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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 18, No. 2 October 2012

Industry Updates

by Shira Gilbert / October 1, 2012

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OSM Maestro Kent Nagano will definitely not be slowing his pace when his term as Music Director of the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich ends this summer. Nagano has been appointed Principal Guest Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, the national orchestra of Sweden, beginning fall 2013, in addition to Principal Musical Director and Principal Conductor of the Hamburg State Opera starting in 2015. Meanwhile, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal has announced that Nagano’s contract as Music Director has been extended through to the conclusion of the 2015-2016 season.

Business for the Arts, which connects arts organizations to business patrons and volunteers across Canada, will host its Awards Gala in Toronto on October 4th for over 400 guests. Pierre Bourgie of Montreal will be honored with the Edmund C. Bovey Award for his role in the creation of the new Bourgie Concert Hall at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Additional honourees are recognized for their work in fields ranging from sponsorship to marketing innovation. Performing at the Gala, which is hosted by CBC TV’s Amanda Lang, are soprano Patricia O’Callaghan and Quartetto Gelato.

Two of Canada’s best-known countertenors recently announced new positions. Daniel Taylor has been appointed Head of Early Music in the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto. Matthew White has been appointed Associate Artistic Director for Early Music Vancouver. White maintains his roles as Artistic Director of Montreal’s Les Voix Baroques and Executive Director of Pacific MusicWorks in Seattle.

Jacques Marquis, who recently vacated the roles of CEO for Jeunesses Musicales du Canada and the Montreal International Music Competition, has been named Interim Executive Director for The Cliburn Foundation. Marquis’ role includes strategic and artistic planning for the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition taking place this spring (May 24-June 9, 2013) as well as concerts and special programs arranged for the Foundation’s 50th anniversary year.

On September 25th, the Analekta label released the first album of their exclusive contract with 19-year-old cellist Stéphane Tétreault. The label also celebrates it 25th season this year. The recording features works for cello and orchestra by Saint-Saëns and Tchaikovsky. Tétreault performs with the Orchestre symphonique de Québec, under the direction of its new Music Director Fabien Gabel. A student of Yuli Turovsky at the Université de Montréal, Tétreault made international headlines earlier this year when it was revealed that he would be loaned the 1707 “Countess of Stainlein, Ex-Paganini” Stradivarius cello. Owned by Jacqueline Desmarais, the cello is ranked among the most valuable instruments in the world at a value of over $6 million U.S.

SPACQ, Quebec’s Professional Society for writers and composers, has announced the election of Edgar Bori to President of its Board of Directors. A songwriter and performer, Bori plans to “strengthen the bridges we have built over the years with our key partners: broadcasters, regulators and consumers.” Bori succeeds Mario Chenart, who remains on the SPACQ board as past-President.

The Royal Conservatory of Music is bringing francophone culture to Toronto with the launch of its new Montréal à Toronto concert series this month. The four-concert series, which ranges from classical to traditional Quebecois music, opens with Montreal soprano Marie-Josée Lord, who will perform a program from Carmen to Gilles Vigneault, on October 28. The RCM also launches a new three-part series pairing francophone and anglophone singer-songwriters called CHANSONGS: Songwriters Rendezvous. Curated and hosted by Dominique Denis of Alliance Française de Toronto, the first of three bilingual evenings takes place on October 12.

The New Classical 96.3 FM, English Canada’s only commercial all-classical radio station, has relaunched its website. New features include CD-quality audio streams, an iPhone/iPod app, and full concert videos including over 100 concerts recorded live as part of the station’s Concert Lobby series, including recent concerts by the New Orford String Quartet, and pianists Stewart Goodyear and Louise Bessette. See the new site and—until October 14 only—enter a contest for a Muskoka getaway at www.classical963fm.com.

Canada’s major English newspapers are now all without a staff classical music reviewer. Robert Everett-Green, the Globe and Mail’s staff classical music critic will now have a broader portfolio as a features writer in the Globe’s Life and Arts section. Robert Harris will take up some classical reviews for the paper. This news follows that of longtime classical critic John Terauds, who left the Toronto Star a few months ago following his re-assignment to that paper’s business section. Terauds now maintains an informative blog: www.musicaltoronto.org

The Canada Council for the Arts has announced the names of 18 young classical musicians who will have the opportunity to play an instrument from the Council’s Musical Instrument Bank for the next three years. Twenty-eight finalists auditioned last month in Toronto for the loan of one of 17 string instruments and one cello bow created between 1689 and 1929 and worth over $35 million in total.  The single most valuable instrument, a coveted $11 million 1696 Bonjour Stradivari cello, was claimed by Arnold Choi. Three violinists also take home Stradivari violins, valued at $5 million each: Iryna Krechkovsky, Emily Westell, and Nikki Chooi. Nikki’s brother Timothy Chooi, winner of the OSM Standard Life Competition in 2010, receives the 1729 Guarneri del Gesù violin, also valued at $5 million.

Music on Film
Chamber music lovers can look forward to the release of A Late Quartet, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. The film, starring Catherine Keener, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Christopher Walken, follows the four members of a world-renowned New York string quartet and the challenges of staying together after 25 years. The film’s musical centrepiece, Beethoven’s String Quartet number 14, Opus 131, is performed by the Brentano String Quartet. In studio, the Brentano Quartet’s playing was captured on video from five different angles from which the actors could convincingly recreate their playing for the camera. The film opens in limited release on November 2.

The Regina Symphony Orchestra has recently hired 13 year-old violinist Rebecca Weger to join its ranks, in one of the highest positions available within the symphony. According to Karen Constant, the RSO’s Assistant Concertmaster, the teenager excelled during her audition, offering a sweet, beautiful and mature sound, with good intonation and rhythm. The audition having taken place behind a curtain, the panel only discovered who they had hired after the decision had been made; however, Constant is confident that the young girl will continue to surpass herself with the orchestra.  - Catherine Hine

Send news and announcements for inclusion in future columns to: shira(at)scena.org
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