4 years ago

Volume 25 Issue 2 - October 2019

  • Text
  • Performing
  • Orchestra
  • Symphony
  • Musical
  • Concerts
  • Arts
  • Jazz
  • Choir
  • October
  • Toronto
Long promised, Vivian Fellegi takes a look at Relaxed Performance practice and how it is bringing concert-going barriers down across the spectrum; Andrew Timar looks at curatorial changes afoot at the Music Gallery; David Jaeger investigates the trumpets of October; the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution (and the 20th Anniversary of our October Blue Pages Presenter profiles) in our Editor's Opener; the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir at 125; Tapestry at 40 and Against the Grain at 10; ringing in the changing season across our features and columns; all this and more, now available in Flip Through format here, and on the stands commencing this coming Friday September 27, 2019. Enjoy.


BLUE PAGES 2019/20 SECTION I: PRESENTERS & PERFORMERS truffle for everyone at the end of each concert. We are fortunate to have Wonny Song (artistic & executive director of Orford Music) as our artistic director. Christina Cavanagh, managing director 416-922-3714 x103 ●●MOSAIC Canadian Vocal Ensemble MOSAIC Canadian Vocal Ensemble is a subsidiary of Glionna Mansell Corporation. The choir is a touring ensemble, and in collaboration with alumni members of St. Michael’s Choir School, present local and international concerts of mostly contemporary, classically-written sacred music. The choir has performed in Italy, particularly in Florence, Assisi, Rome and three occasions at the Vatican. The choir has also performed in Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica in Ottawa, St. George’s Anglican Cathedral in Kingston and St. Paul’s Anglican Church - Bloor Street, Our Lady of Sorrows, and St. Francis of Assisi, and St. Mary Magdalene Anglican Church in Toronto. Most recently, the choir performed in the Holy Land and will present a 2020 concert at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York and Holy Cross Basilica in Boston. In 2021, the choir will tour Istanbul and significant venues in Greece. Gordon Mansell: founder, conductor and artistic director 416-769-5224; 1-877-769-5224 Mosaic Canadian Vocal ensemble 416-571-3680 ●●Music at Metropolitan Music at Metropolitan presents a variety of concerts at Metropolitan United Church, featuring Metropolitan’s choir, soloists and guest artists. This season includes two concerts by Benjamin Stein and friends: Nov 16 – “Like as the Lute Delights,” and another concert in March. Our annual Good Friday concert on April 10 features the Metropolitan Festival Choir and Orchestra in Requiem Aeternam; Give Us Peace: Dona Nobis Pacem by Vaughan Williams and Requiem by Mozart. The Marg and Jim Norquay Celebration Concert on May 2 features soprano Chelsea Van Pelt and baritone Nicholas Higgs. During “Doors Open” weekend, on Sunday, May 24, at 1:30pm, the Metropolitan Silver Band presents a free concert. On May 30, tenor Charles Davidson, the choir and others present “Showtunes for 202(0) and Beyond!” Our special Christmas events include the “Deck the Halls” carol sing with the Metropolitan Silver Band and organ on December 8 at 1:30pm, and our “Candlelight Carol Service” on December 22 at 7pm. Metropolitan houses the largest pipe organ in Canada and the oldest tuned carillon in North America. Please contact us for a concert brochure or for more information. Dr. Patricia Wright 416-363-0331 x26 ●●Music at St. Andrew’s Music at St. Andrew’s is a community outreach program of historic St. Andrew’s Church in downtown Toronto. It was inspired by the church’s 2011 purchase of a Bösendorfer Imperial grand piano, which we share with the greater community. The piano is featured extensively in our free “Friday Noontime Recitals.” Our seventh season launches October 4 with performances by University of Toronto postgraduate music students and professionals. On Saturday, Nov 30 our candle-lit church will provide an atmospheric setting for dramatic readings from A Christmas Carol. Dickens’ beloved tale will be brought to