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Volume 10 Issue 8 - May 2005

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  • Choir
  • Toronto
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nary connections around

nary connections around the theme of transformation, continues this month with two productions having world music links. The contemporary Ensemble No ir presents The Orphan Boy, a Masai tale of transformation, in collaboration with Dancelmmersion, (music by Ensemble Noir director Bongani Ndodana), May 26-28 at Artword Theatre. And Red Sky and the Toronto Consort present Underworlds. May 26 and· 27 at Glenn Gould Studio. Red Sky's Underworlds tells the story of l}n Ojibway hero whose journey to the underworld brings music and dream quests to the land of the living. The music is by Mexican composer Antonio Zepeda, who will accompany the performance on instruments that pre-date European contact, some 1000 years old. Visit their website at www. redskyperformance. corn. Part two of this double bill features the Toronto Consort's Euridice Variations, a new take on the Greek myth of Orpheus in the underworld, told through Euridice's eyes. Looking ahead to June, the Toronto Jewish Folk Choir marks funding partners '* CaCovndl f0t lh• Atu ConselldnArb du Canada the 60th anniversary of the end of the second world war in its 79th annual spring concert, June 5 at the Leah Posluns Theatre. They will be joined by the Toronto Mandolin Orchestra, and featured vocal soloists Miriam Eskin, Steve Szmutni, Belva Spiel and Herman Rombouts. The program's main work is Max Helfman's Di Naye Hagode (The New Saga) which commemorates the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. The program will also feature songs in Yiddish and Hebrew, opera choruses in Italian and Russian, some Gershwin, and a French-Canadian folksong. Last but not least, please mark Monday June 6 on your calendar; I'll be hosting the eighth in a series of Salons presented by WholeNote Magazine at the Music Gallery, and this one will, of course • . feature a variety of World Music ensembles. Check the June issue for more details. Hope to see you there! PERKINS MAI LING LIST SERVICES Karen Ages is a freelance oboist pay lip service to new music, ghetwho has also been a member of several world music ensembles. She can be reached at 416-323-2232 or worldmusic@thewholenote.com. -. So.ME THING New /Jy Jason van Eyk TORONTO'S CONCERT MUSIC SCENE has drawn. the 1 ines so tightly around who does what, where and why that it's easy to become skeptical when boundaries are overstepped. Although the Toronto new music community is vibrant and active in all its multiplicities, it tends to skepticism when older establishments try to ape its game. Conversely, these older establishments are skeptical of moving into seemingly "rarefied" or "exclusive" new territories, wary of re-deploying vast resources into unknown territory, where "organizational impacts" and "returns on investments" (namely bums in seats) are uncertain. And from the sidelines, the cultural pundits voice their own skepticism, mapping the moves, wondering if the old guard will simply toize it for al\ already acclimatized audience, or actually open new doors and create new appreciations for the concert music of our times. To drop the veil, I'm referring to the TSO's recent inaugural New Creations Festival. Many have questioned the impulse for its creation, when new music has been such a meager and maligned part of TSO programming over the past years. Why were they ghettoizing new music into a five concert rut instead of creating new contexts for new music in their regular subscription series? Could this "orchestral museum" possibly do justice to today's music? WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM Perhaps these skeptical questions came too quickly. It turns out that Maestro Oundjian, who often gets tarred with a staunch classical brush, persuaded the TSO Board of the need for New Creations and, in championing the concept, got his wish. And I have it on good authority that the Festival was cross-subscribed into a number of the TSO's regular series, and that 50% of the Festival was sold to subscribers before single tickets went on sale (That's roughly 1,000 seats per night). Overall, the festival sold 9,000 tickets, had near-capacity audiences for several concerts and garnered positive feedback. I have heard numerous accounts of standing ovations for the new commissions by Gary Kulesha and Kelly­ M arie Murphy, R. Murray Schafer's Four-Forty, and the rehearing of _Dutilleux 's recent Eu- ropean premiere. These go along with kudos for other works. Clearly, the orchestra can do justice to new orchestral music, and bringing 9,000 new enthusiasts to these works is admirable. Now here's to hoping this audience will set their foot outside Roy Thomson Hall to find out more. And that the TSO has learned something about the power of current and Canadian music in their regular programming. I think they may have; we can expect N·ew Creations to continue in 2005- 2006, and there are whispers that 2006-2007 is already in the works. So skepticism be gone! Spring is not the time for it. Rather, it is the time of renewal. The new music community knows this all too well; May always brings new work and reviving experiences, and the end of the month is reserved for showcasing emerging composers' work. On May 3rd at the Music Gallery, pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico, a talented champion of Canadian work, gives the world premiere of Ann Southam's complete, two-hour long Rivers cycle. "Whether or not one understands the form and style," says Petrowska Quilico, "Rivers is such an evocative work that audiences can just immerse themselves in the music ... it's wonderfully hypnotic." Ms. Southam admits, "I didn't think anyone would play this piece, but when Christina performed it, I loved the sound and what was happening as the hands interacted. And I loved the little tunes and motifs that could be heard in the · interaction between the hands. I don't how she does it!" Ms. Petrowska Quilico has also recorded the complete Rivers cycle for the Ann Southam Composer Portrait set on the Canadian Music Centre's Centrediscs label (for a review see the DISCoveries column in the March 2005 issue). For more details visit www.musicgallery.org, or call 416-204-1080. The following Friday, May 13, another pianistic feat will take place at the Glenn Gould Studio. Pianist Eve Egoyan, a devoted interpreter of new music, performs the world premiere, and launches her recording of, Wu, an elegantly minimalist, folkloric, concertlength work by Czech Canadian composer Rudolf Komorous. "An MAY 1 - JUNE 7 2005

