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Volume 17 Issue 10 - July/August 2012

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Beat by Beat | Classical

Beat by Beat | Classical & BeyondThe Great BeyondSHARNA SEARLEWhile most of us might appreciate some structure in ourlives, there’s certainly something to be said for having a littleboundary-defying ambiguity in it, too. Take this column, forexample: I’ve been at it for almost ayear, and each month I grapple, still,with the “and beyond” part of its name.One of my first questions when I tookon the beat was, of course, “beyondwhat?” The answer has been an ongoing,ever-evolving work in progress.With that, I thought it would be interesting— and fun — to explore the“beyondness” available at some of theclassical-music-based summer festivalsand other events, in July and August.The programmers, curators and artistic The Canadian Guitar Quartet.directors of these events wrestled, nodoubt, with the balancing act of staying connected (and true) to theclassical music at the core of their mandates, while, at the same time,providing some “outside of the music box” programming, in order toattract festival-goers of all ilks. Looking through our daily and alphabeticalfestival listings, it’s clear they have triumphed: we have a summerexploding with boundary busting “beyonds.”but also a Trinidadian Calypso, Malian melodies and Stone’s own “tinysymphonies!” Along for the ride will be the stellar ensemble of KevinTurcotte on trumpet, bassist Joe Phillips and Nick Fraser, percussion.Incidentally, if your appetite is already whetted and you’d like tobegin your “journey with Jayme” earlier, he’s at Summer Music in theGarden on July 19. And if gardens are your thing, Stone and gang performat the Toronto Botanical Garden, July 26; ( What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you thinkabout Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture?” Canons? A Bugs Bunny cartoon?Ukuleles? UKULELES?? Thatlast thought clearly crossed the mindsof the creative, curatorial trio behind“Classical IV: Strings.” As a result,Caroline Hollway, Tara Brady andDalton Higgins have dreamt up the“Ukulele Project.” And the idea? Tohave a critical mass of ukulele playersconverge upon Harbourfront Centre’sRedpath Stage and, together, play oneof classical music’s best-known pieces.Here’s their fun pitch:“Dust off that uke and bring it downwith pride to Harbourfront Centre aswe attempt to bring as many ukulele players as possible together to playa resounding, uplifting and downright fantastic version of the ‘1812Overture.’ Haven’t played for years? Have only just started? No worries,brush up sessions will be available on site and projected chording willkeep everyone strumming straight. You know you want to!”I know I do. The ingathering begins at 4pm on July 29.JOHN W. MACDONALDBEYOND THE BASICS: BACH ON THE BANJO,AND TCHAIKOVSKY GETS UKED UPWorks by J.S. Bach have been heard in practically every setting imaginable,refashioned into musical genres too numerous (and, in somecases, too painful) to mention, and performed on just about everyinstrument invented. But I bet you haven’t heard much Bach playedon the banjo! In its late-July, weekend exploration of the “dramaticallydifferent aural landscapes created by string instruments from acrossthe world,” Harbourfront Centre’s “Classical IV: Strings” is giving usa chance to hear a five-string rendition of the Allemande from Bach’sFrench Suite No.6 in E Major BWV817, by Canadian banjo virtuosoJayme Stone, on July 29, 2pm.This two-time JUNO winner (who recentlyperformed at Luminato), is known for taking his audiences ona “genre-blurring” musical journey, bridging folk, jazz, chamber andworld music. So, fasten your seatbelts, and enjoy not only the BachBEYOND THE CONCERT HALL: BUNKERS,BARGES AND BARNS, OH MY!And the award for the most inspired summer music festival venuegoes to … Ottawa’s Music and Beyond. They’ve got an event happeningin the Diefenbunker, for heaven’s sake! Not only that: they’vecalled it “Beyond the Bomb: Music of the Cold War,” and the MoscowString Quartet will be performing (along with a few others), as youstroll through the entrance tunnel, the decontamination cubicles, theemergency radio broadcast centre and other areas of the complex.Now that’s “beyond the beyond” and I think it’s terrific! Music of theCold War played by Russian-born musicians, in Canada’s Cold WarMuseum — surely it’s got to be the hottest ticket at the festival! Gear upfor 18:00 hours, July 11.Before hitting the bunker, you can travel up the Rideau Canal ona barge, along with the London Handel Players and Theatre of EarlyJULY 26-29, 2012Brands:SteinwayBosendorferMason & HamlinHeintzmanYamahaKawaiYoung ChangWeberHailunAccolade East Building,second oor rooms: 231 and 23516 July 1 – September 7, 2012

July 1 – September 7, 17

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