Archive pour June, 2014

Stéphane Tétreault on Medici

26 June 2014

For his France debut, as part of the Flâneries Musicales d’été de Reims, young cellist Stéphane Tétreault goes big! Indeed, his recital with pianist Marie-Eve Scarfone will be broadcasted live on today at 3 pm . A premiere not to be missed! The young musicians will play Haydn, Brahms and Rachmaninov.

Launched in 1990, Les Flâneries Musicales d’été de Reims hosts more than 50 concerts each summer, featuring young stars as well as internationally renowned artists. The city’s architectural and natural heritage is taken advantage of, with concerts being performed in Basilique Saint-Remi, the Counts of Champagne’s domain, the Cathedral, the Opera, the Manège, the Cirque de Reims and the Palais du Tau. Since 2012, pianist Jean-Philippe Collard acts as artistic director of the festival. He initiated a “Débuts” series, a stepping stone for young talents, in which Stéphane Tétreault and Marie-Ève Scarfone will be heard today.

While waiting for the live, you can listen to Stéphane and the OSQ in some concertos here…  

Happy St. Jean Baptiste

24 June 2014

Some like to attend an official concert featuring chansonniers, others just prefer to chat with friends under the sun. You might also want to listen to music by Québécois composers, whether they are dead (André Mathieu for example) or alive and kicking (those are too many to list). I give you Alain Lefèvre in some his compositions, featured on the album Jardin d’images…

You can hear him live on Thursday and Friday with the OSM at Maison symphonique as part of the Montreal Jazz Festival  in a sure to be memorable evening celebrating the 90th anniversary of the premiere of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and the 80th anniversary of the OSM. You can also discover his jazz side as he performs with bassist Michel Donato and drummer Paul Brochu. Details here…


Summer is here

20 June 2014


Sun seems to be our friend for a few days and some lucky ones amongts you may have planned an extended weekend, thanks to the upcoming St-Jean Baptiste. The time has finally come to think about farniente, to just let time slip through your fingers like sand through an hourglass, to spend time with the ones you love or just by yourself. If you prefer to listen to music rather than to birds chirping (or neighbours renovating!) while in your lounge chair, Atmosphere Summer is the only album you may need. Available only in download, at a very low price, the album feature 10 pieces sure to fit a relaxed state of mind, from the classic Summertime by Gershwin at André Mathieu’s Été canadien, or South-American takes on summer, signed Piazzolla and Villa-Lobos.

Here is the link to download the album…



Two Analekta albums garner praise

17 June 2014

Two of Analekta’s recent albums, Philippe Sly’s Love’s Minstrels and Valérie Milot’s collaboration with Les Violons du Roy, received 4 out of 5 stars in the current issue of La Scena Musicale (June-July-August) featuring on the cover the Orchestre de la francophonie conductor and founder Jean-Philippe Tremblay.

Joseph So has generous words about Philippe Sly:

 “Having seen him as a member of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio, I can say with certainty that he is the “real deal” – a wonderful, warm baritone of beauty and flexibility, coupled with solid technique, abundant musicality, and striking stage presence.”

 When discussing the album, So states:

“He sings those pieces with his custamory warmth, ingratiating timbre and musical intelligence. Though a bass-baritone, his top voice is secure and clarion, which he uses unstingingly. Everything is textbook clean and neat by both the singer and Michael McMahon, the pianist.”

To (re)discover this album…

Harpist Valérie Milot’s most recent opus, with Les Violons du Roy and flutist Claire Marchand also garnered high praise from Marc-Olivier Laramée, who thinks of it as an excellent summer album.

“Here the perfect touch of Valérie Milot and Les Violons du Roy will captivate you.

The sound of the harp is mesmerizing, and Milot plays each piece with great agility. As soon as you hear the first few seconds of this recording, you’ll all sigh in admiration! […] The ensemble created by orchestra, harp and flute is just wonderful.”

You can listen and download the album here…

Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos passed away

13 June 2014

Spanish conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos (of German ascent)  passed away at age 80 on Wednesday in Pamplona in Spain, just one week after announcing he was retiring. “I have come to the following conclusion: I have to recognize publicly that I have cancer and that in this state of health and with deep sorrow I am not able to conduct at my standards and the moment to quit professional matters has come,” he had then stated. He had been the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal’s sixth music director (from 1975 to 1976).