life by opera star mezzo-soprano Marion Newman, classical music expert Rick Phillips and other talented readers, and complemented by musical interludes and a gingerbread reception. Our annual “Mardi Gras” concert returns Friday, February 21 with an exuberant evening of parades and authentic New Orleans jazz, performed by Patrick Tevlin’s Happy Pals, featuring pianist Jordan Klapman. Music at St. Andrew’s presents great music at affordable prices! Concerts take place at St. Andrew’s Church, 73 Simcoe St., Toronto. Dan Bickle 416-593-5600 x231 ●The ● Music Gallery The Music Gallery is Toronto’s Centre for Creative Music. We present and promote experimentation and innovation in all forms of music, and encourage cross-pollination between genres, disciplines and audiences. Since 1976, we have occupied a valued position within Toronto’s musical ecology, presenting both internationally-renowned contemporary music and a wide spectrum of local artists and projects. We are now located in the beautiful 918 Bathurst St. Centre for Culture, Arts, Media and Education. We present the “X Avant Festival” during October, and “Emergents” (emerging artists) and “Departures” (off-site) series as well as unique main stage concert experiences throughout our season. We also partner with artists and arts organizations to co-present their work in our space, assisted by our highly experienced technical crew. Our season runs September through June with off-season events. David Dacks 416-204-1080 ●●Music Toronto “...The chamber music recital is not just alive, it’s kicking.” ( A legacy organization in classical music, Music Toronto presents the world’s best chamber ensembles and pianists. A truly international series, we open with Italy’s premiere Quartetto di Cremona, making their Toronto debut. We specialize in string quartets: the Vision (Berlin - also a debut), the Miró (US), the Schumann (Germany), the Pavel Haas (Czech Republic) and the Ebene (France). Of course, we always welcome back our home-grown favourites, the St. Lawrence Quartet and the Gryphon Trio. Our piano series is equally eclectic – and compelling. Piano 6 New Generation brings 6 brilliant young Canadian pianists to our stage. The distinguished British pianist Jonathan Plowright, the electrifying Swiss pianist Francesco Piemontesi, Quebec’s grand master André Laplante, and the effortlessly virtuosic young British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor (also one of our favourites) complete the season. Great music of five centuries, from Haydn to Hétu; artists new and familiar, extraordinary music-making: only the finest, only at Music Toronto. Join the best audience in the city for these great concerts. Heather Lacey 416-366-7723 ●The ● Nathaniel Dett Chorale The Nathaniel Dett Chorale is a 21-voice SATB professional choir based in Toronto, dedicated to performing Afrocentric music of all genres, including classical, spiritual, gospel, jazz, folk and blues. Founded by artistic director Dr. D. Brainerd Blyden-Taylor in 1998, The Nathaniel Dett Chorale is Canada’s premier performer of Afrocentric composers and a touchstone for the education of audiences and communities regarding the full spectrum of Afrocentric choral music. The mission of the Nathaniel Dett Chorale is to build bridges of understanding, appreciation and acceptance between communities of people through the medium of music. The Chorale has a Toronto concert season, tours extensively each season and has released several CDs and DVDs. The Nathaniel Dett Chorale is artist-in-residence at the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on Africa and its Diasporas at York University. Membership is by audition. The 2019/20 season will include Great Joy II: Around the World - a jazz/ gospel Christmas; the opera Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line to Freedom by American composer Nkeiru Okoye; the premiere of God’s Trombones - a song cycle by the Canadian pianist and composer Stewart Goodyear; and collaborations with local choirs. D. Brainerd Blyden-Taylor 416-712-7740 B14 | theWholeNote 2019/20 PRESENTER PROFILES

