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Jaap Nico Hamburger added to Leaf Music Roster

April 29, 2020 (Halifax, NS) Halifax-based classical record label, Leaf Music is pleased to announce that Canadian composer Jaap Nico Hamburger is joining the label’s roster. Jaap Nico Hamburger is a Canadian Music Centre Associate Composer; President and CEO, Orange Music Inc., a Vancouver music production company; Member of the Board of Directors of City Opera Vancouver (2010-2020); and in 2019 was named Mécénat Musica’s Composer in Residence. 

A resident of Vancouver, BC, Hamburger’s compositions include symphonies, solo concertos, chamber music works, and commissions from Discovery Channel, Rex Video London UK, Turning Point Ensemble, and Dutch Television. He is a graduate from the Royal Sweelinck Academy of Music, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, with a soloist degree in piano.

Jaap’s first release with Leaf Music will be his piano concerto which was recently recorded at Montréal’s Maison Symphonique with the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal, with pianist Assaff Weisman and conductor Vincent de Kort – set to be released July 2020 – followed by two symphonies to be released in November 2020. Additional releases for 2021 include a group of chamber works, along with his first opera Goldwasser, currently in development, which is expected to bring Canadian culture to the world stage with a highly anticipated premiere in New York in 2021-22. 

“We are delighted to welcome Jaap Nico Hamburger to our roster. He is poised to become recognized as one of the great composers of our time.  His wide palette of orchestral colours, clever use of folk song elements and driving energy are sure to delight music listeners in concert halls and streaming platforms alike in the years to come.  We are consistently impressed by Jaap Nico Hamburger’s bold and visionary approach to addressing difficult and challenging themes with hope and optimism through his music.  It’s a privilege for Leaf Music to help bring his growing repertoire to the world.” – Jeremy VanSlyke, owner – Leaf Music

jaaphamburger.com


29 avril 2020 (Halifax, N.-É.) – Leaf Music, maison de disques de musique classique d’Halifax, a le plaisir d’annoncer la signature du compositeur canadien Jaap Nico Hamburger. M. Hamburger est un compositeur agréé du Centre de musique canadienne. Il est aussi président et chef de la direction d’Orange Music Inc., entreprise de production musicale de Vancouver. Il est membre du conseil d’administration de l’Opéra de la ville de Vancouver (depuis 2010) et, en 2019, il a été nommé « compositeur en résidence » par Mécénat Musica.

M. Hamburger habite à Vancouver, en Colombie-Britannique. Ses compositions comprennent des symphonies, des concertos en solo, des oeuvres de musique de chambre et des oeuvres de commande pour la chaîne de télévision Discovery, pour Rex Video London UK, pour le Turning Point Ensemble et pour la télévision néerlandaise. Il est diplômé de l’Académie royale de musique Sweelinck d’Amsterdam, aux Pays-Bas, avec un diplôme de pianiste soliste.

Le premier disque de M. Hamburger pour Leaf Music sera son concerto pour piano, qui a été récemment enregistré avec l’Orchestre métropolitain de Montréal, à la Maison symphonique de Montréal, avec le pianiste Assaff Weisman et le chef d’orchestre Vincent de Kort. La parution de ce disque est prévue pour juillet 2020. Viendront ensuite deux symphonies, en novembre 2020. D’autres parutions sont prévues en 2021, dont une série d’oeuvres de musique de chambre, ainsi que son premier opéra, intitulé Goldwasser, actuellement en cours de composition. On s’attend à ce que cet opéra donne à la culture canadienne un retentissement mondial, avec une première très attendue à New York en 2021–2022.

« Nous sommes ravis d’accueillir Jaap Nico Hamburger dans notre maison. Il va être reconnu comme étant un des grands compositeurs de notre époque. Sa vaste palette de couleurs orchestrales, son utilisation futée d’éléments de musique folklorique et son énergie contagieuse raviront à n’en pas douter les auditeurs des salles de concert et des plateformes de diffusion en continu dans les années à venir.
Nous sommes régulièrement impressionnés par l’approche ambitieuse et visionnaire de Jaap Nico Hamburger, qui s’attaque, dans sa musique, à des thèmes ardus et difficiles avec espoir et optimisme. C’est un privilège pour Leaf Music de pouvoir contribuer à la diffusion dans notre monde de son répertoire grandissant. » — Jeremy VanSlyke, propriétaire de Leaf Music

