8 years ago

Volume 20 Issue 5 - February 2015

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Volume 20 Issue 5

What are you already

What are you already preparing for musically beyond the summer, into the following year(s)? And do your summer plans tie in with these longer term plans? Along with Monica Pearce, ​I am the co-founder and artistic director ​ of the Toy Piano Composers. So we are currently planning our 2015/16 season. I enjoy the challenge of reaching for unexpected audiences. For example, opera for children and teenagers, or tapping into the indie music crowd with contemporary chamber music. So whatever it is I end up doing, I think I’ll continue to reach out to new audiences. I may also take a short nap in the fall. The week-long COC summer opera camps run at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts from July 6 to 31, with each week targeted towards a specific age group. Registration opens February 2. For details, visit the Canadian Opera Company website ( or email Several time zones away on the west coast, other brand-new summer programs for young music lovers are also materializing. The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra has announced a summer orchestral institute at Whistler for students aged 15 to 23. Taking place from June 28 to July 5, the program promises an intensive learning experience at an inviting locale. We caught up with VSO musical director Bramwell Tovey in the midst of preparing for his upcoming Bruckner Four performance, to ask about his role at the new institute and his summer plans. Musically, what do you have in the works already for the summer ahead – what are you looking forward to as a musician/performer? Tanglewood on July 11th, my birthday, conducting the Boston Symphony, Bryn Terfel, Sondra Radvanovsky & the Tanglewood Festival Chorus in Act 1 of Tosca. Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony and Violin Concerto with Itzhak Perlman and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, Enigma Variations and Der Rosenkavalier Suite with the New York Philharmonic at the Bravo Festival in Vail, Colorado and Holst’s The Planets with the Philadelphia Orchestra in Saratoga. In August I will also direct a summer course for the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, of which I am artistic director. What will your role be at the VSO Institute this year? I will conduct all the rehearsals and concerts and be artistic advisor on the project, working with [education and community programs manager] Christin [Reardon MacLellan] and our faculty. We are very excited as Whistler in combination with the VSO is already a happening destination. What are you most Bramwell Tovey looking forward to as an audience member between now and the end of the summer? My daughter, Jessica, is preparing for a violin recital in March as a fundraiser to enable her to work with disadvantaged children in the Dominican Republic. She’s a terrific young woman (aged 16) and I’m very proud of her dedication to the task! What are you already preparing for musically beyond the summer, into the following year(s)? We’re just putting our 2015/16 VSO season to bed. It includes our annual festival of new music in February and our Spring Festival which in 2016 explores the enmity between the pro-Brahms and pro-Wagner camps. September always begins afresh with new ideas and programs. For details on this year’s VSO Institute, including how to apply, check out With these and other plans for programs, festivals and performances being finalized every day, this summer, it seems, will be an eventful one from coast to coast. Keep an eye out for more updates from us on what musicians across Canada will be up to once their concert seasons come to a close. And if you are a musician yourself and have summer plans you’d like to share, get in touch with us at In the meantime, happy concertgoing; as for us, we will continue to bundle up and keep our minds on warmer days. Sara Constant is social media editor at The WholeNote and studies music at U of T. She can be contacted at INTERNATIONAL RESOURCE CENTRE FOR PERFORMING ARTISTS DID YOU KNOW! workshops | hot topics | career planning mentoring | no membership fees 416.362.1422 an Ontario government agency un organisme du gouvernement de l’Ontario CHECK US OUT! 54 | February 1 - March 7, 2015

