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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 17, No. 4 December 2011


by Crystal Chan, Rebecca Anne Clark, Lorena Jiménez Alonso, Philippe Michaud / December 1, 2011

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Universal and Sony Divide Up EMI
EMI, Britain’s only major music label, was dismantled this November in a buyout that saw its recorded music division sold to Universal Music for $1.9 billion. Meanwhile, a group of investors led by Sony obtained EMI’s music publishing catalogue for $2.2 billion. Now that Universal, already an industry heavyweight, controls names like Radiohead, the Beatles, and Katy Perry, the company will likely have to dump some of its assets to satisfy antitrust regulations. Independent labels are concerned about the possible negative repercussions of the acquisition and how Universal’s increased market influence will affect them. RC

Nézet-Séguin awarded the Prix Denise-Pelletier
The Prix Denise-Pelletier was recently presented by Minister Sam Hamad to Yannick Nézet-Seguin, principal conductor and artistic director of the Metropolitan Orchestra. This award is the most important conferred by the government of Quebec on a performing artist. This prestigious prize has been awarded in the past to outstanding artists including Felix Leclerc (1977), Gilles Vigneault (1983), Joseph Rouleau (1990) and Robert Lepage (2003). PM/LT

Menuhin Competition Inundated with Entries
The Yehudi Menuhin International Competition for Young Violinists has received a record number of entries for 2012. Just 42 candidates will be selected from a pool of over 230 applicants. Founded in England in 1983, the Menuhin Competition has especially gained popularity in the US, Canada, Australia, and China following the success of previous winners such as Ray Chen, Chad Hoopes, and Kerson Leong. This year’s event (April 6 to 15, 2012) will be held in Beijing and will feature master classes and performances by the celebrity jury. RC

New Ideas in Opera: iPhones and Wikileaks
The Royal Opera House will enter the world of gaming with the launch of an iPhone and iPad game. During a time of many funding cuts, they hope this will generate extra income and widen audiences. “The Show Must Go On” game offers players the opportunity to stage manage their own opera or ballet. Meanwhile, Opera Australia has started to work on an opera composed by Jonathan Dreyfus and based on Wikileaks and the life of its founder, Julian Assange. Eddie Perfect, who played Assange in initial workshops, told the Australian Broadcasting Company: “It’s got everything that a dramatic musical work needs. It’s got heroes and villains. In fact, it’s got a hero and villain combined in one.” LJA

Czech Pianist and Oldest Holocaust Survivor Turns 108
Alice Herz-Sommer, a pianist and music teacher, turned 108 on November 26, 2011. This makes her the oldest known Holocaust survivor. She was interned at the Theresienstadt concentration camp, which is known for having been the forced home of several artists and musicians. She survives her son, Raphael Sommer, who became a respected cellist and composer. A video collection of some of her interviews is viewable at www.webofstories.com/ play/17993?o=L She discusses, among other things, the concerts she was forced to perform at the camp. CC

Beethoven’s 9th Symphony stretched to 24 hours
9 Beet Stretch—Beethoven’s 9th symphony stretched to 24 hours without pitch distortion—was produced for the Manifesta 4 (Frankfurt 2002) by Norwegian conceptual artist Leif Inge and has been installed in a wide range of spaces, from bedrooms to huge industrial halls like the Kupfer Ironworks to churches such as the 11th-century Bergen Cathedral. The slow playback is intended to ease listeners into a trance. “This trance feeling, letting the sound just go on without trying to expect anything, is really the way to listen to it,’’ said Inge. The ongoing 9 Beet Stretch stream is available online in cooperation with the Amsterdam-based multimedia collective Park4DTV and their Raudio webcast radio. LJA


Marie Chouinard launches award
In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Compagnie Marie Chouinard, the popular choreographer has announced the Prix de la danse de Montréal. Held annually, this award will recognize the talent of Montreal’s dance community. At the first awards ceremony, the winner will receive $5,000 from the Compagnie Marie Chouinard. Several artists from major organizations, such as l’École supérieure de ballet du Québec, will participate in this program. PM / LT

Contemporary dance mourns LADDMMI founder Candace Loubert
Candace Loubert, co-founder of the École de danse contemporaine, has died at the age of 64. In 1981, along with Linda Rabin, she founded the Linda Rabin Danse Moderne school, which in 1984 was renamed Les Ateliers de danse moderne de Montréal (LADMMI). According to Yves Rocray, the school’s managing director, this visionary artist and teacher had an important influence on the field of dance. Before creating LADMMI, Loubert danced on Europe’s most renowned stages. She later joined Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. PM / LT


In memory of Gilles Carle
Montreal’s mayor, Gerald Tremblay, has announced the creation of Place Gilles-Carle, which will be close to Square Saint-Louis. Helen Fotopulos, the city executive responsible for heritage projects, said that the city made this symbolic gesture in order to honor the great artist who not only left his mark on Quebec and Canadian cinema, but also on the collective memory. He was a long-time resident of the Square Saint-Louis area. Carle passed away in 2009. PM / LT


2011 Paul-Émile Borduas Award honours Gilles Mihalcean
Gilles Mihalcean is the 2011 recipient of the Paul-Émile Borduas Award, which is granted by the Centre international d’art contemporain de Montréal. Mihalcean‘s sculptures have been displayed in several art galleries in Montreal, as well as at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal and the CIAC. In addition to being a celebrated sculptor for over 40 years, Mihalcean is also an advocate for artists. PM / LK

Translation: Luke Kumar, Lynn Travers, Ariadne Lih

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