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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 19, No. 1

Bring the Family to the Symphony? Of course!

by Marc-Olivier Laramée / September 1, 2013

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Orchestras in major Canadian cities want to bring classical music to families — concerts made to order for young listeners. Often shorter, these concerts allow kids to discover an endless world of classical music, a welcome change from what they hear on the radio, their iPods, or TV.

In the Montreal area, there’s a wide range of concerts offered. The OSM (www.osm.ca) begins its Children’s Corner series with Phantoms of the Orchestra for Halloween, including the renowned pieces Night on Bald Mountain by Mussorgsky and Dukas’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice; and of course it wouldn’t be complete without Bach’s Toccata and Fugue played on the new Pierre Béique organ (October 20, 1:30 pm). To win kids over, there’s nothing better than a young musician like Daniel Clarke Bouchard, a 12-year-old piano virtuoso who will perform Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Orchestre Métropolitain (November 27, 7:30 pm; www.orchestremetropolitain.com). Finally, we come to the concert given by the Orchestre symphonique des jeunes de Montréal (www.osjm.org) on November 9 at 8 pm. Musicians aged 13 to 25 will perform the overture to Wagner’s Meistersinger, and, once again, Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, which kids will recognize from the Mickey Mouse version.

In the Quebec City region, the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec (www.osq.org) offers an initiation to music with the concert How the Gimquat Found Her Song, a presentation of Platypus Theatre under the baton of young conductor Andrei Feher (four performances in November and April). On the other side of the river, the Orchestre Symphonique de Levis (www.orchestresymphoniquedelevis.ca) will give an “open chair” concert; your kids, and who knows, even you, can join the orchestra for a movement of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 (September 29, 2 pm).

In Ontario, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (www.tso.ca) presents Young People’s Concerts; with In the Groove (November 9, two performances), it explores Gershwin’s unparalleled piece An American in Paris and many others. The TSO will also dazzle audiences with Orff’s Carmina Burana (three performances in late October and early November). In the capital, the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra (www.ottawasymphony.com) will feature Ravel and Gershwin to pass on the love of great music to your children, the future ambassadors of these orchestras! (October 7, 8 pm)

Translation: Rebecca Anne Clark

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