LSM Newswire

Friday, August 26, 2011

Gryphon Trio Concert and CD Launch


Gryphon Trio raises awareness for Progress Place with a concert & CD launch

BROKEN HEARTS & MADMEN with guest vocalist Patricia O’Callaghan

Sunday, October 2 at 8 PM / Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas Street West / 416 588 0307

Tix: or 416 588 0307. Dinner reservations available. / $39 online in advance; $45 at the door (includes HST and CD); $10 for students (includes HST only).


TORONTO, ONTARIO – The JUNO Award winning Gryphon Trio will showcase its new CD, Broken Hearts & Madmen, featuring guest vocalist Patricia O’Callaghan, with a CD release concert at Toronto’s Lula Lounge on Sunday, August 2 at 8 PM. The performance will feature selections from the new recording intertwined with concert pieces by Piazzola, Beethoven, and more.

Broken Hearts & Madmen joins two of Canada’s leading musical forces: the Gryphon Trio and vocalist Patricia O’Callaghan. Blending classical music with popular songs from around the world, this haunting new recording takes us on a musical journey through the complexities of the creative spirit. Featuring songs by Leonard Cohen, Nick Drake, Lhasa de Sela, and Laurie Anderson alongside traditional melodies from Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil, Broken Hearts & Madmen is global in spirit and celebrates the romantic soul inside us all. Produced by Roberto Occhipinti, a classically trained jazz musician renowned for his work in Latin music, and who has toured with experimental hip-hop band Gorillaz, Broken Hearts & Madmen was recorded like a pop album, with live in-studio performances and close miking of the musicians, unlike any other Gryphon Trio recordings.

Having impressed audiences and the press with its refined, dynamic performances, two-time JUNO Award winning Gryphon Trio has firmly established itself as one of the world’s preeminent piano trios. With repertoire spanning traditional to contemporary, the Gryphons continue redefining chamber music, with over 50 commissioned works from established and emerging composers worldwide, and regular collaborations with other musicians, actors, visual artists, and choreographers. The Gryphon Trio regularly tours North America and Europe, and is highly involved in educational programs for students in elementary school through university. The Gyphons have been Ensemble-in-Residence at Music Toronto from 1998-2008, where they developed the Chamber at Lula series, collaborating with many of Canada’s leading Latin and Jazz musicians. Since 2007, cellist Roman Borys has been Artistic Director of the Ottawa International Chamber Music Society, and violinist Annalee Patipatanakoon and pianist Jamie Parker serve as OICMS’s Artistic Advisors. The trio prolifically records for Analekta, having released 13 albums to date, and serve on the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto.

Patricia O’Callaghan has been reviewed in Billboard as “the most promising cabaret performer of her generation”. First signed by Marquis/EMI, Teldec/Warner picked up her worldwide distribution outside Canada. Her most recent CD, Naked Beauty, co-produced by vocalist Steven Page, received critical and popular praise; she toured Europe and North America for her previous recording, Real Emotional Girl.

The Gryphon Trio pleased to dedicate this performance to raise local awareness for its community partner Progress Place, located in Toronto, Progress Place is a recovery centre for people with backgrounds of mental illness, a stigma that affects 1 in 5 (roughly 6 million) Canadians and their family members, friends, and colleagues. Their community-based recovery centre, part of a network of centres around the globe, offers programs and services which provide opportunities for friendship, employment, education, housing and recreation in a welcoming and accessible environment of support, respect and dignity.

Gryphon Trio wishes to thank the John McKellar Charitable Foundation; Music Toronto; Analekta; Andrew Kwan Artist Management, and Chamber Factory for their support of Broken Hearts & Madmen.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Toronto Summer Music Festival Enjoys 25% Increase in Attendance

The 2011 Toronto Summer Music Festival (TSM) has just wrapped up its sixth and most successful year — the first under the artistic leadership of Douglas McNabney. 90-plus Canadian and international musicians converged on Toronto for 13 mainstage concerts exploring the theme Beethoven and the Romantics. Festival concerts attracted a record number of patrons who attended performances at Koerner Hall, The Royal Conservatory of Music, and at Walter Hall at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto.

TSM is now firmly established with a growing and devoted audience. The 2011 Festival drew an unprecedented number of concert-goers: six of the 13 concerts were sold out and overall attendance increased by almost 25% compared to 2010.

