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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 18, No. 3 November 2012

Industry Updates

by Shira Gilbert / November 1, 2012

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Pavel Koleznikov

Following 10 days of intense competition, Pavel Kolesnikov has been named the Prize Laureate of the 2012 Honens International Piano Competition. The 23-year old Russian pianist performed the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor with Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and its Music Director Roberto Minczuk on the first of two evenings of the finals, held on October 25 and 26. The Calgary-based competition, which takes place every three years, is the richest of its kind in the world. Kolesnikov receives the $100,000 Enbridge Prize (cash, CAD) and an artistic and career development program, valued at a half million dollars, which includes worldwide general management for three years, a series of recital debuts, a recording on the Hyperion label and various mentorship opportunities with artists including Emanuel Ax, Leon Fleisher and Angela Hewitt.  The remaining four finalists – hailing from Italy, Russian, South Korea and the US –  were each awarded $10,000 (CAD) prizes.  The only Canadian semifinalist, Avan Yu, did not make the final round.

Jeanne Lamon will step down from her role as Music Director of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir in 2014, a post she has held for 33 years. Also a violinist, Lamon will assume the role of Music Director Emerita and continue to work on the creation of the Tafelmusik International Baroque Academy, which would train young musicians in period performance. Tafelmusik has begun an international search for Lamon’s successor.

The Canadian Opera Company and its General Director, Alexander Neef, have announced that, after four months of negotiations, they has been unable to reach an agreement with the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association (CAEA) and the Toronto Musicians Association, resulting in the discontinuation of COC broadcasts on CBC Radio 2 and Radio-Canada’s Espace Musique, which had been in place since the fall of 2009. For the 2012/13 season the COC requested a reduction in fees from $200,000 to $150,000 per season for the broadcasts, citing “an extremely challenging economic environment,” according to Neef. Arden Ryshpan, Executive Director of the CAEA, says the musicians were already being paid a discount rate for the broadcasts and could not accept a further reduction. A total of 21 COC productions have been heard over Canadian airwaves since the 2009/2010 season.
In other COC news, the company has extended the contract of Music Director Johannes Debus through the 2016/2017 season. As Music Director, Debus is the leader of the COC Orchestra, conducts several operas per season, and oversees the orchestra, including filling open orchestra positions. Debus joined the COC at the beginning of the 2009/10 season.

The Glenn Gould Foundation is inviting the public to nominate individuals for the tenth Glenn Gould Prize. The prize is awarded biennially to a living individual for a unique lifetime contribution that has enriched the human condition through the arts. Living candidates of any nationality are eligible. The winner of the Glenn Gould Prize receives $50,000 (CDN) and chooses the recipient of the Protégé Prize of $15,000 (CDN). Past laureates include Leonard Cohen (2011), Dr. José Antonio Abreu (2008), Yo-Yo Ma (1999), and Oscar Peterson (1993). For nomination guidelines visit www.glenngould.ca. The 80th anniversary of Glenn Gould’s birthday was celebrated on October 4.

Alexina Louie

The National Arts Centre Orchestra (NACO) has embarked upon its Northern Canada performance and education tour, from October 26-November 4, including six concerts and 50 educational events in all three Northern Territories. NAC Musicians will perform in Iqaluit, Pangnirtung, Rankin Inlet, Yellowknife and Whitehorse with some of the North’s best known musicians and singers. The tour features violinist James Ehnes and includes a new work by composer Alexina Louie. “Take the Dog Sled” combines traditional Inuit throat singing with a western musical framework and features Evie Mark and Akinisie Sivuarapik. This spring the NAC invites 250 artists from Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Nunavik, and Nunatsiavut back to Ottawa for “Northern Scene”, a major festival that includes Music, Theatre, Dance, Visual and Media Arts, Film, Storytelling, Food and Fashion.

Patrick Corrigan, Executive Director of Pacific Opera Victoria, is the new Chair of Opera.ca, a national association for opera companies and professionals in Canada. The organization works with members across the country to advance the interests of Canada’s opera community and create greater opportunity for opera audiences and professionals.

The 2012/13 Season marks Tania Miller’s 10th as Music Director of the Victoria Symphony Orchestra. Miller remains the only female conductor to be appointed to lead a major orchestra in Canada. Her initiatives include this month’s CAGE 100 FESTIVAL, a series of concerts and events in celebration of the iconic American composer’s centennial year.

“One could sense that a leader has arrived to point the way forward,” said The Philadelphia Inquirer, reviewing the season opening night of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the first official concert led by conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin in his new role as the storied orchestra’s eighth music director. The Gala evening, which also featured guest soloist soprano Renée Fleming, was hailed as the start of a new era, following 15½ months in bankruptcy court that resulted in the orchestra’s being forced to renegotiate contracts with its musicians. Nézet-Séguin also wowed critics and audiences—and musicians—at Carnegie Hall a few days later, when he led his new orchestra in a performance of Verdi’s Requiem. “So thoroughly had he won over the audience,” said The New York Times, continuing “the members of the Philadelphia Orchestra … enthusiastically joined the ovation from the stage for his individual curtain call.”

The National Youth Orchestra of Canada has partnered with the SOCAN Foundation to initiate a mentorship program for its Composer-in-Residence program, a two-year residency in which the selected composer works closely with the orchestra to create an original piece that is subsequently performed on tour. Canadian composer Michel Gonneville, who teaches composition and analysis at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, will mentor James O’Callaghan throughout the second year of his residency with NYOC. O’Callaghan is currently a MMus candidate at McGill University and is a founding member and co-director of the Montreal Contemporary Music Lab.

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