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Volume 15 Issue 7 - April 2010

  • Text
  • April
  • Toronto
  • Concerts
  • Choral
  • Choir
  • Quartet
  • Jazz
  • Orchestra
  • Programme
  • Musical

Beat by Beat / In with

Beat by Beat / In with the NewEye of the Stormj A S O N v A N e y kThe term “perfect storm” has been used this season to describethe whirlwind of top-tier international composers gracing ourstages, as well as the sheer density of concert activity in Torontoand nearby. If we continue the analogy, April might conceivably bethe “eye of the storm,” at least in the new-music world. This is not tosay that the quality of work and calibre of creativity is on the wane –quite the contrary. There are many exceptionally excellent concertsto be heard. Rather, we may get a little more breathing space betweenevents this month, before we’re hit by the tempest of May concertsthat traditionally close the season.Continuing with the theme of celebratingleading composers, New MusicConcerts hosts the Aventa Ensemble onApril 10 at the Betty Oliphant Theatrein a Tremblay-heavy programme. Theconcert is part of the ensemble’s 2010East Coast tour. Hailing from Victoria,Aventa is one of Canada’s younger yetlarger new music ensembles, formed in2003 from a regular roster of 15 playersunder artistic director Bill Linwood.Since that time, the musicians havecompleted almost 40 concerts, severaltours (including to Europe and theUSA), numerous commissions and atleast 50 premieres.For this tour, their second to land inToronto, Aventa will connect to the season-longcelebrations of Canadian composer Gilles Tremblay, initiatedby the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec. Never oneto keep things small, SMCQ artistic director Walter Boudreau hasencouraged a nation-wide project to pay homage to one of our ownmusical heroes through a collaborative series of at least 30 differentevents. For their part, Aventa will perform two of Tremblay’s mostdistinctive works – Solstices for horn, ute, clarinet, double bassand percussion (which carries the subtitle “or how the days and theseasons turn”) and À quelle heure commence le temps? for baritone,piano and 15 musicians. Included in the programme are two recentAventa commissions from BC composers, including the most recentaddition to Dániel Péter Biró’s Mishpatim (Laws) series and Altus bythe intriguing early-career composer Wolf Edwards. To learn moreabout Aventa, visit www.aventa.ca. To learn more about the GillesTremblay Homage series visit www.smcq.qc.ca. For tickets andvenue information contact nmc@interlog.com or call 416-961-9594.It’s a rare opportunity when an ensemble lets a composer curatea whole concert of works to frame a new commission. That’s whyit’s remarkable that, when Arraymusic invited composer Linda CatlinSmith to compose a new work for them, she was also invited toset the entire programme for this April 18 concert at the Music Gallery.More specifically, she was asked to dig into Array’s score library,representing decades of commissioning and performing someof the world’s most adventurous composers, to create a programmefrom works already in the ensemble’s repertoire. Linda is one of thefew people that Array could comfortably trust with such a project,given her history and familiarity with the ensemble: she is a past Arrayartistic director and co-creator of their Young Composers’ Workshop.As a result, the concert will feature works by two of Linda’smentors: Canadian composer Rudolf Komorous (the short but hauntingSweet Queen for piano and percussion), and Japan’s Jo Kondo(his seminal work, Standing, for any three instruments of differentfamilies), alongside some new discoveries: Scott Godin’s internationallyinspired Soccer (which can beheard on the Canadian Music Centre’sCentreStreams online audio service),Gerald Barry’s piano solo Sur les pointsand Italian composer Aldo Clementi’sMadrigale for piano four hands, glockenspieland vibraphone. To learn moreabout Linda Catlin Smith and hermusic, visit the CMC website at www.musiccentre.ca or www.catlinsmith.com. To purchase tickets, visit www.musicgallery.org or call 416-204-1080.Bringing us back to the “perfectstorm,” Pulitzer Prize-winning composerSteve Reich returns to Torontoon April 29 for a concert featuring theCanadian premiere of his most recentComposer Gilles Tremblay.work, Mallet Quartet for two marimbaand two vibraphones. Mallet Quartet,which received its US premiere by So Percussion on January 9, isa co-commission of Soundstreams, the Nexus percussion ensembleand the Amadinda percussion group. The work will be a feature ofSoundstreams’ “Cool Drummings” percussion festival, which kicksoff mid-month.This must-see concert at the Royal Conservatory’s Koerner Hallwill also include Reich’s other newest work – the substantial 2 x 5 forfive musicians and tape, or 10 live musicians – alongside Reich classicslike Clapping Music and Music for Pieces of Wood as performedby talent like our local Nexus, whom the New York Times havehailed as “the high priests of the percussion world.”As one of the instigators of the American minimalist style anda founder of New York City’s downtown music scene, Steve Reichis sometimes referred to as America’s greatest living composer andone of the greatest musical thinkers of our time. His musical creativity,which is credited with altering the path of music history, has embracednot only aspects of Western classical music, but the structures,20 www.thewholenote.comApril 1 - May 7, 2010