2011 marked a turning point in the Festival’s history as Douglas McNabney inaugurated his tenure as Artistic Director. McNabney ushered in several innovations, including a new fellowship program for young artists at the Academy; an increase in the number of concerts at Koerner Hall — from two in 2010 to five this year — broadening the scope and reach of the Festival; an earlier concert start-time of 7:30 PM; the introduction of a new Friday (Late) Night Experiment; and performances by Academy Fellows at the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival and the Colours of Music Festival in Barrie.

“The success of this year’s festival is gratifying – I think we exceeded expectations in almost all respects. I was particularly pleased with the energy of the Mentors and Fellows concerts and the enthusiastic public response to the redesigned Academy programs. I’m already looking forward to next year!” says McNabney.

The Festival attracted some of the most renowned artists in the world of chamber music for performances at Koerner Hall, including pianist Kirill Gerstein, baritone Sir Thomas Allen with pianist Joseph Middleton; pianist Menahem Pressler with the Leipzig Quartet; and the Nash Ensemble.

Other Festival highlights included sold-out performances of Beethoven’s complete Piano Trios by theGryphon Trio over two nights; concerts by the Vienna Piano Trio; a performance by pianist André Laplante with Jonathan Crow, the newly-appointed concertmaster of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the TSO’s Principal Viola Teng Li; the Zebra Trio; pianists Anton Kuerti and Michael McMahon; violinists Mark Fewer, Erika Raum and Ian Swensen; cellists Christopher Costanza and Antonio Lysy; and soprano Nathalie Paulin. Two extraordinary young singers, soprano Kiera Duffy and tenorNicholas Phan, made their Toronto debuts at the Festival.

TSMF 2011 introduced audiences to the next generation of excellent musicians at a performance by theNational Youth Orchestra of Canada at Koerner Hall and regular Wednesday and Friday night TSM Mentors and Fellows concerts at Walter Hall. As well, several free Academy Outreach concerts were performed in other venues including the North York Central Library and the Church of the Redeemer.

The 2012 Toronto Summer Music Festival and Academy will run July 17 to August 11.


La Scena Musicale celebrates 15th anniversary with a special September edition

[French Version]

La Scena Musicale celebrates 15th anniversary with a special September edition

Celebrate with us:  

La Scena Musicale 
celebrates our 15th anniversary with a special edition this September as well as new exciting projects throughout the year!

First, La Scena Musicale will transform into two magazines: a separate English and a separate French edition; now, you can read all the LSM articles in your native language in one handy issue. The distribution of the two magazines will double to 50,000 copies (reaching 100,000 readers) and we are also pleased to return to Ottawa-Gatineau and Quebec City with 5,000 copies in each region.

The year will also see the reintroduction of the Bring a Teen outreach program as well as The Next Great Art Song, a new composition contest.   The special 15th anniversary edition is now taking shape. Our cover feature is Adresse symphonique, the new concert hall in Montreal's Quartier des spectacles, which will be inaugurated in September. We also sit down with philanthropist Michelle Cormier and Ottawa countertenor Matthew White. We will illuminate Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, one of the most beloved operas of all time (playing in Montreal September 17-24) and profile soprano Hélène Guilmette, who will sing Suzanna.

Quebec City will be highlighted with artistic director of the Club musical de Québec Louise Forand-Samson's tips for Quebec City cultural patrons.   This month's Discovery CD (courtesy of XXI Records) will be in memoriam of soprano Pierrette Alarie, who passed away on July 10. She sings on a recording of Bach's Mass in B Minor, which subscribers will receive free. In the meantime, you can read an article on Alarie published in our July-August 2010 edition here.

Every September we celebrate La rentrée culturelle, or the new season of musical and arts offerings. You'll get a head start on planning your year of events by checking out our extended calendars and critic's picks covering concerts in Montreal, Ottawa-Gatineau, Quebec City, and abroad; and shows and events in dance, theatre, and visual arts. We will also be previewing the Quebec Arts Summit and Danse Danse's Namasya as well as speak with Paul Ahmarani, star of Théâtre d'aujourd'hui's Cantate de Guerre.

Readers will find our annual subscription guide and monthly jazz section, columns, concert and arts event calendars, and reviews. Kids and kids at heart will love our new monthly "fun" page.

Finally, to help celebrate our 15th anniversary, please send us your messages of appreciation; the highlights will be published in the September issue.

Enjoy the rest of your musical summer!   

