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Volume 19 Issue 8 - May 2014

  • Text
  • Choir
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • Arts
  • Concerts
  • Theatre
  • Musical
  • Choral
  • Singers
  • Festival
Includes the 2014 Canary Pages directory of choirs.

After which you joined

After which you joined up with Wilsonagain and moved to New York. I was executivedirector for RW Work Ltd., the companythat acts as the manager and agent for Bob’swork. I was also director of the WatermillCenter where I oversaw the launch of artisticresidencies for an international array ofemerging artists. I was responsible for theartistic vision and presentation.How did you get to Luminato? I first metLuminato CEO Janice Price and foundingartistic director Chris Lorway in 2007 todiscuss the revival of Bob’s 1992 productionof Philip Glass’ opera Einstein on the Beach.Luminato became one of the five partnerswho funded the production. At the sametime, I heard that Chris was going to leaveLuminato and I decided to put my nameinto the mix. I got my references togetherand handed in a vision statement. Thatgot me to the short list of two. HurricaneIrene happened when I was supposed togo for my interview, so I ended up drivingto Toronto because I couldn’t fly. The othercandidate didn’t arrive. I guess he didn’tconsider driving.Why did you go after the Luminato job? Ireally wanted the position because my goalwas to be an artistic director of a festivalor a theatre. What really attracted me toLuminato was the breadth of the disciplinesthat the festival covered – even magic andfood. It was like seven or eight mini-festivalsunder one umbrella. The programming alsotouched on the political and social scenes.The Luminato mandate seemed to be connectingpeople to issues through the arts, and thatappealed to me.How do you define your vision? I dream aboutgenerating new works because I believe thatfestivals should be the birthplace of somethingnew – a temporary home for artists. So the firststep is creating great art. We also have to get thecity to give itself up to culture. We have to openup to the local arts community. In fact, Luminatohas to open up to the world. We have to think indialogues. Luminato could be one of the greatestfestivals in the world if we were a creative forcethat brought people together. We have to createa craving for an overall experience. We wanta festival community. We want to be a family.Toronto is such a multicultural city that weshould be bringing cultures together – but we’renot there yet.In what ways could the city and the festivalbe linked? What if we had a magician doing his show in the lobbyof TIFF, and then people going to see a film would stumble on theperformance? This widens the scope of the magic art form because itdoesn’t have to be in a theatre. It’s also a direct connection betweenartist and audience.You’ve been in the job for a couple of years now. Luminato itselfis just getting to its eighth season so still could be considered young.What new insights have you gathered? In this kind of business, ittakes time to develop a product and get to know the city. I’ve discoveredthat it’s not “what” but “how” – in other words, not “what” youprogram, but “how” you put things together. I still believe in themultidisciplinary nature of the festival whichis what attracted me in the first place. Forexample, the free events at the Hub in DavidPecaut Square used to be just various formsof pop music. Now there is classical music,film and dance at the Hub. If you look at theLuminato program, many shows appear underseveral categories. I want to blur the boundariesbetween the disciplines.Multidisciplinary is such an important wordto you. Can you give me a concrete exampleof what you mean? Look at what we did in2012. While pianist Stewart Goodyear wasplaying all of Beethoven’s 32 sonatas in oneday, Indonesian dancer Melati Surydarmo wasperforming her interpretation of themusic on the same stage. In conjunctionwith Goodyear’s music marathon,the Royal Ontario Museum mounted anexhibit of visual artist Jorinde Voigt’spaintings inspired by each sonata.We also had a pre-concert lecture byesteemed neuroscientist and neurologist,Dr. Antonio Damasio, on musicand the brain. This merger of the visualarts, dance, music and science openedup our eyes to the different ways wecan look at the same thing. It alsoopened our ears to a deeper appreciationof the music.What about an example fromLuminato 2014? I’ll give you two.The revolutionary American visualartist-filmmaker Matthew Barney is gettinga multifaceted approach. Collectively, it’s acomplete view of Barney. He’s being interviewedat the AGO as part of “Meet theArtist”. The AGO is also showing his videoworks from the acclaimed series DrawingRestraint. TIFF is presenting his films fromThe Cremaster Cycle, while his epic liveactionfilm River of Fundament will beshown at the Elgin Theatre. A three-dimensionalfocus like this on a groundbreakingartist is a gift to the public. And thenthere’s Card Table Artifice. Famous Britishcomposer Gavin Bryars and sculptor-auditoryartist Juan Muñoz created ten stringquartet pieces with narration called A Manin a Room, Gambling, which premiered in1992. They were inspired by card cheat S.W.Ernase’s 1902 book The Expert at the CardTable. Magician David Ben is taking it onestep further. As the Art of Time Ensembleperforms the music, Ben is demonstratingErnase’s card shark tricks. Gavin Bryars willalso be performing, and actor R.H. Thomson is the narrator.From Top: Matthew Barney, Gavin Bryars, David BenHave you changed the festival at all? I am change itself becauseI am the programmer. The festival is going to reflect how I use theinstruments to put together the orchestra. We have, however, hadan important rebranding of the organization. We are now known asthe Luminato Festival. The word “Festival” is now an official part ofthe name.Does the programming have an inherent sense of balance? Ineffect, you are defining extremes. On one hand, there is the exclusiveContinues on page 86ARI MARCOPOULIS© ZALESKI ENTERPRISESCYLLA VON TIEDEMANN10 | May 1, 2014 – June 7, 2014 thewholenote.com

