LSM Newswire

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Denis Matsuev Makes Toronto Recital Debut




“A virtuoso in the grandest of Russian traditions who returns us to the great days of Emil Gilels... He literally possesses the sort of technique which begins where others end” – Gramophone

“Perhaps he is the new Horowitz.” – London Times

Mr. Matsuev’s hands were so sturdy in the double octave runs that they seemed fused together at the wrists, and his ability to turn on a dime and render a quiet line dynamically exquisite.” – Pittsburg Post-Gazette (February 5, 2011)

Show One Productions proudly presents the debut Canadian recital tour of Russian virtuoso pianist Denis Matsuev this May. He makes his Toronto recital debut Thursday, May 12, 8 p.m. at Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W. Tickets, $55-75, and information are available via; or phone (416) 408-0208.

Matsuev performs four major works: Schubert’s Sonata in A minor (Op. 143), Beethoven’s Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 (Appassionata), and, in honour of the composer’s bicentennial, Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz No. 1. Matsuev, who has been artistic Director of the Sergei Rachmaninoff Foundation since 2008, concludes his program with Rachmaninoff’s Sonata in B flat minor, No. 2, Op, 36 (Second Edition).

Show One also presents Matsuev at Montreal’s Place des Arts May 5, and at Vancouver’s Chan Centre for Performing Arts, May 14.


Ever since his triumphant victory at the 1998 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, Matsuev has been establishing himself as one of the most sought-after pianists of his generation.

His breathtaking virtuosity and clear artistic vision have consistently won him critical acclaim and an enthusiastic following for both his solo recitals and orchestral engagements. His appearances have taken him to the world’s major concert halls, among them New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center in Washington, and Salle Gaveau in Paris. He regularly collaborates with the finest orchestras – including the New York Philharmonic, symphony orchestras of Vienna, Chicago, Bavarian Radio, BBC and Frankfurt Radio; the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Rotterdam Philharmonic and Berlin Philharmonic – and such famed conductors as Valery Gergiev, Lorin Maazel, Yuri Temirkanov and Maris Jansons. With Maestro Vladimir Spivakov and the National Philharmonic of Russia, Matsuev made his Canadian orchestral debut in 2009.

This season sees Matsuev in eastern and western Europe, the U.S. and China with Maestros Spivakov, Gergiev and Temirkanov, as well as Paavo Järvi, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta and Mikhail Pletnev.

Matsuev’s recordings include Unknown Rachmaninoff, featuring hitherto unknown works played on the composer’s piano at the Rachmaninoff house in Lucerne. It was praised for his execution and creativity.

Originally from Irkutsk, Siberia (where he played hockey as a boy), Matsuev is now artistic director of that city’s Stars on Baikal festival. He also holds that position with “Crescendo”, a series of events, under the patronage of the president of the Russian Federation. Held in many different international cities, Crescendo showcases a new generation of students from Russia’s music schools. Matsuev is also president of the charitable Russian foundation “New Names”.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

2011 East Coast Music Awards and Conference

Professional Musicians’ from Coast to Coast Salute

The East Coast Music Awards and Conference

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Toronto, ON, Tuesday, April 12th, 2011The four provinces that form Canada’s musically rich East Coast will once again pay tribute to the bevy of talented performers who hail from the region. Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM), the new operating name of the Canadian division of theAmerican Federation of Musicians, joins the country’s music industry professionals and fans in congratulating the 2011 East Coast Music Award Nominees. This year an impressive seventy-nine CFMmembers are being recognized, including Dave Gunning who has received a total of five nominations;Lennie Gallant, Matt Andersen, The Trews, and Wintersleep have each earned 4 nominations as well asHey Rosetta!, Joel Plaskett, Jenn Grant and Duo Concertante.

“It is impossible to define the singular spirit and unique Maritimes’ sound,” comments Bill Skolnik, AFM Vice President from Canada & CFM Chief Executive Officer, “yet what has developed from this vibrant musical community has gone a long way in drawing international attention to Canada’s professional music community. We salute the efforts of the East Coast Music Awards and Conference who, for over two decades, have played an integral role in fostering this hotbead of musical talent”.

