Reviews & Previews

Chamber Fest dazzles in June

Montreal’s annual chamber music festival, curated by cellist Dennis Brott, is in its 23rd edition, offering what looks like an electrifying and expansive series of concerts, three of them free!

The festival began in April and ten concerts remain, including Friday night jazz concerts at McGill University’s Pollack Hall, with pianist Eldar Djangirov in a trio June 8, and saxophonist Grace Kelly leading a quartet June 15.

Classical music remains at the core of this festival. Pianist André Laplante joins the Rolston String Quartet June 12, 8pm, in works by Haydn, Tchaikovsky, and Schumann; The Tempest Trio — violinist Ilya Kaler, cellist Amit Peled, and pianist Alon Goldstein – with violist Marian Thibeault June 14, 8pm, play works by Bernstein, Beethoven, and Schumann; A rare four pianist chamber pops concert June 15, 5pm, unites Alon Golstein, David Jalbert, Wonny Song, and Steven Massicotte.

The New York Philharmonic Quartet — principal string players from the New York Philharmonic Orchestra — makes its Canadian debut June 16, 8pm, playing works by Haydn, Shostakovich, and Borodin; Cellissimo, featuring Brott and 11 other cellists, with soprano Aline Kutan, June 17, 3:30pm, perform pieces by Popper, Menotti, and Villa Lobos.

In the three free events at Pollack Hall: The Rolston String Quartet plays Shostakovich and Reich 5pm, June 12 as the documentary Different Trains is screened; Israeli violinist Amit Peled plays works by Bach and Bloch at noon, June 15, using one of Pablo Casals’ cellos. The documentary The Cellist: Legacy of Gregor Piatigorsky will be screened at 1pm, June 17.

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