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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 8, No. 3


Par/by Lucie Renaud / November 2, 2002

Version française...


  • Moments musicaux de Rachmaninov - Les Tableaux d'une exposition de Moussorgsky du pianiste Alain Lefèvre (étiquette Analekta) a remporté le Félix de l'album classique de l'année, catégorie soliste, petit ensemble. L'album classique de l'année, cette fois dans la catégorie orchestre et grand ensemble, a été décerné au Concert français du violoniste James Ehnes, aussi sur étiquette Analekta, accompagné par l'Orchestre symphonique de Québec, sous la direction de Yoav Talmi. Note parfaite du magazine Répertoire, cet enregistrement avait été retenu par plusieurs critiques québécois comme l'un des meilleurs disques classiques de 2001. Ces deux artistes ne s'arrêteront pas sur leur lancée. Le 29 octobre, Alain Lefèvre lancera son nouvel enregistrement sur étiquette Analekta, « Liszt – Transcriptions Bach, Wagner ». Le tout récent Fritz Kreisler de James Ehnes (voir critique dans nos pages) a été choisi le disque du mois de la prochaine édition de Répertoire.
  • Canadian baritone Josuah Hopkins won the Julian Gayarre International Voice Competition in Spain held in September 2002. He also took home the Prix de l'Opéra des Flandres and a series of bookings in Spain for 2003 and 2004. Hopkins is a graduate of McGill University. Canadian soprano Lambroula Maria Pappas came second. Both represented Canada through the program Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques organized by Théâtre Lyrichorégra 20.
  • Angela Gheorghiu received the Echo Award in Germany for 'female singer of the year' and performed a track from Casta Diva live at the ceremony, on 13 October. Other Echo Award winners and performers include Kennedy and the Celtic Tenors.
  • James Eager (age 11) from Llysworney in the Vale of Glamorgan, and Lucy Rhodes (age 14) from Harrogate, beat off stiff competition from the hundreds of other young contestants, winning the BBC Radio 2 Young Choristers of the Year Competition on October 12.
  • The final of the Michele Pittaluga International Guitar Competition was held on 27 September 2002. Roman Viazovskiy from Ukraine was awarded third prize, Enea Leone from Italy received the Blardone Award, Christian Saggese (also from Italy) was awarded second prize, but no first prize was awarded. The 'chitarra d'oro' (for the most promising young guitarist of the competition) was awarded to Marcin Dylla.
  • The annual Vakhtang Jordania International Conducting Competition announced the results of its 2002 competition held in Kharkov, Ukraine, September 9-15, 2002. Two first prizes of $2000 USD each and forthcoming full concerts with the Kharkov Philharmonic Orchestra were awarded to Belgian conductor Ivan Meylemans (Music Director of the Sweelinck Chamber Orchestra of Amsterdam, principal trombonist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam and faculty member of that city's Conservatory) and Yuri Yanko, of Kharkov, Ukraine (Principal Conductor of the Kharkov Philharmonic and former conductor of the Zaporozhye Philharmonic Orchestra, Kharkov Opera and the Young Symphony Orchestra of Kharkov). Both first-place winners were also awarded the Best Performance of a Contemporary Composition and Orchestra Favourite prizes.
  • French conductor Christophe Mangou won the 2002 Donatella Flick Conducting Competition on October 1, 2002 at London's Barbican Hall. He was also a prize-winner in the 1998 Austro-Hungarian Competition and the 2001 International Pedrotti Competition in Trento, Italy. Since September 2001 he has assisted Sebastian Lang Lessing at the Nancy Opera House.
  • Following two final concerts at Carnegie Hall, the Maazel/Vilar Conductors' Competition announced on September 29, 2002, that Bundit Ungrangsee (age 31, from Thailand) and Xian Zhang (age 28, from China) were chosen as the laureates of its inaugural competition. An equal prize awarded to both Mr Ungrangsee and Ms Zhang includes a period of training with Lorin Maazel and others, professional engagements arranged by the competition and cash awards of $45,000 USD. The jury for the final round of the competition consisted of Kyung-Wha Chung, Glenn Dicterow, Yoichiro Omachi, Krzysztof Penderecki, Janos Starker, Ian Stoutzker, Etienne Vatelot, Marcello Viotti and Lorin Maazel.
  • Young Japanese violinists have taken the top two prizes in the 21st Premio Rodolfo Lipizer violin competition in Italy in September. First prize was won by Sayako Kusaka. Her other recent prizes include the silver medal at the Paganini Competition in Italy and third prize in the Sibelius Violin Competition in Finland. Maki Itoi won second prize and the special prize for the best Lipizer interpretation of the contest.
  • John Reeman, a British composer from Lytham St Annes, won the $10,000 USD first prize in the Second International Composers' Competition 'In memoriam Zoltán Kodály' in September 2002. No second prize was awarded, and the third prize of $5,000 was won by Russian composer Ildar Khissamoutdinov.