●●New Music Concerts 2019/20 begins an exciting new adventure for New Music Concerts as it embarks on its 49th season. Brian Current comes on board as coartistic director with founder Robert Aitken and, along with new general manager Adam Scime, prepares to take us boldly into our second half century. Here are some season highlights. “Kasemets@100” is a celebration of Estonian-Canadian composer Udo Kasemets, in cooperation with the University of Toronto, Nov 12. “Aitken@80” features works written for the world-renowned flutist by a number of world-renowned composers, on December 8. “The Mouths That Roar” features Gabriel Dharmoo’s solo performance piece Anthropologies imaginaires, and works for soprano performed by 2018’s Friend of Canadian Music Award-winner Janice Jackson, on January 10. Brian Current curates “Serious Smile” on February 13 featuring György Ligeti, Alexander Schubert, Keiko Devaux, Corie Rose Soumah and Brandon Chow. The PEP ensemble (pianist Corey Hamm and erhu virtuoso Nicole Ge Li) perform works created especially for their unique ensemble on March 26. And the season concludes on May 31 with a portrait concert featuring renowned German composer/conductor Matthias Pintscher. Adam Scime, general manager 416-961-9594 ●●newchoir newchoir is Toronto’s first adult rock choir. Entering our 15th season, newchoir specializes in performing choral arrangements of rock and pop songs accompanied by a rock band and other professional instrumentalists to support the sound. Members are auditioned for the ensemble and come from across the GTA to rehearse every Monday night at the Church of the Redeemer (161 Bloor West). newchoir presents two concerts each season, with the final concert of the season being at Koerner Hall. The choir invites a well-known Canadian artist to collaborate with for the Koerner Hall show. This gives the membership the opportunity to work with a professional musician and to actively support musicians in this genre of music. newchoir is committed to promoting and working with Canadian talent as an active member of the arts community. Caroline Suri 647-203-3408 ●●Nine Sparrows Arts Foundation Nine Sparrows Arts Foundation marks its 26th season under the continuing leadership of artistic director Eric Robertson. Nine Sparrows OFF CENTRE MUSIC SALON Arts Foundation has presented a rich variety of concerts for Toronto audiences, including its popular weekly recital series, as well as international groups such as King’s College Cambridge Choir, Clare College Singers and St. John’s College Choir. It has also featured Canadian artists including Erica Goodman, Colin Fox, Beverley Johnston, John McDermott, Sharlene Wallace, Anne Lindsay, John Johnson, the True North Brass, the Gryphon Trio, and NEXUS. Nine Sparrows Arts Foundation is also involved in the “City Carol Sing,” a large annual charity event that raises money for food banks across Canada. Nine Sparrows Arts Foundation is a notfor-profit organization dedicated to bringing the best in inspirational arts programming. It is governed by an elected volunteer board of directors and operates with the assistance of advisors from a variety of backgrounds, including event management, promotions, finance and business. Nine Sparrows Arts Foundation, in cooperation with Yorkminster Park Baptist Church, begins its 2019/20 season in September with its weekly Lunchtime Chamber Music series. Colleen Burns 416-241-1298 ●●Nocturnes in the City Nocturnes in the city, in its 19th season, started originally as concerts for the Czech community at the Prague restaurant in Masaryktown, Scarborough. After a few years of four to six classical and jazz concerts per season, the classical portion of our program moved to the cozy and acoustically superb St. Wenceslaus Church in downtown Toronto - and we present seven concerts this season. We’ve presented singers such as Eva Urbanová, Zdenek Plech, Gustáv Beláček, and John Holland; pianists Antonin and Karolina Kubalek, Adam Piotr Żukiewicz, Boris Krajný, Martin Karlíček; clarinetists Joaquin Valdepeñas and Peter Stoll; the Kocian, Prazak and Zemlinsky quartets; great jazzmen such as Emil Viklický, George Grosman, Drew Jurecka, Miro Letko, Joe Musil and Martin Kratochvíl; conductors Jiří Bělohlávek and Kerry Stratton, as well as music lectures by Iain Scott and Catherine Belyea. The highlights of the next season include: violinist Ivan Ženatý; the Dvořák piano quartet with Slávka Vernerová Pěchočová; and a solo recital by pianist Radka Hanáková. It is one of the least expensive concert series (a subscription for all seven concerts is only 0) and great catering will be provided after the concerts. Visit our website for all of the information. Dr. Milos Krajny 416-481-7294 ●●Oakville Chamber Orchestra Entertaining Oakville, Burlington, and Mississauga since 1984, the Oakville Chamber Orchestra (OCO) performs favourite classics, contemporary music, and rare gems, in various locations, including the Oakville Centre. This season features “Beethoven & Friends” on October 5 and 6; “The Fun Classics” on November 16 and 17; “4 Elements & 4 Seasons” on February 29; and, rounding out the season, “Upbeat!” on April 25 and 26. Founded as a group of amateur string players, the OCO has steadily grown in size and quality to become the well-loved and exceptional orchestra it is today. The OCO enriches Oakville’s cultural landscape by sharing a passion for chamber music, helping local, amateur musicians of all ages develop their artistry, and promoting Canadian soloists. In addition to bringing scintillating chamber music to the doorsteps of Oakville residents, OCO musicians play at charity, private and corporate events, and participate in community outreach. OCO’s annual Youth Concerto Competition is recognized for fostering exceptional talent. theWholeNote 2019/20 PRESENTER PROFILES | B15

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