infinite series of magic doors, any one of which may open as one phrase so fluidly succeeds another" claims the Globe and Mail. ·'Egoyan is the ... bold artist of every composer's dreams. " For more details v1s1t www .glenngouldstudio.cbc. ca or call 416-205-5555. Jumping ahead in the month, Esprit Orchestra closes out its New Wave young composers festival on May 26 at the Jane Mallett Theatre. Conductor Alex Pauk premieres brand new works by early career composers, including local talent Chris Paul Harman, Montreal' s Paul Frehner and recent expatriate Scott Wilson. Harman offers us a new cello concerto, written for the excellent Shauna Rolston, while Frehner sits between Sanctuary and Profanity and Wilson explores the Four Names of Beauty. Esprit's festival will be centred in the "West Queen West" arts district, where, among other events, they will present a New Music in.New Places concert at the achingly hip Drake Hotel. For more information, visit www .espritorchestra. com or call 416-815-7887. Overlapping with Esprit is Ensemble Noir's latest multi-disciplinary presentation. The Orphan Boy settles in at Artword Theatre May 26-28. Early career composer and Ensemble Noir Artistic Director Bongani Ndodaria offers a new score for a renewed partnership with dancer/choreographer Germaul Barnes and a brand new relationship with Dance Immersion. For anyone who experienced the last collaboration between Barnes and Ensemble Noir, you'll know you're in for a treat. For more info visit www .ensemblenoir. org or call 416-923-9400. Finally, on May 29th, Arraymusic closes up its 2004-2005 season with the annual Future Lab concert, a culmination of their Young Composers' Workshop. Whoever shows up at the Music Gallery that night should be ready for four hot-off-the-press works, the result of four young composers working "hands on" with the Arraymusic ensemble during a month-long residency. For more details, v1s1t www .arraymusic. com, or call 416-532-3019. So, lose your skepticism and push out of your boundaries. Renew and revive your senses with some thing new. Jason van Eyk, the Canadian Music Cemre 's Ontario Regional Director can be reached at 416- 961-6601 x. 207 or jasonv@musiccentre. ea. · New Music Concerts • Robert Aitken, artistic director Co·presented with The Music Gallery and Two ew Hours on CBC Radio Two Keith Hamel curates a conceri of imeractive elemoacousrics • MC Ensemble Robert Aitken. Oute ·• Joseph Petric, accOl"dion • Max Christie, clarinet music by Hamel, Pritchard, Radford, Berezan and Steenhuisen (premiere) ., Admission: regular I seniors I siudems • Reservations: Music Gallery 416 20j--1080 • Glenn Gould Studio 416 205-5555 Canada Council for the Aru C.onseil des Arts du Canada NM torontda rt sbou nci I ... . 56',t.\J> '"on.ewrrn.u8con.e

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