Widely regarded as one of the most anticipated annual music events in the country, the East Coast Music Awards and Conference, which takes place in Charlottetown, PEI from April 13-17, turns the local, national and international spotlight on established musicians; provides important showcase opportunities for emerging talent, and offers vital information for musicians at every level of their career. CFM is once again delighted to host a panel discussion which explores the benefit and role of this professional musicians’ organization. WHY MEMBERSHIP HAS ITS PRIVILIGES brings together CFM Executives Bill Skolnik and Liana White,Director of Administration; Musicians Pension Fund, Administrator, Ellen Versteeg-Lytwyn; and LOCAL 355 Business Affairs representation Debbie Mullins for an informative session that covers topics ranging from immigration, instrument & liability insurance, media agreements & protecting your recordings to how to start your pension plan, and MUCH more! Please join them on Saturday April 16th 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm in theValient Room, Delta Hotel.

In addition, Liana White will be a featured guest speaker on the AFTER THE HANDSHAKE: MAXIMIZING YOUR EXPORT SUCCESS panel. This panel will call upon Ms. White’s expert advice and insights on obtaining US and Canadian work visas. This essential session takes place on Thursday, April 14th from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm in the Elfin/Pekeha Rooms, Delta Hotel or follow the live stream at Prior to the panel presentation, Ms. White will also be available to address your personal questions ranging from immigration matters to the wide variety of benefits garnered through membership with the Canadian Federation of Musicians. These one-on-one sessions will take place on April 14th from 11:30am to 1:00pmand again on Friday, April 15th between 11:30 and 1:15 pm in the Valient/Consbrook/Gulnare Rooms, Delta. The 15-minute appointments are limited, visit to guarantee your personal consultation time.

All conference delegates are also encouraged to visit the CFM Conference Booth located in the lobby of the Delta. AFM Local Officials and CFM personnel will personally answer your questions from 11 am to 6 pm onApril 13th through 16th. Be sure to visit the CFM booth and enter the CFM nationwide contest featuring a grand prize of $325USD towards the processing of a U.S. (P2) Visa. The grand prize draw will take place immediately after the CFM panel on April 16th at 5PM. Tune into for the latest updates on all CFM showcase events.

CFM maintains an illustrious membership that includes Canada’s best and brightest professional musicians. They are represented collectively in Eastern Canada by four of AFM/CFM’s 25 local affiliates.

Building on AFM Canada’s long and successful legacy, CFM will continue furthering the particular interests and needs of professional musicians who earn their living in this country. Everyday CFM helps thousands of musicians with any number of issues related to the recording and performing of their craft. American Federation of Musicians, United States and Canada draws on the experience and strength of more than 90,000 musicians, with over 17,000 active members in Canada alone. Proudly celebrating 31 remarkable years of service, CFM is uniquely positioned to address Canadian issues, and provides vital resources for Canadian musicians, at any stage in their careers. For more information, please visit us׀ CFM on twitter׀ CFM on facebook.


Toronto To Japan - Hope Blossoms Benefit Concert



TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX / 350 King Street West

Tickets go on sale Wed. April 13:

$40 (Students, $20 w/ valid ID; student tickets available at

Ph: 416-599-TIFF / In person: 363 King Street West / Online:




Toronto to Japan is a Toronto-based collective of Canadian artists, musicians, writers, activists and business leaders organizing events to raise relief funds for victims of the earthquake/tsunami in Japan.


