Stirring Up Ghosts in Bowels of the Bay

The Winnipeg Free Press

By Holly Harris

February 3, 2017

"ight out of the gate came one of the night’s most compelling works. The world première of Canadian composer Alexina Louie’s Falling Through Time, composed and performed by Winnipeg’s Clearwater Quartet, showed the artful hand of this national treasure."

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Review of Susan Chan's 'East West Encounter II'

Audio Video Club of Atlanta
By Phil Muse
"The music of Louie, coming a generation later than Lam, reveals more of  the influence of western music in Memories of an Ancient Garden. This haunting piece, though written for piano, has the nature of a symphonic poem. It uses harmonics and glissandi, as well as tone clusters played with the palm, to create a mood of strange beauty."

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Turning Point Ensemble's Music of a Thousand Autumns mines the past (Interview) 

The Georgia Straight
By Alexander Varty
October 5, 2015
'“There are things in this piece that I’ve never done before,” she stresses, citing the new work’s second movement, which initially strikes a meditative stance before moving into far more dramatic terrain.'

L'Étoile Duo's star shines through Prokofiev's darkly-hued sonata
The Calgary Herald
By Stephan Bonfield  
June 26, 2015

"Ms. Huber’s softly struck chords next rose in Messiaen-like colours to a final revelation of nature and primordial light, shimmering down to its last fading photon. It was a lovely narrative, and there can be no doubt that the performance was a total success. I have always been partial to Ms. Louie’s music, and can say that this piece, and all her repertoire will endure for a very long time in the years to come."

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10 Game-Changing Pieces of Music
The Toronto Star

By Peter Goddard
March 26, 2015
"We asked prominent players in the Toronto music industry to weigh in on one favourite piece of music that changed history:
'The Rite of Spring, Igor Stravinsky, 1913: What made this piece so revolutionary? The hammered power and irregularity of the rhythms and its polytonal harmony were shocking and yet Stravinsky’s control of these expanded fields was dazzling. The multi-layers of independent lines fit together like a mosaic, creating a gigantic wall of sound that must have sounded so powerful, complex and chaotic at its premiere. The musical world had not experienced anything like it — primitive, aggressive. It exploded the concepts of rhythm, harmony, melody, structure and put them back together in a way that was inconceivable for the time. Brutal and lyrical force. Music was forever changed.' 
—Alexina Louie, composer"
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National Arts Centre | Biographies | Alexina Louie
"The music of Alexina Louie bears a personal stamp derived from a unique blend of her Chinese background, an exotic instrumental palette, both traditional and non-traditional elements of western music, poetic images, nature, historical studies and a fascination with heavenly phenomena."

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Royal Conservatory's 21C Music Festival Gives Living Composers Their Due

The Toronto Star

By Trish Crawford
May 20, 2014 

As Louie explains it, the commissioned work started off 'as a blank slate.' “This is when imagination comes into play,” she says, adding she wanted the piece to be colourful and dramatic. “Imaginary Opera” has four movements, starting with a mysterious prologue that ends “in a cloud of very dense wind chimes.”
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Harpist Erica Goodman on 'From the Eastern Gate'
The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra
May 17, 2014
"Everything [Alexina did] has meaning and makes interesting sounds and sonorities,” says Goodman. “She even uses ordinary techniques in just a beautiful way."
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Music in the Hemispheres: An Interview with Alexina Louie

Decoded Arts

By Emily-Jane Hills Orford

May 4, 2014

“The music of Canadian composer Alexina Louie reaches out to grasp the very soul of the listener. Its ethereal quality transcends both time and place and leaves the audience, as well as the performers, with a distinct feeling of being in a trance, a dream. The unique sounds and colours of Alexina Louie’s music enlighten the listener, allowing the music, the performer and the audience to experience an idea, to gain knowledge of an emotion.”

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Juno-winner gives vibrant performance: James Ehnes recital

Edmonton Journal

By Mark Morris

April 3, 2014

“Alexina Louie’s new work, Beyond Time…. It is substantial, cast in three movements, all suggesting, in the composer’s words, that “the piece stands outside time, in an infinite sound world.” It was commissioned by Ehnes, and received its premiere last month.... Beyond Time confirms, if one needed any confirmation, that Alexina Louie, with her kind of 21st century impressionism, is one of the finest composers in Canada today.”

