Home     Content     Articles      La Scena Musicale     Search   

La Scena Musicale - Vol. 19, No. 2

Industry News

by Shira Gilbert / October 1, 2013

Version française...

Flash version here.

L’Association québécoise de l’industrie du disque (ADISQ) has announced its Félix Awards nominees, chosen among recordings released in the past year. In the classical categories, nominations for Album of the Year – orchestra or large ensemble include Angèle Dubeau & La Pietà’s Musique de jeux vidéo, Ensemble Caprice and Matthias Maute’s Bach and Shostakovich, cellist Stéphane Tétreault’s Saint-Saëns and Tchaikovsky concerti – all for the Analekta label – in addition to Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Orchestre Métropolitain’s Bruckner 6 for ATMA, and Sérénades tchèques from the Orchestre de chambre Appassionata, conducted by Daniel Myssyk, on the Fidelio label.

Quebec labels Analekta and ATMA split the honorees to Album of the Year − soloist and small ensemble with nods for Luc Beauséjour and harpsichord works by Couperin, pianist Janina Fialkowska’s Mozart Concertos with the Chamber Players of Canada, Alain Lefèvre’s Dompierre Préludes, Quatuor Molinari’s quartets by R. Murray Schafer, and piano trio Triple Forte, for their debut album of works by Ravel, Shostakovich, and Ives.

Singled out in the category of Album of the Year – classical vocal were Karina Gauvin’s Prima Donna, with Arion Baroque Orchestra and Alexander Weimann; Mahler’s Orchesterlieder featuring Christian Gerhaher, with the OSM conducted by Kent Nagano; music by Rameau performed by bass-baritone Philippe Sly and soprano Hélène Guilmette, accompanied by Luc Beauséjour; En rêves (In Deams), music by Schumann, also with Sly and pianist Michael McMahon; and Ave Maria from Daniel Taylor, Les Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal, and Theatre of Early Music.

Prizes will be handed out at a Gala awards ceremony at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Place des Arts, on October 22. The ceremony will also be webcast at musiqueplus.com and musimax.com.

The US-based Dover Quartet was the big winner at the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition, taking not only the $25,000 First Prize but an additional $8,000 in winnings for the best performance of a Schubert quartet, best performance of a Haydn Quartet, and the Canadian Commission Prize for the best performance of Canadian composer Vivian Fung’s String Quartet No. 3, commissioned by the CBC and The Banff Centre for the competition.  The prestigious grand prize is accompanied by numerous performance opportunities in Europe and North America, Banff Centre residencies, and a CD recording. Second Prize went to France’s Quatuor Cavatine, with third prize going to the Navarra Quartet, whose members hail from the UK, Ireland, and the Netherlands.

Jan Lisiecki, the 18-year-old pianist from Calgary, added yet another impressive achievement to his musical résumé when he was declared Gramophone’s 2013 Young Artist of the Year, awarded on September 17 in London. Lisiecki has released two critically acclaimed recordings since he signed a five-album record deal with Deutsche Grammophon in 2011: Mozart Piano Concertos Nos. 20 and 21 with the Bavarian Radio Symphony, and Chopin’s solo Études.

Radio-Canada’s Espace Musique has dropped the live Saturday-afternoon opera broadcasts from its schedule. Filling in the afternoon time slot will be pop programming due to ad revenues, while a new four-hour show with an opera theme, hosted by Sylvia L’Écuyer, will air at 7 p.m. on Sundays. A Facebook page called Requiem pour L’Opéra du samedi?, intended to gather support for live opera broadcasts on Radio-Canada, has close to 1,400 supporters.

And, the recently elected pope has elaborated upon his rumoured interest in opera and classical music. Among Pope Francis’s musical preferences are Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Mozart’s “Et incarnatus est” from the Mass in C minor. More surprising is his interest in Wagner. The Pope elaborated on one of his favorite performances: “The performance of Wagner’s Ring by Furtwängler at La Scala in Milan in 1950 is for me the best. But also the Parsifal by Knappertsbusch in 1962.”


Lotfi Mansouri, general director of the Canadian Opera Company from 1976 to 1988 died on August 20 at the age of 84. Born in Tehran, Iran, Mansouri worked as stage director at the Zurich Opera and Geneva Opera before joining the COC and, later, the San Francisco Opera (1988 – 2001). Mansouri is responsible for launching the COC Ensemble Studio, a specialized training program for young opera artists, and the introduction of supertitles — projected translations of the libretto — which have since become a standard feature in opera houses worldwide. Among the works commissioned by Mansouri while at San Francisco Opera is Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, presented recently by Opéra de Montréal.

Larry Lake, performer-composer and broadcaster, died on September 17 at the age of 70. An unrelenting champion of Canadian composers and musicians, Lake was best known as the host of CBC Radio 2’s “Two New Hours,” from 1995 until 2007.

Canadian Divas Abroad

Soprano Measha Bruggergosman spends November 14-20 in Spain, performing Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder with the Basque National Orchestra in San Sebastien, Vitoria, Pamplona, and Bilbao. The following month, she takes on Beethoven’s Ninth twice: with the San Diego Symphony (December 6-8) and with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra on December 20 and New Year’s Eve. In between, she comes home to Ottawa’s National Arts Centre for  a Christmas concert conducted by Alain Trudel, before heading to Montreal for Porgy and Bess with Opéra de Montréal (January 25-February 1).

Contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux joins French soprano Sandrine Piau and the Il Pomo d’Oro Orchestra for concerts of arias and duets by Handel in Évian and Versailles (October 12 and 14 respectively) before returning to Opéra de Montréal for Mistress Quickly in Verdi’s Falstaff (November 9-16), a role she has performed at Glynebourne and La Scala.

Mezzo soprano Wallis Giunta flies to Taiwan this month for performances as Annio in La Clemenza di Tito with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra (October 19 and 20). She then returns to the Metropolitan Opera for Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto, the role that marked her house debut last season, from November 11 through December 7. Come January, she is back in Toronto to take on Dorabella in Atom Egoyan’s new production of Cosí fan tutte for the COC.

Version française...
(c) La Scena Musicale