TARA MCMULLEN WE ARE ALL MUSIC’S CHILDREN February’s Child Larry Beckwith MJ BUELL Journalist Ulla Colgrass once referred to Larry Beckwith’s father, the composer John Beckwith, as “Canada’s Musical Polymath” (The Globe and Mail 01/10/98). It seems Larry’s destined to share the honour. “People used to ask if he was my son; now they ask if I’m his father” (John Beckwith, Unheard Of: Memoirs of a Canadian Composer). Since 2003 Larry Beckwith’s Toronto Masque Theatre has given unique performances that wed music, theatre, dance and other performance disciplines in collaborations that continue to challenge and engage. Masques performed to date, and the salons relating to them, include baroque originals (Purcell, Monteverdi, Handel et al.) as well as new commissions by Canadian composers (Richardson, Rolfe, Daniel, Burry, Ho): fresh entertainments equally informed by the old and the new. Toronto-born Beckwith’s immersion in music began in childhood, and his undergraduate and graduate studies in violin and musicology at the University of Toronto were just part of a continuum that embraces choral music, baroque and contemporary music, theatre, radio, teaching and writing. Beckwith the baroque violinist studied with Jeanne Lamon and was a founding member of the Arbor Oak Trio and the Aradia Ensemble. Beckwith the tenor has sung regularly with Elora Festival Singers, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, the Exultate Chamber Singers, Tafelmusik Chamber Singers and Opera Atelier. Beckwith the conductor leads some main stage productions for Toronto Operetta Theatre. He’s worked as a radio producer, sound designer, journalist, university sessional instructor and festival programmer. He currently teaches the strings program at the arts-intensive Unionville High School. The WholeNote’s choral columnist for several years, he continues to review CDs. Larry Beckwith lives near Monarch Park in Toronto, with his wife, soprano and conductor Teri Dunn and their two daughters, Alison and Juliet. Earliest memories of music? My mother sang to me – folk and nursery songs – and my father was always playing the great piano repertoire, as well as composing at the piano. Do you remember that childhood photo being taken? I can’t say that I do, but there was a lot of music making that went on in my father’s small study in the family home on Summerhill Gardens. How long ago that was! I almost can’t remember being that person, but I remember all the music we used to read through…Bach, Mozart, Handel’s Messiah – with me playing the vocal lines on the violin – and, very vividly, the beautiful Schumann pieces for clarinet and piano. We had an arrangement of these for violin – I heard Itzhak Perlman play them recently at RTH. When did you begin to see yourself as a musician? I never thought I’d be anything else. From the time I fully understood the practicalities of making a living I made a pact with myself that my job would always have something to do with music. I wish I’d been more practical in setting goals for myself, early on, but miraculously, one thing has led to another and I’ve been able to honour that pact. NEW CONTEST! Who is March’s CHILD? The Festival Singers of Canada’s Russia tour, 1977. Who is the baby-faced second alto (front) just starting her career? The other second alto (right) is her mom. Speaking of ageless women: yes, that’s Lois Marshall on the left! ~ ~ Hailed on three continents for her complex and un-zipped portrayals of Carmen (among others) ~ ~ “Her shoulder-blade is a miracle of loveliness” ~ ~ Facing South ~ ~ What Was I Saying? ~ ~ “Thirty-five is a very attractive age … society is full of women of the very highest birth who have, of their own free choice, remained thirty-five for years.” Know our Mystery Child’s name? WIN PRIZES! Send your best guess by February 24, to Where does music fit into your family life today? Where it’s always been… at the very centre. The four of us have a wonderful time playing and singing in concerts, going to concerts and making and listening to music at home. In a way, nothing has changed. Growing up, I always felt I was in the shadow of my brilliant parents and supremely talented siblings. And now I’m so proud of my wife and children – I stand in awe of their innate capabilities and natural musical talents. I have fun trying to keep up… A longer interview with Larry Beckwith can be read at ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ CHRIS GROUNDS CONGRAULATIONS TO OUR WINNERS! HERE’S WHAT THEY WON Earnest, The Importance of Being (Apr 29 & May 1- 3, Jane Mallet Theatre) is Victor Davies’ and Eugene Benson’s rollicking parlour comedy based on the famous Oscar Wilde play. Premiered by Toronto Operetta Theatre in 2008, this production features Charlotte Knight, Christopher Enns and Jean Stilwell as Lady Bracknell. The final show in TOT’s 30th season – Larry Beckwith conducts. Tickets for: Walter and Eileen Shankman. Les Indes Mécaniques (May 14-15, 8pm, Fleck Dance Theatre) Larry Beckwith’s Toronto Masque Theatre presents an adaptation of Jean-Phillipe Rameau’s remarkable opera-ballet Les Indes Galantes (1735) Inspired by Marie Antoinette’s automated toys and 18th-century France’s fascination with the Orient, it features performers from Montreal’s Les Jardins Chorégraphiques, and from Paris-based La Compagnie Beaux- Champs. Choreography by Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière and Mickaël Bouffard. Tickets for: Suzanne de Grandpré. Music’s Children gratefully acknowledges Henry, Chris, Patti, Margaret and Bob February 1 - March 7, 2015 | 55

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