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Volume 14 - Issue 3 - November 2008

6IDholenoteNThe Toronto

6IDholenoteNThe Toronto Concert-Goer's GuideVolume 14 #3, November 1 - December 7, 2008Copyright© 2008 WholeNote Media, Inc.720 Bathurst Street, Suite 503, Toronto ON M5S 2R4Main Tel: 416-323-2232 Fax 416-603-4791Publisher: Allan Pulker- publisher@thewholenote.comEditor: David Perlman - editorial@thewholenote.comAssociate editor: Matthew T ran-Adams-wmieditor@thewholenote.comCD Editor: David Olds - discoveries@thewholenote.comEvent advertising/membership:Karen Ages - members@thewholenote.comProduction liaison/retail & educational advertising:Jack Buell -adart@thewholenote.comClassified Advertising; Announcements, Etc:Simone Desilets -classad@thewholenote.comListings department:Colin Eatock- listings@thewholenote.comJazz Listings:Ori Dagan - jazz@thewholenote.comCirculation, Display Stands & Subscriptions:Chris Malcolm- circulation@thewholenote.comProduction Management:Peter Hobbs, production@thewholenote.comProduction Tel: 416-351-7171; Fax: 416-351-7272Thanks to this month's contributorsBeat by Beat: Early (Frank Nakashima); Choral (mJ buell); New Music(Richard Marsella); Jazz (Jim Galloway, Ori Dagan); Orchestra and Band(Jack MacQuarrie); Opera (Christopher Haile); Musical Life (mJ buell);Encore! (Matthew Tran-Adams)Features: Colin Eatock, Allan PulkerCD Reviewers: Larry Beckwith, Ori Dagan, Daniel Foley, John S. Gray, RichardHaskell, Tiina Kiik, Alison Melville, Allan Pulker, Cathy Riches, Bruce Surtees, RobertTomas, Ken Waxman, Dianne WellsPhoto research: Matthew Tran-AdamsEditorial research: Nick TortiProofreading: Karen Ages, Simone Desilets, Nick TortiListings: Colin Eatock, Richard Haskell, Felix Deak, Ori DaganLayout and design: Verity Graph ics, Rocket Design (cover)Cartoon: Van Tran-AdamsUPCOMING DATES AND DEADLINESNext issue is Volume 14 #4 covering December 1 - February 7, 2008Free Event Listings Deadline: 6pm Friday November 14Display Ad Reservations Deadline: 6pm Friday November 14Advertising Materials Due: 6pm Tueday November 18Publication Date: Monday December 1WholeNote Media Inc. accepts noresponsibility or liability for claims madefor any product or service reported onor advertised in this issue.Circulation Statement,September 2008:30,000 printed and distributedAgreement 1263846ISSN 14888-8785 WHOLENOTEPublications Mail Agreement#40026682Return undeliverable Canadianaddresses to:WholeNote Media Inc.503-720 Bathurst StreetToronto ON M5S 2R4foR OPENERS •••The Walking Ovation?Let us stray together, you and I, far into the realm of the fantasticalby pretending that this little editorial, huffing and puffing along itsmerry way, actually has the power, just by naming an abuse, toeradicate it forever. Ready, ... set, ... ZAP! Just like that, all thepractitioners of the single most infuriating breach in concert-andopera-going etiquette lie dead, slumped across seats or sprawled inthe aisles of RTH and the Four Seasons Centre.No, I am not referring to the dowagers who think that symphoniesstart loud and operas have overtures so they (the dowagers) can commencevigorously massaging the cellophane scalps of their blastedcough drops. Or start chatting without fear of being overheard.Nor am I referring to the brutes who bellow "brava" from theback of the hall before even a second's silence has splashed like atear on the diva's dying breath. Or to the handclappers who poise onthe edge of their seats like sprinters waiting for the starting gun,competing to be the first to applaud at the end of a piece, desperate toshow that they know to the split second how and when a piece isgoing to end (and thereby depriving everyone in the hall of the gift ofexhaling into silence after sitting with bated breath).All of these will be punished in hell, so I don't need to bother withraking them over my little bed of coals. I have my sights on a gang farworse. Your time has come. I have you in my sights. Tremble and beafraid, all you practitioners of the "walking ovation". Your days, justlike your seats (Orchestra, row BB, 138 and 139, for example) arenumbered.You know who you are! You blast to your feet at the final bell, rightafter the brutes bellowed "brava", yapping your kudos, pretending tohave been be enthralled. But by the time the curtain rises for the call,or the recitalist returns to the stage, you're halfway up the aisle, havingtrodden over all and any in your way, beating as hasty a retreat asyou can connive. Pretending to ovate in order to perambulate. Hypocrisyrearing its ugly head (or heading its ugly rear) in, and out of, thehallowed hall.I'm onto you, busters. Beware.David Perlman, editorOOOPS, We Goofed!Last month we ran a contest in our October "Blue Pages": identifythe photos, and win a prize. But we forgot to mention a cut-off date .We've already awarded a couple of "early bird" prizes, one to DawnHenderson of Etobicoke, the other to Andrew Prins of Mississauga,who were the first to correctly identify all eleven photos. Dawn getsPrinted in Canada bya pair of tickets to the Canadian Opera Company's production of DonCouto Printing and Publishing ServicesGiovanni, and Andrew a pair of tickets to the Hannaford Street SilverCanadian Publ ication Product SalesBand. So here's the cut-off date: get your answers in by November------------~------------+-10 (e-mail members@thewholenote.com, or fax 416-603-4791) andwww.thewholenote.comwe'll draw from entries with the most correct answers for a chance towin more prizes'WWW, THEWHOLENOTE.COM NOVEMBER 1 - DECEMBER 7 2008

