybox, featuring dance students from the École supérieure de ballet du Québec (September 11). The magical world of the The Little Prince comes to the stage later this fall, as Jean-Michaël Lavoie conducts the music of Quebec composers Denis Gougeon and Yves Daoust (November 20). osm.ca

Jeunesses Musicales invites children from 3 to 5 to join the members of Skarazula on an adventure through Europe, as they discover fascinating new instruments and sounds. The performance includes a wide range of non-traditional musical instruments, including a doumbek (hand drum) and a psaltery (harp-like instrument), accompanying songs in many different languages. (October 30). In JM’s French-language show Les aventures fantastiques de Flonflon, for ages 3 to 8, the character Flonflon disappears and his friends depart on an exciting musical adventure to find him, making new friendships along the way. The show includes a range of musical styles, from jazz to Eastern European music (November 13). jeunessesmusicales.com

Several companies are also bringing their musical performances to schools this fall. The Moulin à Musique presents its show La Maîtresse rouge (among others) for ages 4 to 12—a string quartet explores the idea of self-confidence in a poetic, musical tale. Buzz Brass’ “musitheatrical” shows for primary and secondary school children are also back this year with The Vikings - Symphonic version, a comical tale of Viking warriors and dragons, as well as The History of Music, a journey through time that looks at how historical events have influenced music. Information on group sizes, rates and reservations is available on the companies’ web sites. moulinmusique.qc.ca, buzzcf.com


This year, the Orchestre Metropolitain’s Prestige Concert, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, features baritone Bryn Terfel. The internationally renowned Welshman will be gracing the stage of Montreal’s new concert hall this October, performing excerpts from Richard Wagner’s operas, as well as Richard Strauss’s Alpensinfonie, an Ode to Nature (October 23). This holiday season, Nézet-Séguin will also conduct the OM in a moving performance of the six cantatas of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, the Nativity story. The Orchestre Métropolitain Choir and four soloists (yet to be announced) will join the orchestra at the charming St-Jean-Baptiste Church. orchestremetropolitain.com

In case you can’t wait until Christmas, this year’s Montréal Bach Festival brings us several vocal selections, including: Bach and the St. John Passion, conducted by Kent Nagano and sung by the OSM Chorus and soloists Sibylla Rubens, Ingeborg Danz, Bernard Richter, Christoph Genz, Tyler Duncan, Markus Werba, and Philippe Sly (November 9-11); Bach’s Cantatas with the McGill Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Boris Brott and featuring soloists Pascale Beaudin, Jacques-Olivier Chartier, and Nathaniel Watson (November 12); and Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria with Daniel Taylor’s Choir and Orchestra of the Theatre of Early Music, with solo vocal performances by Taylor and Agnes Zsigovics (November 13). The festival comes to a close with «Bach - Desires of the soul» with the Arion Orchestre Baroque—playing two Bach Cantatas, two Concertos, and a Suite—and American mezzo soprano Meg Bragle, under the direction of Jaap ter Linden (November 18, 19 and 20). festivalbachmontreal.com

The Ensemble Caprice presents The Witch and the Queen of the Night this fall, with the enchanting Canadian soprano Aline Kutan performing works by Mozart, Händel, and Rossini (November 16). ensemblecaprice.com

The Ladies’ Morning Musical Club welcomes mezzo-soprano Christianne Stotijn in December. The Dutch performer (and Lieder enthusiast) has studied with Dame Janet Baker and performed with top orchestras in Europe and North America (December 4). lmmc.ca


It would be impossible to announce the 2011-2012 Montreal Early Music season without first introducing the new Bourgie Concert Hall in the Montreal Museum of Fine of Arts. Various baroque ensembles publicizing their upcoming performances in the hall have described it as offering a unique and timeless atmosphere. Constructed within the former Erskine and American Church, this new hall offers not only superb acoustics, but also a lovely setting with its eighteen Tiffany windows.