Wah Keung Chan
Founding Editor and Publisher

Next Issues 

Fall Arts and Music Preview
La SCENA Fall 2011 / La Scena Musicale Septembre 2011
  • 15th anniversary edition
  • NEW: Separate English and French editions
  • On the cover: The new Montreal symphony hall
  • Theme: Fall Arts and Music preview
  • Subjects: music, dance, theatre, film and visual arts
  • Rates and media kit (PDF)
  • Appearance: September 2, 2011
  • Ad Deadline: August 26, 2011
  • Artwork: August 26 or 29, 2011
  • Print run: 50,000 copies
    • English Edition: 25,000 copies
    • French Edition: 25,000 copies
  • Distribution: Montréal, Quebec City, Ottawa/Gatineau and through the province of Quebec
  • Target audience: amateur and professional artists, music and arts lovers


L’édition du 15e anniversaire de La Scena Musicale, septembre 2011


[English Version]

L’édition du 15e anniversaire de La Scena Musicale, septembre 2011

Célébrez avec nous ! 

Nous célébrons le 15e anniversaire de La Scena Musicale avec l’édition spéciale de septembre ainsi qu’avec de nouveaux et excitants projets tout au long de l’année !

Tout d’abord, La Scena Musicale se transformera en deux magazines, une édition anglaise séparée et une édition française séparée : maintenant, vous pourrez lire tous les articles LSM dans votre langue maternelle, dans un seul exemplaire pratique. La distribution de nos deux magazines sera doublée à 50 000 exemplaires (touchant 100 000 lecteurs). Nous sommes également heureux de retourner à Ottawa-Gatineau et à Québec avec 5000 exemplaires par région.

Cette année verra aussi le retour de l’initiative de développement de public « Sortez votre ado » ainsi que le lancement du « prochain grand air classique », un nouveau concours de composition. 

L’édition spéciale du 15e anniversaire prend actuellement forme ! Notre article en couverture est consacré à l’Adresse symphonique, la nouvelle salle de concert du Quartier des spectacles qui sera inaugurée en septembre. Nous nous asseyons également avec la philanthropiste Michelle Cormier et le contreténor d’Ottawa, Matthew White. Nous examinerons Le nozze di Figaro, l’un des opéras les plus appréciés de tous les temps (en salle à Montréal du 17 au 24 septembre) et dresserons le profil de la soprano Hélène Guilmette, qui tiendra le rôle de Suzanna.

La ville de Québec sera à l’honneur grâce aux conseils de la directrice artistique du Club musical de Québec, Louise Forand-Samson, à propos des visites et événements à ne pas manquer dans cette ville.

Le CD Découverte du mois (gracieuseté des productions XXI) est à la mémoire de la soprano Pierrette Alarie, décédée le 10 juillet. Elle chante sur un enregistrement de la Messe en si mineur, que les abonnés recevront gratuitement. D’ici là, vous pourrez consulter un article sur Alarie paru dans notre  édition de juillet et août 2010 ici.

Chaque septembre, nous célébrons la rentrée culturelle. Vous aurez une longueur d’avance quant à la planification de votre année grâce artistique à nos calendriers complets et aux choix de nos chroniqueurs parmi les concerts à venir à Montréal, Ottawa-Gatineau, Québec et à l’étranger, et parmi les spectacles et événements de danse, de théâtre et d’art visuel. Nous vous donnerons également un aperçu du sommet « State of the Art »  et du Namasya de Danse Danse, en plus de discuter avec Paul Ahmarani, l’étoile du Cantate de Guerre du Théâtre d'aujourd'hui.

Les lecteurs trouveront notre guide d’abonnement annuel ainsi que notre section jazz mensuelle,des chroniques, les calendriers d’art et de concerts et des critiques. Les jeunes et les jeunes de cœur apprécieront notre nouvelle page humoristique.

Finalement, afin de mieux célébrer notre 15e anniversaire, merci de bien vouloir nous faire parvenir vos messages d’appréciation; nous en publierons une sélection dans notre édition de septembre.

Bonne fin d’été en musique !

