I feel proud to be a Canadian while taking in the sounds of Latin America

Between the St. Lawrence String Quartet and violinist Lara St. John, there has been some high-wattage Canadian content at the sixth annual Cartagena International Festival of Music in Colombia, which closes on Saturday.

I felt particularly proud of home today, in an afternoon concert featuring the St. Lawrences, and a goosebump-inducing performance tonight of Ultimo Round, by contemporary Argentinian composer Osvaldo Golijov, augmented with five string players from the visiting Sao Paulo State Orchestra from Brazil. Continue reading

Lara St. John’s piano partner the very model of a perfect accompanist

Anne-Marie McDermott

It’s been about 40 hours since I heard violinist Lara St. John play Beethoven’s G-Major Violin Sonata (Op. 30, No. 3) with American pianist Anne-Marie McDermott at the Cartagena International Music Festival, and I’m still trying to process everything I heard.

It was like a colourized old movie with the saturation of the new hues turned up to Andy Warhol levels. It was in-your-face garish. It was a partygoer wearing too much makeup and half a bottle of perfume. Continue reading