Nobu & Mio Adilman, television personalities

Denis Akiyama, actor

Margaret Atwood, writer

Autorickshaw Trio, Indian fusion trio

Garvia Bailey, broadcaster, CBC Radio

Basia Bulat, folk singer

Alana Bridgewater, jazz singer

Adrienne Clarkson, journalist, former Governer General

Jason Collett, singer/songwriter, formerly of Broken Social Scene

Jim Cuddy, musician, formerly of Blue Rodeo

Allegra Fulton, actor

Jian Ghomeshi, broadcaster, CBC Radio

Molly Johnson, jazz/pop singer

Keiko Kitano, dancer/choreographer

Joy Kogawa, writer

David Mcilwraith, actor

Oh Susanna, folk singer

Michael Ondaatje, writer

James Parker, concert pianist

Anastasia Rizikov, concert pianist

John Ralston Saul, writer

David Suzuki (via video), environmentalist

David Wall, singer/songwriter

Bob Wiseman, musician, formerly of Blue Rodeo


Toronto Summer Music Announces 2011 Festival Lineup




“…a virtual oasis in the musical desert of the Toronto summer” —The Globe and Mail

Beethoven —the iconic Romantic figure whose music and persona inspired generations of artists—is the cornerstone of the sixth annual TORONTO SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVAL(TSMF) July 19 to August 13, which celebrates the best of classical music in the city, in the summer. 2011 marks a turning point in the Festival’s history as Douglas McNabneyinaugurates his tenure as Artistic Director. Today he unveiled plans for the four-week festival, which takes place in Koerner Hall and Walter Hall in downtown Toronto. Festival passes are on sale at the Royal Conservatory Box Office starting April 12, and single tickets for individual concerts will be available starting May 1.

13 mainstage concerts featuring an array of renowned Canadian and international artists provide the framework for TSMF 2011, which launches with a gala recital by Gilmore Prize-winning pianist Kirill Gerstein at Koerner Hall on July 19. Other Koerner Hall concerts include a vocal recital by Sir Thomas Allen on July 26; the return of legendary pianistMenahem Pressler with the Leipzig Quartet on July 28; a concert by the Nash Ensembleon August 2; and a performance by the National Youth Orchestra of Canada on August 9. With the exception of the new Mentors & Fellows concerts on Wednesdays and Fridays, all TSMF performances begin at 7:30 pm.

TSMF highlights at Walter Hall include Beethoven’s complete Piano Trios performed by the 2011 JUNO Award-winning Gryphon Trio on August 10 and 11; a performance by theVienna Piano Trio on July 21; a vocal recital by Christine Brewer with pianist Roger Vignoles on August 4; and the festival finale featuring André Laplante on August 13. A series of four Saturday evening concerts at Walter Hall featuring Resident Artists rounds out the Festival offerings. These concerts feature Festival Artists and Resident Artists such as the Zebra Trio; pianists Anton Kuerti and Michael McMahon; violinists Jonathan Crow, Mark Fewer, Mayumi Seiler and Ian Swensen; violist Teng Li; cellistsChristopher Costanza and Antonio Lysy; and soprano Nathalie Paulin.

NEW for 2011: The Friday (Late) Night Experiment on July 29 at 10 PM. Douglas McNabney invites concert-goers to discover something outside their comfort zone with unusual combinations of artists, genres and repertoire in an off-beat venue. A cash bar is included in this cabaret-style evening.

“Toronto Summer Music has become one of the city’s most eagerly-awaited summer cultural events, and I am thrilled to welcome audiences to a four-week happening where we create and foster connections between great artists and great music. For my first season as Artistic Director, I have chosen none other than Beethoven as our point of departure. The Festival explores the heroes of Romanticism including Liszt, Brahms, Schumann, and Mendelssohn, and traces the roots of this movement back to its precursors, Mozart and Haydn,” says Douglas McNabney.

Toronto Summer Music Festival at a Glance

The Royal Conservatory of Music, TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning at 7:30 pm

July 19

Kirill Gerstein, piano

The extraordinary Gilmore Award-winning pianist Kirill Gerstein launches the 2011 edition of the Festival with a gala concert followed by a champagne reception for the audience in the lobby. This 32-year old talent, lauded as much for his technical prowess as for his refinement and intelligence,

lends a fresh perspective to two monuments of the Romantic piano literature: Beethoven’s

boundary-breaking last sonata and Liszt’s iconic B minor sonata.