Prochains numéros

La rentrée culturelle
La SCENA Automne 2011 / La Scena Musicale septembre 2011
  • L'édition de 15e anniversaire
  • NOUVEAU : les éditions anglaise et française
  • En couverture : la nouvelle salle symphonique montréalaise
  • Thème : La rentrée culturelle
  • Sujets : danse, théâtre, cinéma, arts visuels et musique
  • kit média et tarifs (PDF)
  • Sortie : le 2 septembre 2011
  • Tombée : le 26 août 2011
  • Tombée (maquettes) : le 26 ou 29 août 2011
  • Tirage : 50 000 exemplaires
    • édition française : 25 000 exemplaires
    • édition anglasie : 25 000 exemplaires
  • Distribution : Montréal, Québec, Laval, Rive-Sud et ailleurs au Québec
  • Public visé : artistes amateurs et professionnels, passionnés de musique et d’art 


Friday, August 12, 2011

Tafelmusik Tours Germany and Montreal

Tafelmusik kicks off 2011/12 touring season with

concerts at Germany’s Klang & Raum Festival;

Tafelmusik Chamber Choir invited to OSM’s Grand Inaugural Concert in Montreal

“No other Canadian orchestra … does so much to give Canada a profile in the international arena of music. And, increasingly these days, it is a profile constructed from top-flight engagements.”

—Toronto Star

Toronto (Canada) … Tafelmusik kicks off its 2011/12 season with a pair of high-profile, prestigious engagements before launching its Toronto season on September 21. The Tafelmusik Orchestra travels to Irsee, Germany from September 2 to 4, 2011 for the Klang und Raum Festival under the Festival’s Artistic Director Bruno Weil. 2011 marks the Festival's final edition and Tafelmusik’s 19th year as orchestra-in-residence. On September 7, at the invitation of Maestro Kent Nagano the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir joins the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and guest soloists to perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 at the grand inaugural concert in the OSM’s new home in Montreal. The programme, which is repeated on September 9 and 10, will be recorded live for broadcast on CBC Television.

Recognized as “one of the world’s top baroque orchestras” (Gramophone), Tafelmusik is among Canada’s most highly-regarded cultural ambassadors. During the 2011-2012 season, Tafelmusik looks forward to a full roster of touring activities including a US tour with a return engagement at Carnegie Hall in November and the orchestra’s Australian debut with The Galileo Project in March 2012. Canadian excursions include a residency at the Banff Centre for House of Dreams, the latest multi-media programme created by bassist Alison Mackay, and concerts in Port Hope and on Manitoulin Island in May 2012.

Conductor Bruno Weil and Tafelmusik have forged a remarkably successful artistic collaboration over the years, yielding a series of award-winning recordings of works by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, and previous successful European tours. Next month in Irsee, Maestro Weil leads Tafelmusik in symphonies by Haydn and Mozart, as well as Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and Haydn’s Creation. Maestro Weil returns to Toronto in May 2012 to conduct the Tafelmusik Orchestra in its season finale, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, Eroica at Koerner Hall.

Similarly, the Tafelmusik Orchestra and Chamber Choir have enjoyed a privileged artistic relationship with Maestro Kent Nagano since their stunning 2009 performance of Bach’s Mass in B Minor in collaboration with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. Immediately following that performance, Maestro Nagano invited the orchestra to perform at his inaugural Reate Festival in Rieti, Italy in 2009 — an invitation that was repeated the following year. This year, Maestro Nagano has invited the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, prepared by its director Ivars Taurins, to perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 on September 7, 9 and 10 with the OSM at the sold-out opening concerts of the OSM’s new home designed by Diamond and Schmitt Architects. The acoustics of this world-class hall bear the signature of renowned firm Artec.

“Tafelmusik is proud to represent Canada internationally and to reach out to cities across the country,” states Music Director Jeanne Lamon. “It’s really important that the best Canadian artists go out in the world to remind people that Canada is an important force culturally, as well as politically and economically. I believe we live in one of the finest countries in the world, and I'm very proud to represent Canada on the world stage. Our job as cultural ambassadors is an extremely important part of our raison d'être.”

For more information, visit Tafelmusik’s website

Programmes for Klang und Raum Festival, Germany:
September 2 matinee concert:

J.C.F. Fischer Suite V in G Major, from "Le Journal de printemps"

J.S. Bach Suite in E Minor for solo harpsichord, BWV 996

M. Spiess Concerto for violin and strings in E Minor

G.F. Handel Sonata in A Major for 2 violins

G.P. Telemann Sonata for violoncello and continuo in E Minor

J. S. Bach Concerto for 2 violins in D Minor, BWV 1043

September 2 evening concert:

Haydn Symphony no. 100 in G Major "Military"

Mozart Symphony no. 38 in D Major "Prague"

September 3:

Haydn Symphony no. 44 in E Minor, “Trauersymphonie”

Beethoven Symphony no. 9

September 4:

Haydn Creation


Tafelmusik Season Presenting Sponsor:

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Tafelmusik gratefully acknowledges the support of its partners in government:

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Baritone Mathias Hausmann Presents From Austria With Love


"Mathias Hausmann, with his elegantly rounded tone, liquid legato and warmly communicative phrasing, possesses one of the most sheerly beautiful voices you're likely to hear today"—The Washington Post


Please Contact Helene Kamioner

718-796-9802 or

Austrian Cultural Forum

11 East 52nd Street

Thursday, October 6th, 7:30 P.M.

