Last night I was fortunate enough to be at a musical evening organised by Jeunesses Musicales Ontario. The umbrella organisation has come a long way since being founded during WW2 as an anti-Nazi youth movement (*). In Ontario it’s main activity is promoting musical events for young people and providing performance opportunities for young artists; notably an annual song recital tour. You may recall that I wrote about the kick off of the latest one in which Simone Osborne and Anne Larlee are performing across Canada with a show that includes a specially commissioned piece by Brian Current.
We got to hear a flute and piano duet from Sarah Yunji Moon and Talisa Blackman (missed the composer) before Russell Braun joined Talisa for Valentin’s aria from Faust (and the last time I heard Russell sing that was in a MetHD broadcast). The three of them performing part of Bach’s Cantata No. 8; a lovely piece, concluded the formal part of the evening but didn’t stop Russell joining our hostess and a handy pianist in an impromptu set of show tunes.
Fan as I am of the opera house and the concert hall it’s also great fun to hear music in more informal and intimate setting. Especially when it’s as graciously hosted as last night.
(*) Rather apt actually as the artist the lemur is named for, Katja Meirowsky, was a member of the anti-Nazi resistance in Berlin. One of her lithographs, dedicated to Katya’s father, hangs in our hallway.