8 years ago

Volume 12 - Issue 1 - September 2006

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November 5,

November 5, 2006*Shostakovich: A Drama in Life and Music (1 :00 pm)Come celebrate the tempestuous life and 1 OOth birthday of Dmitri Shostakovich!Renowned singers from the Mariinsky Theatre, violinist Michail Gantvarg, cellist SergeiRoldugin and our very own pianists Inna Perkis and Boris Zarankin pay tribute toShostakovich's life and art in a Concertplus! (3 hour long segments with 2 intermissions)December 3, 2006Bel Canto Salon: I Capulet/ e I MontecchiOff Centre's first opera-in-salon features soprano Jackalyn Short as Juliet and mezzosoprano Emilia Boteva as Romeo, with Opera in Concert's male chorus, in Bellini'sI Caputeti e i Montecchi. Bellini's opera revisits Romeo and Juliet, and Russian-Germanpianist Simon Rozin Kim guides our rediscovery of this operatic masterpiece!January 28, 2007German Salon: Uncovering German RomanticismEscape midwinter Sturm und Orang (that's "storm and stress" to us) with the gloriousvoices of soprano Joni Henson, mezzo soprano Lynne McMurtry and baritone GilesTomkins. Let the music of Mendelssohn, Brahms and Schumann quell your restless spirit!February 25, 2007Mozart: .266', .JM ... ForeverDoes listening to Mozart really make you smarter? With a cast of all-Canadianvocal stars, we're about to find out! Mezzo soprano Krisztina Szabo, soprano ShannonMercer and baritones Russell Braun and Peter McGillivray join us in celebrating ourbeloved Mozart and his eternally beguiling 'effect'.April 1, 200712th Annual SchubertiadWith an annual tribute to our favourite composer, Off Centre makes up for whateverrecognition Schubert failed to achieve in life! This year soprano Rachael Harwood-Jones,baritone Jason Nedecky, cellist Winona Zelenka, violinist Jacques lsraelievitch andpianists Inna Perkis and Boris Zarankin join us in commemorating Schubert.May 6, 2007Spanish Siesta: A musical journey through Andalusia with 3 Spaniards,2 Frenchmen, a few Russians and a Pole!Soprano Agathe Martel and tenor Benjamin Butterfield - Canadians by birth , Spaniardsat heart - welcome Spring with the tantalizing sounds of castanets and swishing flamencoskirts in the music of Granados, Turina, de Falla and their honorary Spanish brothersRavel, Debussy, Glinka, Rimsky-Korsakov, Shostakovich and Moszkowski.Women's Musical Club of TorontoSubscribe to miwic in lhe_A/ternoon2006-2007 SeajonFive great concerts for 5Thursday afternoons at 1.30 p.m.Pre-concert lecture 12.15 p.m.I Musici de Montreal, chamber orchestraOctober 26, 2006Susanne Yi-Jia Hou, violinVincent Sangare Baise, pianoNovember 23 , 2006Jane Coop, pianoShirin Eskandani, mezzo-sopranoFebruary 8, 2007OCTAGON: Andrew Dawes, violin; Patricia Shih,violin; Rivka Golani, viola; Carole Sirois, cello;Joel Quarrington, double bass; James Campbell,clarinet; Kenneth MacDonald, French horn;George Zukerman, bassoonMarch 15, 2007Marion Newman, mezzo-sopranoGregory Oh, pianoApril 26, 2007Walter Hall, Edward Johnson BuildingFor more information or tosubscribe, call 416-923-7052www.wmct.on.caTHECall (416) 735 -7982, or visitwww.aldeburghconnection.orgCelebrating theArt of SongFive Sunday Afternoon Series concertsat 2:30pm in the Edward Johnson BuildingOur Own Story October 22The story of The Aldeburgh Connection over the last quarter century,with highlights of our concerts and some of our commissions.Masques et bergamasques December 3At the close of the nineteenth century neo-classicism flooded intoFrench poetry and music. In his Masques et bergamasques, Faurecaptures perfectly all the nostalgia of this vanished world.The Greta KrausJanuary 14Centenary Schubert/adA double celebration of the music of the world's greatest songwriterand of the centenary of our revered mentor, Greta Kraus, who wasfor us an unparallelled resource of musicality and humanity.The Anniversary WaltzFebruary 18Silver Jubilee GalaTo mark our 25th anniversary, we present a concert of song in threequartertime, including Brahms's Liebeslieder-Walzer. Taking its cuefrom these pieces, our gala programme will continue to sing anddance its way, with star singers in special guest appearances.The Care of a Genius April 29Insecure as an artist, Sir Ed ward Elgar was nurtured and supported byhis devoted wife, Alice. Thanks to her, we can enjoy the works of agenius who summed up the Victorian era .14WWW. TH EWHOLE N OTE.COM SEPTEMBER 1 - O CTOBER 7 2 006