  • With the tragic loss of its founder and conductor, the Lakeshore Chamber Orchestra, an amateur community ensemble, is looking for a conductor. Information may be obtained by phoning (514) 695-2327.
  • Les JMC annoncent la tenue prochaine des auditions canadiennes de l'Orchestre Mondial des Jeunesses Musicales (OMJM). Celles-ci sont ouvertes à tous les instrumentistes canadiens âgés de 16 à 25 ans et possédant une expérience pertinente comme musicien d'orchestre. Une session d'été se déroulera du 10 juillet au 20 août 2003. La séance de travail qui se tiendra en Allemagne (Weikershiem – Opera Festival) sous la baguette de Yakov Kreizberg, sera suivie d'une tournée de concerts. Au programme, entre autres : la Quatrième Symphonie de Mahler, l'opéra Carmen de Bizet et en première mondiale, une œuvre de Jeffrey Ching. La session d'hiver se déroulera du 27 décembre 2003 au 15 janvier 2004 à Berlin (Allemagne) sous la direction de Andrew Litton. Au programme, entre autres, la Neuvième Symphonie de Bruckner et la première mondial d'une œuvre de Marcin Blazewicz. Le dossier complet doit parvenir aux JMC avant le 9 décembre. Info : (514) 845-4108, poste 223 ou fgelinas@jeunessesmusicales.ca


  • Since October 9 the Toronto Symphony Orchestra has entered a new relationship with HurryDate, a speed dating service. Newly matched HurryDate couples will be invited, as special guests, to attend a performance of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at Roy Thomson Hall for their first date. "We are thrilled to be offering this amazing first-date experience to our HurryDaters," says Karen Ward of HurryDate Canada. "Partnering with HurryDate provided us with a fun way to encourage young audiences to check out TSO concerts," says Mike Forrester, the TSO's Director of Marketing. A new way to mix music and pleasure.
  • The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association reported a $6.1m deficit for the last accounting year, according to the Chicago Sun-Times Newspaper. This included a $3.8 million operating deficit on its 2001-02 budget of $59.6 million and an additional "one-time, non-cash accounting adjustment" of $2.3 million that included uncollected pledges and other debts. The deficit was not a surprise, though the amount was. After nine years of profit, the orchestra posted a $1.3m deficit last season, and this year's deficit was expected to be at least $4m.


  • Sir Simon Rattle's inaugural concert as Chief Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra on September 7 was one of the most spectacular and epic musical events in years, attracting a deluge of praise from the world's media, and confidently surpassing expectations: "Shake, Rattle 'n' Roll...our popstar is a conductor!" announced Die Welt while the British Sunday Times went so far as to state, "In classical music terms the equivalent of winning the world cup final." Rattle confirmed that he will take his commitment to and passion for classical music much further than any other conductor: into cultural education projects, urban regeneration ventures (bringing together deprived teenagers from the former East Germany to perform Stravinsky's Rite of Spring), and into the political arena. Rattle just won his ninth Gramophone award last month with his recording of Schoenberg's Gurrelieder with the Berlin Philharmonic.
  • Antonio Pappano, who has just taken his post as music director of the Royal Opera House, has also received tremendous reviews as he stepped on the London podium. At 42 he is the youngest-ever music director of the ROH.
  • Franz Welser-Möst, new music director of the Cleveland Symphony, is set to receive the prestigious Artist of the Year Award from Musical America.
  • The EMI label celebrates Daniel Barenboim's return to the label in time for his 60th birthday on November 15. Barenboim took his high-profile campaign for greater Israeli-Palestinian understanding into the heart of the West Bank recently when he played at a Palestinian high school in Ramallah. Two books are to be published for his birthday this autumn: Parallels and Paradoxes, written in collaboration with the Palestinian writer Edward W. Said, and A life in Music, a reissue of his autobiography.


