The 21st annual Montréal Chamber Music Festival concluded Sunday afternoon at McGill University's Pollack Hall with 19 winners of the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank (MIB) competition playing Mozart, Bartok and Dvorak on glorious-sounding violins and cellos.
The International Chamber Music Festival of Kaposvár called Kapofest has taken a bold step to proceed for the next three years under the new leadership of two of Hungary's brightest young virtuosos, violinist Kristóf Baráti and cellist István Várdai.
As it was Friday night in Verbier's vast 1700-seat Salle, which in different configurations can serve horse jumping shows and biker rallies, it's as if the musicians and the audience were joining together to console and inspire each other at a time of heightened strife among nations.
Under the right circumstances, and surprisingly often and vividly, these smaller festivals can be your best bets for finding that ambience of intimacy and relationship under which music rises to its most heightened levels of experience.
What became the 8th Zagreb International Chamber Music Festival this past October 11-16 was started in August 2006 violinist Susanna Yoko Henkel who had just moved to Croatia's capital from Munich with husband Dalio Despot, was looking for an excuse to make music with friends.
The Eastman School of Music did Claude Debussy and Rochester, New York proud this past weekend with an array of cultural presentations culminating in a multi-media recreation of the life, times and musical excitement that changed the course of classical music history.
Given the quality of the music, it was immediately clear that this festival is developing along the Aspen model, presenting classical music of the highest quality in surroundings of formidable luxury (symbolized by a Four Seasons hotel) against a backdrop of iconic mountain majesty.
It was yet another high point of the Gregor Piatigorsky International Cello Festival: Four famous cellists, who had studied with the great Russian master before his death in 1976, played at the University of Southern California's Newman Recital Hall.