The 103rd Edition of the Prix d’Europe
Since 1911, the Prix d’Europe has developed the careers of young classical musicians, singers and instrumentalists both, by helping them perfect their art and giving them the opportunity to continue their studies outside of Quebec.
This year, you can hear contestants in the semi-finals, which take place June 8 to 12 at the Chapelle du Bon-Pasteur. The finals will be held on June 13, and the gala concert, featuring competition winners and guests of honour Charles-Richard Hamelin (pianist, Prix d’Europe 2011) and Victor Fournelle-Blain, (violinist, Prix d’Europe 2012), will be held on June 15 at 2:30 pm at Bourgie Hall, under the auspices of the Honourable Judge John Gomery. During the evening, the Académie de musique du Québec will award various scholarships totaling more than $50,000, including the coveted Prix d’Europe, worth $25,000.
The 2014 jury includes Gabrielle Lavigne, mezzo-soprano; Zofia Wislocka, conductor (Belgium); Carol Bergeron, musicologist and journalist; Yegor Dyachkov, cellist; and David Jalbert, pianist. 514-528-1961, www.prixdeurope.ca
World Premiere: The Esther Diaries
Soprano Sharon Azrieli Perez sings Esther, Queen of Persia and a biblical character, in a new song cycle by Canadian composer Haralabos Stafylakis on an Ellen Frankel text. The McGill Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Boris Brott, accompanies. The Esther Diaries will be created in a concert entitled Klez-Kabaret that will highlight the unique colors of Jewish music. Contemporary dancer Roger Sinha takes on the role of the scribe to whom Esther dictates her diary. The concert will feature another creation: Tur Malka by Henri Oppenheim, performed by the Montreal group Magillah. Maison symphonique - June 10. www.ocm mco.org
- Justin Bernard
Festival International Montréal en Arts (June 11 – 15)
The 15th annual Festival hosts over 120 visual artists and craftspeople. The large, open-air gallery that is Rue Sainte-Catherine between Berri and Papineau enables visitors to meet artists, both professional and emerging ones, from all different art disciplines. Accueil Bonneau, the organization works towards the social reintegration of homeless people, is a special invited guest. www.festivaldesarts.org
- Hassan Laghcha
Yannick Nézet-Séguin; Hélène Grimaud
The Metropolitan Orchestra closes its 33rd season, with an encounter between Yannick Nézet-Séguin and international star pianist Hélène Grimaud in two performances of Brahms’s Piano Concerto # 1 and Bruckner’s Symphony # 3. The June 12 concert is a benefit for the Metropolitan Orchestra. Note: the June 13 concert begins with a performance of Brahms’s Academic Festival Overture by students from the Joseph-François Perreault School, directed by Nézet-Séguin. Benefit tickets will go towards financing the school’s new concert hall project. Maison symphonique. www.orchestremetropolitain.com
- Justin Bernard
Suoni per il Popolo 2014
In 2001, the Casa del Popolo launched its festival, the Suoni per il Popolo. The first edition was a bold undertaking due to the fact that it focused entirely on avant-garde music and lasted no less than five weeks. Since then, it has scaled down its time frame to two and a half weeks while drawing steady support from a younger audience attracted to musical experimentation. This year’s edition, like all of its predecessors, runs for 18 days, from June 4 to 22. But that doesn’t mean it is simply content with the status quo. A look at its program reveals that is expanding in all directions. True to its mission, the Suoni will be stretching its boundaries by exploring the cutting edge of rock and punk, electronic, experimental, contemporary classical, folk and avant-pop. Not to be overlooked either is its jazz and improvised music content, but there will also be a focus on media arts and interactive technologies. All told, there are 68 shows on tap—several include two or more groups—and eleven film programs. Six workshop sessions are also scheduled, hosted by guest performers of all musical stripes, some of which allow amateur musicians to join in.
This year, new activities have been added. First, the festival, in conjunction with the Bozzini Quartet, has put together a conference around the life and work of visionary British composer Cornelius Cardew, including a performance of his masterwork “Treatise”. Another first is Cartel MTL, an international symposium of new music presenters with some thirty delegates. Hosted by the festival, this event is aimed at networking contacts and is sponsored by the local new music umbrella organization le Vivier, with added support from the Huddersfield Festival in England.
The Suoni will be more visible than ever within the community in that its events will take place in 17 venues, the result of may new co-production agreements, including some unusual ones like that of the Jewish General Hospital and its ten-day satellite festival running from June 9-19.
As for jazz, it is but one facet of the whole. But its choices are quite enticing for the venturesome. Most concerts slated here will go down at the Café Résonance, 5275-A Parc Avenue (at Fairmount). Of note will be a new quartet lead by alto saxophonist Yves Charuest with Catalonian pianist Augusti Fernández (June 17); drummer Harris Eisenstadt’s Golden State Quartet (20)—see CD review— and lastly, a half-Scandinavian, half-German group called the Deciders (22). On the local front, alto saxman Eric Hove’s tentet will tackle his compositions of striking originality (21). If you like music in your face, no one does it better than the blustery German saxman Peter Brötzmann, and ditto for his American counterparts William Parker and Hamid Drake (Sala Rossa, 10).
Online Information and Tickets: www.casadelpopolo.com/suoniperilpopolo
Online Downloadable Program: suoniperilpopolo.org/programme-suoni-2014
- Marc Chénard
FrancoFolies (June 12-22)
The 26th annual FrancoFolies includes a tribute to Serge Fiori in Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Place des Arts. Other concerts of note feature Stromae, the Boulay Sisters and the Grand Corps Malade. A few other highlights are Malajube’s lead Julien Mineau’s return to the stage and a concert with Ingrid St-Pierre, accompanied by I Musici. The festival offers 70 indoor shows and 180 free outdoor concerts. www.francofolies.com
- Hassan Laghcha
St-Ambroise Montreal FRINGE Festival (June 2-22)
The 24th Fringe Festival is held in a variety of venues around Plateau Mont-Royal, Montreal. There are shows co-presented by Indie Montréal and Culture Cible au Divan Orange and, among others, Hey Ocean, Miracle Fortress, Chic Gamine, APigeon, The Zolas, Lakes of Canada, The Beatdown, Buddy McNeil & The Magic Mirrors, Sultans of String, Pif Paf Hangover. www.montrealfringe.ca
- Hassan Laghcha
Labels: Bozzini Quartet, Festival International Montréal en Arts, FrancoFolies, Hélène Grimaud, Preview, Prix d’Europe, Suoni per il Popolo 2014, The Esther Diaries, Yannick Nézet-Séguin