Recently in town ...Agnes Grossmanninterviewed by Pamela MarglesConductor Agnes Grossmann is determinedto turn Toronto into a summer music destination/mecca.As artistic director of the firstToronto Summer Music Academy andFestival that took place at the University ofToronto's Faculty of Music last month, shebrought artists like Richard Goode, MenahemPressler, Russell Braun, the members ofNexus, Andre Laplante and Janos Starker toperform and teach. Students from across theworld participated. And audiences attended,numerous and enthusiastic beyond the mostoptimistic expectations.The high point was undoubtedly thestaging of Mozart's Don Giovanni, withGrossmann herself leading singers from theAcademy, accompanied by the NationalYouth Orchestra. On opening night, whenI attended, the audience was swept along byGrossmann's buoyant, stylish musicaldirection, and Michael Albano's dramaticstaging.Grossmann is strikingly elegant, with aglowing natural beauty. Her irrepressibleenthusiasm animated our conversation whenI talked to her in July, a couple of daysbefore the first group of Academy studentswas due to arrive.' Students are coming here from across thecountry, the United States, Europe, and Asiato get finishing touches before they launch acareer,' she told me with evident excitement.'The singers who are coming have allfinished their studies, and some of themalready have professional engagements andmanagement . We will provide what theywould experience performing in an operaproduction in Europe. When these singers goto audition in European opera houses , theyhad better have six to eight roles completelylearned and , if possible, sung on stage withan orchestra, if they want to succeed.''The McMillan Theatre here has everythingyou need for opera - lighting, anorchestra pit, excellent sound. And thisbuilding is empty during the summer. Itcouldn't be better. 'Don Giovanni was an ideal choice, andnot because this is Mozart's 250th anniversaryyear. 'Don Giovanni is one of the mostcomplete operas. It is such a fabulousmixture of humour and drama. What a richpalette of expression!''Since the drama happens in the recitatives,I will work on natural delivery of thewords. In the ensembles I want to get a realunity of sound. All the singers need to havethe same kind of vocal technique. Even withdifferent singers from different backgroundsSEPTEM BER 1 - O CTOBER 7 2006Recently in Town ... Agnes Grossmann conducts the National Youth Orchestrain rehearsal for Don Giovanni.the ensembles have to be like one instrument- that's my goal.'Grossmann is adamant about performingDon Giovanni in Italian. 'I would not do itin English, absolutely no. The whole pieceis based on Da Ponte's fabulous text. Itabsolutely needs to be sung in his Italian.I don't like operas in translation, especiallywith the possibility of offering translations.We will, of course, have surtitles.'Grossmann was born in Vienna, and stillmaintains a home there with her husband,conductor Raffi Armenian. 'My father,Ferdinand Grossmann, was the choir masterfor all the large choirs in Vienna, includingthe opera choir, as well as for many yearsartistic director of the Vienna Choir Boys. Sohe worked with all the leading conductors,like Bruno Walter and Herbert von Karajan.When I was artistic director of the ViennaSingakademie and the Vienna Choir Boys,I also worked with great conductors, likeClaudio Abbado and Leonard Bernstein, justas my father had.''I started as a pianist. My father did notwant me to be treated as a child prodigy,because his step-sister had been a childprodigy, and then stopped developing afterthe age of 15. He just didn't want that tohappen again . So he became my first teacher.He was a fabulous teacher, very creative.I loved every moment of it. He had a superbear, with absolute pitch, which he kindlypassed on to me. Somehow at my very earlyage we were in dialogue musically with eachother. He would do a musical question andI would answer on the instrument. 'Grossmann laughs joyfully at thememory. ' It was a very, very, beautifulchildhood, before I started formal training. ''I wanted to become a pianist. Mygrandmother was Lili Kraus, a very famouspianist. She was my guiding light. She cameregularly to our home, which for me wasWWW. THEWHOLENOTf.COMheaven on earth. I loved her playing - it wasjust absolutely gorgeous. I loved sittingunderneath the piano, listening and watchingher hands. 'After later studies in Paris with PierreSancan, Grossmann became Kraus's assistant.'I performed quite a lot. Also, as pianistin the Vienna Flute Trio, I toured a lot. AndI started giving concerts for ColumbiaArtists. I had a very, very good career as apianist. 'In 1972 Grossmann won the prestigiousMozart Interpretation Prize, and was set torecord the complete Mozart Piano Sonatas forPhilips. 'I had this very strange feeling inmy right hand. Before going on tour I hadcaught my hand in a door when a strongwind came. I had some pain, but I thoughteverything was fine. It was not. I had anoperation and was supposed to be able toplay after two or three weeks. But when Iwent to the piano I could not lift this fingeranymore. ' She shows me how the musclebetween the thumb and first finger wasdestroyed. 'I did exercises, and I went to allthe specialists in the world. It was two yearsof agony, with my father dying in themeantime.''Fortunately, my education gave meoptions. I considered singing professionally,but I wanted to have all the voices I had hadas a pianist. So I went back to university tostudy conducting. My first year was verydifficult. The, one day when I was conductingSchubert's Unfinished Symphony withthe student orchestra, the orchestra respondedin a way that I had not experienced before.It sounded enormously homogeneous. It feltamazing. I asked my teacher, "What hashappened here?" He said, "You have foundyour language" . From then on my developmentwas very fast.'After I finished my studies in ViennaCONTINUES15

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