FEATURESHAPE SHIFTERMARY MCGEER'S TALISKERBy Colin EatockIn an interview over brunch in a Bloor Street cafe, it soon becomesapparent that Mary McGeer isn't used to a lot of public attention. (She'sa violist by trade, and we all know how much attention violists get.)Yet it soon becomes apparent that she's very proud of the musical organizationshe founded: the Talisker Players.Perhaps it would be more accurate to speak of the two organizationsshe founded: the Talisker Players Choral Music Orchestra and TaliskerPlayers Chamber Music. While they both share the name "Talisker"and employ some of the same musicians, structurally they are twocompletely different entities.The orchestra came first, and is now in its fourteenth year. "It started,"McGeer recalls, "when I put together a pickup band for a choralconductor. Another choir heard about us, and so I put together anotherone. I used violinist Valerie Sylvester as concertmaster for both ofthose. And I remember Valerie and I were walking out of the hall andshe said to me, 'You know, if I could spend my life doing this repertoire,I would be perfectly happy. ' That's when the idea was plantedthat this was something we could specialize in and get really good at.We began to think about it that way, and we gave it a name."STEINWAY &SONS" if I could spend my life doing this repertoire,I would be perfectly happy."These days, the Talisker Players Choral Music Orchestra plays betweentwenty and thirty engagements per year, accompanying choirswith instrumental groups ranging from four to forty players. In town,they've performed with the Toronto Classical Singers, Orpheus Choirand the Tallis Choir, among many others. Further afield, they've beenengaged by choirs in Peterborough, Midland, St. Catharines, Georgetown,Orangeville and Kitchener.Better known to Toronto concert-goers, however, is the chambermusicseries-which, as McGeer explains, wouldn't have happenedwithout the orchestra. "We started Talisker as a loosely configuredensemble that worked with choirs, and somewhere along the way someonesaid, 'You know, there's a lot of interesting music for voice andchamber ensemble- you should start a series. ' It was the beginning ofthe end of my life!"That was nine years ago. And in a city where chamber-series comeand go like commuters at Union Station, Talisker Players ChamberMusic has succeeded in carving out an enviable place for itself: a threeconcertseries (with two performances of each programme, on consecutivenights) at Trinity-St. Paul's Centre, that attracts a loyal audience.In large part, this is due to the series' unique programs, which arecomprised of works composed for voice and small instrumental groups.The performance of this repertoire is the cornerstone of the series- butMcGeer confesses that, at the outset, she didn't know much about it."We knew about a few pieces for solo voice and chamber ensemblethat are famous, " she notes, "such as Vaughan Williams' On WenlockEdge, Britten's Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings, and Barber'sDover Beach. But we didn't know what else was out there. We wonderedif there was more, and started to do some research. We discoveredan amazing repertoire that hardly ever gets done - because onceyou get beyond voice with piano, things get complicated. We did a coupleof trial concerts: people came, and they liked what they heard."Thanks to the years she'd already spent running the Talisker PlayersChoral Music Orchestra, she was already well acquainted with Toronto'sfreelance musicians. She assembled a core group of players whofrequently appear on the series: violinists Valerie Sylvester and RonaGoldensher, cellist Laura Jones, flautist Anne Thompson, clarinetistPeter Stoll, bassoonist Christian Sharpe, oboist Vicky Hathaway, hornistNeil Spaulding, percussionist John Brownell, and pianist Peter Long-QUALITY & SERVICE SINCE 1890A Steinway piano is a unique instrument that sets theworld standard for how a piano should look, play andsound. It is also a singularly inspired investment. Aninstrument that combines the joy of musical perfectionwith the security and reassurance of financial appreciation.It is, quite simply, a treasured possession thatgrows in value over the course of time -- a rare andenduring creation which is handed down with pridefrom one generation to the next.We invite you to visit us today and view the entire line ofSteinway designed pianos, with something for everytaste and budget.REM ENYI .COMS T R ING S P I A N O S P R IN T MUS I C G UI T AR S2 10 B LOOR ST. W EST, TORON TO • 4 1 6 .961.3 1111 455 1 6 T H AV E . #6, R IC HMO N D HILL • 9 0 5 .8 8 1.3400N OVE M BER 1 - D ECEM BE R 7 2008 W WW. TH EWHO LENOTE.COM 7

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