The WMCT’s Career Development Award prizes of $20,000, $10,000 and $5,000 – among the highest awards for classical music in Canada.
On Sunday April 26, I had the pleasure of attending the tenth presentation of the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto (WMCT)’s Career Development Award (CDA). Established 25 years ago and presented every 3 years, the CDA aims to assist “exceptional young Canadian musicians who are already engaged in a professional performing career.” This year’s finalists were chosen from 10 nominees by CBC producers over the past year. The live competition held in Water Hall featured the top three finalists, Pianist-Author Pierre-André Doucet, pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin, and cellist Stéphane Tétreault for prizes of $20,000, $10,000 and $5,000 – among the highest awards for classical music in Canada. Our gracious host for the afternoon was Julie Nesrallah of CBC Radio 2, who was absolutely delightful. Read on…
I’m not a trained musician but I know what I like, and my night at Wanderlust was certainly a musical treat.
On the last Sunday of March, I had the pleasure of discovering three musical artists at Wanderlust at Lula Lounge, featuring Ozere, Ventanas (both from Toronto), and Briga from Montreal. All three bands are led by up-and-coming Canadian female artists Briga, Jessica Hana Deutsch (Ozere), and Tamar Ilana (Ventanas). Together they played an incredible array of traditional and original music including Roma, Flamenco, Celtic, Balkan, Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jewish, bluegrass and more. Plenty of audio samples in this entry!
It felt as if my entire brain was being constantly stimulating. I know, sounds rather peculiar. But the fact I was listening to music I had never heard before, words I had not read before, and having someone perform and read them, made them come to life.
On Tuesday night, I had the pleasure of attending the Talisker Players’ latest concert Creature to Creature. The programme was inspired by the medieval Bestiary, or “book of beasts”. A Bestiary is meant to hold up a mirror to human nature by using the traits of animals to serve as examples for human conduct.
For those of you not familiar with the Talisker Players, they are a unique ensemble who love to collaborate with singers, and present the music of living composers. Their productions are thematic, and always include elements of the spoken word. Poetry, memoirs, letters, essays, read by professional actors, are woven into the programme to elaborate on the theme and give a dramatic narrative to the production.
Texts were chosen by the composers to complement the music in last night’s programme. The “creatures” we got to know included poets, philosophers, lovers and even operatic rivals! The music and words carefully depicted several poetic perspectives, such as, irony, reflection “quasi-scientific detachment”, and appreciation for creatures that are both like and unlike us.
Arlecchino Allegro blended together the traditions of clown, improvisation and chamber music in a very entertaining manner.
Under the artistic direction of Larry Beckwith, Toronto Masque Theatre celebrated its 10th year anniversary this past weekend with their annual cabaret. This year, they shared the stage with members of the internationally known Gorgonetrevich Corps de Ballet Nationale (GCdBN), with whom they had worked in 2003 in Tears Of A Clown. That show was so successful, they decided to update it this year as Arlecchino Allegro. which ran from January 23-25 last week in the beautiful historic Enoch Turner Schoolhouse.
For those looking for a theatre show that is creative, challenging and thought-provoking, The … Musician. An Étude is one to take in.
This past weekend I attended a new production, The… Musician: An Étude, by Toronto Laboratory Theatre; presented by Theátrus. Adapted from the 19th century Ukrainian-Russian novella The Blind Musician by Vladimir Korolenko, this new play tells the moving story of a boy born without sight who learns to communicate through music.