Popular Montreal bar attracts young classical piano virtuosos

In Montreal, journalist Louis-Philippe Messier often travels on the run, in his desk bag, looking for fascinating subjects and people. He talks to everyone and is interested in all walks of life in this urban chronicle.

Montreal is currently welcoming 24 of the world’s best young pianists for the Montreal International Music Competition. Maison Symphonique: I decided to challenge these virtuosos to play in a busy bar on the plateau.

Have you ever been to the Maison Symphonique de Montreal? Its acoustics are so amazing that in silence, you can hear someone breathing a hundred meters away.

On Wednesday evening, at the famous bar Philly Kun on the Avenue du Mont-Royal, it was the opposite of the usual religious silence of the traditional scene: a focal point of laughter and voices.

Under the gaze of stuffed ostrich heads adorning the venue’s walls, two pianists played with dazzling careers, prizes and honors. Newspaper.

Chopin and Abreu

“I’m going to hit Frédéric Chopin’s Scherzo No. 1 because it’s vigorous and technically impressive,” explains Jaden Issig-Turko, a British Columbian who was celebrating his 25th birthday on the evening of the interview. A sandwich at Schwartz.

Izik-Dzurko, one of the favorites for CMIM 2024, was already a finalist in 2021, but then it was Korean Su Yeon Kim who took the top honor.

Newly acclimated to the high-profile tour of international classical music, the young specialist in romantic music has recently performed in Zurich, Budapest and Barcelona. Lives half in Germany and half in Italy.

“To suit the lively atmosphere of the bar, I’ll be playing Jacquinha de Abreu’s transcription of Tico-Tico by pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin,” announces Elizabeth Pion.

Originally from Otterburn Park, the 28-year-old won last October’s Rio de Janeiro International Piano Festival in Brazil, teaming up with Quebecois’ Alice Roby with this tico-tico in particular.

He now lives in London and will be the local star of this edition, which mainly draws talent from other parts of the world.




Louis-Philippe Messier

Keyboard gladiators

Will Elizabeth Bion and Jaden Issik-Turko find themselves among the six finalists in the tournament playing with OSM during the last event?

The fight will be merciless.

The tournament lasts 11 days and includes 12 different events: six for the first round, four for the semifinals and two for the final…not including the closing ceremony.

“It’s very old-fashioned, but I guess humans love competitions!” The Laughing Philosopher Elizabeth Pion.

There was something surreal about hearing Chopin and Abreu ringing out the fanfare of 5 à 7 in Philly Kunil.

“I’m a musician, and I’ve never heard someone play with such passion and elegance in a bar!” exclaims Daniel Connolly of the Horspath Folk Group who was there.

The crunch of Billy Kuhn’s old upright piano won’t soon forget this evening.

The winner of CMIM 2024 will receive more than $200,000 in scholarships and prizes and an album recorded with the Steinway label.

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