On October 20th, Canadian pianist Bruce (Xiaoyu) Liu performed the Chopin E minor Concerto at the 18th Frédéric Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw, to an astonished and delighted audience; shortly afterwards, he was declared the first Canadian ever to gain the prestigious First Prize – a tremendous win both for the young champion and for Canada. For him - what a victory, and for us – what a joy to see, and hear. Congratulations, Bruce - from all of us, to you.
Diverse voices. Daring visions. A curated look at dance, drama, design, music, poetry, cinema, song, photography, opera and more. All 21st C. All dazzling. All Canadian. Online, and free. Starting at noon on Friday 1 October. One new entry a day, for a month.
Marie Clement’s National Film Board documentary, The Road Forward, is a stirring combination of documentary and musical. Originating in the story of Canada’s first Indigenous newspaper, the Native Voice, the film weaves its many strands masterfully, giving vital testimony, in songs of hope and loss, to the expressive power of art and its ability to inform reconciliation.
In this breathtaking recital, livestreamed early in 2020, Canadian master pianist Marc-André Hamelin took us on a grand tour of repertoire from C.P.E. Bach to Debussy, dazzling with his astounding technique and perpetually questing imagination. We were left wanting more - and you will be, too.
Canadian songwriting legend Joni Mitchell has taught us all to better hear the quiet places. Seen here performing one of her most beloved songs for an entranced audience over fifty years ago, she speaks across the years, delighting and enchanting us today, just as yesterday.
Montreal organization La Gang à Rambrou has a mission: to support, through the performing arts, the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities or autism spectrum disorder. In December of 2019, sponsored by L'Opéra de Montréal, they premiered a show, Prends garde à toi!. Inspired by Bizet’s Carmen, with a strong anti-bullying message at its core, the production showcased all 71 members of the group as singers, chorus, musicians, dancers, set designers, and costumers. If the story of just one member, Sacha, can inspire… just imagine the stories of all.
Louis Lortie’s 2010 Juno-nominated recording of the Mendelssohn Piano Concertos, paired with that composer’s Reformation Symphony, was revelatory. Working with the OSQ in Québec City's Salle Raoul-Jobin du Palais Montcalm - a more intimate hall - meant that Lortie already had an advantage in his quest to present the works with a lighter, fleeter sound, but the presence of legendary sound engineer Carlos Prieto meant that there remained no real need to force or project the music. The resulting disc - Lortie's debut recording as pianist/conductor - is a miracle of clarity and detail.