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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 9, No. 10

Ottawa in Music

July 13, 2004

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Ottawa Chamber Music Festival

The 11th season of the OCMF takes place July 24-August 7, with an impressive roster of Canadian and international talent appearing in 110 concerts. The opening gala (July 24) features the Empire Brass quintet in a program of works by Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Gershwin and others. This year, the festival is also presenting the complete chamber works of Brahms, pays tribute to Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer and devotes an entire day to works by 30 Canadian composers under 30. Other highlights include: the Tokyo String Quartet (July 25); 2000 Leeds Competition gold medallist Alessandro Bax and the Beaux-Arts Trio 50th Anniversary concert (both July 26); Emma Kirkby (July 27.); violinist James Ehnes, countertenor Daniel Taylor and the St. Lawrence String Quartet (all performing July 28); viol consort Fretwork (July 29); fortepianist David Breitman and a Baroque Extravaganza with violinist Monica Hugget (both July 31); Marc-André Hamelin (August 1); the Gryphon Trio (August 4 and 6); mezzo Julie Nesrallah with guitarist Daniel Bolshoy (August 5); and the Leipzig String Quartet (August 6 and 7). The festival closes August 7 with 20 musicians performing some of the OCMF's "greatest hits". For complete schedule and ticket info, visit www.chamberfest.com or phone (613) 234-8008.

National Arts Centre Orchestra

NACO musicians won't be catching those warm rays anytime soon, what with their busy summer schedule. July 3-15, the orchestra hosts its Great Composers Series. July 3, conductor Pinchas Zukerman puts on his violinist hat for a concert of chamber music by Richard Strauss and Schumann, featuring students and faculty from the NACO's acclaimed Young Artists Programme. Zukerman is back on the podium July 6 for an all-Mozart program. On July 13, it's Russian Romance featuring Tchaikovsky's Symphony no. 5 and Rachmaninov's Variations on a Theme of Paganini with soloist Garrick Ohlsson. And on July 15, several NACO players-not to mention their conductor-appear as soloists in works by Vivaldi and Bach. July 9 and 10, guest conductor George Daugherty leads the NACO for Bugs Bunny on Broadway; the musicians provide alive soundtrack for the well-known cartoons projected above their heads. More movie magic will be created July 22-23, when Alexander Mickelthwate conducts The Lord of the Rings: A Symphony in Six Movements for Orchestra and Chorus, featuring excerpts from Howard Shore's Oscar winning score for Peter Jackson's recent smash film trilogy. Shore himself will be in Ottawa for pre-concert talks and other outreach activities. For more info, visit www.nac-cna.ca or call (613) 947-7000.

Opera Lyra Ottawa

The 2004-2005 season will be one of celebration for Opera Lyra: the distinguished opera company (the largest independent organization dedicated to the arts in the Ottawa region) will be celebrating its 20th anniversary. In honour of this achievement, artistic director Tyrone Paterson is organizing three big productions: first, there will be Puccini's Madama Butterfly, featuring Chinese-Canadian rising star Liping Zhang in the role of Cio-Cio San, on September 11, 13, and 18; second, The Telephone and The Old Maid and the Thief, two of Gian Carlo Menotti's operas, will be performed on January 15, 17, 19, and 22; and to conclude the season, Opera Lyra will feature a work by Jacques Offenbach for the first time in the form of his famous Contes d'Offmann, on April 2, 4, 6, and 9. On August 24, 2004, the Italian ambassador and his wife will hold a benefit-garden party for the opera company in the magnificent gardens of their residence. Guests will enjoy an evening of fine dining, wine, and bel canto. Reserve early! Information: (613) 233-9200 / www.operalyra.ca

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