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

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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