  • L'Opéra de Québec a pu annoncer pour une 4e année consécutive une augmentation du nombre de ses abonnements. La compagnie présente cette année La Veuve joyeuse (en octobre), L'Enlèvement au sérail (en mars 2003) et Rigoletto (en mai 2003)
  • The Calgary Opera announced that its 30th anniversary season (2001-2002) was an artistic and financial success, with the highest ever earned revenues for the company. Over the past four years, Calgary Opera has increased its operating budget from $2 million to $3 million while erasing its accumulated deficit and building a reserve fund. Last season Calgary Opera presented two special concerts, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa in recital and the 30th anniversary Gala concert as well as three productions: Marriage of Figaro, La Bohème and Dialogues des carmélites. This season includes Don Pasquale (in October), Hansel and Gretel (in November), the premiere of Filumena (in February 2003) and La Traviata (in April 2003).


  • Le pianiste d'origine russe Vlado Perlemuter est mort le 4 septembre 2002, à l'âge de 98 ans. Le pianiste avait émigré avec sa famille à Paris très tôt, ce qui lui avait permis d'étudier avec Moritz Moszkowski et Alfred Cortot. Il avait, entre autres, interprété l'intégrale des œuvres de Ravel lors de deux récitals en présence du compositeur. Après la Deuxième Guerre mondiale, il avait dédié plus de 25 ans de sa vie à ses étudiants du Conservatoire de Paris.


  • With the participation of a thousand on stage, the Fifth Beijing International Music Festival's rendition of Mahler's Symphony No 8 on October 11 was a true collaboration among international groups: more than forty members of the New York Choral Society flew in to join local children's and adult choirs made up of Chinese nationals and members of the city's international community. The chorus was complemented by joint forces of the China Philharmonic, Shanghai Broadcasting Symphony and the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestras under the baton of Yu Long. Highlights of this festival included two concerts solely devoted to recent works by living Chinese composers Ye Xiaogang and Chen Qigang. The theme of contemporary Chinese musical talent extended to artists who have played for international audiences in recent years. Pianist Lang Lang performed on October 16 with the New York Philharmonic under conductor Lorin Maazel. Chopin competition winner Yundi Li appears with cellist Wang Jian, singers Warren Mok, and Liang Ning at the festival's gala closing performances on November 1 and 2.


  • The Naxos String Quartets, the series of ten string quartets which British composer Peter Maxwell Davies will write until 2007, will be performed by the Maggini Quartet. The Maggini will première two quartets every season, starting with the first on 23 October 2002. Naxos will record two quartets at a time, releasing one CD each year until the cycle of ten quartets is complete.
  • An important piano concerto by Paul Hindemith has been rediscovered. Written in 1923 for Austrian pianist Paul Wittgenstein, who lost his right arm fighting in the first world war, Hindemith's Concerto for the Left Hand was never played, and the score disappeared when Wittgenstein died in 1961. When Hilde Wittgenstein, the pianist's wife, died in 2001, the score was rediscovered among her effects.
  • When the National Gallery of Australia purchased Jackson Pollock's controversial 1952 painting Blue Poles in 1973, it caused an uproar in virtually the entire country. Today, it is viewed as an extraordinary investment--at the time of a Pollock Retrospective in New York in 1999, Blue Poles was estimated to be worth between $ 70m USD and $130m USD. 'Blue Poles' was celebrated in music recently by a concert at the National Gallery in Canberra on October 26. Composed by Andrew Ford in 1999 as a 70th birthday present to Peter Sculthorpe, 'Blue Poles' is the fifth and last in a series of works for 17 solo strings called Manhattan Epiphanies. "In an ideal performance of the piece, I suppose, you should be able to walk through the orchestra, pausing to attend to individual strands of music, just as you are able to follow one of Pollock's trails of dripped paint across the canvas. And then you should be able to stand back and experience the blur," explained the composer.
  • Anne-Sophie Mutter and the New York Philharmonic performed the New York premiere of André Previn's Violin Concerto.


  • SheetMusicNow.com, a website offering downloads of digital sheet music to print at home, now under new management, continues the expansion of its activities. Through cooperation with the European String Teachers Association, it has produced educational works by Mogens Heimann and Terje Moe Hansen to coincide with the ESTA conference in Denmark. Amoris International, the specialist publishing house for oboe d'amore, has joined the list of renowned partners of SheetMusicNow.com, and exclusive new works will be available during the coming weeks.
  • On October 21 the late Sir Georg Solti would have been 90 years old. To mark the occasion a new website–masterminded by his widow Lady Valerie Solti–was launched. The site explores the Hungarian-Jewish conductor's life and work through video footage of interviews and performances (some of which is hitherto unseen material), personal memorabilia, and extracts from recordings and scores. One section is entitled 'Solti on the art of conducting' and looks at the stages of his approach to the musical score and its realisation, in his own words, and is illustrated by pages from his dynamically annotated scores.

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