Classical Catch-Up – January 21, 2011

Stratford festival veteran Michael Langham, from the National Post

  • We are very sad to hear that renowned Stratford director Michael Langham passed away last week, at the age of 91. Langham served as the artistic director of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival from 1956 until 1967 and continued to direct until 2008.
  • The Top 10 Classical Music Composers in History: New York Times writer Anthony Tommasini set out recently to complete a project to select the top ten composers in history, an attempt to clarify “what exactly about the master composers makes them so astonishing”. Click here to find out who took the top spot on the list.
  • Shakespeare in 38 languages: The UK’s Globe Theatre is set to stage Shakespeare’s 38 works in 38 languages, to coincide with the London 2012 Olympic Games. Some of the languages featured in “the most ambitious multilingual Shakespeare project ever attempted“? Greek, Maori, Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic and British Sign Language.
  • Histrionics! 5 “Intense” Maestros: Is it the steely clenched jaw or that mane toss? The Montreal Symphony Orchestra (MSO)’s Kent Nagano is one of our 5 “intense” maestros in ‘Histrionics!’, a new semi-regular photo series on that revels in the naked facial expressions of the world’s top conductors. Click here to view the series.
  • Arts News: Earlier this week, the Canadian Opera Company announced what’s in store for the 2011/2012 season (and also debuted a shiny new logo! – which the Globe’s Robert Everett-Green suggested was “the Chanel logo undergoing cell division“). Dan Duford has more details here.
  • Film review: Marc Glassman reviewed Incendies (“Denis Villeneuve’s powerful direction and script, Wajdi Mouawad’s extraordinary play, the great visuals of cinematographer Andre Turpin and a brilliant cast have combined to make Incendies an important film, made in Canada, for the world.”) and The Illusionist (“I’m totally charmed by The Illusionist. You might not be–and you might not be wrong. But I’ll carry on enjoying this movie and admiring Sylvain Chomet’s humble and beautiful tribute to a cinema idol and genius.”).

  • Upcoming Events:
    January 23rd – Hélène Grimaud
    Described by The New York Times as “red-hot”, French pianist Hélène Grimaud performs a program of Mozart, Berg, Liszt and Béla Bartók at Koerner Hall of the Royal Conservatory on January 23. Tickets are $25-$65. Visit
    January 29 to February 25 – The Magic Flute
    The Canadian Opera Company presents The Magic Flute at the Four Seasons Centre. Featuring some of Mozart’s most sublimely beautiful and purely infectious melodies it is a playful, sometimes profound, exploration of the trials of growing up, seeking ideals, and finding love. An opera designed to appeal to all ages. Visit or call 416.368.8231.
  • Classical Comédie: ‘Being John Sebastian Bach’ – featuring classical comedy duo Igudesman & Joo with John Malkovich

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