8 years ago

Volume 11 Issue 7 - April 2006

  • Text
  • April
  • Toronto
  • Theatre
  • Jazz
  • Musical
  • Arts
  • Orchestra
  • Symphony
  • Concerto
  • Choir

Vaughan Williams and

Vaughan Williams and Hubert Parry abound. The same night, the Bach Consort, a group of splendid TSO and Tafelmusik musicians who donate their services for charitable causes, presents the Easter Oratorio by J.S. Bach, conducted by !vars Taurins. Another charitable enterprise, the Cantores Celestes Women's Choir, sings music by Michael Haydn and Karl Jenkins on April 29, with proceeds benefiting Free the BOSLEY REAL ESTATE !l0HEY ~EAL £ST ATE LTD .. PETER MAHON Sales Representative 416-322-8000 Children. Two concerts by young people also take place that same evening: the Toronto Mendelssohn Youth Choir, directed by the wonderful Lynn Janes, takes a tour of the world's folk musics, and the Oakville Children's Choir hosts a festival of Boys Choirs, with guests from Hamilton, London, Ann Arbour and Cincinnati. The beginning of May brings a run of performances (beginning May 3) of the Mass in B Minor by Bach - surely one of the greatest choral works of all time - given by the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir and Orchestra, and important concerts from the Elmer Iseler Singers (a celebration in honour of Mary Morrison and in memory of her husband, Harry Freedman - May 5) and the Pax Christi Chorale (a rare Toronto performance of Mendelssohn's St. Paul - May 6 -with superb soloists!). More about those and other May choral offerings in next month's issue: WholeNote's annual choral issue. For information on getting your choir listed in the Canary Pages, please see details on page 10. Another month of city- and community-building choral joy and commitment! Keep it up . 'S""'f ~nternationa/ Label from Canada Canada's Premier Vocal Ensemble musica intima records for ATMA Classique NEW THIS MONTH! GREATARTISTS GREATMUSIC GREATSOUND www. atm a class iq ue. com =:~g:;;;:" gg WORLD View by Karen Ages We begin in Cape Verde, an archipelago in the Atlantic west of Senegal. The island of Sao Vicente is where singer Cesaria Evora was born in 1941, while the cape was still under colonial rule. Known as "queen of the mama", a mournful blues-like genre in Creole-Portuguese, she often sings of her country's tragic history: slave trade, isolation and the fact that almost two-thirds of Cape Verdeans live abroad today. She'll perform at Massey Hall April 7. On a similar theme, to celebrate the release of his CD "Travels in Lusomania," Nuno Cristo presents an evening of music of the Portuguese diaspora, including India, Africa and Brazil. Several vocalists and instruments including bagpipes, Portuguese guitar, campanic;a, mbira and ukulele will be featured . (Lula Lounge, April 12.) Speaking oflndia, there are three concerts this month representing music of that country. April 7 at the Heritage Theatre in Brampton, tabla player Ravi Nairnpally and his group Tasa present traditional Indian classical music on a variety of instruments not necessarily associated with this genre. April 22, Chitralekha Odissi Dance Creations presents an evening of classic Indian dance, at the Toronto Centre for the Arts. Visit www.seeodissi .com for more details. And May 6, the Malhar Group Music Circle, in collaboration with Jhankar Academy of Performing Arts presents the South Asian Heritage Music Festival of Hamilton. Visit http:// festivalharnilton. msnw for full details on the festival. Celtic music fans will want to be at Hugh's Room on April 19 when all-Ireland champion fiddler Maeve Donnelly performs for the first time with world-class guitarist Tony McManus. This promises to be a spirited evening of jigs, reels and airs from the traditions of County Clare and East Galway, French-Canadian tunes and more. In 1990-92, Canadian film-maker Peter Mettler spent some time on the Indonesian island of Bali, shooting footage for what would become his Balifilm. The film had its premiere April 1997, with live musical accompaniment by the Evergreen Club Contemporary Cesaria Evora Gamelan. They'll be presenting it again on April 26 at the Isabel Bader Theatre, along with the premiere of another multi-media work on the program, Mind's Hammer, by the awardwinning dancer/choreographer/composer Peter Chin. Unlike his last work STUPA (see this column, Oct and Nov 05) which employed an array of dancers, Chin will be going solo here. Mind 's Hammer is his first work composed for the Evergreen Gamelan's gamelan degung, and the instrumentation will also feature pots and pans and other household items. "I have long been deeply affected by the hammer-like incisiveness of Balinese dance and music, which at the same time has a remarkable capacity to retain suppleness", says Chin. "In Mind's Hammer I explore the act of building invisible structures of energy, sound, movement, intent and meaning that only become real when experienced in the mind's eye. It is a celebration of the ephemeral qualities of music, dance and the act of playing gamelan itself. " It's the end of term for most universities and many student ensembles have their final concerts before breaking till the fall. York's department of music Caribbean Ensemble performs April 3, and the Cuban Ensemble the next evening, both at the Recital Hall in the new Accolade (East) building, the multi-million dollar state-of-the-art teaching, exhibition and performance complex on campus. And April 10, U of T's Faculty of Music presents an evening of Japanese drumming, Balinese gamelan, tabla and vocal music, at MacMillan Theatre. Finally, looking into May, the Toronto Finnish choir Vox Finlandiae presents an evening of light-hearted music in a program titled Keviithuumaa (Spring Fever), May 6. Please check the daily listings for details on all of the above. 26 WWW. TH EWHOLEN OTE.COM APRI L 1 - M AY 7 2006

