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by Mary Soderstrom

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Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Musician's Death Raises Reflection on Music Education Here and in the Former USSR

Yuli Turovsky, a Russian-born cellist, who adopted Montreal as his home, has died at 73.  He was one of the generation of classical musicians who left the Soviet Union as the Cold War thawed, and moved to Western Europe and North America.

 Turovsky and the ensemble he founded here I Musici de Montréal delighted thousands. He also was deeply involved in training a new wave of excellent musicians in Canada, as were his former compatriots who settled outside.  We have benefitted mightily from the system the Soviets set up.

I have no idea how young musicians are faring there these days--I hope well, but who knows?-- but we must continue to build on the musical culture to which these expats contributed so much here.

 Stephen Harper supposedly likes music (he even appeared once with Yo Yo Ma, whom I suspect was hoodwinked into performing with him): let him listen to this and then think about what support for the arts means for this country.

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