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NEW RELEASE – CHRISTINE WALEVSKA, cello – Bloch’s – “Nigun”

Leaf Music is proud to present Bael ShemNigun from celebrated cellist Christine Walevska and pianist Akimi Fukuhara. Released April 17, 2020, this is presented on the 50th anniversary of Walevska’s debut recording on the Philips Classics label of Bloch’s Schelomo, Bruch’s Kol Nidrei, with Schumann’s Cello Concerto. Upon release in 1970, the San Francisco Chronicle called it “the greatest recording in the cello catalog“. After 50 years of concertizing across the globe many times over, in 2019 Walevska went to Montreal, Canada with pianist Akimi Fukuhara to record Bloch’s Nigun with former Philips Classics producer, Martha de Francisco.  

Bloch’s Nigun is a nod to the composer’s Jewish heritage and in memoriam of his mother. “Nigun” is literally “improvisation” or “melody” carrying recognizable melodies and gestures of Jewish folk music. Nigun is the second movement from Bael Shem: Three Pictures of Hassidic Life for Violin and Piano. 

2020 is the 100th anniversary of the independence of Poland and in celebration of this Christine played with pianist Jerzy Stryjniack in Carnegie Hall. During the month of March 2019, Walevska and Fukuhara played concerts in Japan, China and Taiwan. Following the concert in the magnificent National Theatre of Taiwan, Walevska returned to her home in New York City and flew to Argentina only two days later where she played two gala concerts opening the newly renovated Mendoza Theatre with pianist Daniel Goldstein. Together in Buenos Aires with Goldstein, she recorded a CD of Argentine compositions titled “Christine Walevska and Friends”.

To purchase any of Christine Walevska’s previous recordings including the 17 cello concertos Walevska recorded on the Philips Classics label put into a five CD Decca boxed set titled, “The Legendary Recordings of Christine Walevska” and “Goddess of the Cello”  or to find out more information, please visit www.christinewalevska.com 

CHRISTINE WALEVSKA, cello AKIMI FUKUHARA, piano

Bloch – BAEL SHEM, B.47: II.Nigun

Release date: April 17, 2020
Download or Stream here


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Mark Fewer, violin Hank Knox, harpsichord // VIVALDI Manchester Sonatas

Exceptional Duo Becomes First Canadian Artists to Record Exquisite Sonatas Unearthed from a Manchester, UK Library in 1973.

“I’d be glad to hear these gentlemen play anything … they make me want to hear whatever else they want to do. The
ensemble and intonation are perfect …” – American Record Guide


