Hooray Leonard Cohen

On May 16, 2012, in News, by George Sipos

The award of the Glen Gould Prize to Leonard Cohen a few days ago (read the article from CBC News) has a Salt Spring connection.

David Visentin, the director of the Toronto El Sistema project to which Mr. Cohen donated his $15,000 protégé award, is also Artistic Director of our summer Salt Spring Chamber Music Festival. He will be here again this July with the accustomed faculty plus the Alcan String Quartet as special guests.

So congratulations David for starting the Toronto version of El Sistema. We’ll see if we can organize a talk this summer at ArtSpring so David can explain how this amazing music training programme for kids at risk works and describe his experiences with it.

Meanwhile, thanks from us also to Leonard Cohen for his generosity toward a most worthwhile arts project.


Knowing and not knowing

On May 8, 2012, in News, by George Sipos

I found one of the most succinct and intelligent comments about the creative process in today’s Globe & Mail in an essay by choreographer James Kudelka about his new work based on Edith Wharton’s House of Mirth which has just opened in Toronto.

“What I have learned in my years of making dances – and making narrative dances in particular – is that, like the pragmatist, you have to know what you are trying to accomplish; but like the idealist, you have to be open to many ways of getting there. … You have to look like you know what you are doing but you have to make sure that you don’t. … And believe me, it takes years to perfect this. But that is where the inspiration lies, somewhere between knowing and not knowing.”