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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 18, No. 4 December 2012

Industry News

by Shira Gilbert / December 1, 2012

Flash version here.

Xiaoyu LiuThe 73rd edition of Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal’s Standard Life Competition, featuring piano and percussion, wrapped up on November 24th with the announcement of Xiaoyu Liu as the Grand Prize winner. The 15 year-old pianist and student at Conservatoire de musique de Montréal receives a $10,000 scholarship and the opportunity to perform in concert with the OSM, under the direction of Jean-François Rivest, on April 7 at Maison Symphonique de Montréal. The concert will be broadcast on Espace-musique. The prize also includes a professional recording at Radio-Canada’s studios; a concert tour of Latin America; and recitals at the National Arts Centre (2014-2015 season); and in Yellowknife; St. John’s, Newfoundland; and at the Orford Arts Centre. Two additional $10,000 Standard Life Scholarships were awarded to pianist Alexander Malikov and percussionist Krystina Marcoux, both 23.

Foreign singers stole the show in the 2012 Jeunes Ambassadeurs lyriques Gala on November 25 at Salle Bourgie. Of the 27 singers, South Korean soprano Ji Young Jo impressed with a heart-felt “Un bel di” from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Chinese soprano Vanessa Liao gave a dramatic reading of Amelia’s from Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera, French baritone Victor Sicard was imposing in Thomas’s Hamlet, while Russian tenor Dmitry Khromov gave an emotional Lensky’s aria from Eugene Onegin. Amongst Canadians, Ontario soprano Shantelle Przybylo took home the $5000 bursary for best Canadian with an impressive performance of the Storm aria from John Estacio’s Filumena, while soprano Janna Miller won the $2500 bursary for top Quebecer. Other multiple prize winners include baritone Philip Kalmanovitch and mezzo Emma Parkinson.

Ninxia University

Founder Alain Nonat has been busy lately, giving a masterclass on French melody at Ninxia University in China in October; with the help of the Amis de Francis Poulenc, he established the Francis Poulenc Fund to help the school acquire the scores of the composer. Nonat was recently awarded a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his years of dedication. Wah Keung Chan

In other competition news, The Montreal International Musical Competition (MIMC), to take place May 6 to 17, will welcome Maxim Vengerov as headliner of its 2013 violin edition. Vengerov will teach a masterclass on May 12, be featured in a prestige concert on May 13, and conduct the OSM with the competition finalists on May 14 and 15 as well as the winners during the gala concert on May 17. This year’s commissioned five-minute competition work, played by each competitor during the quarter-finals, will be composed by Jean Lesage, professor of composition and orchestration at the Schulich School of Music at McGill.

The Canadian Music Centre (CMC) has chosen a Steingraeber & Söhne 7’ grand piano to be the centerpiece for its recently inaugurated concert venue at Chalmers House in Toronto.  The C-212 grand is a direct descendant of the Model 200 Steingraeber grand piano - the same model owned by Franz Liszt during his years in Bayreuth in the late 1800’s. The Canadian Music Centre oversees the music of professional Canadian composers, offering an on-demand publishing service, music repertoire consultations, outreach and marketing.

The 17th edition of Opéra de Montréal’s annual Gala concert on Sunday, December 2 will induct baritone Bernard Turgeon into the Canadian Opera Hall of Fame.  Born in Edmonton in 1931, Turgeon has sung more than 150 roles on stages around the world over a career that spans six decades, and taught voice at McGill from 1989.

Quebec composer André Hamel has been awarded the 2012 Serge Garant Prize of the Fondation Émile Nelligan. The recognition of lifetime achievement, including a $25,000 cash award, is presented every third year to an artist regardless of the length of his or her career. The Fondation Émile-Nelligan has distributed more than $1,300,000 in awards to 60 Quebec winners since 1979 in the fields of contemporary music, visual arts and creative writing.           
Maestro Yoav Talmi has been appointed Music Director of the ­Israel Chamber Orchestra (ICO) in Tel Aviv, beginning in the 2013-14 season. Talmi held the post of Music Director of the Quebec Symphony for 13 years and holds the title of Conductor Emeritus with that orchestra.

