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Volume 27 Issue 3 - December 2021 / January 2022

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  • December
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  • January
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Many Happy Returns: the rebirth of Massey Hall -- from venue to hub; music theatre's re-emergence from postponement limbo; pianist Vikingur Ólafsson's return visit to to "Glenn Gould's hometown"; guest writer music librarian Gary Corrin is back from his post behind the scenes in the TSO library; Music for Change returns to 21C; and here we all are again! Welcome back. Fingers crossed, here we go.

BO HUANG Conrad Chow

BO HUANG Conrad Chow Denis Mastromonaco BLACK UMBRELLA PHOTOGRAPHY Jones that culminated in a performance of Schubert’s Symphony No.8 “Unfinished.” They plan to close the season in June with an extravagant Diamond Anniversary Gala celebrating their 60th anniversary. The Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra reaches the midpoint of their season on December 11 at 8pm, with guest conductor Martin MacDonald. Abigail Richardson-Schulte’s The Hockey Sweater and Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite provide seasonal treats while Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, with 20-year-old violin soloist Eva Lesage, delivers the melodic heft of an evergreen classic. The Kindred Spirits Orchestra season continues on December 18, with music director Kristian Alexander leading the orchestra in Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italien, a musical travelogue of the composer’s journey to Rome. Violinist Conrad Chow performs Korngold’s lyrical, virtuosic and underrated Violin Concerto before the orchestra takes on Shostakovich’s enigmatic Symphony No.15, his final symphony that’s full of musical references to the composer’s life and work as well as works by others. Chamber orchestra, Sinfonia Toronto, continues its busy season with three concerts. On December 10 in the Jane Mallett Theatre, musical director Nurhan Arman leads the group in celebrating Beethoven’s birthday with a performance of his Symphony No.8. Arman’s chamber orchestra version is based on a historic string quintet arrangement by Sigmund Anton Steiner (1773-1838). The evening’s program opens with Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Fantasiestücke and Chopin’s seductive Piano Concerto No.1, with soloist Dmitri Levkovich. In their return to the Jane Mallett Theatre on January 21, Sinfonia performs Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.22 K482, one of his finest; Jocelyn Morlock’s shout-out to Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being; Joseph Bologne’s Quartet in D Major, Op.1, No.6; and Jaňácek’s Suite for Strings, featuring his homeland’s “beguiling folk melodies.” Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society (KWCMS) The KWCMS continues to successfully navigate the pandemic waters. Not presenting concerts in their beloved Music Room – they’re using Waterloo’s First United Church instead – hasn’t prevented the Penderecki String Quartet from finishing a traversal of Beethoven’s string quartets with performances of the last two, Op.131 (arguably the greatest) and Op.135 on December 16 (the program is repeated two days later) as well as the alternate final movement to Op.130. Rising star Kerson Leong performs a solo violin recital on January 9, with two sonatas by Ysayë, Schubert’s Erlkönig and Bach’s Sonata No.1 and Partita No.2 with its famous Chaconne (books have been written). And on January 16 pianist Michael Lewin leaves his Boston home base where he heads the piano department of The Boston Conservatory at Berklee to perform a technically challenging recital. Four sonatas by Scarlatti lead off, followed by Beethoven’s highly compressed Sonata No.22 Op.54 (written in the wake of the “Waldstein” Op.53), Franck’s Prelude, Choral and Fugue, Busoni’s Carmen Fantasy and works by Evencio Castellanos, Alberto Ginastera and Osvaldo Golijov. O R P H E U S C H O I R O F T O R O N T O P R E S E N T S A Child's Christmas in Wales Featuring Benedict Campbell, reading the Dylan Thomas classic Tuesday December 21 7:30 p.m. Eglinton St-George's United Church 35 Lytton Blvd For tickets and more information please visit https://orpheuschoirtoronto.com/ 16 | December 2021 and January 2022 thewholenote.com

QUICK PICKS Juilliard String Quartet DEC 12, 3PM: Jan Lisiecki makes his sixth Koerner Hall appearance with a rare pairing of Chopin’s Études Op.10 Nos. 1 to 12 with 11 Nocturnes (all 20 of which appear on Lisiecki’s latest Deutsche Grammophon recording). Read more about how the pianist constructed his recital’s program in the November/December issue of The WholeNote. DEC 14, 7:30: The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts presents a livestream recital by the versatile pianist Philip Chiu comprised of 21 preludes by Chopin, Debussy and John Burge (written between 2011 and 2015) divided into seven groupings of three preludes each by the three composers. JAN 13, 8PM: Music Toronto’s 50th anniversary season continues with a concert by the Juilliard String Quartet, who are celebrating their 75th year. Mendelssohn’s last major composition, the Quartet in F Minor, Op.80, written as he mourned his sister’s death, begins their program, which also includes Jörg Widmann’s Quartet No.10 “Cavatina” (Study on Beethoven V) and Dvořák’s glorious String Quartet in F Minor “American.” JAN 22, 8PM: The Royal Conservatory presents the indefatigable Danish String Quartet – as part of the 21C Music Festival – performing Schubert’s String Quartet No. 15 as well as a new composition by Bent Sørensen inspired by that same Schubert quartet. Also on the program is a curated suite of dances by Marc-Antoine Charpentier, John Adams and Felix Blumenfeld, which includes a new composition written by the members of the Danish String Quartet. JAN 25, 8PM: Known for her work with Stockhausen – as both student and interpreter – the charismatic rising star Vanessa Benelli Mosell made her Music Toronto debut at age 15 in 2002 in a twopiano recital with the legendary French master Pascal Rogé, who described her as “the most natural musical talent I have encountered in my entire life.” For her return to the Jane Mallett stage, Mosell will play Debussy’s second book of preludes followed by music by Medtner, Nino Rota’s suite from Fellini’s Casanova and the demanding Busoni version of Bach’s illustrious Chaconne. LISA-MARIE MAZZUCCO Paul Ennis is the managing editor of The WholeNote. NINE SPARROWS ARTS FOUNDATION LUNCHTIME CHAMBER MUSIC RESUMING JANUARY 11, 2022 TUESDAYS AT 12:10pm Yorkminster Park Baptist Church 1585 Yonge Street | 416-922-1167 • Admission Free • Donations Welcome thewholenote.com December 2021 and January 2022 | 17

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