Admission is Free: Tickets must be reserved: Call: 212-319-5300 ext.222


VOCALARTSDC Terrace Theater of The Kennedy Center

Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 7:30pm Tickets: 202-669-1463



Born in Graz, Austria, baritone Mathias Hausmann studied with Karl Ernst Hoffmann as well as with Walter Berry in Vienna, and Ryland Davies at the Royal College of Music. He is especially grateful to Thomas Hampson, from whom he gained many artistic instincts.

Equally at home in opera and song, Hausmann has been heard at festivals such as Salzburg and Edinburgh, the London Handel Festival, the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, and has performed at such venues as the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, the Théatre des Champs-Elysées; the Hollywood Bowl, the Bunka Kaikan Hall in Tokyo, the Danish Royal Opera House, the Teatro Teresa Careňo in Caracas, the New Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv, the opera houses of Antwerp, Gent, and Berne, London's Wigmore Hall, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Herkulessaal and Prinzregententheater Munich, ass well as the Philharmonies in Luxembourg, Munich, Düsseldorf, Essen and Cologne; and the Vienna Statesoper, Konzerthaus, and Musikverein among many others. Conductors with whom he has worked include Daniel Barenboim, Riccardo Chailly, Karel Mark Chichon, Sir Colin Davis, Gustavo Dudamel, Adam Fischer, Asher Fisch, Ton Koopman, Yannik Nézet-Séguin, Hellmuth Rilling, and Sebastian Weigle. He has become widely recognized for a series of international TV, DVD, and CD productions from the Salzburg Festival, the Teatro alla Scala, and the Mörbisch Festival, and was a member of the Volksoper in Vienna, where, within a very short time, has become the darling of the audiences. He also considers Milan’s Teatro alla Scala a second artistic home where he was part of the prestigious opening night with Daniel Barenboim.

Hausmann’s most recent and upcoming engagements include his debut this Fall in the leading part of Danilo in a new production of The Merry Widow at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires; return engagements to Japan and the Teatro alla Scala, and performances of Mozart's C-minor Mass with Christopher Hogwood. In the fall of 2012 Mathias Hausman will be singing the part of Malatesta in Donizetti's Don Pasquale at the Cuvillies Theater in Munich in a new production directed by Brigitte Fassbaender. He makes his debut with the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich in February 2012 singing the part of Guglielmo in the production of Cosi fan tutte, which will also go to Hong Kong as a "Gastspiel" of the Staatsoper.

Mathias Hausmann will be accompanied by Pianist Craig Rutenberg, “whose playing ranged from sterling directness to expansive beauty,” (San Francisco Chronicle) has collaborated with many of the world’s greatest vocalists and is recognized as one of the most distinguished accompanists on the stage today.


As a young Austrian who was born more than 30 years after the horrors of World War II ended, it is almost an obligation to look back closely at this war time. Especially as a musician I can look back through an artist’s eye and try to understand the unbelievable suffering of the artists of that time, through their work and their biographies. The two starting points for any new recital program are the music but also the poetry. I mostly look at the text, the poem first and see if I can really connect to it. In the case of the composers that I have selected for this concert there is a third aspect: It is the biography, the life story of mostly Jewish composers that is something I very strongly connect with. One aspect that always interested me very much is the aspect of expulsion. How does someone who already has had a great career like Zemlinsky feel if he suddenly has to flee his country and give up everything that he built up in his lifetime? How does it feel to be forced to leave your home, your city and your country and finding yourself in a strange world you don’t know and where nobody knows you. Does one have the strength to start over again? how do you build up a second career? And when will it be possible to come back to your own country? And will you be able to continue your career back home?....A very important connection for me was to meet with relatives of the composers like the Schoenberg family and Barbara Zeisl and also Gladys Krenek and others. These encounters give an even stronger connection through first hand accounts, visiting the homes of the composers or studying their autographs.





