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.


EGG ZEPPELIN; recipe needs some tweaking Reply

Wildman & Bishop served by Siddiqi & St.Pierre

Review by Danny Gaisin

Hamilton has a comedy Festival!!! Discovered this arcane piece of intel as a result of an invitation from EGG ZEPPELIN; Kris Siddiqi & Marcel St.Pierre’s theme-based improvisational skits. The Saturday evening crowd at THE STAIRCASE were rather young and certainly antsy…before; during, and after the performance. Annoying?? –more than somewhat and never a bouncer around when you need one.

The duo’s show opened with a longish pantomime. Any director worth his or her credentials will tell you that the ‘ouvre’ should be upbeat & progressive. Reversing the order, thus having Siddiqi do his reverse Pakistani humor might have kept the kiddies attention and their butts seated.  More…

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


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


TITANIC, The Musical 3

Review by Sharon Letovsky

Not a musical version of the popular Oscar-winning film; this show is based on real people and events. It launched on Broadway in April 1997, played 830 performances and won four Tony awards.  It has been translated and performed successfully around the world.  That being said, it is not an easy undertaking for any production company, because the show itself has the potential to be a crashing bore! 


Almost all of the songs are ballads. There is only one dance number and there is no strong side-story-line to give the tragic disaster more life.  That is why writers of the film added the fictional Jack & Rose.


HOMEMADE FUSION, plot–no; theme–definitely! 1

Review by Danny Gaisin
Bryce Declan’s HOMEMADE FUSION may be plot-less and set-less but it is a fascinating and definitely challenging undertaking by the half-dozen singer/actors who are staging it at Hamilton’s STAIRCASE THEATRE. The fourteen episodic songs deal with relationships and emotions…all are presentationally demanding. The compositions radically change key and the prose/poetry lyrics rarely scan. Yet the whole effort succeeds.

Cast of HOMEMADE FUSION (& Gab Sid -piano}