Articles written by: Irwin Block

Beethoven’s string quartets — all 16 — brought to life at Chamberfest in May and June
Reviews & Previews

Beethoven’s string quartets — all 16 — brought to life at Chamberfest in May and June

Lovely and brilliant, varied, and innovative pieces for smaller ensembles by Ludwig van Beethoven are the focus of this year’s Montreal Chamber Music Festival. Curated by cellist Dennis Brott, the festival begins in May and features huge musical talents who can be expected to demonstrate why “genius” and Beethoven have […]

CD review: Rémi Bolduc Jazz Ensemble
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CD review: Rémi Bolduc Jazz Ensemble

The first time I played this CD – signature tunes by pianist Oscar Peterson, transcribed, arranged, and interpreted by Rémi Bolduc – the music lit up the room.

From Pierrefonds to Ecuador — living the dream and building the future
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From Pierrefonds to Ecuador — living the dream and building the future

Fed up with the Canadian winter and yearning for a liveable climate year-round, Donald Bosch and his wife Monique settled on Ecuador.

CD Review: Quinsin Nachoff: Flux
Reviews & Previews

CD Review: Quinsin Nachoff: Flux

Canadian tenor saxophonist Quinsin Nachoff is the kind of musician that stands out from the pack.

Joyce Wright is building a future for children
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Retired teacher makes a difference for Mexican children

A recently retired mother of two never expected to end up building structures for others – with her own hands.

Stuart McLean’s love of Canada started on the streets of Montreal
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Stuart McLean’s love of Canada started on the streets of Montreal

There was one person in that crew of perhaps a dozen talented and ambitious producers who responded to my distress – Stuart McLean.

Shortage of medications reaches critical point in Cuba
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Shortage of medications reaches critical point in Cuba

Ricardo was different. He was desperate, almost frantic.

There are blue skies over McGill, one of the many campuses offering courses on a host of topics this fall.
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Montreal student days sparks themes in novel

Related: October Crisis sets scene in Irena Karafilly’s The House on Selkirk Ave. Born in the Russian Urals, Irena Karafilly received her post-secondary education at McGill and was a student there in October 1970. Her neighbour was the nationalist singer Pauline Julien. “I happened to be living on Montreal’s Selkirk Avenue […]

Irena Karafilly talks about the genesis of her novel, including memories of her own experience in October, 1970, when her neighbour was arrested.
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October Crisis sets scene in Irena Karafilly’s The House on Selkirk Ave.

Where were you during the October Crisis of 1970? It was a period that no Montrealer can easily forget.

CD review: D’Arcy James Argue & Secret Society: Real Enemies
Reviews & Previews

CD review: D’Arcy James Argue & Secret Society: Real Enemies

It seems it takes a Canadian perspective to critically relate to the dangerously evolving political climate in the U.S.A.