NAC Orchestra kicks off seven-city tour of China

The Toronto Star
by Martin Knelman
October 8, 2013
"HONG KONG—The National Arts Centre Orchestra’s epic two-week, seven-city tour of China is all about building bridges between Canada and this country. So it was entirely appropriate that the first piece the orchestra from Ottawa played in the opening concert of the tour was written by a third-generation Chinese Canadian composer.... Alexina Louie..."
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Alexina Louie’s musical journey: The Chinese-Canadian composer found her voice by returning to her roots
The Ottawa Citizen
by Peter Robb
September 21, 2013
"OTTAWA — When The National Arts Centre Orchestra takes to the stage in Hong Kong next month, the respected Chinese-Canadian composer Alexina Louie will celebrate a homecoming of sorts.

Her work, Bringing The Tiger Down From The Mountain, will help open the NACO’s major seven-city tour of China in October. That in itself is gratifying, but it also marks a major step on Louie’s musical journey..."


Classical diplomacy: Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra to tour China

The Globe and Mail
by Robert Harris

April 15, 2013
"The artistic highlights of the visit will include the performance of two Mozart violin concertos with the orchestra’s world-renowned music director, Pinchas Zukerman, as soloist, as well as performances of two contemporary Canadian compositions: ...Alexina Louie’s Bringing The Tiger Down From the Mountain II. Louie is a Chinese-Canadian composer, and her piece features Amanda Forsyth, the NAC’s principal cellist, as soloist."
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Alexina Louie goes for the throat (singing)
CBC Music Blog Post
by Scott Tresham
November 02, 2012 

"CBC Music decided to surprise Toronto composer Alexina Louie with an impromptu lesson in the art of throat singing last weekend, given by Evie Mark and Akinisie Sivuarapik. Mark and Sivuarapik are performing Louie's Take the Dog Sled (for two Inuit throat singers and ensemble) with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, as part of their current northern Canada tour... 

Louie first visited the North back in 2000, as part of a tour led by Adrienne Clarkson (who was, at the time, the Governor General of Canada). Louie was privileged to visit the Northwest Territories, where she feasted on caribou and Arctic char, marvelled at the beauty of the Mackenzie River Delta from the window of a small twin-engine Otter and experienced first-hand the art, music and culture of the incredible people who live there. 'It would take time for the experience to resonate with me,' Louie says, but she remembers having an immediate sense 'that the exposure to the North had changed [her].'"
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Northern magic: NACO prepares to bring the sound of its music to the North

The Canadian Press
by Peter Robb

October 11, 2012

"If you listen carefully you can hear the sounds of the North: The wind whistling across the tundra; the hiss and hum of the runners on a dog sled; the howl of a wolf or the cracking of the sea ice. Capturing those sounds in a piece of music, now that's not easy. But Alexina Louie has tried to do just that. Her chamber composition entitled Take the Dog Sled will be a central part of the National Arts Centre Orchestra's tour of Northern Canada, which begins Oct. 26."
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Echoes of the Quartet for The End of Time: A new work commissioned by the Gryphon Trio takes inspiration from Messiaen’s wartime work

Gramophone; The world's authority on classical music since 1923
by Bill Rankin
May 16, 2012
"On May 9, at the Banff Cantre in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, the renowned Gryphon Trio and clarinettist James Campbell performed Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time – with a twist. Preceding the work, which Messiaen wrote while he was a Prisoner of War and which he premiered with a group of fellow prisoners on January 15, 1941, was Echoes of Time – a Gryphon-commissioned work from Toronto-based composer Alexina Louie. The work will act as a prelude to a new 40-minute play that tells the story of how Messiaen composed his seminal work. The play has been written by London-based writer Mieczysława Wazacz, will be directed by her sister Helena Kaut-Howson and will eventually become part of the Gryphon Trio’s touring repertoire..."
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Review: Christina Petrowska Quilico (Piano)
Music Web International
by Bob Briggs 

"A big hurrah for this disk for it brings to us a major work by Alexina Louie, one of the brightest, and most exciting, composing talents to come out of Canada in recent years."

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