harmonies, and rhythms of non-Western music, particularly African,and American vernacular music, particularly jazz. As a consequence,his work has been widely embraced by numerous artistic communitiesfrom high-art music to contemporary dance and DJ culture.Leading up to this concert are a number of other performancesand events that frame the Reich premiere and make up the bulk of“Cool Drummings.” On April 19, Soundstreams will extend its “Salon21” series at the Gardiner Museum to celebrate Steven Reich withinspired dancers, DJs and musicians who recognize him as the “thefather of DJ culture,” and “one of today’s most choreographed composers.”Then on April 27 and 28, the celebration will move over tothe more laid-back Hugh’s Room for two marimba-heavy concertstitled “Virtuoso Vibrations.” On the programmes are commissionedworld premieres from top-tier Canadian composers, including AndrewStaniland, Michael Oesterle, and Peter Hatch, performed bysome of our best musical artists like percussionists Ryan Scott andRussell Hartenberger. The programme also features world-renownedkoto virtuoso Kazue Sawai, who is coming from Japan for the occasion.Full “Cool Drummings” details, including venue and ticket information,can be found online at www.soundstreams.ca or by phoneat 416-504-1282.As always, there’s much more new music on offer this month, sobe sure to check out the The WholeNote’s listings in this magazineand online at www.thewholenote.com.Jason van Eyk is the Ontario Regional Director of the CanadianMusic Centre. He can be contacted at: newmusic@thewholenote.com.TUESDAY, APRIL 13BABY DEE +JOSEPHINEFOSTER(DOUBLE BILL)Pop Avant • 9pm • /$15FRIDAY, APRIL 23COSMOPOLITAN RAGASAN ARTIST’S TALK WITH AMELIA CUNI7pm • FREE event!SATURDAY, APRIL 24CUNI ANDDURAND(FROM BERLIN)Ancient Trends & New Traditions in Indo-European Music • New Worlds • 8pm • /$15/FRIDAY APRIL 30OPEN YOUREARS: NEWCHORALSOUNDSFeaturing The Vespera Women’s Choir and Toronto Choral ArtistsPost-Classical • 8pm • $15/SUNDAY MAY 9ARUNANARAYANKALLEMISTRESS OFTHE SARANGINew World • 8pm • $15/SUNDAY MAY 16THE VOICESUMMIT FEATURINGSHELLEY HIRSCH+ DB Boyko & Christine Duncan performingHydraulics by Christopher ButterfieldSpecial Event • 8pm • /$15/BABY DEEVESPERA WOMEN’S CHOIRBECOME A MUSIC GALLERY MEMBER AND SAVEON TICKET PRICES! Email info@musicgallery.orgThe Music Gallery • 197 John St. • Toronto M5T 1X6416-204-1080 • www.musicgallery.orgApril 1 - May 7, 2010 www.thewholenote.com 21

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