8 years ago

Volume 16 Issue 2 - October 2010

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Beat by Beat / Classical

Beat by Beat / Classical & BeyondWeekend “Festivals”ALLAN PULKERIt’s that time of year when memories of the summer linger – oftwo or three days at a stretch when life can revolve aroundlistening to music, when one makes a transition from the usualmode of things to a way of being in which music becomes thelanguage of life.In some sense, Toronto’s musical life could be seen as offeringthe opportunity for festival-like immersion all the time. Pretty wellevery night, and even every day of the week, there are concerts, frequentlyseveral at the same time. The WholeNote, of course, is likethe festival programme, giving musical tourists all the informationthey need to plan their music festival experience in advance.So this month’s column starts with a look at festival-like musicalweekends, carved from WholeNote listings, in and near Toronto,beginning with a Friday evening event and ending on Sunday afternoon.(You could, of course, do the same thing with consecutiveweekdays, but this gives you the idea.) portunitiesin Toronto and an actual festival, Colours of Music, inBarrie, about 100 km north. If you can get to Barrie on Friday morningso much the better – there are concerts at noon, 2:30 and 7:30,so you can immerse yourself right away in the festival experience.Saturday also offers three contrasting concerts: jazz at noon, violinand piano at 2:30 and, in the evening, Sinfonia Toronto with pianistAnya Alexeyev in an all-Chopin programme. Sunday offers onemore concert at 2:30 in the afternoon: London’s Primus Men’s Choirwith Brassroots brass ensemble. It sounds like a really glorious20 thewholenote.comOctober 1 - November 7, 2010

PHOTO MELISSA SUNGWere I a “musical tourist” in Toronto, that weekend offers an en--to,chamber music, Cuban salsa, Somali hip-hop and the boundarycrossingMontreal musician Gabe Levine – something for everyone.(And having chosen one, you can keep going till last call by consultingour jazz listings on page 48 for after-concert fare.)Your Saturday could beginpany’sAida at 4:30 in the afternoon,followed by dinner at onerantsand then a choice of 15concerts, or indeed a wholenight’s worth, as that eveningis the annual Nuit Blanchenight of music and art installations.Among the Nuit Blancheperformers will be the Ceciliawinners of the 2010 Banff InternationalString Quartet Compe-the Glenn Gould School QuartetResidency Fellowship for 2010-The Cecilia Quartet.11. They’ll perform R. MurraySchafer’s Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra with the Royal ---araString Quartet,which won thesecond prize in thisyear’s Banff StringQuartet Competition,as well as the SzékelyPrize for best performanceof Beethovenor Schubert. Thedentallyis composedentirely of Canadians,is currentlythe Graduate ResidentString Quartetof the prestigious Juilliard School of Music in New York. And thereber14, exactly a week after the Cecilia String Quartet. I should alsopoint out that the Banff Competition, at which these two Canadianquartets won the top two prizes, is an elite international competition– an extraordinary tribute to the level of music education in Canada.But returning to our “weekend-as-festival” theme, on Sundaylistings alone, and a further eight in “Beyond the GTA” (starting onpage 46). Pick your predilection, and chart your course! ceptionto the “every weekend is a festival” rule. Neverthelessis back up to speed again. As is the next, and indeed every weekendtivalseason once again. So to summarize, if, as the days get short-PHOTO RORY EARNSHAWOctober 1 - November 7, 2010 21

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