July 26

Romantic Poets — Sir Thomas Allen, baritone and Joseph Middleton, piano

6:15 pm: pre-concert talk with Stephen Ralls

Esteemed baritone Sir Thomas Allen brings the familiar story of unrequited love to the splendid acoustics of Koerner Hall. “Allen makes you hang on his every word and, indeed, gesture. His confidence is supremely impressive.” Schumann’s song cycle Dichterliebe (A Poet’s Love) is the centrepiece of this concert. Other gems from the German Lied repertoire by Beethoven and Schubert, along with a sampling of English songs, round out the program.

July 28

Romantic Heroes — Menahem Pressler, piano and Leipzig String Quartet

6:15 pm: pre-concert talk with Rick Phillips

Revered pianist Menahem Pressler – who toured the world for more than 50 years as a member of the illustrious Beaux Arts Trio – returns to Toronto Summer Music for a concert with the Leipzig String Quartet. Beethoven’s final String Quartet in F Major Op. 135 is at the heart of this program, which includes Mendelssohn’s final quartet, the String Quartet in f minor Op. 80 and Schumann’s

Piano Quartet in E-flat Major Op. 47.

August 2

Vienna – At the Heart of Romanticism — Nash Ensemble

6:15 pm: pre-concert talk with Tom Allen

The London-based Nash Ensemble is the resident chamber group at Wigmore Hall, and is considered to be "the best champion that any composer could hope to have." (The Times of London). They perform a program that traces the earliest seeds of Romanticism from the refined String Quartet Op. 76 no. 4, ‘Sunrise’, by Haydn through to Beethoven’s Piano Quartet in E-flat Major Op. 16. Korngold’s Piano Quintet, composed in 1921 when he was just 24 years old, completes the program.

August 9

Romantic Heroes — National Youth Orchestra of Canada, Jonathan Darlington, conductor
6:15 pm: pre-concert talk with Tom Allen

The next generation of Canadian orchestral musicians led by Jonathan Darlington, Music Director of the Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra and Vancouver Opera, will energize Koerner Hall with two late Romantic masterworks. The Suite from Der Rosenkavalier by Strauss is performed alongside Mahler’s glorious Fifth Symphony.


July 21
Romantic Origins — Vienna Piano Trio

6:15 pm: pre-concert talk with Rick Phillips

Hailed by the New York Times for its “energy”, the “clarity” of its Mozart and its “electrifying” take on Schubert, The Vienna Piano Trio returns to Toronto Summer Music. They present a program that traces the trio’s origins in works by Haydn and Mozart, through to its expansion in Schubert’s lyrical B-flat trio.

August 4
Romantic Heroes — Christine Brewer, soprano
and Roger Vignoles, piano

6:15 pm: pre-concert talk with Tom Allen

Grammy Award-winning American soprano Christine Brewer “brings a soaring opulence” to the music of Strauss and Wagner, “the tone sumptuous and rounded, the top notes gleaming and full.” (The Sunday Times). With Roger Vignoles, one of the world’s most distinguished piano accompanists, Brewer performs Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder, set to poems by his mistress Mathilde. Music by Strauss and a sampling of English songs complete the program.

August 10 and 11

Beethoven — the Romantic IconThe Gryphon Trio

The Gryphon Trio, one of Canada’s most accomplished and admired chamber ensembles, performs all six of Beethoven’s trios on two consecutive evenings. TSMF audiences will experience Beethoven’s evolving style, from his first published works, Op. 1, to the haunting “Ghost” trio inspired by Macbeth, and culminating with the masterful “Archduke” trio. The Gryphon Trio’s recordings of Beethoven’s works have been received with unanimous acclaim, including a 2011 JUNO Award and a five-star rating from BBC Music Magazine.


July 23

Forgotten Romantics — Vienna Piano Trio and Christopher Costanza, cello, Mark Fewer, violin and viola, Mayumi Seiler, violin and guests

6:15 pm: pre-concert talk with Dr. Robin Elliott

The celebrated Vienna Piano Trio joins forces with some of Canada’s leading chamber musicians to present a concert of music by three “forgotten” Romantic composers. The Suite by Moszkowski for two violins is a ‘tour de force’ for strings. The sextet by the German composer Louis Spohr was a reaction to the momentous 1848 revolution, and the Piano Quintet in B-flat Major Op. 30 by Karl Goldmark, a Brahms contemporary, rounds out this program.

