O.C.O. honors ‘friends’ L.V. Beethoven & company Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

It behooves a classical music writer to have a sliding scale of criticism; the big (size & $$$) outfits should be held to a higher standard than community organizations. Hearing the Oakville Chamber Orchestra’s three dozen musicians and their director, Charles Demuynck, in performance, they deserve as sharp a pencil point as any group…they’re that good! Unfortunately, last evening’s concert was held in St. Simon’s Anglican Church and acoustically; the closest simile I can recall is hearing a band play inside a Quonset Hut construction shed!
The opening work was Beethoven’s ‘Coriolan’ overture. The tale behind the work is about the semi-legendary Roman ‘Coriolanus’.

Soprano Charlene Pauls interpreting “Zerlina” From Don Giovanni



“Radiant Ravel”; and other stuff by H.P.O. Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

  It’s autumn. School’s back and so are the musicians & conductor of the Hamilton Philharmonic. The opening concert was eclectic in selections… brief old standards, a premiere composition and an orchestral interpretation of a dramatic ballet. Interestingly, the connection between two pieces is esoteric and somewhat convoluted, unless one is familiar with ancient Greek fables.
The opening work was Dvo
řák’s ‘Carnival Overture’. One of a triptych, this work is well-known and two seems the only one of the three to be performed. Maestra Gemma New gave the piece a forceful yet touching rendering that offered the clarinets and violins the opportunity to demonstrate the familiar syncopation that is a hallmark of the work.  It was an exuberant welcome back.

Dunlop; New & Fedyshyn and an abbreviated HPO performing a new composition


Bienvenue to a visiting young French Choir Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell


Maitrise des Hauts de France, Young Singers of Lampersart, is a French boys choir who began their 2019 North American concert tour on July 12th at Burlington’s oldest church, St Luke’s Anglican, and will end their tour- after many stops in the United States – at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, the newest church in Waterdown on July 28th.  They are a group of about 40 singers in every regular register (soprano, alto, tenor and bass) who all come from the town of Lamersart, near Lille in northern France.  The choir was founded in 1970, performing regularly in Europe including at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and for Queen Elizabeth.                                                      The Choir = on stage


Hammer Baroque showcases a quintet to interpret Vivaldi Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
Dominic Teresi is principal bassoon of Tafelmusik and teaches at The Juilliard School.  Stefano Demicheli is a composer,. In keeping with Hammer Baroque traditions, five extraordinary musicians offered a concert titled Soprattutto Vivaldi on Saturday afternoon.   Oboeist Marco Cera, trained in Italy and was lured over to Toronto by Tafelmusik.  He is also a member of the Artic fusion band, Ensemble Polaris.  Alison Melville performs on historic flutes and recorders. She is also a member of Ensemble Polaris, who has performed a lot of music for film & TV soundtracks.  Violinist Cristina Zacharias, is a core member of Tafelmusik and appears annually at the Carmel Bach Festival.

The performers of Hammer Baroque’s VIVALDI


Mahler’s 5th, big composition needs a big orchestra Reply

Review by Danny & Terry Gaisin,  May. 12th, ‘19

Gustav Mahler’s 5th symphony is big, glorious; affecting; and serious. Thus, it needs a class ‘A’ orchestra and conductor to properly perform it. The Hamilton Philharmonic and maestra Gemma New certainly accomplished the work’s requirements.
This season’s final concert opened with Claude Vivier’s ORION. First time hearing this piece and quite probably, my last. The seven motifs supposedly represent the stars that make up the constellation – the hunter and his two doggies. Like the myth; Vivier; a flamboyant gay, was murdered in Paris by a young male prostitute just as Orion was condemned for insulting the gods.

Gemma New & Diana Weir, informing the HPO audience about tonight’s special event


“Ravel & Stravinsky; + Bartok, Prokofiev, & ballet” Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin, Apr. 28, ‘19

Under the vision of maestra Gemma New , executive director Diana Weir and the HPO Board, the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra has evolved into something far more eclectic and audience attractive than we saw under previous administrations. This is obvious from the increase of ‘sold out’ concert situations and also from the noticeable atmosphere emanating from the musicians themselves. Last evening’s event under guest conductor Nathan Brock featured the HPO’s concertmaster Stephen Sitarski performing the violin concerto No. 2 by Sergei Prokofiev. This piece is far less known than the composer’s ‘Peter & the Wolf’ or his opera ‘Alexander Nevsky.

Sitarski under guest HPO conductor Nathan Brocki