Hanns Eisler (1898-1962)

(from „Hollywood Songbook“)

Hotelzimmer 1942 (B.Brecht)

An den kleinen Radioapparat (B.Brecht)

Auf der Flucht (B.Brecht)

Über den Selbstmord (B.Brecht)

Die Flucht (B.Brecht)

Epitaph auf einen in der Flandernschlacht Gefallenen (B.Brecht)

L’automne califonien (B. Viertel)

Erinnerung an Eichendorff und Schumann (J.v.Eichendorff)

Vom Sprengen des Gartens (B.Brecht)

Die Landschaft des Exils (B.Brecht)

Erich Zeisl (1905-1959)

(Four Night Songs)

Nachts (J.v.Eichendorff)

Die Nacht bricht an (H.Lingg)

Armseelchen (E.A. Herrmann)

Schrei (W.Eidlitz)

Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957)

(Five Songs, op. 38)

I wish you bliss (R. Dehmel)

Wings (J.v.Eichendorff)

Old Spanish Song (Koch)

Old English Song

My mistress’ eyes (W. Shakespeare)


Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)

(Five Songs after poems by Friedrich Rückert)

Liebst du um Schönheit

Blicke mir nicht in die Lieder

Ich atmet einen linden Duft

Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen

Um Mitternacht

Robert Stolz (1880-1975)

Vor meinem Vaterhaus steht eine Linde (B. Hardt-Warden)

Im Prater blüh’n wieder die Bäume (K. Robitschek)

Ralph Benatzky (1884-1957)

Tausend rote Rosen (K.Farkas/E. Marischka)

Wienerlied in New York

Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957)

I meant to say I love you


Monday, August 8, 2011

Honens International Piano Competition Launches "Honens Sessions Live" Digital Series

CD Releases and Launch of “Honens Sessions Live” digital series
by Canada’s Honens International Piano Competition

CALGARY, AB, August 8, 2011 – Canada’s Honens International Piano Competition has added four discs to its catalogue of studio Laureate recordings – the Honens Laureate Series – and has introduced a new live-performance digital series named Honens Sessions Live.

The release of these recordings coincided with the birthday of Andrew Raeburn, Artistic Director of Honens International Piano Competition from 1993 to 2004. Raeburn passed away last summer at age 77. Minsoo Sohn’s Goldberg Variations was the last recording Raeburn produced after a long career as musician, arts administrator and record producer. Sohn’s disc is dedicated to him.

With Sohn’s CD, Honens and The Banff Centre expand their commitment to past Laureates of the Honens Competition by recording and releasing their projects beyond the three-year Artistic & Career Development Program.

Honens Laureate Series recordings are available in CD format from and for digital download from all major online music retailers. All recordings, made at Canada’s Banff Centre, were made possible through the Honens Competition’s Artistic & Career Development Program with support and guidance from The Banff Centre’s Music & Sound Program.

honens laureate series releases

Minsoo Sohn J.S. BACH

2006 First Laureate Goldberg Variations, BWV 988

Georgy Tchaidze SCHUBERT

2009 First Laureate Sonata in A major, D. 664

Drei Klavierstücke, D. 946

Fantasy in C major, D. 760, “Wanderer”

Allegretto in C minor, D. 915

Evgeny Starodubtsev SZYMANOWSKI

2009 Laureate Masques, Op. 34


Suite ‘1922’, Op. 26


Klavierstücke, Op. 23


Sonata (1924)

Gilles Vonsattel RAVEL

2009 Laureate Sonatine


Images Séries I & II


Elis: Drei Nachtstücke


Hommage à Ravel


Gaspard de la nuit

The new Honens Sessions Live series features live solo and collaborative recordings by Honens Laureates. These recordings are available for digital download only. The first in the series, by Trio élan, features Gilles Vonsattel, Laureate of the 2009 Honens Competition, and the music of Beethoven, Brahms and Ravel.

honens sessions live release


Piano Trio in E-flat major, WoO 38


Piano Trio No. 3 in C minor, Op. 101


Piano Trio in A minor

These new Honens-label releases are available for free-listening at until September 30, 2011.

- 30 -

Background Information Attached

Alberta Media Relations National Media Relations

Janet Bwititi Karen Lorenowicz

Honens KL Strategic Communications

(403) 299-0130 ext. 138 (416) 243-0168


honens laureate series

Minsoo Sohn

Goldberg Variations

Honens © 201104CD (75’ • DDD)

The Boston Globe describes pianist Minsoo Sohn as “an artist, a man who will create a life in music, find listeners, and reward them.” Sohn’s poetic vision and musical intelligence have garnered accolades from critics and audiences alike for his masterful virtuosity and deep musicianship.

