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First single release from Infusion Baroque’s Virtuosa

Infusion Baroque releases “Sonata No. 1 in G Minor”

Infusion Baroque is pleased to release the first single from their upcoming album Virtuosa (set to be released June 2022)  Released through Halifax-based record label Leaf Music, Sonata No. 1 in G Minor” was composed by Elisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre, a French composer, harpsichordist, organist, virtuoso and teacher. “Sonata No. 1 in G minor” is one of the only collections of instrumental chamber works she composed for two treble instruments and basso continuo. 

The single release marks the beginning of a series of releases for the album Virtuosa, to be released June 10, 2021. The 2-disc recording encompasses 15 works that were either composed or performed by women, and were recorded on historical instruments.

Since 2017, one of Infusion Baroque’s primary initiatives has been The Virtuosa Project, a series of concerts, lectures, and web videos dedicated to women musicians of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. This project, which highlights over a dozen relatively unknown women who made substantial contributions to Western classical music, has generated a great amount of interest at a local and international level, resulting in requests from international presenters for the ensemble to tour the Virtuosa program in the United States, France and the U.K.  

The CD will include a comprehensive booklet and companion website which will include stories, images, and archival material pertaining to the women featured on the recording. The objective is to provide cultural and socio-economic context for the women’s lives as well as for their music, and to highlight their accomplishments in the face of adversity. Many of the featured women were pioneers in their field.

(Illustration – Parissa Mohit)

Infusion Baroque draws new audiences to early music through a truly captivating concert experience, deftly combining seasoned musicianship with theatrical elements. Playing music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries on historical instruments, the four women of Infusion Baroque enthrall audiences across North America with their creative and interactive programming.

Infusion Baroque’s performances have been described as “dynamic and alive” (Early Music America) with “polish, energy, and finely-honed style… merrily breaking established traditions” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). Winners of the Grand Prize and Audience Prize at the 2014 Early Music America Baroque Performance Competition, the ensemble charms audiences with its dynamic programs such as “Who Killed Leclair?” (an interactive murder mystery soirée based on the unsolved murder of the famous musician); “Rebels and Rivalries” (featuring scandalous stories from the lives of great composers); and “Son of a Bach!” (narrating the multigenerational saga of the famous musical family).

Infusion Baroque has released two recordings with the Canadian label Leaf Music to critical acclaim. The ensemble’s latest album, a world-premiere recording of quintets by Georg Anton Kreüsser, was nominated for an Opus Prize by the Conseil Québecois de la musique.  According to Fanfare, “the playing of these musicians … is superb. They play with a liveliness and unforced energy that seems to grow naturally out of the music… combining spontaneity and abandon with technical perfection.” The ensemble’s debut recording of trio sonatas by C.P.E. Bach was described as “real baroque … gripping and full of character” (Radio-Canada).

Since 2017, Infusion Baroque has been exploring the lives of historical women performers through The Virtuosa Project. Fascinated by the great number of women who made their mark as musical performers despite considerable barriers and stigma, Infusion Baroque devoted an entire concert season in 2018-19 to exploring their lives and music. The ensemble also produced a web series which tells the story of four female musicians of the past, and is looking forward to producing a CD recording and documentary on this exciting topic to be released in 2021.

InInfusion Baroque: Sonata No. 1 in G Minor
Release date: Oct 1, 2021
Digital Release
Stream/Download HERE

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Luminous Voices | Twelve Sacred Choral Concerti

Juno nominated chamber choir Luminous Voices along with Spiritus Chamber Choir are excited to present Twelve Sacred Choral Concerti by Ukranian composer Artem Vedel (1767-1808). Vedel is considered one of Ukraine’s ‘Golden Three’ composers of the 18th century; these masterpieces of Ukrainian Classical Choral Music include Twelve Sacred Choral Concerti & Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. Under the direction of Dr. Timothy Shantz and with support from the Ukrainian Millennium Foundation, the works of Vedel continue to be associated with the boisterous wave of national rebirth, imbued with a connection and influence of national folklore. 

“It is with an immense amount of gratitude that we release this double-CD recording of choral music by Ukrainian composer Artem Vedel. Vedel’s music is emotionally and politically charged, setting portions of various Psalm texts to great effect. The concerti are nearly all multi-movement works with extensive solo passages performed beautifully by the singers. As an ensemble of mostly English-speaking singers, I am curious to learn how it is received in the broader Ukrainian community. It was an intense project from beginning to end, involving many collaborators and colleagues who devoted a tremendous amount of time and energy into its completion. A journey that began seven years ago with Spiritus Chamber Choir saw its completion with Luminous Voices.” – Timothy Shantz, Artistic Director

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Luminous Voices | Twelve Sacred Choral Concerti
Release date: May 7, 2021
Physical & Digital Release
Listen/Buy HERE

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HALIFAX CAMERATA SINGERS PRESENT ‘MUSIC OF THE SPHERES’

Halifax-based chamber choir, Halifax Camerata Singers is proud to present Music of the Spheres, recorded live from their 2018-19 ‘Look Up to the Heavens’ season. Under the direction of Jeff Joudrey, and in collaboration with pianist Lynette Wahlstrom and narrators Lara Lewis, Lucy Haché, Elyse Delaney, with special guest narrator Ben Caplan, listen and remember your sense of limitless wonder while imagining the Milky Way on a crystal-clear night. Throughout the album’s twenty-one tracks, let lush harmonies of the music and the beauty of the poetry reflect like light through the world’s many challenges. Through this celestial journey of music and poetry, may a sense of awe, marvel, and hope in something much greater than we see around us linger long after the closing chords.