Besides leading the OSM, he was also at the helm of the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra between 1980 and 1983, of the the Vienna Symphony Orchestra (1991-96), the Deutsche Oper Berlin (1992-97), the Rundfunkorchester Berlin (1994-2000) and the RAI National Symphony Orchestra in Italy (2002-07). For many years, he also worked with young musicians, incluing at the Tanglewood Music Center and at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

It was under his direction that the OSM played at Carnegie Hall in New York for the first time. He also led the orchestra in its third European tour. He led the OSM twice in the last few years, in 2009 and in 2012. Musical America named him Conductor of the Year in 2011.

Our deepest sympathies to family and friends.


Bernard Labadie must cancel concerts

11 June 2014

We were saddenend to read that the Violons du Roy‘s founding director Bernard Labadie decided to cancel all of his remaining engagements for 2014, here and abroad.  According to an official statement, Mr Labadie has been receiving treatment for a serious health condition in Germany and will be returning to Quebec shortly for convalescence.  

We wish him a speedy and complete recovery.  

Composers in contempt

9 June 2014

You may be following on Netflix Orange is the New Black, in which we follow the life on an unlikely inmate trying to find sense and ajust to life behind bars. Did you know that a few composers actually did spend some time in jail?

Yes, in most cases, it was just for a night, for example Beethoven who was emprisonned because he looked like a tramp and was wandering in a seamingly meaningless manner, humming a tune and peering through people’s windows. (A music teacher had to vouch that, yes, indeed, he was “the” Beethoven.) There was also Stravinsky who was held in contempt for having “desacrated” the American national anthem in one of his pieces or Schubert, member as a youngster of a Burschenschaften, believed to have had revolutionary ideas. And this is not even starting to address the issue of Gesualdo who killed his wife and her lover but could not be judged for his crimes since he was part of aristocracy.

You can learn more about the dark side of composers here…

Jayson Gillham winner of the MIMC

5 June 2014

The MIMC ended last night, after ten days of intense high-level competition and rewarded pianists with distinct personalities, who dared to take risks repertoire wise (the grand winner by performing Beethoven’s Fourth Concerto in the finals, the 3rd prize winner by playing Hindemith in the semi-finals). The winners are: Jayson Gillham (Australia/UK) who will be leaving with at least $30 000 (he could very well with the Audience’s Prize, revealed at the gala concert tomorrow night), Charles Richard-Hamelin (Canada) who wins $20 000 ($15 000 for his second place and $5 000 as best Canadian artist) and Annika Treutler (Germany) who gets $10 000.

“When I hear young performers of this calibre already demonstrating so much self-assurance, musicality and passion, I have no doubt that the future of our art is in good hands… they are so incredibly talented that they make my job easy!” declared Maestro Giancarlo Guerrero, who is making his Montreal debut this week at the MIMC and demonstrated that he is a born accompanist.

Following the Quarter-final round in which 24 pianists from 15 countries competed at Salle Bourgie between May 26 and 28, twelve semi-finalists took the same stage on May 30 and 31. Six of them performed a concerto of their choice with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal during the Finals on June 3 and 4 at the Maison symphonique de Montréal.  

The closing gala concert will be held tomorrow night at the Maison symphonique at 7:30 pm. The three winners will be featured, as well as Serhiy Salov,  winner of the first edition of the Richard Lupien Improvisation Prize, held for the first time on May 20, Serhiy Salov was also the First Prize winner of the first MIMC piano edition back in 2004. 


Music for all

2 June 2014

Yes, of course, attending a concert in a magnificent setting is a summer activity that is most enjoyable. But how about being the one playing or singing in the middle of the woods or meters away from a lake, even if you have not spent countless hours practicing? It is possible if you join hundreds of amateur musicians who will participate in the 61st edition of the CAMMAC summer camp, From June 29 to August 17. Here, you won’t have to deal with bruised egos: all amateur musicians – all levels included – can play in a relaxed, non-competitive and bilingual atmosphere. Hundreds of teachers, highly qualified, best known for their passion in working with amateurs, will be there to support your efforts. Depending on the week, you could be singing in a choir, performing Broadway hits, playing Bach or improvising on some jazz standards.

Classes are held in the morning, concerts presented at night and in the afternoon, you can practice your instrument – or sing -, take a dip in MacDonald Lake, play tennis, take a nap or read in the sun. Every Wednesday, you can even lead the CAMMAC life free of chage: classes, beach, tennis, two meals, a choir session and a concert (reservation is mandatory though).,

To learn more about the summer programs, visit Cammac’s website or phone 1 888 622-8755.