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Volume 18 Issue 3 - November 2012

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  • November
  • Toronto
  • December
  • Jazz
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de Montréal for its

de Montréal for its first time; in Ottawa, the orchestra returns to theNational Arts Centre for its annual gig.Three of Canada’s most esteemed (and in demand) soloists havebeen brought together to form the “piano trio” for Beethoven’smajestic “Triple”: TSO concertmaster Jonathan Crow, pianist AndréLaplante and cellist Shauna Rolston — no small feat given their incrediblybusy schedules! I spoke with TSO music director, Peter Oundjian,who described the Beethoven as “a sublime piece,” and reported that“all three musicians were very pleased to be asked to play ittogether.” Oundjian wanted a “fully Canadian cast.” Andtrue, it’s not often that soloists are put together likethis, and an existingtrio could just as easilycould have beenasked ... “or these three.”I could hear the satisfiedsmile in his voice.“They will find theircommon thread intheir own special way,”he told me. And whilehe can’t say exactlywhat to expect — afterall, they’ve neverdone this before — heIan Parker will playthe Ravel PianoConcerto in Gwith the HamiltonPhilharmonic onNovember 10, noton November 3,as it appears inour listings.knows that what’s being created here is a “very exciting situation,” an“unpredictable meal.” For Oundjian, there’s also another level of connection,making this an even more meaningful collaboration: he andLaplante were at Juilliard together; Rolston (who is at the U of T andhas played quite regularly with the TSO) he’s known since she was 16;and Crow, of course, is his concertmaster. It’s indeed a “collaborationof virtuosos,” as noted in a recent TSO press release, with each performancedestined to be a thrilling event.I was also intrigued by the choice of the Shostakovich No.12 on theprogram given that the TSO had just performed his No.11, “The year1905,” one late night back in June, at Luminato. “It is an immenselypowerful piece,” Oundjian said of the Twelfth, “a good tour piece”; asopposed to the Eleventh (which clocks in at 62 minutes), the Twelfthis a “condensed 40 minutes,” and Oundjian felt that it, along withthe Beethoven and Mercure’s “brilliantly conceived” Tryptique, just“fit in.”It’s an impressive and diverse program, the only way Oundjianwould have it: “I like to really create eclectic programming. There’s aresponsibility to keep things as interesting as possible for everyone.”And, clearly, to keep us wanting to come back and hear the next excitingconcert and the next.I had the privilege and pleasure of asking Peter Oundjian a fewquestions. Perhaps you’ll have yours during the Q&A led by Oundjian,with the soloists on hand, following the November 14 and 15 concerts.With so much more to learn, I’m definitely staying for this one!Oundjian on Perlman: Itzhak Perlman is back! Yes, just a little oversix months since his five-day residency with the TSO at the end ofApril, the celebrated violinist returns to Roy Thomson Hall, this timefor an afternoon recital, November 18. John Terauds calls it “one of themost significant dates of the season.” (And by the way, while it mightnot be an orchestra in need, the Corporation of Massey Hall and RoyThomson Hall also depends on our support through ticket sales, evenwhen it presents a legend like Perlman.) With pianistRohan De Silva, Perlman will perform Mozart’sSonata in A K526, the Sonata No.1 by Fauré andStravinsky’s Suite Italienne.Peter Oundjian and I also spoke about his dearfriend, colleague and former teacher, Itzhak Perlman.First, he confirmed something for me that I hadn’tbeen absolutely certain about when he and Perlmanplayed the splendid Bach “Double” Violin Concerto,in April: it was the first time they had ever shared thestage together as violinists. The evening was an historicmoment in time, and the regard and affectionthat each holds for the other was palpable. That thiswas also Oundjian’s first public appearance on theviolin in 16 years, made it all the more special. As an aside, and witha quick laugh, Oundjian said that it was “probably the last time” he’llplay publicly. We’ll see.In the meantime, he offered this of his good friend:“Something extraordinary happens to people when Itzhak steps onstage: [people respond deeply to] his personality, his aura, his heartwarming,beautiful playing; the way he relates to all the musicians onstage. And by himself, in recital, there’s an even greater focus on hisvery special personality.”Oundjian said that people had this type of reaction to Perlmaneven when he (Perlman) was a youngster. And while the two met atJuilliard in 1975, Oundjian remembers, as a youngster himself, listeningto Perlman in the late 1960s. He said that the “memory still excitesme and it was well over 40 years ago!”Oundjian suggested that Perlman’s playing in recital may not beas rare an occasion as I might have thought, and he was right: forexample, just prior to his arrival in Toronto, Perlman will have performedseveral recitals in South America, also with Rohan De Silva.;and he’s scheduled to do others in 2013 (including one here in March,in collaboration with Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot; another story foranother column). Clearly, the man is tireless, yielding as ever to hisyrinx concerts torontowww.syrinxconcerts.caDecember 9, 2012William Aide, Anya MallingerDavid HetheringtonFebruary 3, 2013Kai GleusteenCatherine Ordronneau2012-2013SeasonJanuary 13, 2013Peter LongworthMarch 10, 2013Melanie ConlyAnita KrausePeter LongworthApril 7, 2013 Trio Arkel:Teng Li, Winona Zelenka, Marie Berard3pm Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton AvenueTickets Students info: 416-654-0877www.totix.ca14 thewholenote.com November 1 – December 7, 2012

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