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Volume 12 - Issue 9 - June 2007

  • Text
  • Jazz
  • Toronto
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  • Festival
  • Choir
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  • Classical

SoME THING NewBY }ASON

SoME THING NewBY }ASON VAN EYKNEW Music FESTIVALS have alreadyfilled up the concert calendar withan almost unbearable selection ofinteresting experiences. Every dayhas already been so full of goodmusic that local concertgoers havebeen forced to make some difficultdecisions. And with Luminaro fastapproaching, the arrival of musicalriches is not about to stop.Esprit Orchestra's New WaveComposers Festival seemed to increaseits audience with everyevent. A small but fully appreciativegroup attended the festival'sopening professional reading session,where composers GideonKim, Robert A. Baker and JanaSkarecky received excellent interpretationsof their previously unperformedworks. The WalterCarsen Centre offered a surprisinglygood acoustic space matchedby a futuristic view of downtownToronto through its floor-to-ceilingwindows.The following night, audiencesebbed and flowed around a seriesof "hot new wave" concerts programmedby early career composersBrian Current and Scott Good.Both delivered musical selectionswhich matched the Lula Lounge'sfunky environment, making theperformance of new music in a barsetting seem completely natural.And the cozy banquettes and drinkservice certainly didn't upset theconcertgoers !But the audience finally reachedcritical mass on the festival's closingnight, where the senior mentorsreceived their chance to shine.The Orchestra took to the Jane,i~,' ~Mallett stage with a venerable rosterof soloists to perform worksby Ligeti, R. Murray Schafer,Douglas Schmidt and a world premierefrom Michael Colgrass. Cellosoloist Shauna Rolston joined theorchestra in Schmidt's by turn raucousand eerie Omies Ruckchmerzen,inspired by German children'sstories in which the maincharacters all meet tragic ends.Rolston also gave a very convincingperformance of Ligeti'scolourful yet delicate Cello Concerto,accompanied by a virtuosoEsprit chamber ensemble. MezzoEleanor James sang luscious selectionsfrom Schafer's Minneliederand Letters from Mignon . Butthe evening's highlight was theworld premiere of Colgrass' Sideby Side for harpsichord, alteredpiano and orchestra. The titlecomes from the fact that both instrumentsare played "side by side"by one performer. Fearless soloistJoanne Kong handled the demandingand dense score with such fluiditythat you would have thoughtthat she were seated before onlyone instrument. Conductor AlexPauk successfully guided the orchestrathrough to a good premiere.Side by Side goes on to future performanceswith the Boston ModernOrchestra Project and the RichmondSymphony.Interestingly, the New WaveComposers Festival offers us agood entry point into this months'range of new music concerts, allof which focus on music for youngpeople or young people writingmusic.1' tfie gzJ:t!!f postViolins, violas, cellos, and bowsComplete line of strings and accessoriesExpert repairs and rehairsCanada's largest stock of string musicJFast mail order service@, ~www.thesoundpost.cominfo@thesoundpost.comBltllililiMJilEarly in themonth, the CanadianChildren'sOpera Chorusperforms a "CanadianMosaic" inthe Richard BradshawAmphitheatreVocal Series. / -.The programme iscomprised of choralselections fromoperatic workscommissioned bythe Chorus, including Harry Somers'A Mindwinter Night's Dream(recently recorded by the Chorusfor the Centrediscs label), JohnGreer's The Snow Queen, DeanBurry's The Hobbit and ErrolGay's A Dickens of a Christmas.This rather winterish concert takesplace on June 6th starting at 5:30p.m. in the Four Season Centre.For more details, visit www .coc.caand click on "Performances".A few days later, Tapestry NewOpera Works partners with TheatreDirect Canada to present SanctuarySong , a new multimedia operafor young people created byearly career composer Abigail Richardsonand librettist MarjorieChan. Inspired by the true andtouching story of an Asian circuselephant and her remarkable journeyto freedom, Sanctuary Songreceives two workshop performancesat Tapestry's Ernest BalmerStudio in the Distillery HistoricDistrict starting June 9m.For more details , visit www. tapestrynewopera. com or call 416-537 -6066.Overlapping Tapestry's workshopis Arraymusic's own YoungComposers' Workshop concert.Now in its 21 " year, this workshopgives early career music creatorsan opportunity to compose anew work in active collaborationwith the talented Arraymusic Ensemble.This year's workshop focuseson composers who incorporateimprovisational elements intotheir overall music practice. Alongsidethe performance of these newworks, the concert will also showcaseyoung improvisers who deservegreater public recognition.This multi-faceted affair, created incollaboration with the Associationof Improvising Musicians Toronto,takes place on June IO'h at theGladstone Hotel starting at 2: 15p.m. For more info, visitwww.arraymusic.com or call 416-532-3019.Kyung-Ah Shin and Catherine ManoukianThe Music Gallery closes its2006-07 season on June 23'

