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Junos 2008 Venue Calgary Pengrowth Saddledome

What do Toronto classical composer Brian Current, Montreal cellist Matt Haimovitz, or violinist James Ehnes have in common with Anne Murray, Avril Lavigne, Feist, Jann Arden, Paul Brandt, or Michael Bublé?

They are all Canadian musicians sharing the limelight in this year’s Juno Awards coming up April 6.

The Canadian Music Awards extravaganza is to be held this Sunday April 6 in Calgary’s Pengrowth Saddledome.  Click here for the official website of the 2008 Juno Awards.

Before the grand event, there is going to be a celebration of classical music.  A first ever JunoFest will be held in Calgary’s Grand Theatre this Saturday.  The event celebrating classical music is organized by CBC Radio 2, the Canadian Music Centre Prairie Region, the 2008 Juno Awards Host Committee, and the Honens International Piano Competition.  It will feature works and performance by nominees in the classical music categories of this year’s Juno Awards.

Click here to read the April 2 Calgary Herald article on JunoFest.

Items on the JunoFest program include work by Toronto composer Brian Current (nominee for Classical Composition of the Year), performance by Montreal cellist Matt Haimovitz (nominee for Classical Album of the Year), and the renowned violinist James Ehnes (nominee for two Album of the Year).

Cellist and McGill faculty member Matt Haimovitz’s work may be most effective in dispelling the myth of Classical music being elitist and passé.  His work embraces both the classical and modern day popular genres, as well as the multicultural roots of folk music.  From his own repertoire, he has an eight-cello rendition of Jimi Hendrix’ war protest song Machine Gun, and from his multicultural, fusion CD “Goulash”, Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir in a four-cellos arrangement.

As we go further into this so-called postmodern era, we’re going to see the increasing blurring of the line between “classical” and “contemporary”.  And why not, we’re already enjoying a proliferation of fusion food.

This is another reason CBC Radio 2 should all the more venture into this brave new world.  Instead of cutting classical music programs, instill fresh and creative ideas to present the exciting development of “classical music” in the 21st century, and act as a bridge to draw closer the cultural and musical chasm.  Just look into the myriad of modern day film scores, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, The Kite Runner, Atonement, just to name a few, you’ll be surprised how much you enjoy ‘fusion’ music.  You may not recognize the classical music theory on which the compositions are based, but you’ll be enthralled just the same.

Calgary’s Pengrowth Saddledome Photo Source: aol travel

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