5 years ago

Volume 24 Issue 2 - October 2018

  • Text
  • October
  • Toronto
  • Arts
  • Choir
  • Jazz
  • Musical
  • Concerts
  • Performing
  • Orchestra
  • Theatre
Presenters, start your engines! With TIFF and "back-to-work" out of the way, the regular concert season rumbles to life, and, if our Editor's Opener can be trusted, "Seeking Synergies" seems to be the name of the game. Denise Williams' constantly evolving "Walk Together Children" touching down at the Toronto Centre for the Arts; the second annual Festival of Arabic Music and Arts expanding its range; a lesson in Jazz Survival with Steve Wallace; the 150 presenter and performer profiles in our 19th annual Blue Pages directory... this is an issue that is definitely more than the sum of its parts.


BLUE PAGES 2018/19 SECTION I: PRESENTERS & PERFORMERS ●●University of Toronto Faculty of Music The University of Toronto Faculty of Music is a vital destination for the professional and scholarly study of music in North America. As part of one of the world’s top universities, the Faculty is home to a diverse and dynamic community. With superb educators in every area of music study and dozens of areas of specialization, we offer an education that is both broad and deep. Our community members have garnered honours such as the Oscar, the Leonardo da Vinci Prize, Peabody, JUNO and National Jazz Awards, and occupy prominent positions with major performing arts organizations including the Toronto Symphony, the Canadian Opera Company, the Boston Symphony and Berlin Philharmonic. The 2018/19 season marks the Faculty of Music’s 100th anniversary and we are thrilled to welcome distinguished visitors including Jessye Norman, Rob Kapilow and Toshio Hosokawa, and offer more than 150 public events, lectures and master classes. Collaboration is the watchword of our centenary as we join together with our external partners, student, faculty and visiting ensembles, and academic areas to present an extraordinary season. Don McLean, dean and professor Natasha Smith, marketing and publicity 416-978-0491 Box Office: 416-408-0208 ●●Upper Canada Choristers The Upper Canada Choristers is a mixed-voice community choir in Toronto with a history of collaboration with international choirs and local children’s choirs. Performing with a wide variety of guest artists, the choir has a diverse repertoire and is committed to excellence. Cantemos is the auditioned latin american chamber ensemble of the Choristers. Founding artistic director and conductor, Laurie Evan Fraser and accompanist, Hye Won Cecilia Lee provide the professional musical leadership for this vibrant organization. The choir performs 15 to 20 concerts in the community annually. Our 2018/19 concert season opens with “Christmas Cheer!” on December 7, 2018 at Grace Church on-the-Hill; the program will feature music by John Rutter, including Brother Heinrick’s Christmas. Our spring concert on May 10, 2019 at Metropolitan United Church, “How Can I Keep From Singing?” features a new commission to celebrate our 25th anniversary by Stephen Chatman, and also 5 Hebrew Love Songs by Eric Whitacre. Laurie Evan Fraser 416-256-3809 ●Vesnivka ● Choir This award-winning women’s ensemble, established by Halyna Kvitka Kondracki in 1965, has delighted audiences around the world with its rich repertoire of Ukrainian classical, sacred, contemporary and folk music. Vesnivka begins its 53rd concert season on October 28, 2018 with a concert commemorating the 85th anniversary of Holodomor: Famine-Genocide in Ukraine. Joining Vesnivka in this concert will be Canada’s premier ensemble Elmer Iseler Singers, their musical director Lydia Adams, the worldrenowned Gryphon Trio, soprano Antonina Ermolenko and the Toronto Ukrainian Male Chamber Choir (TUMCC). On January 13, 2019, Vesnivka and TUMCC present their ever-popular annual Ukrainian “Christmas Concert,” with guest soloists and a folk instrumental ensemble. On April 7, 2019, Vesnivka and TUMCC will present a concert featuring the music of Ukrainian Canadian composers. Vesnivka also sings Christmas and Easter Liturgies on