The current economic crisis seems to be hitting the Quebec Symphony hard; its holiday presentation of La Grand Virée de Noël / A Christmas Celebration scheduled for Dec. 15 featuring Gregory Charles and Lyne Fortin was recently cancelled due to low ticket sales. There has also been a turnover in its administrative personnel.

Zosha Di Castri, a Canadian composer/pianist and McGill graduate currently living in New York, is the winner of the 2012 Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music for Cortège, a work which was inspired by a Leonard Cohen song. Established by the Right Honourable Jules Léger, former Governor General of Canada, the $7,500 annual prize is designed to encourage the creation of new Canadian chamber music and is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Canadian Music Centre and the CBC. The jury also made mention of two additional notable submissions: Against the Morning by Taylor Brook, and Strata, by Brian Current.

The second edition of the Prix de Montréal pour les arts et la culture, recognizing creative excellence amongst artists and artisans in the city, took place at a Gala evening for 400 guests at Marché Bonsecours on November 22.  Hosted by Patrick Masbourian with circus artists Les 7 doigts de la main, the event was organized by the Conseil des arts de Montréal and Ville de Montréal, in collaboration with the Conférence régionale des élus (CRÉ) de Montréal. Recognized over the course of the evening were philanthropist Bernard Lamarre with the 2012 Conseil des arts de Montréal Award of Merit, which recognizes a Montreal personality who has provided unwavering support to the cultural milieu throughout his career; the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, which received this year’s Prix Tourisme Montréal du rayonnement international; and the up-and-coming Ayrad sextet, recipient of the 2012 Diversity Award. The world music fusion group plays original material and standards from the Maghreb, Arabic Andalusian and Jewish Moroccan repertoire.


IAMA Selects Montreal and CINARS for its 2013 Meeting
The London based International Arts Management Association (IAMA), the world’s top trade organization linking and representing classical music artist managers and concert agents, has chosen Montreal to host its first major convention in North America, over New York City, where this continent’s classical music business is usually headquartered.
IAMA excels in doing what solid trade associations do in any sector: organizing conventions where mangers network and hold workshops about market trends and meeting challenges in the classical music business; having specialized management consultants, lawyers and accountants on hand to inform members on matters like taxes and work visas; mentoring young artist mangers who are entering the business; and lobbying governments on policies impacting classical music.
Until now, IAMA’s big annual meetings have been held in Europe, but IAMA’s board decided to break tradition and hold a first meeting in North America on November 7-9, 2013, to be organized in partnership with the Commerce International des Arts de la Scène (CINARS), the Montreal-based organization that pioneered international performing arts showcase conventions, and the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, as official host.
Founded in 1983 by Alain Paré, its current director, as an export-oriented showcase for Quebec arts, over time, CINARS’s objectives enlarged to showcase artists from across Canada, and then expanding to include foreign performers, becoming a truly international showcase. It’s both a success story for CINARS and the city of Montreal. With IAMA and OSM’s involvement, future CINARS should have a greater music presence.
The IAMA’s decision is due to the international respect earned by CINARS’s seamlessly organized biannual performing arts showcase, held recently in Montreal from November 12 to 18. Although the recessionary economy was expected to decrease attendance at the 2012 edition of CINARS, participation shot up 13 percent, with 1276 participants from 41 countries. Managers and artists were joined by185 registered observers from governments and non-profit arts organizations. The Fairmount/Queen Elisabeth Hotel’s exhibition hall hosted 295 arts agency booths where 268 presenters could explore potential gigs. Workshops provided crash courses on central classical music business challenges. 
Performers from 14 countries displayed their talents at 23 official CINARS showcases, plus another 77 “off-CINARS” shows, in venues all over town. To form links between CINARS and the wider public, La Vitrine distributed 4000 free showcase tickets.
Watch for more CINARS coverage in future issues.
Philip Ehrensaft

(c) La Scena Musicale