Archive pour May, 2013

Le Sacre: still revolutionary after 100 years

29 May 2013

The première of Stravinsky’s Sacre du printemps (Rite of Spring), on May 29,1913 at Théâtre des Champs-Élysées à Paris,was to cause one of the biggest scandals of music history. A fight even erupted between audience members but conductor Pierre Monteux just continued until the end. The audience, frazzled by the violence of Nijinsky’s choregraphy was speechless. Critics the next day went so far as to speak of the “Massacre du printemps”. Ravel and Cocteau were amongst the ones who loved it but it took a while before the ballet became a standard of the repertoire, revisited many times over. Here are a few takes, to celebrate in style this 100th anniversary.

Reconstitution of the original choregraphy.

Maurice Béjart’s version.

The just as mythical Pina Bausch version.

A more recent take by Québécois  Marie Chouinard.

More photos

27 May 2013

The memories of great parties linger on for more than a few days. So here are some more photos of the Analekta 25th anniversary celebration, held last Thursday. Some photos will bring you behind the scenes as the special CJPX radio show was broadcast live from the Analekta office.

Quite a few trophies garner those shelves
François Mario Labbé interviewed
Geneviève Soly live on CJPX
Luc Beauséjour on air
Despite the less than sunny weather, many guests mingled on the terrasse
It was also François Mario Labbé’s 60th birthday and Lyne Fortin wanted to be part of the celebrations.

Analekta celebrates 25 years in style

24 May 2013

Artists,  friends and long-time collaborators all gathered last night for a very convivial 25th anniversary celebration held in Analekta’s offices.  The atmosphere was most festive, hors d’oeuvres were delicious, everyone seemed to be thoroughly enjoying themselves and happy to share this milestone event. A special CJPX radio show was even broadcast from the premises, featuring of course artists and albums from the Canadian classical label.

I was there and took a few photos.

A long term relationship between Analekta (François Mario Labbé) and CJPX (Jean-Pierre Coallier).
Harpsichordist Luc Beauséjour
Mathias Maute
Angèle Dubeau shares her latest gold record with sound engineer Carl Talbot
Antoine Bareil and Valérie Milot
Joseph Rouleau and Luc Beauséjour
Alain Lefèvre
Alain Lefèvre, Joseph Rouleau and Georges Nicholson
The Duo Similia (Annie et Nadia Labrie) with general manager Julie Fournier

Jeunesses Musicales Internationales in town

21 May 2013

The Jeunesses Musicales Internationales is holding its 68th annual general assembly in Montreal until tomorrow. Members from about 20 different countries are in town to discuss their various programs, participate in some necessary decision making, and toattend workshops and concerts. (Members were at the Maison symphonique de Montréal on Friday for the Gala Concert of the MIMC,  in Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier on Saturday for the premiere of Manon at Opéra de Montréal and at the Orford Centre on Sunday for a concert featuring  pianist Serhiy Salov, violinist Boson Mo and soprano Andréanne Paquin.)  

JMI president

Founded in Brussels in 1945 with the mission to “enable young people to develop through music across all boundaries,” it reaches more than 5 millions young members through 36 000 activities each year is as pertinent today as it was yesterday, JMI President Per Ekedahl believes. “It is very important to have this democratic, transparent structure,” he explained in an interview minutes before the official opening of the assembly. “Those meetings of the board and committees are a way to democratize our work, and learn from each other. A successful concept in Canada doesn’t work in Malawi, because of budget, culture…”

The organisation still aims to empower young people through music, and to achieve this feat it provides international projects such as the Ethno Camps, which provide musicians with the opportunity to learn from and teach each other a variety of musical cultures from around the world; the Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra; the World Youth Choir and Fair Play, a global competition for original songs by young musicians under the age of 35 on the theme of anti-corruption and good governance, organized in partnership by JMI, GYAC and the World Bank Institute.

Per Ekedahl, who has a background as a music teacher, professional choir singer and choir conductor, and has been head of the movement since 2008, believes that music may be the most relevant element in today’s youth. “All young people will talk about music,” he states. This may be why a peer-to-peer project such as the Ethno Camps can work so well.  When participants must choose which songs to share with others, they must ask what is typical of their country, what they like but also how can they teach it, sometimes with no common language other than music. “You must reflect on your own culture,” he explains. “All members are already connected from the beginning; they are all in the same boat. If projects are to work, they must become more and more connected to what clicks.”

For Ekedahl, classical music can still be relevant today, especially with the help of Internet. “A lot of kids are familiar with classical music, but just don’t know it. We must rethink the concert format. How should they behave? Are they welcomed? It is essential that you have performers who want to be there. If you want young people to live the concert experience to the fullest, you must instill music into the public. Communicating with music is most important. People want to be touched!”

The future cannot be grim when music sharing is at stake. Per Ekedahl hopes to be able to launch an updated version of the World Orchestra by next summer (though, of course, money here is an object), to include mixing local culture in the orchestra’s program when it travels. “We need to add another colour in the music, we can’t just play the standards of the repertoire anymore,” he says. He whishes to be able to integrate workshops with traditional musicians from the visited countries as a way to connect with young musicians. He believes the organisation can still grow. “Our challenge is to be active and reactive, to find out what works and what doesn’t work. We have all the cards in our hands. We just need to deal them correctly to win.”

Marc Bouchkov wins the MIMC

16 May 2013

Belgian violinist Marc Bouchkov was the clear audience favourite the first night of the finals and demonstrated a real connection with the OSM as led by Maxim Vengerov. The amazing performance given last night by the young American contestant Stephen Waarts (16 years old and studying at university level in Curtis for two years already!) was not enough to push him off the highest step of the podium. Zeyu Victor Le, from China, was almost flawless in his Tchaikovsky and finished third.