Leaf Music is proud to present a new recording of Vivaldi’s Manchester Sonatas featuring violinist Mark Fewer and harpsichordist Hank Knox. This is the first Canadian recording of the “Manchester” sonatas of Antonio Vivaldi (1678–1741), a masterful collection of 12 works brought to light only in 1973. A follow up to their acclaimed 2018 recording of the Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord by J.S. Bach, this new recording from Fewer and Knox is available as of January 17, 2020.
These remarkable sonatas changed a great many hands over the centuries. When Cardinal Ottoboni – a patron of Vivaldi’s – died in 1740, a large number of manuscripts from his private collection were purchased by English classical scholar Edward Holdsworth. These manuscripts were then passed on to Charles Jennens, librettist of Handel’s Messiah. The scores came into the possession of several more collectors before coming to auction at Sotheby’s in London in 1918 and were acquired by renowned musicologist Newman Flower. When Flower died in 1964, his musical holdings were purchased by the Manchester Public Library, attracting the international attention of scholars and the media alike; Flower’s reputation as an eminent Handel scholar implied that important revelations concerning the musical giant were forthcoming.
However, a nearly exclusive focus on Handel resulted in the neglect of some of the other manuscripts, including these sonatas by Vivaldi which, despite being housed in Manchester’s Henry Watson Music Library from 1965 onward, were only discovered by British musicologist Michael Talbot in 1973.
The 12 “Manchester” sonatas, heard on the new album as arranged and recorded by Fewer and Knox in January 2019 at Eglise St. Augustin in Mirabel, Quebec, represent a high point of Vivaldi’s chamber music. The violin part offers complex compound melodies while the bass focuses primarily on its harmonic role, with both instruments free to improvise on the written score. Gramophone calls the sonatas “music of great beauty and vitality which will delight most if not all lovers of the late baroque.”
Known for his exceptional versatility, violinist Mark Fewer has been described as “intrepid” (The Globe and Mail) and “profound” (The WholeNote). His musical diet includes performances from the early baroque to the avantgarde, performing worldwide in famous halls such as Wigmore, Carnegie, and Pleyel, to smaller venues such as Le Poisson Rouge (NY), Bartok House (Budapest), and The Forum (Taipei). As a soloist, he has performed with the symphonies of Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Quebec, San Francisco and Melbourne, as well as with groups such as the Fodens-Richardson Brass Band (UK), the Zapp Quartet (Amsterdam), and as a featured guest with Stevie Wonder and his band. He was a founding member of the Duke Piano Trio, has been a member of the Smithsonian Chamber Players for over 15 years, and was violinist with the St. Lawrence String Quartet at Stanford University. Artistic Director of the SweetWater Music Festival for 16 years, Fewer was appointed Artistic Director of Stratford Summer Music in 2019. A Juno and Prix Opus winner, he is currently Associate Professor of Violin at the University of Toronto.
Hailed internationally for his “colorful, kinetic performances,” Hank Knox performs on harpsichord in concert halls, churches, museums, galleries and homes around the globe. A founding member of Montreal’s Arion Baroque Orchestra, with whom he has toured North and South America, Europe, and Japan, Knox also regularly performs and tours with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Les Violons du Roy and l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, among other groups, ensembles and orchestras. He has released a number of acclaimed recordings on rare antique instruments as well as copies of historical instruments. He teaches in the Early Music program at McGill University where he conducts the McGill Baroque Orchestra and has also directed a great number of baroque operas.

Download or stream Vivaldi Manchester Sonatas here

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Halifax Violinist Releases CD, Into the Stone


Halifax violinist Gillian Smith will launch her debut album, Into the Stone, featuring music for solo violin by five Canadian women composers on September 25. Featured composers include Ana Sokolović. Kati Agócs, Alice Ping Yee Ho, Veronika Krausas and Chantale Laplante. The album is supported by The Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings (FACTOR), and is on the Leaf Music label. It will be available on digital music services as of September 27 including iTunes, Apple Music and Spotify and can be pre-ordered on Amazon and iTunes. The CD draws its title from Krausas’s composition Inside the Stone inspired by a line by Canadian poet Gwendolyn MacEwen, “What lives inside the stone? Miracles, strange light.”

A dynamic and intuitive performer, Gillian Smith enjoys a varied and exciting performance career as a violinist. Deeply committed to performing music by contemporary composers, she has recorded two CDs with members of the Acadia New Music Society on the Centrediscs label: Live Wired, which features the music of Derek Charke, Jérôme Blais, and Anthony Genge, and In Sonorous Falling Tones, which features the music of Derek Charke and which was nominated for an East Coast Music Award for Classical Recording of the Year in 2018. She can also be heard on a recording of the chamber music of Carmen Braden that will be released in November 2019.

Gillian Smith has appeared at such series and festivals as the Acadia Performing Arts Series, the East Coast Music Awards, Inner Space Concerts, the Music Room Chamber Players, Open Waters Festival, Shattering the Silence Festival, and Sunday Music in the Garden Room. She has also performed and recorded as an orchestral musician with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony, and Symphony Nova Scotia.

A dedicated teacher, Gillian Smith serves as instructor of violin and viola at the Acadia University School of Music and as head of the upper strings department at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts. Her students have won top prizes and awards in regional and national competitions.

Gillian Smith holds degrees in violin performance from the Eastman School of Music (B.Mus.), the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (M.Mus.), and the University of Minnesota (D.M.A). Her teachers have included Jorja Fleezanis, Camilla Wicks, Peter Salaff, and Philippe Djokic. You can learn more about her at https://gilliansmithviolin.com

This project is funded in part by FACTOR, the Government of Canada and Canada’s private radio broadcasters. Ce projet est financé en partie par FACTOR, le gouvernement du Canada et les radiodiffuseurs privés du Canada.