From the depths of Middle-Earth .... Levon Ichkhanian interview by Karen Ages By the time you read this, the new Mirvish lord of the Rings will have been playing for about two weeks. The music is unusual in that it was composed by three "camps" so to speak: A.R. Rahman (India), the Finnish group Viirttinii and British composer Chris Nightingale, who put it all together. (Tolkien is thought to have been inspired by Finnish folkepic the "Kalevala" for his story). I spoke with Levon Ichkhanian, one of the musicians in the pit orchestra, itself an unusual combination of instruments and musical personalities. Levon is known to many as guitar sideman with many local and international musicians, including Maryem Tollar and Peter Murphy. Recently, he also travelled with Rings composer Rahman, one of India's foremost film composers, on his "3D World Tour" of India, Singapore and the UK. "We started rehearsals in Chennai, where we learned 50 or 60 tunes from his movies. On tour, the singers were the actual singers from the soundtracks, whom you don't actually see in the movies, as the actors are lip-syncing to them. There were many singers, dancers and musicians on stage for these shows, with images projected on huge screens behind them. The audience wore special glasses to get the 3D effect." Levon was born to Armenian parents in Beirut, Lebanon. Three of his uncles were guitarists and his father was the music director for many middle-eastern singers. He came to Canada at age 12, and played his first professional gig a year later. Since then (he' II be 42 this month) he seems to have led a charmed life with many musical and creative opportunities coming his way. In addition to his three solo CDs, he has played on numerous commercial recordings, film soundtracks, (including scoring the music for one of Atom Egoyan' s early films) and has toured extensively throughout North America and Europe. Of his most recent tour, with Rahman, "it was like going to heaven and back!" he says. "These singers could sing just one phrase and make you cry .... getting to meet and hang out with esteemed musicians I've long admired, especially in India, and the travel component, and on top of that, getting paid for it all , it was like winning the lottery! The whole tour was like that, one great thing after another." And now down in the pit at the Princess of Wales, he's excited by this new adventure. "I'm fascinated by the whole process, it's my first time doing anything like this." He's part of the "folk band" component of the orchestra, which consists of himself on Celtic Bouzouki, Anne Lindsay (violin, nickel harp, jouhikko) and Sasha Luminsky (accordion). The rest of the orchestra consists of a multitude of percussion instruments, brass, strings, keyboards, and a variety of different flutes played by Les Alt. I asked him about the music itself, whether it was Rahman for some scenes, Viirttinii for others (the music was mainly composed by their bouzouki player), Nightingale, etc. "It's very hard to answer", says Levon. "The music has been truly married together; it's kind of like looking at your kids and seeing a bit of yourself, your spouse, your mother-in-law etc. The music is a true hybrid and Chris Nightingale (orchestrator) had the challenge of putting it all together. We've got classical players, folk and jazz elements, all held together by conductor Rick Fox" . I asked Levon if he'd had a chance to see any of the production. "Yes, sometimes in rehearsal we'd get a chance to go up into the theatre and watch , and it's really something, the sets and effects are truly unbelievable! It's like there's this whole other world at the Princess of Wales theatre; when I go in there, the outside world is shut off and I'm suddenly in Middle-Earth; it's such a living thing, and I'm having so much fun!" For more about Levon Ichkhanian, visit his website: ~ , Great classical music in a perfect small concert hall downtown '@{(f;; TORONTO 2006-07 SEASON+ CHAMBER MUSIC DOWNTOWN QUARTETS 3,9 ENSEMBLES-IN-RESIDENCE 9,7 Th. Sept. 28 Emerson Quartet Tu. Oct. IO Gryphon Trio Th. Oct. 19 Lafayette Quaiiet Tu. Nov. 28 St. Lawrence Quartet with Th. Nov. 9 Belcea Quartet cellist David Finckel, pianist Wu Han Th. Dec. 7 Vem1eer Quartet Tu. Feb. 27 Gryphon Trio Th. Jan 18 Tokyo Quartet Tu. Mar. 27 St. Lawrence Quartet with Th. Feb. 8 Fine Arts Quartet cellist David Finckel, pianist Wu Han Th. Apr. 12 David Owen Norris, DISCOVERY young artists Monica Huggett & Sonnerie Th. Feb. 1 Peter Barrett, baritone Th. May 10 Tokyo Quartet Th. Mar. 22 Cecilia Quartet Th. May 3 David Jalbert, pianist PIANO 5, 0 Tu. Oct. 31 Simon Trpceski CONTEMPORARY CLASSICS 1, Tu. Dec. 12 Anagnoson & Kinton Tu. Dec. 12 Anagnoson & Kinton Tu. Jan. 23 Roberto Prosseda Tu. Feb.27 Gryphon Trio Tu. Feb.20 Stephen Hough Tu. Mar. 27 St. Lawrence Quartet with cellist David Finckel, pianist Wu Han Tu. Mar. 13 Steven Osborne Th. May 3 David Jalbert, pianist AFFORDABLE + ACCESSIBLE + INTIMATE + EXHILARATING cJl/ef~ Jane Mallett Theatre torontdartsbou nci I Ana,m", lo n91 h bodyol1h•C>tyo1 Toronto at St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts TORONTO 416-366-7723 • 1-800-708-6754 lie, Canada Council Consell des Arts order online at © lor the Arts du Canada APR IL 1 - M AY 7 2006 WWW ,TH EWHOLENOTE.COM Subscription combos and series from for Discovery to 4 for the whole season! 27

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