Beat by Beat | In with the New21C – Beautyand CourageWENDALYN BARTLEYSomething new is coming to town in May – a festival of musicunlike any other. Aptly named 21C, this 21st century musicfestival produced by the Royal Conservatory spotlights newcreation across the musical spectrum. The brainchild of MervonMehta, executive director of performing arts at the RC, the festivaloffers eight concerts over five nights, with 20 premieres, and runsfrom May 21 to 25. I sat down with festival composer-consultant BrianCurrent to get a first-hand overview of what awaits the listener andwhy this festival is so unique. Put simply, he describes it as a festival of“beauty and courage.” The combination of concerts offers an opportunityfor the people of Toronto to come and listen to who we aremusically, and to hear our city proudly reflected back. It’s a celebrationof what’s alive and vibrant in our collective lives at this time.Many of the performers and composers involved in the festival arepeople whom Mehta has brought in to perform inside the acousticalwonders of Koerner Hall, which opened its doors in 2009. Mehtaapproached many of these artists to either write something new forthe festival or to come as guest performers. His vision is to reach outto many different musical communities and in so doing, offer eachaudience the opportunity to hear something familiar and somethingunexpected. Thanks to its main benefactor, Michael Koerner, thefestival is scheduled for a five-year run and over that time will be anextraordinary opportunity to build trust with the listeners of Toronto.The concerts will also be live-streamed online so it also offers anopportunity to generate an international audience.So, what exactly is on the menu for this feast? With so much onthe table, I can only offer highlights alongside details of some of thepremieres and featured performers. As mentioned, one of the alluringand distinctive components of this festival is the weaving together ofwhat’s new within different musical streams.Starting things off on May 21 at Mazzoleni Hall, is a chance tohear newly composed music for the pipa, a Chinese plucked stringinstrument performed by the outstanding Wei-wei Lan from China(co-produced with New Music Concerts, who first brought her herein 2007). The world music theme continues with the premiere of aWei-wei Lannew work composed by Toronto’s masterful mridangam player TrichySankaran at the first “After Hours” concert on May 23. Sankaran isrenowned both as a performer in the South Indian classical drummingtradition and as a composer for contemporary western andworld music ensembles. The evening will also feature the music ofGurpreet Chana performing on his TABLIX system, a digital interfacethat allows him to explore the melodic potential of the tabla withaccompanying visuals.The influences of flamenco rhythms will be front and centre inthe Conservatory-commissioned premiere of a work on May 23 bySpanish singer, songwriter and record producer Javier Limón. Inthe same program, strong rhythmic energy will continue to bounceagainst the walls in a commissioned work by American classical andjazz pianist and composer Uri Caine. Though written for the RC’s residentensemble the Afiara String Quartet, Caine’s own approach willbe primarily improvisational as he weaves his funky lines alongsidethe quartet’s scored parts. This came as a surprise to Afiara’s cellistAdrian Fung when the score first arrived without a piano part, Fungtold me in a conversation we had about the quartet’s involvement inthe festival. Caine immediately assured him that indeed he wouldbe performing with them, but that he doesn’t write down his ownnotes. If the night’s concert wasn’t already cooking enough, the presenceof Chilly Gonzales and his Conservatory-commissioned work forchamber ensemble and piano promises to ramp up the energy evenhigher. Mixing classical, jazz, pop, alternative rock and electronicainfluences, Gonzales’ work Suite from the Shadow will no doubt beANDRE LEDUCEmerson QuartetBeatrice Rana, pianoOrion Quartetwith Peter SerkinSondra RadvanovskyModigliani String QuartetMiloš Karadaglic, guitarToronto Symphony OrchestraTORONTOSUMMERMUSIC.COMTHEJuly 22 –August 12AGEthewholenote.com May 1, 2014 – June 7, 2014 | 11

Volumes 21-24 (2015-2018)

Volume 24 Issue 4 - December 2018 / January 2019
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Volume 24 Issue 2 - October 2018
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