January 7, 2019 and April 28, 2019 at St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church (Toronto). Nykola Parzei 416-763-2197 ●Victoria ● Scholars Men’s Choral Ensemble The namesake of the Victoria Scholars, Tomás Luis de Victoria, was an outstanding Renaissance composer whose music is renowned for its spirituality and emotional expressiveness. The Victoria Scholars bring clarity and balance of sound so characteristic of Renaissance music to all their repertoire, encompassing Medieval plainchant, works from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, contemporary eras, and newly-commissioned works. Past winners of the Healey Willan Grand Prize in the CBC Radio National Competition for Amateur Choirs, the Victoria Scholars have performed with many exceptional arts organizations (including Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Kiev Chamber Choir) and vocal soloists (including Sondra Radvanovsky, Michael Schade, Russell Braun and Norine Burgess). They have toured nationally and internationally and are heard regularly on CBC Radio 2 and Classical 96.3FM. For the 2018/19 season we are pleased to offer the following concert series: “Welcome Christmas” (December 16); “Male Voices: Masterpieces of the 19th and 20th Centuries” (March 3); and “Canadian Scholars” (May 26). Volunteers are always welcome to help with operations such as website management and concert-related activities. Please contact us for more information. Ulla Knowles 416-761-7776 ●Village ● Voices Village Voices, a non-profit, adult mixed-voice community choir of over 50 voices, will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a special concert on Saturday, May 4, 2019. Under the direction of Oksana Vignan, the choir provides fellowship for its members and performs classical, sacred and secular choral music from many eras. Rehearsals are held on Wednesday nights at Unionville Presbyterian Church. Village Voices raises its artistic level and expands its repertoire through vocal workshops and by including professional guest soloists and instrumentalists. The choir performs at various venues in Markham and the surrounding area. It continues to honour its commitment to the community by entertaining at local retirement homes. On December 8, 2018, Village Voices Choir will perform its traditional Christmas concert at Markham Missionary Church in Markham, under the direction of our former conductor, Joan Andrews. We invite our faithful audience to join us for this concert and for our Spring concert. This May concert will be a truly special and joyful performance, celebrating 30 years of singing together in the Markham community with a program of old favourites songs as well as new and challenging pieces. Brigitte Sopher 905-471-4464 ●Visual ● and Performing Arts Newmarket (VPAN) Visual and Performing Arts Newmarket (VPAN) was organized in 1988 with the aim of bringing together arts lovers and campaigning for a performing arts facility. In 1997, VPAN was able to take advantage of a new state-of-the-art theatre in Newmarket and created “Three For The Show” - a three-concert series of classical music on Sunday afternoons during the winter months. Most recent artists to appear include Janina Fialkowska, Gryphon Trio, Quartetto Gelato, Mary Lou Fallis, Penderecki String Quartet, Grand Philharmonic Choir, TorQ Percussion Quartet, Adi Braun, Martin Beaver, Broadsway, Cecilia String Quartet and the Vandikas Family. Eighteen years ago, VPAN added a popular fourth concert, “Young Artists Showcase,” where young up-and-coming artists are invited to perform. We are entering our 22nd season by presenting Canadian Guitar Quartet on November 4, 2018, Canadian Children’s Opera Company on March 31, 2019 and Drew Jurecka Trio (jazz) on April 28, 2019. All “Three For the Show” concerts take place Sundays at 2pm at the Newmarket Theatre, 505 Pickering Cres. with free parking. “The Young Artists’ Showcase” takes place at the newly refurbished Old Town Hall, 460 Botsford St. Box office 905-953-5122, or online at Heather MacKay B24 | theWholeNote 2018/19 PRESENTER PROFILES

