Music News Digest: July 14, 2017

Ottawa-born cellist Bryan Cheng is this year's recipient of the Michael Measures Prize, worth $25,000. Jointly gifted by the Canada Council for the Arts and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, the prize is given to musicians aged between 16 and 20 who enroll in the summer training programme of NYO Canada.

Now 19 years of age, Cheng made his recital debut at Carnegie Hall at the age of 14.

Bryan Cheng, cello & Silvie Cheng, piano, performing Louis Francoeur: Sonata No. 4 in E major.

— Andrew Conroy, a Vancouver musician who holds dual citizenship with Ireland, sings about loving a woman in spite of her flaws. Narcissistic? You decide. The track is called “Imperfect,” and teases the release of his debut EP due out on Sept. 8.

— Neptune Theatre Halifax has announced the cast of its summer presentation Stan Rogers: A Matter of Heart. The cast will begin a seven-week run on the Scotiabank Stage at Neptune from July 18 to Sept. 3.

Rogers died of smoke inhalation at the age of 33 on board a plane near Cincinnati, Ohio in 1983. In the years that followed, his legacy has been recognized as one of Canada’s most influential songwriters and has his name memorialized in the annual Stan Rogers Folk Festival, which is held each year in Canso, N.S.

Bach: French Suites is a collection of six released today by Decca Music Group by octogenarian classical pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy. The single CD is the latest in Ashkenazy’s ongoing and critically acclaimed series of Bach recordings.

And from 1968 with Itzhak Perlman

— Producers David Mirvish and Junkyard Dog Productions have announced the cast of the Canadian production of the Tony Award-winning musical Come From Away.

Before opening in Toronto, the production will play in Winnipeg at the John Hirsch Mainstage - Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre for a four-week engagement Jan 4–Feb 3. 2018. The Toronto performances begin Feb 13, at the Royal Alexandra Theatre.

—  Applications for the Francophone SOCAN Publisher of the Year Award are now open until Aug. 1. The Award recognizes a publisher member who contributed in a significant and positive manner to the music industry and creative community during the year leading up to the Gala on Oct. 16.

The eligibility period for the 2017 edition is from Jan. 1, 2016, to Dec. 31, 2016, and only the accomplishments which occurred during this period will be taken under consideration. All nominations will be evaluated by a jury of music industry professionals. To be eligible, a publisher must be based in Canada and their repertoire be in large part Francophone, or having had a significant Francophone impact creatively and commercially.

Nominations for the Montréal SOCAN Awards Gala must be submitted to Stéphanie Falco - Download the nomination form here 

— Hard-edged Toronto rock band Metz will release their third album, Strange Peace, on Sept. 22. It comes out on Royal Mountain in Canada and Sub Pop internationally. The album was recorded at Electrical Audio in Chicago, live off the floor to tape with Steve Albini (Big Black, Pixies, The Sadies), with additional engineering and mixing by longtime collaborator, engineer and mixer, Graham Walsh (Holy Fuck).

The band has an extensive international tour planned, running from Sept. 5 to Dec. 16, with shows in North America, the UK and Europe.


Christopher "Fresh Kid Ice" Wong Won, the pioneering Asian rapper and co-founder of the influential Miami hip-hop group 2 Live Crew, died Tuesday at the age of 53. 2 Live Crew's longtime manager Debo confirmed Wong Won's death. According to Debo, the cause of death was a "medical condition," but the rep declined to elaborate.

David Kapralik, a key executive at Columbia and Epic Records in the 1960s who was instrumental in signing Barbra Streisand and Sly and the Family Stone to their first label deals, died Wednesday at his home in Maui. He was 91.


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