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Classical 101: The difference between chamber, philharmonic, and symphony orchestra

By Michael Vincent on August 4, 2014

I recently had a discussion with a friend who asked about the difference between the term chamber, philharmonic, and symphony orchestra. “What makes one a philharmonic and another a symphony orchestra, he asked?  “Also, what is a chamber orchestra exactly?”
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The origins of the Canadian National Anthem revealed in Mozart

By Michael Vincent on June 25, 2014

Yesterday marked the anniversary of the first time “O Canada” was sung, on June 24, 1880. 100 years later, on July 1, 1980, it was adopted as Canada’s official national anthem. The music was composed by Calixa Lavallée, and its English lyrics have changed a few times over the years.
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The Final Frontier - The Surprising Musical Origins of Star Trek

By Michael Vincent on May 29, 2014

The words “Space: the final frontier”, and the opening notes of Star Trek’s theme song written by Alexander Courage in 1964, have become ingrained in the imaginations of all of us.
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Appreciation: Claudio Abbado 'changed water into fire at a moment’s notice, igniting the concert experience' when it really counted

By Open Submission on January 26, 2014

Composer, conductor and pianist Dinuk Wijeratne, who moved to Toronto last year from Halifax, had his musical sensibility awakened by Claudio Abbado, who died on Jan. 20.
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Busted! Beethoven did not keep conducting the Ninth after the music stopped

By John Terauds on January 17, 2014

Our digitally connected age is amazingly good at illuminating dark places. It is even better at perpetuating lies — some of which are centuries old.
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Classical Music 101: Visually, an orchestra is a lot like a duck gliding across the mill pond

By John Terauds on January 15, 2014

But before we jump to multimedia conclusions, it may be worth taking a fresh look at that boring old orchestra. The big picture may be static, but, as is the case with a duck gliding across the mill pond, there’s an awful lot going on underneath.
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Classical Music 101: Keeping time doesn't necessarily mean sticking to a beat

By John Terauds on January 10, 2014

We also don’t read aloud much, if ever, so even the natural rhythms of language and speech are not really natural in a big, 21st century city.
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Video: Kristian Bezuidenhout explains the differences between the fortepiano and modern piano in Toronto

By John Terauds on December 5, 2013

Ahead of the first of four concerts with Tafelmusik in his Toronto début this week, fortepiano master Kristian Bezuidenhout eloquently answered questions about what makes his instrument different from a modern concert grand.
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Appreciation: Canadian Music Centre's Score Reading Club a fine introduction to new sounds

By Open Submission on December 4, 2013

Every now and then, the Canadian Music Centre holds special events at Chalmers House, where it invites musicians, composers and the general public to look into the world of this country’s music.
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Comment: The best new composition is an experiment followed by a lesson learned

By John Terauds on November 6, 2013

In preparing for tonight’s first local performance of this 2007 work commissioned by the National Arts Centre Orchestra, I ran across Kulesha’s blog, which is a goldmine of insights into the musical creative process, the art of making music, the act of listening and a whole web of related issues.
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Classical Music 101: I will never know much, but at least I hope to learn something

By John Terauds on October 26, 2013

Whether a person is making it or listening to it, music is like the clichéd river whose waters are different every time one steps into it.
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Stephen Hough practices wisdom as he discovers that 'the mind's clear vision is not a stare'

By John Terauds on October 16, 2013

Hough’s insights have passed through the ever-finer sieves of necessity — of needing to find time to perfect his art while engaged in a very busy performance calendar. But the beauty here is in how he relates the practical necessities with larger, artistic goals.
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