905-953-5122 ●VIVA! ● Youth Singers of Toronto A vibrant choral organization for singers ages four through adult, VIVA! offers members the opportunity to achieve artistic excellence in a singer-centred, collaborative choral community. Unique program features include the Youth Mentoring and Leadership Program, and the TD Bank Group Inclusion Program which provides support for singers with special needs. VIVA!’s choirs include: Preparatory Chorus (ages 4-6); Junior Choir (ages 6-10); Main Chorus (ages 9-16); Everyone Can Sing (ECS), for those aged 13 and up with disabilities; a non-auditioned VIVA! Community Choir (SATB); and an SATB Chamber Choir (senior high school, university students and adults). Performance opportunities are available for all singers through Series Concerts in Jean Lamon Hall at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre for Faith, Justice and the Arts, and through other professional engagements. Recent highlights include a performance tour to Spain in July 2017, and the VIVA!-commissioned premiere of Dean Burry’s opera The Sword in the Schoolyard (June 2016). VIVA! is the official children’s choir of The National Ballet of Canada, performing annually in The Nutcracker. Monday rehearsals for all choirs except Chamber (Sundays). Auditions held regularly throughout the year. 416-788-8482 ●VOCA ● Chorus of Toronto The VOCA Chorus of Toronto is a dynamic, auditioned ensemble under the leadership of artistic director, Jenny Crober. We perform a wide range of repertoire, including arrangements by Ms. Crober, in collaboration with guest artists from a variety of disciplines. Our season consists of two concerts, a cabaret, community performances, workshops and retreats. Our talented, versatile accompanist is Elizabeth Acker. Several remarkable artists have joined VOCA as guest clinicians, including composer Ola Gjeilo, conductor Ivars Taurins and jazz musician Dylan Bell, and as guest performers, including tenor Andrew Haji, TorQ Percussion Quartet and actor Deborah Drakeford. Our May 2018 concert featured the Canadian premiere of Ola Gjeilo’s gorgeous Dreamweaver. At our December 8, 2018 concert, we will feature a wide variety of seasonal works, joined by Celtic multi-instrumentalists Saskia Tomkins and Steafan Hannigan, and cellist Sybil Shanahan. On April 27, 2019, VOCA will present the stunning Missa Gaia/Earth Mass and other works, featuring Alana Bridgewater, vocalist; Colleen Allen, sax; Brian VIVA YOUTH SINGERS Barlow, drums; Shawn Grenke, organ and others. Rehearsals are Monday evenings at Eastminster United, just west of Chester subway. Jenny Crober 416-947-8487 ●VOICEBOX: ● Opera in Concert VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert is Canada’s only company dedicated exclusively to the presentation of rare opera programming. Our performances rely on the power and beauty of the human voice, the dramatic inflexion of text and poetry accompanied by orchestra or piano. The 2018/19 season opens on Sunday, October 21, 2018,with a tribute concert to our founder Stuart Hamilton, “Comedy Unbound!” featuring artists Holly Chaplin, Jocelyn Fralick and the winner of the Stuart Hamilton Memorial Award 2017, Evan Korbut with Guillermo Silva-Marin and chorus director Robert Cooper. Werther by Jules Massenet is next on November 25, 2018, with music director and pianist Narmina Afandiyeva, featuring Isabel Bayrakdarian, Brett Polegato and Matt Chittick. A Canadian premier, Fierabras by Franz Schubert follows on February 3, 2019, featuring Lawrence Wiliford, Justin Welsh, and Amy Moodie with conductor Kevin Mallon and Aradia Ensemble. The finale of the season is Kurt Weill’s The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny on March 30 and 31, 2019, featuring Elizabeth DeGrazia, Marion Newman and Theodore Baerg with Robert Cooper as a conductor. Performances are held at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, a part of Civic Theatres Toronto. Yuki Azuma 416-922-2147 ●● Westben Centre for Connection & Creativity Through Music Recently Westben announced the reimagining of itself into a year round Centre for Connection and Creativity Through Music. This new perspective will increase Westben’s impact at bringing people together through music. The Centre will focus on the year-round convergence of people, ideas and activities and will be a cultural hub where professionals, amateurs and enthusiasts can meet and be nurtured through the joy of music. Artist Residencies, Lunchtime Tick Talks, House Concerts are just some of the new year round programming. In 2019, Westben will celebrate its 20th “Season of Concerts at The Barn” offering the incredible opportunity to experience music in a natural setting. Westben is where the best of music and nature spring to life in your company! Ask about our one-of-a-kind experiences such as Find the Birds, Find the Pianist in Ferris Park or the new Dare to Pair Saturdays series. Nestled amongst the peaceful hills of Northumberland County two hours east of Toronto, near Campbellford, Westben’s primary performance venue is a custom-built, timber-frame barn. The Barn seats 400 and on sunny days from June to September, massive walls and doors roll away allowing music to waft over the surrounding meadow. Donna Bennett 705-653-5508 ●Windermere ● String Quartet Drawn together by a shared enthusiasm for early string quartets, the members of the Windermere String Quartet came together in 2005 to perform the music of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and their contemporaries on period instruments, as well as new works inspired by the WSQ’s historicallyinformed style. The quartet has drawn notice for theWholeNote 2018/19 PRESENTER PROFILES | B25

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