Live performances of Sohn’s notable interpretation of Bach’s Goldberg Variations have been broadcast numerous times on the CBC and across the United States on NPR’s Performance Today. This studio recording follows his debut Honens-label recording of Liszt transcriptions, about which The Toronto Star wrote, “Sohn tosses off the fearsome technical challenges without breaking stride while at the same time elegantly colouring each mood.”

Minsoo Sohn is First Laureate of the 2006 Honens International Piano Competition. He was born in Korea and moved to Boston in his teens to study with Russell Sherman and Wha Kyung Byun at the New England Conservatory of Music where he received his Artist Diploma. At the time of this CD’s release, he is on faculty at Michigan State University.

from Liner Notes: Minsoo Sohn in conversation with Eric Friesen

There is an astonishing, mysterious power in Bach’s Goldberg Variations to attract a young pianist. The most famous instance is Glenn Gould’s first commercial recording in 1955, with which the 23-year old Canadian announced himself to the world. Before Gould, there was Rosalyn Tureck, who at age 19, was already playing the Goldbergs in public on the piano, this in the 1930s. Minsoo Sohn was also in his teens when he began with naïve ambition to tackle one of the monumental works in piano literature. “It was like a climber’s dream for Mount Everest.” Now, 15 years later, “through many years and many cycles of studying and re-studying,” Minsoo has finally come to record it for the first time.

Georgy Tchaidze


Honens © 201101CD (67’ • DDD)

Georgy Tchaidze was named First Laureate of the Honens International Piano Competition in 2009. He is a native of
St. Petersburg, Russia, and began music studies at age seven. He received a degree from the Moscow State Conservatory where he studied with Sergey Dorensky and, at the time of this recording, is working with Klaus Hellwig at the Berlin University of the Arts. His Honens win allowed him to bring his artistry beyond Russia for performances throughout Europe and North America for the first time. These included performances at the Verbier Festival Academy, with Pinchas Zukerman and Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, and recital debuts at New York’s Carnegie and London’s Wigmore Halls. Aside from music, Tchaidze is a film buff – those of Jean-Luc Godard are among his favourites.

from Liner Notes: Georgy Tchaidze in conversation with Eric Friesen

Franz Schubert is, in many ways, the most underrated of the great composers. Music of the most astonishing variety and originality poured out of him almost every day of the very few he had on this earth, and yet he is rarely given his rightful place in anyone’s top ten list of great composers. Georgy Tchaidze is one musician who does. “Schubert’s music had a very strong influence on me when I was in my teens and for some time now his creativity occupies one of the central positions of my mind,” Georgy told me recently when I asked him why his first solo recital CD was made up entirely of Schubert’s music. This may seem an unusual program for a young Russian pianist, but there is a profoundly poetic side to this young man, as drawn to lyric intimacy as he is to dazzling firebrand virtuosity, a true Honens “Complete Artist”.

Evgeny Starodubtsev

Hindemith | Schoenberg | Stravinsky | Szymanowski

Honens © 201102CD (61’ • DDD)

Russian pianist Evgeny Starodubtsev is a Laureate of the 2009 Honens International Piano Competition. After being introduced to music by way of accordion at a young age, he studied piano and composition at the Moscow State Conservatory’s Central Music School before entering the Conservatory and continuing piano studies with Natalia Troull. Starodubtsev splits his time between piano performance and composing. His compositions include chamber works for varied instruments, including woodwinds, strings and harp. This performer-composer combination no doubt accounts for his sense of adventure and intelligent approach to music-making. Starodubtsev has an affinity for music of the 20th century and revels in revealing this repertory’s wonder and beauty.

from Liner Notes: Evgeny Starodubtsev in conversation with Eric Friesen

The music that Evgeny Starodubtsev has chosen for this CD, most of it written in the 1920s, is now almost a century old, and yet it still sounds modern to our ears. Maybe we don’t find it as shocking as listeners did at the time, but there’s no doubt that audiences today still don’t embrace this music with the warmth they give to Brahms and Wagner, who came just before. This is why the music of the early 20th century needs champions, artists who believe in the music, who understand its essences and who can convince us to pay attention.