Montreal, ever a fierce proponent of early music, once again offers a thrilling array of concerts this fall. To begin the season on September 15, SMAM invites you to a concert of antiphonal music, featuring rich and complex polychoral works in the unique setting of the Fonderie Darling. On September 17 at McGill University’s Redpath Hall, Ensemble Caprice opens its season with a concert on the themes of love and war, including vocal and instrumental works by Monteverdi, Maute and Marini. Les Boréades performs the “(almost) complete” first volume of Telemann’s Tafelmusik on October 6 at the Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours in Old Montreal. For its season debut, Ensemble La Nef takes you on a voyage: on October at 8 p.m. at Usine C, the ensemble presents a cruise-themed concert of music inspired by insular musical traditions of islands from around the world. On November 18 in Bourgie Hall, soprano Nell Snaidas, performing songs and danses of 16th and 17th century Spain, transports you to Spanish territory. Finally, on October 28, 29 and 30, Ensemble Arion invites you to a concert directed by guest conductor and French harpsichordist Christophe Rousset with a program of Rameau and Rebel. Each concert will be preceded by a conference at 7 p.m., on the 28 and 29, and at 1:00 on the 30.

Translation: rona nadler

Quebec’s musicians shine abroad


Europe, the United States, and South America—this fall, a number of young Quebec musicians will showcase their talents internationally. Here is a sneak peak.

In vocal news, Quebec’s beautiful voices travel across the globe, making their mark on the big stage.

In September, Marie-Nicole Lemieux plays Mrs. Quickly in Verdi’s Falstaff at the Staatsoper in Vienna. Then, in October, she transforms into The Sphinx for a new production of George Enescu’s rarely performed opera Œdipe, at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels.

Karina Gauvin, whose career is also flourishing, gives a song recital with pianist Maciej Pikulski in September at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. In October, she sings Britten in two concerts with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and three with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. In November, she is back in Europe (Austria, France and Germany) to sing in a concert version of Handel’s Giulio Cesare—which will also be recorded—with the baroque ensemble Il Complesso Barocco.

Important debuts: in December, Étienne Dupuis makes his Opéra de Massy debut as Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Julie Boulianne makes her Opera Boston debut as Béatrice in Hector Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédicte.

Our maestros
As always, Yannick Nézet-Séguin is very busy this fall. In addition to his usual appearances in Montreal, he begins the season by taking part in the Montreux and Lucerne festivals with the Wiener Philharmonic this September, then tours several German cities with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, of which he is the musical director. He will also give three concerts in London with the Philharmonic, of which he has been the principal guest conductor since 2008. In November, he directs two Philadelphia Orchestra concerts and then takes the baton for the Metropolitan Opera’s orchestra for a new production of Gounod’s Faust, with Jonas Kaufmann in the lead role.

Jean-Michaël Lavoie, aged 29, has a string of concerts in Europe this fall, notably in Limoges, the United Kingdom with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and in Wroclaw, Poland’s fourth largest city, with the Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra. He will also be at the podium of the Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra for two concerts in October.

Jean-Philippe Tremblay will be conducting the London Chamber Players in the UK this September and then heads to Caracas, where he will direct the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra for a concert series from October 27 to November 5.

Jacques Lacombe is the guest conductor in Malaga, Spain, this October, in addition to his usual activities as musical director of the Trois-Rivières and New Jersey symphony orchestras.

Jean-Marie Zeitouni’s focus this fall is his job as Musical Director of the Columbus Symphony in Ohio, but he will take a break to work with I Musici de Montréal. In December, Zeitouni is also a guest conductor for the Edmonton, Vancouver and Seattle symphony orchestras.

Piano and violin
Violinist Alexandre da Costa will be in Spain for most of the fall as the guest soloist of the Burgos, Seville, Murcia and Valencia symphony orchestras, but he will still find time to come back to Quebec for two concerts with the Laval Symphony Orchestra on September 20 and 21.

Korean Montrealer Wonny Song is very busy this fall. The pianist will give four concerts in Spain—Extremadura in October and Bilbao in November. He will also play for Radio-France in Paris this October and perform with the Trio Fibonacci in Amsterdam this December.

Translation: Aleshia Jensen


by Natasha Gauthier

The National Arts Centre Orchestra launches its season September 24 with the annual NACO fundraiser Gala. In the past, some of the classical world’s biggest names have appeared as guest artists, including Jessye Norman, Kathleen Battle, and Yo-Yo Ma. Last year’s Gala with jazz superstar Diana Krall represented a marked departure from tradition. But the choice of this year’s featured soloist, pop diva Sarah McLachlan, raised more than a few eyebrows!