July 30

The Twilight of Romanticism — Anton Kuerti, piano; Colin Fox, narrator; Zebra Trio and, Christopher Costanza, cello, Mark Fewer, violin

6:15 pm: pre-concert talk with Dean Don McLean

Canada’s renowned Beethoven interpreter, Anton Kuerti, and an international group of illustrious string players present an evening of late Romantic music. Strauss’s rarely performed melodrama for piano and narrator is based on Tennyson’s poem “Enoch Arden”. Schoenberg’s love poem Verklaerte Nacht (Transfigured Night) for string sextet is paired with Webern’s Langsamer Satz.

August 6

Romantic PleasuresNash Ensemble with Michael McMahon, piano & Nathalie Paulin, soprano

6:15 pm: pre-concert talk with Tom Allen

London’s Nash Ensemble teams up with Canadians Michael McMahon and Nathalie Paulin to perform exquisite music for voice and chamber ensemble. Included on the program are Liszt’s song settings of poems by Victor Hugo, Fauré’s songs on texts by Paul Verlaine, Chausson’s Chanson perpétuelle Op. 37, for soprano and piano quintet , Schubert’s Quartettsatz in c minor D. 703, and Mendelssohn’s Piano trio in d minor Op. 49.

August 13

Romantic Heroes — André Laplante, piano, Ian Swensen, violin, Jonathan Crow, violin, Teng Li, viola, Antonio Lysy, cello, plus guests

6:15 pm: pre-concert talk with Dr. Ryan McClelland

The 2011 Festival grand finale features acclaimed master pianist André Laplante with a cast of internationally renowned string players in a performance of one of the pinnacles of Brahms’s chamber music, the Piano quintet in f minor Op. 34 and Mendelssohn’s Octet in E-flat Major, Op. 20.


Rewarding behind-the-scenes experiences, masterclasses offer insight into the development of exceptional musicians. Observers may attend and listen as top artists pass along their musical expertise to artists in the Toronto Summer Music Academy. $20 per masterclass.

Sir Thomas Allen: Wednesday, July 27, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Menahem Pressler: Friday, July 29, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Roger Vignoles: Wednesday, August 3, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Christine Brewer: Friday August 5, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm


The Festival runs parallel to the Toronto Summer Music Academy which houses two complementary programs designed for professional-level young artists: The Chamber Music Institute (July 17 to August 14) and The Art of Song (July 24 to August 7). NEW FOR 2011: Public offerings at the TSM Academy include Mentor and Fellow concerts with such esteemed artists as the Vienna Piano Trio, the Nash Ensemble, Anton Kuerti , André Laplante and Menahem Pressler performing alongside young artists selected for the TSM Fellowship program. The Mentor and Fellow concerts start at 6:30 pm on Wednesday and Friday nights and are performed without intermission. Concerts take place on Wednesday July 20, Friday July 22, Wednesday July 27, Friday July 29, Wednesday August 3, Friday August 5, and Friday August 12. Full details are available in the TSMF brochure or


July 19 Kirill Gerstein

July 21 Vienna Piano Trio

July 23 Vienna Piano Trio, Mark Fewer, Mayumi Seiler, Chris Costanza

July 26 Sir Thomas Allen & Joseph Middelton

July 28 Menahem Pressler & Leipzig Quartet

July 29 Friday (Late) Night Experiment

July 30 Anton Kuerti, Colin Fox, Zebra Trio, Mark Fewer, Chris Costanza

August 2 Nash Ensemble

August 4 Christine Brewer & Roger Vignoles

August 6 Nash Ensemble, Michael McMahon, Nathalie Paulin

August 9 National Youth Orchestra of Canada

August 10, 11 Gryphon Trio

August 13 André Laplante, Jonathan Crow, Ian Swensen, Teng Li, Antonio Lysy

Festival passes, including Flex Passes ($100 - $400) are on sale starting April 12. Single tickets ($20 - $60) are on sale starting May 1: Online at; by phone at 416-408-0208; in person at The Royal Conservatory Box Office, 273 Bloor St W; at the door from 4:30 pm on the day of the performance at Edward Johnson Building, University of Toronto, Faculty of Music, 80 Queen’s Park Crescent.

