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Volume 16 Issue 3 - November 2010

  • Text
  • November
  • December
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • Musical
  • Symphony
  • Choir
  • Concerts
  • Orchestra
  • Choral

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 12Tony

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 12Tony WilsonSextetJazz Avant Series8pm// adv at TWImperial Library Pub,54 Dundas St. E.FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 19DJ/RuptureNew World Music Series9pm// adv at TW/SS/RTTUESDAY, NOVEMBER 30Keith Rowe/Oren Ambarchi/Crys Colewith Pink SalivaJazz Avant Series8pm// adv at TWFRIDAY, DECEMBER 3 + SATURDAY, DECEMBER 4Teen Sleuth& The FreedCyborg ChoirPop Avant Series8pm/ adv at TWBecome a music gallery member and saveon ticket prices! Email info@musicgallery.orgThe Music Galleryreturns to Toronto with his 2002 violaconcerto Astrophonia, which hasbeen described as a “poetic voyage onthe origins of the cosmos.” The twomovementwork is dedicated to hiswife, violist Karine Lethiec, whosestrong interest in the alliance betweenmusic and the universe has clearly inspiredthe concerto’s theme. At 23minutes in length, it’s a substantialwork around which Peter Oundjianhas built this Slavic Celebration concert,including works by Tchaikovsky,tailsand to purchase tickets, visit www.tso.ca.Krystof Maratka.Norbert Palej.The centerpiece of this month’s emerging composer theme fallson November 14, when New Music Concerts plays host to Ensemblecontemporain de Montréal +, and their biennial “Generation” tour.Building on its mandate to encourage and support musical creativity,ECM+’s project offers a unique and extensive professional developmentplatform for composers under the age of 35. Since 1994,it has been discovering and nurturing the next generation of Can-on the national and international music scene. The only project ofits kind in Canada, Generation encourages musical research throughlive experimentation. Over the course of two years, four carefullyselected young composers explore their musical voices by developingnew works in collaboration with the ECM+ ensemble and their remarkabledirector Véronique Lacroix. The results are then presentedin a cross-Canada tour, which – in addition to creating major exposure– builds new professional networks for these emerging talents.The 2010 Generation composers are Simon Martin (Montreal),Christopher Mayo (Toronto/London, UK), Cassandra Miller (Victoria)and Gordon Williamson (Toronto/Bloomington, Indiana). Despitetheir young age, all of them are Associate Composers of theCanadian Music Centre, and many carry a cache of international experienceand high-level accolades. For example, Gordon William-Jules Léger Prize for Chamber Music. Chris Mayo and CassandraMiller both already have international careers, most notably in theUK and the Netherlands respectively. Consequently, the Generationtour is a rare chance to hear some of the absolute best up-and-comingCanadian voices. For more info about the Generation programvisit www.ecm.qc.ca. To purchase tickets for the November 14 concertat the Music Gallery visit www.musicgallery.org.But the discoveryof new musical voicesdoesn’t stop there. BothYork University and theUniversity of Torontoshowcase new music bytheir student composerson November 16 and 30respectively. On November18, 32-year-oldPolish-American (andnow Canadian) composerNorbert Palej – a recentaddition to the U ofT faculty – joins clarinetistPeter Stoll on stage at Walter Hall in a free lunchtime concertof his works for clarinet. That same evening, the Gryphon Trio performsselections from their Young Composers Program alongsidecore repertoire by Ives, Beethoven and Dvorak for the Music Torontoseries. So be sure to get in with the new via The WholeNote’s concertlistings here and online at www.thewholenote.com.Jason van Eyk is the Ontario Regional Director of the CanadianMusic Centre. He can be contacted at newmusic@thewholenote.com.24 thewholenote.comNovember 1 - December 7, 2010

