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 the gift of music and engaging their community in quality musical experiences. TBC invites professional musicians, soloists, actors and arts organizations to join in three to four concerts per season. TBC also organizes and participates in “Messiah for the City” – a free concert for the United Way charities – and in many local community events. TBC’s Choral Scholars Program offers subsidy and training to singers aged 19 to 24. Rehearsals are Wednesdays, 7pm to 9:30pm, September to May in the Beach area. Auditions are held in September and January. The ability to read music and choral experience are assets. Anthony Lee 416-752-6349 ●Toronto ● Chamber Choir Building on 50 years of concert performances, the Toronto Chamber Choir of around 40 skilled singers, now under artistic director Lucas Harris, has held a prominent place in Canada’s early music scene since 1968. It specializes in Renaissance and Baroque repertoire, collaborating regularly with Toronto’s rich pool of period instrumentalists, but also with forays into other periods while staying true to its early music roots. Four concerts per season - two Saturday evening concerts and two Sunday afternoon “Kaffeemusik” presentations - explore the cultural context of our repertoire through narration, often with a special guest expert. Rehearsals are Wednesday evenings at St. Patrick’s Parish Hall with occasional Saturday “retreats.” Auditions for new volunteer members are held anytime by arrangement with the director, while auditions for our Toronto Chamber Consort section lead program are held in May or June. Sharon Adamson 416-763-1695 ●Toronto ● Children’s Chorus The award-winning Toronto Children’s Chorus is currently marking its 42nd season and its 13th year under the baton of artistic director Elise Bradley, MNZM. The Chorus comprises a family of choirs: KinderNotes for children aged three to six (no audition required), four Training Choir levels, Main Choir (six ensembles) and Toronto Youth Choir (aged 16 to 30). Each year, more than 400 choristers develop their skills in vocal technique, sight-singing and music theory, and perform an array of season concerts and guest performances. The Chamber Choir also performs nationally and internationally, most recently representing Canada at choral festivals in New Zealand and Australia. Highlights of the 2019/20 season include two fall concerts; the TCC’s annual holiday concert in collaboration with Roy Thomson Hall on December 15; the family-friendly, movie-themed concert in February; TCC’s Main Choir concert with guest choirs from New Zealand on April 18; and the spring concert at the Toronto Centre of the Arts on May 2. Visit to view all upcoming performances and to purchase tickets. Bonnie O’Sullivan 416-932-8666 ●Toronto ● Choral Society The Toronto Choral Society (TCS) was founded in 1845 to foster a positive musical environment in which members can learn and develop their musical ability and choral repertoire. This December 6, 7:30pm at Koerner Hall, TELUS Centre, we will be performing: “Messiah & Carols, A Christmas Celebration!” What better way to launch the holiday season than an evening of the uplifting sounds of Handel’s Messiah and traditional Christmas carols! The 150-voice Toronto Choral Society will fill Koerner Hall with the rich and emotional sound of one of the Western world‘s best known choral works. Handel wrote this, his most iconic work, in just 18 days. And, it is said that he “wept while he composed the Hallelujah chorus, and claimed he saw visions of angels while he worked on this piece.” Could we be so fortunate while listening? The magnificent choir will be accompanied by the Talisker Players, a unique ensemble of musicians whose strength and reputation lies in the accompaniment of choirs. Throughout the evening, Christmas carols will be interspersed in the program as well as some audience sing-alongs, creating the perfect festive concert. Geoffrey Butler is our artistic director, joined by William O’Meara, accompanist. Debby Neill Blyth 416-465-9614 ●Toronto ● Classical Singers Toronto Classical Singers is known for its unique musical point of view and its highquality performances, often presenting the lesser-known and rarely performed vocal/ orchestral repertoire as well as the standard works. With its exuberant approach, the group celebrates the choral tradition. For its 28th performance year, founding conductor Jurgen Petrenko will lead the choir, the Talisker Players and soloists through three concerts featuring Handel, Schubert and Vaughan Williams with programming ranging from the ubiquitous to the enigmatic. Opening with “Have Seen a Great Light” on December 8, treat yourself to the universally shared experience of Handel’s Messiah. On March 1, “An die Musick - To Music” features Schubert lieder and his Mass No. 4. “Mysterious and Deep” completes our season on May 3: as vast as the ocean, Vaughan Williams’ Sea Symphony will be performed with The Mystical Songs, creating a concert of atmospheric awe and wonder. All concerts are on Sundays at 4pm, Christ Church Deer Park, 1570 Yonge Street. Please visit us on our website for more information. Kathleen Payne 416-986-8749 info@torontoclassicalsingers ●The ● Toronto Consort The Toronto Consort is Canada’s leading ensemble, specializing in the music of the Middle Ages, Renaissance and early Baroque. Led by a collective of artistic associates, ten of Canada’s leading early music specialists, the Consort presents a main stage concert series at the beautiful Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, located in the Annex. The Consort has toured extensively and has recorded music for film and television, including the hit television series “The Tudors and The Borgias”, and is releasing its 15th CD recording in Autumn 2019: Frescobaldi and the Glories of Rome. Aristotle wisely said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” We firmly believe that musical collaborations can attest sublimely to this truth. In our 2019/20 season, we are thrilled to explore the synergy of musical relationships and connections. Please join us and our exciting troupe of renowned guest performers and collaborators this season: trad fiddler Emilyn Stam, internationally-acclaimed tenor Charles Daniels, the truly magnificent vocal ensemble Profeti della Quinta, leading scholar Scott Metcalfe, and First Nations drummers and singers Shirley Hay and Marilyn George. Tickets starting at can be purchased on our website. Michelle Knight 416-966-1045 ●Toronto ● Mass Choir The Toronto Mass Choir continues to be on the cutting edge of Canadian gospel music bringing their distinct sound to the world stage. Their music incorporates contemporary gospel, traditional gospel as well as Caribbean music influences. Since 1988, the choir has recorded 12 albums, including the Juno award-winning album Instrument of Praise. More recently, TMC released By Special Request in June 2018. 