LUMINATO NEWToronto's inaugural Luminaro Festivalgets underway this June witha huge host of programming acrossnumerous art forms. New Musicfans will want to take note of afew special events.Running June 1-3 at the Elgin andWinter Garden Theatre is Book ofLonging, Phillip Glass' latest concertwork influenced by LeonardCohen's recently published poems.Glass sets Cohen's recorded wordsto a new score performed by anensemble drawn from the worldsof indie rock, classical and newmusic. Glass himself will performon keyboards.From June 7-9, Christos Hatzis'chamber work Constantinople returnsto Toronto after a successfulrun at the Royal Opera House,Covent Garden in London, England.Constantinople is a uniquemusic-driven multimedia event thatuses the predecessor to Istanbul asgrounds for the exploration of culturaldiversity, spirituality, humanconflict and the possibility of peacefulcoexistence. The Juno AwardwinningGryphon Trio is joinedby Patricia O'Callaghan andMaryem Tollar at the Bluma AppelTheatre to perform this multilayeredmusical journey.Running concurrently with Constantinopleis MusicaNoir's latestproject, The Passion of Winnie:Part One. In this work, SouthAfrica's journey from apartheid tofreedom is brought to vivid lifethrough the eyes of one of its mostcourageous and controversial citizens,Mrs. Winnie Mandela. Viathe burgeoning form of digital opera,the narrative unfolds acrossmultiple film screens and throughlive performances by choir, orchestraand soloists in the musicof African-born, Toronto-basedcomposer Bongani N dodana­Breen. A moderated discussionprecedes these performances at theIsabel Bader Theatre.For full details about the LuminaroFestival, visit www.luminato.comor call 416-368-3110.Jason van Eyk is the CanadianMusic Centre's Ontario RegionalDirector. He can be reached at416-961 -6601 x . 207 orjvaneyk@musiccentre.ca.) UNE 1 - ) U LY 7 2007Jazz Notesby Jim GallowayDays Of Wine And ChorusesOnce more the jazz festival seasongets truly under way witha string of celebrations acrossthe country and details of eventsin and around Toronto can befound in this issue.So instead of dealing with themajor music feasts I thought a liquiddiversion might be refreshing.On a recent trip to Australia I waslucky enough to meet Jim Smith,one of Australia's most experiencedwine experts. He arranged a visitto the Fox Creek Winery, inMcLaren Vale near Adelaide,which not only produces some veryfine wines, but last year began athree-year sponsorship deal withWOMADelaide, South Australia'spremiere international music festival.That got me thinking aboutsome of the things that jazz andwine have in common. Both areintoxicating - wine and good jazzmusicians tend to improve with ageand devotees of both fine wine andgreat jazz can appreciate the subtletiestherein.It's also true that jazz and wineappreciation are at times regardedas a bit elitist. Wine is an "acquiredtaste". One has an "ear" for jazzor a "nose" for wine, and experts,sometimes self-appointed, can bea bit tedious. But that is not thefault of the music or the wine, twoof life's most pleasurable things.A little bit of digging and I uneartheda surprising number ofevents here and abroad which combinethe joys of fermentation withthose of musical improvisation.Starting right here in Ontario theHillebrand Winery has its annualJazz at the Winery on July 7th and8th with Sophie Berkal-Sarbit, SistersEuclid featuring Kevin Breit,Manteca and Dione Taylor plus ablues day on August 11th. You cansavour