Music of the Spheres
Release date: April 23, 2021
Digital Release ONLY
Listen Here: https://leaf-music.lnk.to/LM241

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New Harp Concerto – World Premiere Performance

Canadian composer Jaap Nico Hamburger presents the world-premiere performance of his new concerto for harp and orchestra. This work was commissioned by the Government of the Netherlands on occasion of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations’ International Court of Justice in The Hague.

The performance which aired April 18, 2021, features the world-renowned harpist Lavinia Meijer live from the Museon with the The Residentie Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Vincent de Kort.

The concerto is in three movements, intertwined with brief addresses by the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Mayor of The Hague.

Jaap Nico Hamburger | Harp Concerto  can be viewed online:

Jaap Nico Hamburger is the Composer in Residence with Mécénat Musica in Montréal. His compositions include commissions from Turning Point Ensemble, Ensemble Caprice, the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra, Arts-Quebec Vocal Ensemble, and an original contribution for the project ‘400 years of Dutch Keyboard Music’. He was commissioned by the Dutch Government and the United Nations’ International Court of Justice to compose a new concerto for harp and orchestra, premiered by Lavinia Meijer. Other commissions include works for Discovery Channel, and broadcasting companies in the UK and the Netherlands. He is a Canadian Music Centre Associate Composer, President and CEO, Orange Music Inc., a music production company; and, a former member of the Board of Directors of City Opera Vancouver.Born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, he started his musical education at the age of three, and studied piano with Ruben Lifschitz, Alexandre Hrisanide and Youri Egorov. He graduated from the Royal Sweelinck Conservatorium of Music, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, with a soloist degree in piano. He has lived in Canada since August 2000. In 2020, Hamburger released Jaap Nico Hamburger: Piano Concerto and Chamber Symphonies Nos. 1&2 through Canadian classical label, Leaf Music. https://www.jaaphamburger.com/

Harpist Lavinia Meijer performs solo concerts in venues worldwide from Carnegie Hall NYC to the Berlin Philharmonie, being one of the most important, pioneering and exciting musicians of our times. Ms. Meijer has performed on international stages such as Carnegie Hall, NYC; Royal Concertgebouw, Amsterdam; Paradiso, Amsterdam; Musikverein, Vienna; Carré, Amsterdam; Philharmonie, Berlin, Cité de la Musique, Paris; Bronfman Auditorium,Tel Aviv; Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, and Seoul Arts Center. Recently she released both Voyage, her seventh solo album with music by Debussy, Tiersen, Satie and Ravel, a live-recording with bandoneonist, Carel Kraayenhof: In Concert and The Glass Effect, to celebrate Philip Glass’s 80th birthday in 2017. https://www.laviniameijer.com/ 

Conductor Vincent de Kort, born in the Netherlands, is very much in demand as a symphonic as well as an opera conductor. Recently he made very successful debuts at the famous Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow as well as at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg (invited by Valery Gergiev). He is a regular guest at the opera houses of Dresden, Stockholm, Edinburg, Leipzig, Tokyo, Vienna, Vilnius, Tours, Luzern, Bern, Magdeburg, Johannesburg, Hawaii, Kazan. He studied with Mariss Jansons in Oslo and in St. Petersburg with the legendary Professor Ilya Musin, who was also the teacher of Valery Gergiev, and was the assistant conductor to Bernard Haitink, Gennady Rozhdestvensky and William Christie. In 2021, he was the recipient of the Honorary Award of the Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Kiev, Ukraine http://www.vincentdekort.com/ 

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“Tour de France” named Chronicle Herald Pick of the Week

The Chronicle Herald (Halifax, NS)

What’sHap, Thursday, April 2, 2015, p. D3

Trio Arkaede Tour de France (Leaf Music); Pick of the Week

Classical, or orchestral, music doesn’t always get its fair share ofattention in this space, but it’s always a treat when an East Coast recording of note in this vein comes across my desk, and Tour de France by New Brunswick’s Trio Arkaede, on the Halifax label Leaf Music, hits on a lot of my melodic pleasure centres.

The country of origin of the trio’s selections is obvious in thetitle, with an emphasis on the early half of the 20th century, a period of great change extending from Mel Bonis’s sprightly Suite en Trio, Op. 59 to the dreamy expressionism of Claude Debussy’s Sonate pour Violon et Piano, L 140.

Sweden-born flautist Karin Aurell, violinist and violist Isabelle Fournier (also principal second violin with Symphony Nova Scotia) and pianist Julien LeBlanc revel in the era’s diversity, and perform with a great deal of mutual sympathy, especially on a piece like Reynaldo Hahn’s Romanesque in C Major, where Aurell and Fournier turn the tonal differences between their instruments to their advantage, and their perfectly synced layersof sound delight the ear.

For more info: www.leaf-music.ca

By Stephen Cooke

Arts Reporter

© 2015 The Chronicle Herald (Halifax, NS). All rights reserved.