Immigration, Citizenship, and Culture Blog

Maxim Vengerov gives a fascinating Violin Master Class in Montreal
By Stephen Fogarty November 7, 2012

Photo ©2012 Stephen Fogarty About 120 violin students and classical music fans of all ages were privileged to attend a fascinating Master Class given by the Russian violinist Maxim Vengerov in Montréal on Friday, October 26.  Mr. Vengerov was in town performing in and conducting two concerts by the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM).  The program notes mentioned that Mr. Vengerov now divides his time equally among playing the violin, conducting, and teaching.  His skills in the first two are universally acclaimed, and it was apparent only a few minutes into the Master Class that his skills as a teacher are on an equally high level. The Master Class featured four Montréal area up-and-coming, young violinists each of whom would begin playing a work for some five to eight minutes.  Mr. Vengerov would then give a general overview of their efforts, followed by a review of particular passages to work on technique.  He often illustrated the points by playing on his own ex-Kreutzer 1728 Stradivari, and toward the end even played a duet with one of the students, Baptiste Rodrigues. Read More

A heroic performance by the McGill Symphony Orchestra
By Stephen Fogarty November 4, 2012

An enthusiastic crowd packed Pollack Hall on a chilly November 1st evening to hear the McGill Symphony Orchestra (MGSO), which played three works, two rarely performed and one a cornerstone of modern Western culture. The concert began with the 1920 version of Stravinsky’s Symphonies of Wind Instruments. This rather sombre, one-movement work of some 10 minutes duration was dedicated to the memory of Debussy.  Its interesting progressions provide ample opportunity for wind musicians to showcase their talents, which the McGill players surely did. Read More

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