Venues: Walter Hall, Edward Johnson Building, Faculty of Music, U of T, 80 Queen’s Park Crescent. Koerner Hall, Conservatory Theatre, Telus Centre for Performance & Learning, The Royal Conservatory, 273 Bloor Street West.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Honens International Piano Competition Announces 2012 Juries & Collaborating Artists

Honens International Piano Competition Announces 2012 Juries and Collaborating Artists as Call for Pianists Begins

Pianists may now apply for competition that awards world’s largest prize

CALGARY, AB, April 6, 2011 – Canada’s Honens International Piano Competition today announced the names of the jurors and collaborating musicians for its 2012 edition. As part of a series of enhancements that aims to redefine the world of music competitions for the 21st century, the composition of the 2012 juries includes those in the musical world, other than pianists, who play a role in a concert artist’s career. While pianists remain central to the jury make-up, members also include an artist manager, a concert presenter, a festival producer, a conductor, a record executive and a string player. All jurors have extensive knowledge of the piano literature and are in tune with the qualities an artist must possess in order to build and sustain a career in today’s musical world. The diversity of jury composition helps to identify musicians who are ready to professionalize their careers.

artist selection panel: first jury

laureate selection panel: second jury

The Artist Selection Panel evaluates 50 videotaped recitals and candidate interviews from the Quarterfinals: International Audition Round. The Panel selects ten pianists to advance to the Competition Semifinals: Recital Round in Calgary.

William Aide Canada / Canada*
Leila Getz Canada / Canada
Charles Hamlen United States / United States
Benedetto Lupo Italy / Italy

*indicates nationality / country of residence

The Laureate Selection Panel selects the five finalists, the winner of the Raeburn Prize for Artist of Special Promise and the 2012 Honens Laureate from Competition performances in the Semifinals: Recital Round and Finals: Concerto Round.

Adrian Brendel United Kingdom / Germany

Michael Haefliger Germany / Switzerland

Aleksandar Madžar Serbia / Belgium

HaeSun Paik South Korea / South Korea

Jon Kimura Parker Canada / United States

Michael Spring United Kingdom / United Kingdom

Bramwell Tovey United Kingdom / Canada

Honens has also intensified its requirements in collaborative performance for 2012. Solo performance, chamber music and collaboration with orchestra are equally essential for a 21st century concert pianist. These elements are therefore integral to Honens’ search for the ‘Complete Artist’. The ten semifinalist pianists perform a selection of art song or lieder, a violin sonata and a cello sonata during the Recital Round. Five finalists advance to perform a concerto of their choice.

collaborating artists

Semifinals: Recital Round

Isabel Bayrakdarian soprano

Johannes Moser cello

Geoff Nuttall violin

Finals: Concerto Round

Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra

Roberto Minczuk Music Director

Pianists may apply to take part in the 2012 Honens International Piano Competition starting April 1, 2011 at The application deadline is February 1, 2012. Competition Quarterfinals take place in cities around the world in Spring 2012, and Semifinals and Finals takes place in Calgary, October 17 to 26, 2012.

Honens International Piano Competition is a leader in discovering and launching the careers of young concert pianists. It searches for Complete Artists – 21st century musicians for 21st century audiences. The Competition awards $100,000 (CAN) and a three-year artistic and career development program valued at a half million dollars to its Laureate – the largest prize of any international music competition of its kind.