2019/20 will feature their annual “PowerUp” event which is a three-day Gospel music workshop, featuring over 20 workshops and a huge finale concert event, on February 20 to 23 ( This Fall, “Together Day” will happen on Saturday, Nov 2, another more intimate opportunity for the public to learn Gospel music in a workshop setting. B22 | theWholeNote 2019/20 PRESENTER PROFILES

Karen Burke, a professor in the music department at York University, is the artistic director of this diversified group along with her husband, Oswald Burke, who serves as their executive producer. Now with 45 members, plus a five-piece band, this not-for-profit choir consists of adult members from all across the GTA. Their travels abroad have taken them to several different countries such as Poland, Romania and the Dominican Republic. Karen Burke 905-794-1139 ●Toronto ● Mendelssohn Choir Grand symphonic sound, clarity of expression, and above all emotional impact are the hallmarks of Toronto Mendelssohn Choir performances. Canada’s world-renowned, large vocal ensemble performs choral masterworks from across five centuries under the leadership of interim conductor David Fallis. The 120-voice choir includes a professional core, auditioned volunteers and apprentices. The TMC presents its own concert series while also performing regularly with the TSO, including Handel’s Messiah. The TMC is currently conducting an international search for a new artistic director. TMC’s 2019/20 season includes a gala 125th anniversary concert with the Toronto Symphony, October 20; “Festival of Carols” with the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, December 3 and 4; a free concert – “Romantics and New Romantics” – with guest conductor John William Trotter, February 22; “Sacred Music for a Sacred Space” with guest conductor Gregory Batsleer, April 8 and 10; and “Great Poets in Music” with guest conductor Jean-Sébastien Vallée, May 30. The TMC’s education and outreach programs include live concert webcasts of select performances, and Singsation Saturday choral workshops for anyone who loves to sing. Anne Longmore 416-598-0422 ●Toronto ● Mozart Players The Toronto Mozart Players, operated by the Mozart Project, is a professional ensemble dedicated to engaging audiences and enriching lives through high quality performances of concert music. Specializing in the music of Mozart and his contemporaries, the ensemble performs a broad repertoire from the early 18th century to the 21st century under the direction of artistic director and conductor David Bowser. With commitment to Canadian repertoire and commissioned works by Canadian composers, the Toronto Mozart Players present world premieres along with classical repertoire. The Mozart Project also provides professional development and performance UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO FACULTY OF MUSIC opportunities to talented emerging artists through the Toronto Mozart Vocal Competition and Toronto Mozart Violin Competition, both of which include mentorship and training in masterclasses and performance. During the 2019/20 concert season, performances include: Handel’s Organ Concerto in F, Haydn’s Symphony No. 6 and Mozart’s Requiem. Lawrence Peddie 647-478-7532 ●Toronto ● Operetta Theatre Toronto Operetta Theatre is in its third decade as Canada’s only performing arts company dedicated to music theatre in all its variety. The 2019/20 season opened with our patrons’ favourite, “Zarzuela!” The concert dedicated to the music from Latin America and Spain, “Viva La Zarzuela,” on Saturday, September 28, features Romulo Delgado, Olivia Maldonado, Ana Persijn Alarcon, Cristina Pisani and Guillermo Silva- Marin. Our holiday production, December 28, 2019 to January 5, 2020, and conducted by Derek Bate, is The Gypsy Baron by Johann Strauss, featuring Meghan Lindsay as Saffi, Beste Kalender as Czipra and Michael Barrett as Sándor Barinkay, the dashing hero. Following is Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore from March 4 to 8, featuring Holly Chaplin, Ryan Downey, Bradley Christensen, conducted by Jennifer Tung. The season finale is the world premiere of Canadian work, A Northern Lights Dream by Michael Rose, on May 2 and 3, featuring Natalya Gennadi, River Guard and Karen Bojti with Suzy Smith, conductor. All main performances are held at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts. Back by popular demand, Toronto Operetta Theatre is also hosting two cabaret shows at its home, the Edward Jackman Centre, in November. Yuki Azuma 416-366-7723 ●● Toronto Symphony Orchestra Founded in 1922, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) plays a vital role in the city’s dynamic cultural life. As one of Canada’s most respected arts organizations, the TSO is committed to serving local and national communities through vibrant performances and expansive educational activities. The TSO connects younger generations with orchestral music through “TSOUND- CHECK”, the original under-35 ticket program; “School Concerts”, performed for over 40,000 students annually; and the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra (TSYO), which offers highlevel tuition-free orchestral training for talented young musicians aged 22 and under. With a notable recording and broadcast history complementing international touring engagements, the TSO is a unique musical ambassador for Canada around the world. Sir Andrew Davis serves as interim artistic director in 2019/20 – the TSO’s 98th season – prior to the arrival of acclaimed Spanish conductor Gustavo Gimeno as the orchestra’s 11th music director in 2020/21. Matthew Loden, chief executive officer 416-598-3375 theWholeNote 2019/20 PRESENTER PROFILES | B23

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