Evgeny is drawn to this period of ferment and change. As he told me: “The attraction of early 20th century music for me has its root in the phenomenon of the new musical language. In the19th century, the main structure was tonality, that is, major and minor keys. The 20th century brought absolutely new, independent systems. Composers invented their own way to organize sounds – each created a new language.” Then Evgeny becomes almost rhapsodic: “Heady delight of a new universe of sounds, courage, the ecstatic loneliness of the discoverer, a dizzy freedom – these are the main things for me in this music.”

Gilles Vonsattel

Debussy | Holliger | Honegger | Ravel

Honens © 201103CD (70’ • DDD)

Swiss-born American pianist Gilles Vonsattel is an artist of uncommon breadth with a repertoire that ranges from J.S. Bach’s Art of the Fugue to the complete works of Xenakis. He is Laureate of the 2009 Honens International Piano Competition, recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and winner of the Naumburg and Geneva Competitions. He made his Alice Tully Hall recital debut in 2002 and has appeared with esteemed orchestras including the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood, the San Francisco Symphony, the Warsaw Philharmonic and l’Orchestre de Chambre de Genève.

In solo and chamber music performances, he has appeared at the Tonhalle Zurich, Wigmore Hall in London and Munich’s Gasteig, and at international festivals including the Gilmore, Caramoor and la Roque d’Anthéron. Vonsattel is committed to the performance of contemporary works, having given premieres on both sides of the Atlantic, and has worked closely with composers including Ned Rorem, Nico Muhly and Heinz Holliger. He received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Economics from Columbia University and a master’s degree in Music Performance from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Jerome Lowenthal. At the time of this recording Vonsattel is an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

from Liner Notes: Gilles Vonsattel in conversation with Eric Friesen

eric friesen: You clearly have a great love for French music, as this program and your performance of it shows. What attracts you to the impressionist and post-impressionist atmospheres of Debussy and Ravel?

gilles vonsattel: As a pianist I am perhaps happiest when I feel myself drawing something almost other-worldly from my instrument. For me, the piano has always been a wonderful, profound escapist pursuit, and because there is so much to listen for in this music from a purely audiophile point of view it feels so easy and comfortable to lose myself in the process of creating – and listening to – sound. More specifically, I am drawn to the challenge of creating such a wide array of colours and textures while discretely but firmly maintaining an underlying structure.

ef: Tell me about the architecture of this program. What was your plan?

gv: There is a slight foray into the boundary between Swiss and French music (the Ravel/Holliger/Honegger connection) but this is almost accidental or at least quite subtle. I did like the idea of beginning and ending with Ravel, although they are very different works; the first is neoclassical and the other, well, not at all. Also I wanted to explore the connections betweenImages and Gaspard de la nuit, of having Holliger’s Elis draw a link to a more modern sound, and of having a little prelude to Gaspard via the Honegger Hommage à Ravel.

honens sessions live

Trio élan

Beethoven | Brahms | Ravel

Honens © 201001MP3 (61’ • DDD)

Trio élan is violinist Frank Huang, cellist Nicolas Altstaedt, and pianist Gilles Vonsattel. Huang and Vonsattel first collaborated after each had been named winner of New York’s Naumburg Competition in 2002 and 2003 respectively. After performing with Altstaedt at Switzerland’s Davos Festival in 2007, Vonsattel explored the idea of the three musicians sharing their diverse yet complementary musical personalities on stage together. They began reading the wealth of piano trio repertory in New York, where they were members of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society II. By June 2009, the Trio became an official entity and soon its first concert engagements were secured at the Rockport Chamber Music and Davos Festivals, and at New York’s Bargemusic and Lincoln Center. Of these early concerts The Strad wrote that the trio had “Spot-on teamwork and unanimity of musical impulse…” This live recording by the Trio is the first in a series of live recordings called Honens Sessions Live.

eric friesen

Eric Friesen is author of the liner notes for the Honens Laureate Series recordings. Friesen is a veteran broadcaster, writer and speaker on music and culture. He spent much of his life as a network classical music host and producer for CBC Radio and Minnesota Public Radio (MPR). For CBC he hosted programs such as Studio Sparks, In Performance, and Onstage at Glenn Gould Studio, as well as the celebrated documentary series, The Concerto According to Pinchas, The Concerto According to Manny and Peter and the Symphony. Since leaving the CBC at the end of 2008, Friesen has been busy serving a wide variety of major cultural organizations in Canada.

honens international piano competition

Canada's 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 – and awards its Laureates the competition world's largest cash prize and most comprehensive artistic and career development program.

The Seventh Honens International Piano Competition takes place October 17 to 26, 2012 and 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.

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