Monday, March 26, 2012

Quite the Journey

The bassoonists relax after a long day of auditions. 
Those of you who are going through, or have gone through, their final year of their undergrad will certainly understand my life at this time of year. Assignments piling high, a graduation recital looming, and, to wrap it all up, preparing for graduate school auditions. Needless to say, the past few months have been quite difficult for me.

Since my trip to the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis this past August, I have done my upmost to secure a place at the school next year. I've begun learning the piano, bought an ear training app, sight-sung through 6 chapters of a textbook, and sat in a practice room for far too long.

Last weekend, I made my long-anticipated return to Basel, Switzerland, for the audition.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Inside Out: Rediscovering Forgotten ‘Early Music’ Pioneers

The next article in the 'Inside Out' series, Bert Shudi, author of  The Early Music Pioneers Archive, guest blogs.

The time is ripe for a revival of the early music revival. The pioneers of today’s flourishing early music movement – the people who put Baroque and earlier music back on the map – are fading into obscurity.

A new blog, The Early Music Pioneers Archive, combines research with documents, video interviews, photographs and digitalized clips (from LPs, 78s and private recordings), to refocus attention on a host of musicians, scholars and instrument makers who deserve to be remembered.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Heard of 'Thing a Week'?

In September of 2005, Jonathan Coulton, a computer programmer and part time musician, decided he was going to quit his day job and become a full-time professional musician. Wondering how to break into the scene and create work for himself immediately after the switch, Coulton decided he was going to start a project called 'Thing a Week', where he would write and record a new song every week for a year.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Reflecting on Pinchas Zukerman's Announcement

This week, world-renowned violinist and music director of the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Pinchas Zukerman announced that he will retire from his position with NACO as of 2015.

While it comes as no surprise to many of us - he is 63 this year -, the announcement jumpstarts the process that will have a very great effect upon the entire musical community in Ottawa: hiring the next musical director.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Prisme Dreaming in Technicolor

Support for artists in the province of Quebec has been strong for generations. With generous, though competitive, grant possibilities from agencies such as CALQSODEC, regional arts councils, and municipal governments, combined with the only government-administered regional conservatory system in the nation, it's no surprise some of Canada's best-known artists live and work there. Naturally, la petite Ville de Gatineau, just a stone's throw from downtown Ottawa, has drawn a musical establishment to rival its southern counterpart.

Sitting on the north shore of the Ottawa river, Gatineau, with population of just over 250,000, is home to four important musical institutions; Le Conservatoire de GatineauL'Orchestre symphonique de GatineauPlaisirs du Clavecin  and Ensemble Prisme. Interestingly, all apart from the Conservatoire are rather recent additions to the city. The orchestra and Prisme held their first subscription series' in 2006-2007 with Plaisirs du Clavecin following in 2009. Although their establishment has certainly been greatly aided by granting agencies and corporate sponsors, the ultimate challenge, as with all arts institutions these days, remains: attracting an audience.
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