The Seventh Honens International Piano Competition is presented by Nexen Inc.; Lead Sponsors include Enbridge Inc., Statoil and TransAlta; Supporting Sponsor: Macleod Dixon LLP. Other Competition sponsors include: ARC Financial, Bantrel Co., Canadian Natural Resources Limited, WAX Partnership Inc., Deluxe Design Group, ecentricarts inc. and Hôtel Le Germain Calgary. Honens also thanks corporate supporters TD Waterhouse, Mawer Investment Management Ltd, Masters Gallery, Gluskin Sheff + Associates Inc., and public and foundation partners Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Alberta Lottery Fund, Calgary Arts Development Authority / City of Calgary, The Calgary Foundation and the Rozsa Foundation.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Russians Are Coming...

Québec City International Festival of Military Bands

Tickets ON-SALE to the Public on Friday, April 8, 2011!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Tuesday, April 5, 2011Whether you know them as the Red Army Choir, the Soviet Army Chorus, or the Alexandrov Choir, one thing rings true: The Russian Alexandrov Red Army Choir and Ensemble is the most renowned and prestigious military ensemble in the world. With breathtaking precision, their pure, harmonically rich sound brings to life a wide range of repertoire from Russian folk tunes to church hymns, operatic arias and popular music. This remarkable chorus, orchestra, and dance troupe have dazzled enthusiastic and appreciative audiences in over 40 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. This summer, The Russian Alexandrov Red Army Choir returns for a prestigious Canadian Tour that includes stops at Québec City’s Grand Théâtre de Québec, salle Louis-Fréchette on Tuesday, August 23rd and Wednesday, August 24th; at the National Arts Centre, Southam Hall in Ottawa on Tuesday, August 30th, followed by a four-night residency in Montreal at Place des Arts, Théâtre Maisonneuve from Thursday, September 1st through to Sunday, September 4th; the Ensemble will give a final performance at the newly refurbishedSony Centre For The Performing Arts in Toronto on Thursday, September 8th. Tickets are on sale to the public Friday, April 8th, 2011. Please see tour schedule below for full details.

The Russian Alexandrov Red Army Choir and Ensemble is the official army choir of the Russian armed forces. They are widely regarded as the foremost artistic ensemble of its kind, twice earning theOrder of the Red Banner and Red Star, the highest military decoration recognizing civilian service. Their Canadian tour will feature an astonishing 125 musicians and performers, consisting of soloists, amale choir, and dancers, together with a full orchestra performing with a mixed composition of Russian traditional and western instruments, including the balalaika, the domra, the bayan, the double bass,woodwinds, brass and percussion instruments. Their acclaimed performances offer a rousing selection of spirited dance presentations such as the classic and lushly colourful Zaparozhtsi Dance, Dance of the Cossacks, and Soldier's Dance.

The company bears the name of its founder and first director, Alexander V. Alexandrov, an esteemed composer, conductor, and professor of the Moscow Conservatory who notably composed the National Anthem of the Russian Federation. The first Ensemble, consisting of 12 people — a vocal octet, two dancers, and two musicians, first took to the stage on October 12, 1928, and by the mid-1930's, the Ensemble had already grown into a large performing group, becoming a large male choir with the orchestra and dance group. The first great success abroad came in 1937 at the Paris International Exhibition. The group became more widely known internationally in the 1950’s, in particular with a visit by the 200-member Ensemble to London in 1956 where they gave popular concerts that aroused immediate critical enthusiasm. Following the founder’s death in 1946, the Ensemble was taken over by Alexander Alexandrov′s son, Boris Alexandrov. During his forty-year tenure, the Ensemble gained fame outside the Soviet Union, making extensive tours worldwide.

Today the Russian Red Army Choir and Ensemble is at the top of its class and hailed as the military Band in the world. A full tour schedule follows below. For tour information please


Friday, April 1, 2011

Leonard Cohen Awarded the Glenn Gould Prize

Leonard Cohen Awarded the Ninth Glenn Gould Prize

An iconic and innovative force

in songwriting, performance and poetry

Toronto, ON (April 1, 2011) – Singer, songwriter, poet and novelist Leonard Cohen has been awarded The Ninth Glenn Gould Prize. The international award is presented biennially to a living luminary who has made a unique lifetime contribution that has enriched the human condition through the arts and manifests the values of innovation, inspiration and transformation. A tribute to Glenn Gould’s artistry and his multifaceted contributions to culture, the prize promotes the vital connection between artistic excellence and the transformation of lives.