good wine, food and jazzas you look out over the Niagaraescarpment.Ontario's newest wine producingregion, Prince Edward County,historically interesting and visuallycharming, has attracted anumber of creative souls to the areaand has a healthy jazz festival inAugust.In Port Colborne the Flavoursof Niagara International Food Wineand Jazz Festival takes place onthe last weekend of June and theorganisers expect 20,000 visitors.Earlier in the year, on the lastSaturday of May, ArchibaldOrchards and Estate Wineryheld their 8th annual festival,"an afternoon of food, wineand jazz music" .The organisers of The Shoresof Erie Wine International Festival,held on the second weekendof September at Amherstburg,Ontario present the region's finestwines, good food and jazz againsta backdrop of the town's historicwaterfront setting.These are just some of the jazzand wine happenings around thisarea, but farther abroad there areother intriguing opportunities to beself-indulgent. For example, theweb site All About Jazz has joinedwith an organisation called GlobalMusic Foundation to offer two jazzand wine tours to Tuscany in August,providing a full week of music,good company, and fine foodand wine in the picturesque hillsof Tuscany this summer. Theevening performances are set in thecastle courtyards of the medievalhilltop town of Certaldo Alto. Butif you' re interested you had betterhurry, because in order to providea high level of service only 15 placesare available for each tour!I also came across the Chateaule Bouis in Gruissan, south ofNarbonne in France, which has avineyard, winery, guest house,restaurant, jazz club.And going back to Australiawhere I first started thinking aboutSisters Euclidthe topic there is the 27th MilduraJazz and Wine Festival held on thefirst weekend in November - andthat's summertime over there. Believeme, it's a long way to go,but if you should happen to be"down under" in November andwant to hear some of the best ofAussie traditional and modern jazzmusicians as well as sample someof those great red wines of SouthernAustralia, it would be fair dinkum!Jazz performers have, on occasion,given a nod in the directionof wine, notably Gil Evans withthe album New Wine, Old Bottles.Soprano Summit recorded a numbercalled "Grapes Are Ready" and JonHendricks with Lambert, Hendricksand Ross had a little dittycalled "Gimme That Wine!" withthe classic line "I can't get wellwithout my mu skate!!"If I take some liberties with theactual titles, and you will forgivemy fondness for puns, there are afew standards that could be playedsuch as "The Wine I Love BelongsTo Somebody Else", or perhaps,"Vine And Dandy" .And if you happen to be a beerdrinker please don't be upset bythis tribute to the joys of wine andjazz. There is nothing wrong withboogie, beer and be-bop. Have ajazzy Summer.Featuring some of Toronto's best jazz musicianswith a brief reflection by Jazz Vespers ClergySunday, June 10th - 4:30 p.m.THE CANADIAN JAZZ QUARTETFrank Wright - vibes; Gary Benson - guitar;Don Vickery - drums; Duncan Hopkins - bassSunday, June 24th • 4:30 p.m.THE BRIAN BARLOW TRIOBrian Barlow - drums; Robi Botos - piano;Scott Alexander - bassChrist Church Deer Park, 1570 Yonge Street(north of St. Clair at Heath St.) 416-920-5211Admission is free.An offering is received to support the work of the church. including Jazz Vespers.WWW.THEWHOLENOTE.COM 23

Volumes 21-24 (2015-2018)

Volume 24 Issue 8 - May 2019
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