OPEN LETTER | Christina Petrowska Quilico Remembers Pierre Boulez
The following is an open letter written by Toronto-based pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico, one of Canada’s foremost interpreters of new music, on her memories of Pierre Boulez.
Op-ed: The Compositional Voice and the Need to Please
“What is a composer, today?
”, an article by Curtis Perry recently published on Musical Toronto
, gave rise to some lively debate on an issue that deserves some further thought. In the article, Perry acknowledges, “the apparent collapse of the publicly funded industry of commissioning and academia,” and asks that when composing, “is it inherently wrong to write music in order to please the crowd?” He also suggests that “the failure of the average composer of our time to be recognized by the average listener,” is a result of obedience to convention, and a desire for academic approval.
Onomatopoeia: The Thin Edge New Music Collective Sounds Off
The programme featured a number of guest artists, including guest vocal ensemble GREX, guest conductor, Patrick Murray, and guest performers Jason Sharp and Kaie Kellough, whose extra presence managed to completely fill the well-attended Arrayspace venue on Thursday night.
Concert review: Contemporary music has got its groove back
It is most natural (and perhaps necessary) to begin a concert of Dutch contemporary music with a piece by Louis Andriessen, who initially rocked the foundations of the conservative post-war classical music scene in the Netherlands. His music- almost anti-Classical with its incessant rhythmic repetition, loud dynamics and penchant for saxophone, amplified singing and rock instrumentation, is considered the patriarchal source of most Dutch contemporary music today.
Appreciation: Claudio Abbado 'changed water into fire at a moment’s notice, igniting the concert experience' when it really counted
Composer, conductor and pianist Dinuk Wijeratne, who moved to Toronto last year from Halifax, had his musical sensibility awakened by Claudio Abbado, who died on Jan. 20.
Essay: 'The digital self is omnivorous, even cannibalistic, devouring time, energy, creativity'
Most young composers realize that in the 21st-century how you present yourself has become a vital part of who you are, and what you do; your image becomes second only in importance to your music. It’s hard to “brand” a creative voice that will develop across a lifetime; it’s hard to pin that butterfly to a domain name and a headshot. Creative identity now finds a second opportunity for agonizing and doubt: what sort of artist am I? One who lies about in the woods seductively holding… my computer? We’ve all seen that kind of artist photo. Should I drape myself over this piano? If it’s a headshot and I smile, will they assume my music is tonal? If I don’t smile, am I by default a devotée of dissonance? If my website is spare, will I look zen and arty, or just lazy? And let’s not even discuss Facebook, that boneyard of regrets: old frosh photos and in-jokes that no “Like” of an Artist page will ever erase.
Issues: Where and how do our conversations about art music and opera continue?
Well, there is still a cast of regulars to read: The Star’s Richard Ouzounian for opera, the Globe and Mail’s Robert Harris and the National Post’s Arthur Kaptainis, although the papers’ coverage is no longer consistent.
Stop the performance: It's Salieri on line 1
Everybody knows Peter Oundjian, music director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, has a quick wit. It was on full display Thursday night during the TSO’s performance of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Coronation” Mass.
Appreciation: Canadian Music Centre's Score Reading Club a fine introduction to new sounds
Every now and then, the Canadian Music Centre holds special events at Chalmers House, where it invites musicians, composers and the general public to look into the world of this country’s music.
The fateful meeting of Benjamin Britten and Colin McPhee recalled by Adam Sherkin in upcoming Toronto concert
By the summer of 1939, Benjamin Britten arrived in New York. After nearly three months in Canada (including a mosquito-ridden June in the Laurentians), Britten journeyed southward, to make his mark on America. He quickly fell for the New World, at many points claiming he would take citizenship and remain in the US for the rest of his life.