“I want to thank The Glenn Gould Foundation for their kindness. It is a great honour, sweetened by my love of the work of Glenn Gould, and our collective appreciation of his invigorating and enduring presence in the world of Music and Imagination,” stated Leonard Cohen.

Leonard Cohen was chosen from a distinguished list of international candidates nominated by the general public and will receive a cash prize of $50,000 (CDN) and the opportunity to choose an outstanding young artist to receive The City of Toronto Glenn Gould Protégé Prize of $15,000 (CDN). Mr. Cohen and his protégé will receive their awards at a gala ceremony in Toronto and their work will be honoured through a series of public events later this year.

Jury Chair Paul Hoffert said, “The jury was unanimous in selecting Leonard Cohen as the Ninth Glenn Gould Prize laureate. His poetry and music transcend national boundaries and cultures by touching our common humanity. His unique voice is nonetheless the common voice of people around the globe telling our stories, expressing our emotions, reaching deeply into our psyches. Like Glenn Gould, his work touches audiences far outside his main genre. Hallelujah!”

The illustrious jury for the Ninth Glenn Gould Prize included singer/songwriter, indie producer and UN Goodwill Ambassador Dadawa (China); screenwriter, film and opera director Atom Egoyan (Canada); actor, screenwriter, author and director Stephen Fry (UK); celebrated pianist, teacher, author and music administrator Gary Graffman (United States); film producer, founder and director of DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art and PHI Group Phoebe Greenberg (Canada); singer, educator and vocal producer Elaine Overholt (Canada); and recording industry executive Costa Pilavachi (Canada/UK/Greece).

For four decades, Leonard Cohen has been one of the most important and influential songwriters of our time, relentlessly examining the central issues in human experience, and reporting with passion, insight and wisdom. His body of work is a reflection of the zeitgeist of the late 20th century and beyond. His songs are works of great poetic depth and profound emotional force, and set new standards for quality, range and seriousness in pop music. Artists and music-lovers alike are drawn to the dignity, ambition and sheer power of his songs.

An accomplished literary figure before he began recording music in the late 1960s, his collections of poetry, including Let Us Compare Mythologies (1956) and Flowers for Hitler, and his novels including The Favourite Game (1963) and Beautiful Losers (1966), had already brought him considerable recognition. His dual careers in music and literature have continued feeding each other over the decades – his songs revealing a literary richness rare in the world of popular music, and his poetry and prose informed by an intense musicality. Collectively, Cohen has published 12 books including Book of Longing (2006), a collection of prose, poetry and drawings which was the first book of poetry to reach the top of Canada’s bestsellers’ lists, and which formed the basis of a memorable musical and theatre collaboration with composer Philip Glass which premiered at Toronto’s Luminato festival.

Leonard Cohen is one of the most covered artists alive today, influencing generations of songwriters, and his music has earned the accolades of other artists in tribute albums in France, Norway, Canada, Spain, the Czech Republic, South Africa, and the United States. “Hallelujah”, one of Cohen’s best-known and best-loved songs has been covered by over 150 artists including Willie Nelson and Bono. Numerous documentaries, awards, and tribute albums acknowledge the far-reaching contribution Cohen has made to music. He continues to refine and deepen his art, and as a musician he is constantly exploring new territory.

The Glenn Gould Foundation honours Glenn Gould’s spirit and legacy by celebrating brilliance, promoting creativity and transforming lives through the power of music and the arts with the Foundation’s signature activities, including The Glenn Gould Prize. Past laureates include Dr. José Antonio Abreu (2008), founder of El Sistema, Venezuela’s free music education program for children and youth, Pierre Boulez (2002), Oscar Peterson (1993) and Yo-Yo Ma (1999). For more information on the foundation, prize and jurors visit .

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