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Concerts - Festival - Debates

Crossroads activities:

Concerts/Festival - Debates - Publications - Divers

The predecessor to CROSSROADS cultures, the Canadian Music Crossroads Foundation created by Claude Infante in 1994:

- has presented a number of concerts bringing together international artists and young Canadian talent (including the Talich Quartet and pianist Naida Cole);
- has acted as a partner in various international events (including the Concours Reine Elisabeth, Brussels, Belgian Embassy in Canada – Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal).

From 1997, these activities were further extended with the creation of the international string quartet festival: Strings of the Future / Cordes du futur, which was also including numerous debates.


 Strings of the Future / Cordes du futur,
Ottawa, Canada , 1997 - 2001

 National_Gallery_OttawaFestival management: Claude Infante, President of the Canadian Music Crossroads Foundation created by her in 1994; festival producer.

Festival objective
: to promote cultural transfer, connections and opportunities in the field of the string quartet, a format created in central Europe; to help enrich the dialogue between young Canadian ensembles and the international world of chamber music. With theme-based festivals and concerts and associated activities, and with the Arditti Quartet in residence, this festival has generated around a hundred music events.

Principal venue and partner
: National Gallery of Canada, home to the country’s largest collection of European and Canadian art.

Photo: granite and glass structure of the National Gallery of Canada, designed by architect and urban designer Moshe Safdie.



« An unparalleled event » -  Financial Times of London, May 1999

« More than a performance event, a vital networking event for the international string quartet community » - National Post, Toronto, June 1999

« For only the second time ever, there was also a joint meeting of the Paris-based Presse Musicale Internationale and the Music Critics Association of North America, co-chaired by their respective presidents. Some thirty participants represented Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Scotland, the United States…Not the least of the festival’s attractions was its sampling of recent compositions. » - Scott Cantrell, President of the Music Critic’s Association  of North America, Kansas City Star, 1997, Kansas City, USA

« C’est bien la première fois que les quatuors canadiens sont confrontés les uns aux autres, et, tous, avec d’autres niveaux d’interprétation. Quelle leçon ! » - Stephen Moens, De Morgen, Bruxelles, 1997

« The Arditti spent a morning reading through a selected group of new works by young composers. And since the Arditti is widely regarded as the finest string quartet in the world specializing in contemporary music, this was the equivalent for those young composers of finding their orchestral scores in the stands of the Berlin Philharmonic….This event has already, in his first season, greatly enriched the Canadian Scene. »  - William Littler, Toronto Star, 1997,  Toronto, Canada

« The original formula of this unique festival permitted to improve mediatization of contemporary creations and contribute to give a new impulse to Chamber Music which these days has some difficulty to market itself. » - Kazu Watanabe, Friends of Music/Art of Music, 1997, Tokyo, Japan

« Mozart Facing a New World…or Old World music informs the New… What makes the concerts special is the opportunity to hear how composers from North and South America stack up against the European masters who followed in Mozart footsteps » -  William Littler, The Toronto Star, 2001

« Strings of the Future attracted a well above average percentage of out of town visitors. Compared with the other 21 events examined, this young festival had the highest impact per visitor. It generated a visitor economic impact greater than many larger festivals, some ten times as large.  » - Study by the Ottawa and Convention Authority, 1999


Founder and General Manager : Claude Olga Infante
Artistic Advisor : Jean-Jacques van Vlasselaer
Music Critics' Meeting Coordinators: William Littler and Jean-Jacques van Vlasselaer
Marketing et Media Advisor : Moira Johnson
Logistical and Technical Coordinator : Gary Morton
Artistic Liaison and Graphics: Erin Fitzhugh
Professionnal development Liaison: Megan Ross Peterson
Volunteer Coordinators : Armelle Doucet et Louise Higham
Accounting: Louise Deschênes
and for each festival, around 50 volunteers

INVITED ARTISTSArditti_String_Quartet1

With a week of 3 concerts daily and with the Arditti Quartet (United Kingdom) in residence, the festival has presented concerts combining internationally recognised ensembles and young quartets.

The Arditti Quartet enjoys a global reputation for the brilliance and technical refinement of its interpretations of music of the contemporary period; several hundred unforgettable works now part of the 20th-century repertoire have been composed for the Quartet.

Among the quartets  : St Lawrence,  Toronto, Alcan, Arthur Leblanc, Claudel, Lafayette, Molinari, Penderecki,  Volta…(Canada)
ainsi que Arditti &SLSQ_0034_low Chilingirian (United Kingdom), Arpeggione (France), Auryn (Germany),  Carmina (Switzerland), Colorado & Orion (USA), Cuarteto de La Universidad Nacional de la Plata (Argentina) , St Petersburg (Russia), Pražák et Talich (Czech Républic ), …

Among the soloists   also, some numerous prestigious artists such as :_DONNA_BROWN

 m-a_hamelin_04sMarc André Hamelin, Jean Philippe Collard & Richard Raymond, piano  -  Nathalie Paulin & Donna Brown , sopranos
Campbell, clarinet - Robert Cram, flute -  Liu Fang, pipa -  Joseph Petric, accordéon, Matthew Hunter, alto -
Lara St John,
violin, Yegor  Dyachkovredchair, cello,...

The festival has presented world premieres of many works commissioned in partnership with Radio Canada and the CBC both from globally recognised composers and from talented young composers.

To read : Le quatuor à cordes by  R.Murray Schafer - Revue CIRCUIT Musiques contemporaines (Commission of the 7th String Quartet by Strings of the Future)  - To listen: interview /Tuning of the World - see also  : The Global Composition - Conference on Sound, Media and environment - July 2012, Germany


In addition to pre-concert introductions, the Strings of the Future Festival has also organised more than 40 events, including talks, public round tables and workshops.

 - Talks: transmission, transmutation, new trends and changing audiences are among the topics discussed by internationally renowned artists, musicologists and journalists such as R.Murray Schafer & Jean-Jacques van Vlasselaer(Canada), Marc Vignal, Brigitte Massin et Georges Zeisel, (France), Peter Revers (Austria), Dorothea Redepenning (Germany), Scott Cantrell (USA)….

- Meetings and workshops by music critics from 3 continents, with each festival attracting around thirty members of the Music Critics’ Association of North America and of the Association de la Presse Musicale Internationale (France) to discuss the position and future of music criticism at the start of the 21st century.

- Readings of new works of young Canadian composers, with the participation of the Arditti String Quartet

- Round tables, pre- concerts presentations, master classes and activities in schools

- Speakers and participants: professionals from the world of music, artists and academics, decision-makers from the world of business, institutional representatives and music lovers.


- Venues

- Medias
CBC TV ; Chaîne culturelle Radio Canada ; CBC Radio Two
- Various
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade ; Canadian Heritage ; The Canada Council for the Arts ;
Ontario Arts Council ; Cultural Human Resources Council ; Ontario More to Discover ; National Capital Commission
The Fund for US Artists at International Festivals and Exhibitions ; 
Festival Network Canada ; Diffusart International ; 
Air Canada ; Lufthansa ...; Lord Elgin Hotel ;  Ramada Hotel & Suites...
Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd. ; Pechiney Canada ; Interbrew - Frequentis....

Delegation of the European Union to Canada, approx. 15 embassies, several  foundations ( Socan Foundation, Japan Foundation, Pro Helvetia... ), and numerous individuals