First EncountersBENJAMIN STEINChoral singing is generally considered to be fun and pleasurable.But often an encounter with a modern choral work – inwhich fun and pleasure may not necessarily be the composer’sprimary goal – can feel like a child’s encounter with a disagreeablevegetable. “Why do conductors give us weird music to strugglethrough when we’re supposed to be having a good time? I’m payingchoir dues for this?” On this subject, I am always struck by therange in attitudes among conductors, composers, singers and choralaudiences.Composers must by their very nature be champions of newmusic, and their desire to connect with either audience or singersidentity. Conductors must when programming strike a balanceentiallyalienating. If they are lucky, they will have an organizationthat allows them some artistic license. In general, whatever theirpersonal musical preferences, conductors have a sense of responsibilityto work in tandem with living composers to bring new worksinto being. composer has imagined, and their response is often a visceral one:although it is unfamiliar.” Often a singer’s judgment of the musicrender an unfair verdict on the actual quality of the music itself.Audiences as a rule have made their feelings known regardingmuch new music, and the problem that choral groups encountermusical life in the previous century: the disconnect between moderncomposers and modern audiences.Still, composers tend to write moreconservatively for choirs than theymight for chamber ensembles, soloistsor orchestras. And the liturgicalbackground of a great deal of choralmusic tends to foster an audiencefriendlyaesthetic. A new compositionthat connects with an audienceis a wonderful thing, and a good premierecan be an exciting experiencefor both audiences and musiciansalike. There are a number of premieresand concerts featuring livingcomposers coming up in the next fewweeks that we can certainly hopeComposer Marjan Mozetich.The Cantabile Choirs of Kingston have become a choral juggernautin that region, with seven different choirs and 300 voices performingseparately and in tandem throughout the season. Their November6 concert, “Silk Road,” features the premiere of a new compositionby Slovenian-Canadian Marjan Mozetich. (The Cantabileartistic director, Mark Sirett, has his own premiere of a piece forchoir, brass and organ that will be presented by the Toronto MendelssohnChoir as part of their December 8 “Festival of Carols.”)Cantabile Chorale of York Region’s November 14 concertfeatures a setting of the Requiem mass by Welsh composer KarlJenkins. Jenkins comes at composition from a jazz background and,like many modern composers, is as likely to draw from world-musictuneful and has some of the hard-won simplicity of the compositionsof Carl Orff.The Mississauga Festival Choir performs Jonathan Willcocks’sAn English Christmas as part of their December 4 concert. Will-Pax Christi Chorale & Chamber Choir: Stephanie Martin, Artistic DirectorPax Christi Youth Choir: Lynn Janes, ConductorCHRISTMASSPLENDOUR IIBACH CHRISTMAS ORATORIO I, VI, &CANTATA 140 “WACHET AUF,” CAROLS & MOTETSHoward Dyck, guest conductorAgnes Zsigovics, soprano; Iasmina Pataca, mezzo-soprano;Cory Knight, tenor; Matthew Zadow, baritone; with orchestraSaturday, December 4, 2010 – 7:30 pmSunday, December 5, 2010 – 3:00 pmAdult: Senior: Student: Children (under 12): Grace Church on-the-Hill, 300 Lonsdale Rd, Toronto, ON.For more information and to order tickets, visitwww.paxchristichorale.org or call (416) 491-8542.THECHILDREN ’ SMESSIAHpresented byPax Christi Choraleand theGallery Choir of the Church ofSaint Mary MagdaleneStephanie Martin, Artistic DirectorEve-Lyn de la Haye, sopranoLeigh-Anne Martin, mezzo-sopranoMichael Loewen, tenorBenjamin Covey, baritoneSaturday, December 11, 20104:00 – 5:00 pmDesigned especially for the younger crowd, we encourage youto bring your children to introduce them to a short performanceof some of the highlights from Handel’s glorious Messiah.Children admitted free, adults pay what you can at the door.Church of Saint Mary Magdalene,477 Manning Avenue, Toronto (at Ulster Ave)For more information, call (416) 531-7955www.stmarymagdalene.caNovember 1 - December 7, 2010 thewholenote.com 25

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