NACO has placed an emphasis on Russian repertoire this season. September 27, Kirill Gerstein performs the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto, with Pinchas Zukerman conducting. Rachmaninov’s Symphony no. 2 completes the program. September 30, 18-year-old prodigy Behzod Abduraimov performs the Prokofiev Third Piano Concerto, while Zukerman conducts Rachmaninov’s Vocalise and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony no. 4. Olga Kern performs Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto no. 1 October 5, rounding out a program that also features Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Overture and Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky. The following evening, pianist Georgy Tchaidze attacks the “Rach Second,” while Zukerman and NACO take on Shostakovich’s Symphony no 1. All this leads up to an appearance by Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra, October 23 at 2 pm. Gergiev conducts Tchaikovsky’s First and Sixth Symphonies.

October 12, chiselled Finnish conductor Hannu Lintu guest conducts Beethoven’s Fifth and Vaughan Williams’ Tallis Fantasy, with Leila Josefowicz as soloist in Thomas Adès’ Violin Concerto. Norwegian conductor Thomas Søndergård leads young Finnish sensation Juho Pohjonen in Mozart’s Piano Concert no. 21, and the orchestra in Brahms’ Second Symphony and Gary Kulesha’s Third Symphony.

The piano-heavy fall lineup continues November 3-4 with Ottawa native Angela Hewitt and the Ravel Concerto in G. Arlid Remmereit also conducts Sibelius’ Symphony no. 4 and the Dvorák Slavonic Dances. Jan Lisiecki, the tow-headed, preternaturally gifted 16-year-old from Calgary, makes his NACO debut November 9-10 with Mozart’s Piano Concerto no. 20; Julian Kuerti, son of Anton, leads the orchestra in Brahms’ Symphony no. 1 and the world premiere of a John Estacio commission.

This year’s Messiah performance, December 13-14, will see Trevor Pinnock on the podium; soloists include soprano Lucy Crowe, mezzo Jill Grove, and baritone Phillip Addis. National Arts Centre’s Southam Hall. nac-cna.ca

david currie, 20 years at oso
The 2011/12 season marks Maestro David Currie’s 20th anniversary at the helm of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra. The OSO has two concerts this fall, also in the Russian vein: September 19, soloist Frédéric Lacroix joins the orchestra for Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini, with Shostakovich’s 5th Symphony in the second half. November 7, Currie conducts two famous suites: Prokofiev’s Lieutenant Kijé and Stravinsky’s Petrouchka. OSO performs at the NAC. ottawasymphony.com

Across the river, Gatineau has its own orchestra, celebrating its fifth season this year. September 10, the Orchestre symphonique de Gatineau presents Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and the Triple Concerto. Yves Léveillé conducts; soloists are François Goudreau (violin), Julie Trudeau (cello), and Pierre-Richard Aubin (piano). Salle Odyssée of the Maison de la culture de Gatineau. osgatineau.com

Chamber and Choral
The Ottawa Bach Choir presents Baroque Masters on November 6. The program includes Schütz’ masterpiece, Musikalische Exequien, as well as motets and cantatas by Bach, Buxtehude, Charpentier, and Telemann. The choir will be backed by a period-instrument orchestra.

The dazzling Canadian soprano Marie-Josée Lord performs in recital October 24 as part of the Cathedral Arts series at Ottawa’s downtown Christ Church Cathedral. cathedralarts.com

Music for a Sunday Afternoon presents chamber music at the National Gallery. October 16, trumpet virtuoso James Thompson and pianist Stéphane Lemelin play works by Saint-Saëns, Hindemith, Martinu, and Stravinsky. December 18, Trevor Pinnock wears his harpsichordist hat, performing Handel and Telemann with NACO Concertmaster Yosuke Kawasaki, soprano Lucy Crowe, oboist Charles Hamann, and trumpet soloist Karen Donnelly. Ticket info is the same as for NACO concerts.

October 29 at St. Andrew’s Church, Ottawa’s chamber orchestra, Thirteen Strings, performs an intriguing program that includes a symphony by Frederick the Great, a Hoffmann violin concerto, and Arensky’s Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky. Yosuke Kawasaki is the soloist, with Kevin Mallon conducting. thirteenstrings.ca

Opera Lyra presents the classic verismo double bill of Pagliacci and Cavalleria Rusticana,September 10, 12, 14 and 17 at SouthamHall. Starring Richard Leech as Canio, Yannick-Muriel Noah as NeddaGaétanLaperrière as Tonio, and Lisa Daltirus and Richard Crawley as SantuzzaandTuriddu. Richard Buckley conducts. operalyra.ca

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