Reviews & Previews

McGill Chamber season offers Hebrew, Mohawk music — even ET!

Continuing its bold and innovative programming, the McGill Chamber Orchestra kicks off its Best of Our Own 79th season with music from the gifted Quebec composer François Dompierre, directing his own work.

The program features the orchestra conducting Dompierre’s Concerto de Saint-Irénée, with Serhiy Salov at the piano, les Diableries duets, with violinist Marc Djokic — the MCO’s new concertmaster — and a medley of film-score favourites from such hits as Denys Arcand’s The Decline of the American Empire and Jesus of Montreal. Sept. 22, Salle Bourgie, 7:30 pm.

The Azrieli Music Prizes award winners will gather at a gala for this special evening of new and traditional music. Violinists Lara St. John solos on Avner Dorman’s Nigunim for Violin and Orchestra, followed by Sephardic themes, composed by Kelly-Marie Murphy, with Erica Goodman, harp, and Rachel Mercer, cello. Soprano Sharon Azrieli will sing Hebrew melodies, followed by Mendelssohn’s sumptuous Italian Symphony, with Yoav Talmi conducting. Oct. 15, Maison Symphonique, 8 pm.

Indigenous Visions & Voices, in collaboration with Kahwawake’s artistic community, highlights a new multimedia orchestral work by Odawa composer Barbara Croall, honouring Kateri Tekakwitha, the Mohawk woman who was named a Roman Catholic saint. Mohawk writer Darren Bonaparte and Indigenous Columbian
director Alexjandro Roncarta joined forces on this theatrical work, with actors, dancers, chorus and ambitious visuals. Mohawk violinist Tara-Louise Montour is featured in Malcolm Forsyth’s Trickster Coyote — Lightening Elk concerto, which explores Mohawk chants and dances. Oct. 20, Église Saint-Jean Baptiste, 7:30 pm.

Mezzo soprano Julie Boulianne, with flutist Timothy Hutchins and oboist Theodore Baskin perform Bach, Telemann, and Vivaldi and with the orchestra play the world premiere of Zasakwaa by Barbara Croall. Nov. 27. Église Saint-Jean Baptiste, 7:30 pm.

Cellist Stéphane Tétrault, 25, reprises the works he first performed at age 12 with the McGill Chamber Orchestra — Alexander Brott’s Arabesque
and Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations, followed by the Russian composer’s Serenade for Strings. Jan. 19, Salle Bourgie, 7:30 pm.

Violinist Alexandre Da Costa and his Stradivarius focus on operatic music by Strauss and Wagner, including the Siegfried Fantasie and
Liebeslied from Die Walküre. Feb. 9, Salle Bourgie,
7:30 pm.

French music by Maurice Ravel, Hector Berlioz and Quebec composer Jacques Hétu, part of his 6th Symphony, based on a Paul Éluard poem. Soprano Sharon Azrieli will sing Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été, in a new arrangement for strings by François
Vallières. March 11, Oscar Peterson Hall, 7:30 pm.

Music for the family, introduced by Daphne the Dinosaur, is designed to impress as she hatches from an egg and searches for her family, to the tune of the “storm” from Beethoven’s 6th and Strauss’s Also sprach Zarathustra, followed by John Williams’ scores for ET and Jurassic Park. April 11, Oscar Peterson Hall, 9:30 am and 10:30 am.

Two brilliant young pianists, Emily Oulousian and Zhan Hong Xiao, winners of Radio-Canada’s Virtuoses series, are featured in an all-Mozart program — the Double Piano Concerto, Symphony No. 29 in A major, and the beloved Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.

May 11, Salle Bourgie, 7:30 pm.

Ticket information:

orchestra.ca/currentseason/

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