Concert Reviews


Review – Symphony Nova Scotia

Great Handel Love Duets

St. Andrew’s United Church – Saturday, February 4, 2017

Now more than one year into the Herald strike, we still have no classical music reviews in our paper of record and it’s a darn shame. So, someone has to say thank you to SNS for continuing to brighten our winter, take our minds off the depressing news du jour, and bring us inspiring performers and performances as in this weekend at St.…

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The Piano Men: A Tribute to Billy Joel & Elton John

Symphony Nova Scotia – Symphonic Fusion

Saturday, November 19, 2016 2:00 p.m. Rebecca Cohn Auditorium

Hey Boomers, remember high school? Remember how the music was so much better than now? Remember Gilligan’s Island, Amazing Sea Monkeys and platform shoes?

Jim Witter does. The creator and heart and soul of The Piano Men asked an enthusiastic crowd at the Cohn who a) was old enough to remember the ‘70s; b) wasn’t old enough; or c) lived through them, but can’t remember a thing.…

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Symphonic Fusion: Broadway Spectacular: the Music of Rodgers & Hammerstein

Sunday, November 13, 2016 2:00 p.m.

After the week we’ve just experienced (lost Leonard/gained Trump), I think we all needed a great blast of positive energy in the form of a musical love in, and Symphony Nova Scotia gave it to us with this afternoon’s Rodgers & Hammerstein show. It could actually have been renamed the We Love You, Howard Cable concert, as the orchestra played arrangements by the beloved late conductor and close friend of SNS in the show he never got to attend.…

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Symphony Nova Scotia with Angela Cheng, Piano

Thursday, November 3, 2016, Rebecca Cohn Auditorium

Andreas Delfs made an unusual programing choice on last week’s SNS Masterworks concert. The guest conductor (and perhaps Music Director candidate) followed the first half familiar overture/piano concerto format with four movements from two different works: Schubert’s great “Unfinished” (movements one and two) and Schumann’s Scherzo and Finale from his op.…

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Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra

Dinuk Wijeratne, Conductor

Nadina Mackie Jackson, Bassoon

St. Matthew’s United Church, Halifax

August 29, 2016

You might have missed it, Halifax, but last night was a big night for the bassoon. Dare I say the biggest? When a sublime Canadian soloist of Nadina Mackie Jackson’s caliber comes to town, well, it’s not an everyday thing, let me tell you, let alone when they play a bassoon concerto, a bassoon sonata, a new work by a young Canadian composer featuring the bassoon, and a couple of Carl Maria von Weber ditties as well.…

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Can we simply say, “Canadian choral music is in good hands,” and leave it at that?

But I suppose that’s hardly fair to the Canadian Chamber Choir (CCC) artists whose noble mandate is to “bring new and existing Canadian choral music to every corner of Canada.” They do that with style and consummate artistry, under the leadership of their mentor, conductor Julia Davids, an educator now working in the States who hails from London, Ontario.…

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headshot2_mbattCrossing Borders: Realities Blurred

Maureen Batt, Soprano and Cheryl Duvall, Piano

Saturday, August 6, 2016 The Music Room, Halifax


Maureen Batt can sing really, really high (and really well). Which shouldn’t be a surprise, since she is a trained soprano. But when you put together an eclectic, witty program of contemporary songs incorporating props such as cell-phone selfies, projected video and a side of cheese (which you consume before singing), one might wonder if the song would suffer.…

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Mahone Bay Summer Concerts 2016: Duo Concertante – Nancy Dahn (violin) and Timothy Steeves (piano)

Trinity United Church, Friday, July 15, 2016

It’s surely a sign that summer is flying past when half of the anticipated Mahone Bay Summer Concerts have now taken place. The second of four presentations happened Friday night in Trinity United, one of the three iconic churches famously portrayed in picture postcard images of the lovely seaside town…

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The final performance in Upstream’s 2015-16 season at the Halifax Music Coop space on Barrington Street was Diving for Pearls, advertised as Music/Media Art Performance. What a wild ride! This performance featured seven instrumental musicians, two vocalists, multimedia artists and live dance by modern dancer Jacinte Armstrong. The collaborative nature of the evening saw all the participants improvising off each other and continuous projected images in a presentation of just over an hour in length.…

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Apparently we’re only having one Friday the 13th this year, but it was definitely my lucky night attending my first Inner Space concert last week with musical friends Eileen Walsh, Isabelle Fournier, Mark Lee, Kerry Kavalo and Shimon Walt in a different kind of concert hall.   The Inner Space concerts are the brilliant brainchild of flutist and musical matchmaker Jack Chen.…

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