Serenaded By Strauss; entertained by N.A.O. Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell

Last evening, the National Academy Orchestra presented another concert in the Brott Summer Music Festival at St. Christopher`s Anglican Church in Burlington. This concert opened with Beethoven`s Egmont Overture conducted by trainee conductor Brendan Hagan.  The overture tells the story of the struggle for freedom of the Netherlands from the occupation of Spain in the sixteenth century.  This is a typical motif for Beethoven and one that allows his flair for a dramatic opening; reminiscent of his Fifth Symphony.

Artistic director Brott addresses his audience

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NAO’s “Double of Brahms” Reply

Review by Tony Kilgannon

The 2nd concert of the BROTT SUMMER FESTIVAL – A Double of Brahms was a thoroughly satisfying evening of great music beautifully played, and listened to under conditions that I think were absolutely ideal. The evening began with the Fidelio Overture, a piece which is unmistakeably Beethoven. The concert programme announced it as his “middle period symphonic style” (that alone would get the rapt attention of this huge fan of the Fifth Symphony!). It was conducted by Brendan Hagan, Maestro Brott’s apprentice, and was a delight, allowing the mind to focus, the ears to tune, and something inside the listener to open up and receive the music. Like so many of life’s pleasure’s Fidelio seems too short!

Maestro Brott stepped back onto the conductor’s podium for Brahms’ Symphony No.3 in F major. Before lifting his baton to the orchestra, informed us, along with other things, that Brahms is interpreted in more than one way, depending partly on the size of the orchestra.

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Team of two Titans Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
A sold-out audience on Friday night was treated to an extraordinary concert at the First Unitarian Church, and presented by the Caskey School of Music. Francois & Katherine Verschaeve generously sponsored Valerie Tryon and Alexei Gulenco in a program of three pieces for two pianos. Tryon was a British prodigy who gave her first full concert at age 14.  Later she studied inFrance before coming toCanada in 1971.  She was Artist-in-Residence and an Associate Professor at McMaster University until ‘retiring’ to her current concert schedule.  Gulenco began his piano studies in Moldova, then the Netherlands and the USA.  He came toHamilton in 2008 where he is on the faculty atMcMasterUniversity andWilfredLaurierUniversity.   Both of these artists have won numerous prestigious awards.

soloists GULENCO & TRYON

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Brott Festival opening …O.M.G.! Reply

Review by Tony Kilgannon

The tyrannical overlords at the Ontario Arts Review are expecting a 500- word critique of the opening concert of the 2012 Brott Music Festival, but I can do it in 3 letters; OMG.  Happily, it’s not necessary to be that brief.  Everything about this concert was just about perfect.  The venue was St. Christopher’s Anglican Church in Burlington. When we arrived, there was plenty of free parking, and the building was very welcoming (when one has been to a lot of folk and rock concerts, these are notthings taken for granted!)

guest soloist Martin Beaver

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“For the Love of Music”…5 @ the 1st 1

Review by Judith Caldwell

The final concert in the 5 at The First series for the 2011/12 season was entitled ‘For the Love of Music’ and featured a truly unusual combination of instruments: –  Rachel Mercer on cello; Joseph Phillips on double bass and sitarist Anwar Khurshid;  a rare concert indeed.   The afternoon began with Rachel and Joe playing Duet in D major by Rossini, a truly gorgeous piece of music in three movements.  It began with an allegro that was so playful and so much fun that the audience could not resist laughing and applauding at the end of it. This was followed by a rich, complex andante molto with lovely long melody lines that invited one into the experience. More…

O.C.O. does “The Seasons” 3

Review by Terry Gaisin

The artistic director of the Oakville Chamber Orchestrais a multi-talented musicologist. He is an accomplished arranger; dedicated conductor, and an adept composer. This latter flair was displayed yesterday afternoon (Sunday) at a concert staged at Sheridan College. It was music written as backdrop to a poem by Haitian Gérard Étienne dealing with the poet’s loves. The prose is rather repetitious with the subject word appearing in almost every sentence, in some cases- thrice! Naturally, Demuynck’s work is also repetitive, but that is a reflection of the subject’s intrinsic restraints

Demuynck’s new composition – interpreted

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