Prizewinners will perform once more tomorrow night at the gala. We will also learn the name of the conveted Audience Prize and the special prizes. Until then, you can listen to the semi-finals recitals and the concerto round here…

Photos: Gunther Gamper

De Analekta
De Analekta

Six finalists, six different countries at the MIMC

12 May 2013

Our Canadian violonist has not made it to the finals, but Ji Young Lim (South Korea), Chi Li (Taiwan), Marc Bouchkov (Belgium), Zeyu Victor Li (China), Fédor Roudine (France) et Stephen Waarts (USA) did. The three first ones will perform on Tuesday with the OSM under Maxim Vengerov, the three others on Wednesday. The winner will then be revealed. We’ll hear the Brahms Concerto (once every night) and the Tchaikovsky Concerto (four times, twice each night obviously). This will certainly give an edge to audience and jury for comparaison purposes.

Before this, though, you won’t want to miss the Prestige Concert tomorrow night, featuring Maxim Vengerov (this time as a violinist), Stéphane Tétreault and Serhiy Salov in Beethoven’s Triple Concerto. They will perform with I Musici under Jean-Marie Zeitouni’s direction.

Violinist Régis Pasquier, one of the members of the jury, will also give a masterclass today, Salle Bourgie, from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.


And the semi-finalists are…

10 May 2013

The names of the semi-finalists of the MIMC were announced last night, and good news, the Canadian candidate Nikki Chooi is still in the running! (He’ll perform tonight at 10: 20 p.m.) The semi-finals start tonight and music lovers are treated now to a “real” recitals, each bound to have its own colour and flair. All programs can be viewed at

Here is the schedule of the semi-finals, to be held at Salle Bourgie.

1st session

7:30 p.m.: Nigel Armstrong – United States
8:20 p.m.: Fédor Roudine – France
9:30 p.m.: Suliman Tekalli – United States
10:20 p.m.: Nikki Chooi – Canada

2nd session

1:00 p.m.: Jaroslaw Nadrzycki – Poland
1:50 p.m.: Luke Hsu – United States
3:00 p.m.: Ji Young Lim – South Korea
3:50 p.m.: Chi Li – Taiwan

3rd session
7:30 p.m.: Zeyu Victor Li – China
8:20 p.m.: Stephen Waarts – United States
9:30 p.m.: Marc Bouchkov – Belgium
10:20 p.m.: Diana Tishchenko – Ukraine

The MIMC starts today!

7 May 2013

The Montreal International Musical Competition announced yesterday the detailed schedule for the Quarter Final round, to be held at Salle Bourgie. Twenty-three violinists – including one Canadian – are participating in this year’s competition.

1st session

1:00 p.m.: Soo-Hyun Park – South Korea
1:50 p.m.: Yasuka Morizono – Japan
3:00 p.m.: Nigel Armstrong – United States
3:50 p.m.: Fédor Roudine – France

2nd session
7:00 p.m.: Suliman Tekalli – United States
7:50 p.m.: Nikki Chooi – Canada
9:00 p.m.: Igor Pikayzen – Russia
9:50 p.m.: Jaroslaw Nadrzycki – Poland

3rd session

1:00 p.m.: Romuald Grimbert-Barré – France
1:50 p.m.: Wonyoung Jung – South Korea
3:00 p.m.: Luke Hsu – United States
3:50 p.m.: Ji Young Lim – South Korea

4th session
7:00 p.m.: Fumika Mohri – Japan
7:50 p.m.: Nadir Khashimov – Uzbekistan
9:00 p.m.: Chiril Maximov – Moldova
9:50 p.m.: Chi Li – Taiwan

5th session

1:00 p.m.: Fabiola Kim – United States
1:50 p.m.: Zeyu Victor Li – China
3:00 p.m.: Stephen Waarts – United States
3:50 p.m.: Soh-Yon Kim – South Korea

6th session
7:00 p.m.: Marc Bouchkov – Belgium
7:50 p.m.: Diana Tishchenko – Ukraine
8:40 p.m.: Shenghua Hu – China

The announcement of the semi-finalists will be made following the last Quarter Final session on Thursday, May 9. The complete musical programme of each round is available at

Twelve violinists will then be chosen for the Semi-finals and six for the Finals.

Lorraine Desmarais with the OSL

6 May 2013

The  Lorraine Desmarais Trio featuring Lorraine Desmarais on piano, Frédéric Alarie on double bass and  Camil Bélisle on drums, joins force with the Orchestre symphonique de Laval (OSL) under Alain Trudel’s direction Wednesday night in a program featuring some jazz greats. The program includes music by Duke Ellington, George Gershwin,Dizzie Gillepsie and a work by Alain Trudel, who will at that point switch his baguette for his trombone.

Let’s recall that last December Lorraine Desmarais received the Order of Canada and that was she was “Performer of the Year” at the 16th Gala des Prix Opus.

Billetterie et information ici…

Pierres de lune, the Lorraine Desmarais Trio album is there…

Valérie Milot and Antoine Bareil in Orford

3 May 2013

The weather has been so exceptional all week that we must make summerlike projects for the weekend! Who needs to stay home when you could hit the road, grab a brunch in the Eastern Townships and hear a concert? You can do all that for 34.95 $ on Sunday if you head for the Orford Arts Centre.

From 10 to 11:15 a.m. you can savour a delicious meal and right after this hear Valérie Milot and Antoine Bareil in a harp and violin renditions of Simon & Garfunkel timeless hits. More info here…

Before you go, you may want to listen and download the album there…