8 years ago

Volume 18 Issue 4 - December 2012

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  • Toronto
  • December
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Beat by Beat | Classical

Beat by Beat | Classical & BeyondSeasonal Sounds...By ManyOther NamesSHARNA SEARLEIn december, if inclined, one has the option of attending a concertof seasonal music just about every day; and twice on somedays. What’s more, each concert offers its own twist on a title (thereare no repeats among them), from “Home for the Holidays” and “Joyto the World” to “Yuletide Spectacular” and “Glissandi Christmas,”with several variations on the theme in between. While I’ve chosento focus on a few, you’ll find a longer list of them in this month’sQuick Picks at the end of the column(not including Messiah; that’sfor my Early Music and ChoralScene compadres).And once we’ve coveredDecember’s festive fare, we’ll havea look at some wonderful concertswith which to begin 2013 in style!Home for the Holidays: Itsmotto, “Music for Life!” says it all.For 14 years, La Jeunesse YouthOrchestra (LJYO) has providedan enriching and stimulatingenvironment for young musiciansto be exposed to and performsymphonic repertoire, instillingin these young people an enduringappreciation for music. Thiscareful nurturing — through regularfull and sectional rehearsals, athree-concert season, workshops, benefit concerts and educationalfield trips — will be readily apparent when LJYO presents its 14thannual “Home for the Holidays” concert on Sunday December 2 at3pm in Port Hope. And, judging by the program, the group has givenany number of reasons to “come home” for the holidays: one in particularis special guest, Canadian mezzo extraordinaire, Jean Stilwell,who, in a first for the orchestra, will perform “Ging heut Morgen übersFeld,” from Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of aWayfarer). Stilwell will also sing Carol of the Drum and narrate ’Twasthe Night Before Christmas.Working with world-class musicians like Stilwell is another aspectGlissandi (left to right): Douglas Miller, flute;Deborah Braun, harp; David Braun, violin.of the LJYO experience. And having just seen Stilwell’s dazzling performanceat this year’s Global Cabaret Festival (with pianist PattiLoach), I’ve no doubt these young orchestra members will rememberStilwell’s Mahler long after the last of the Christmas pudding’sbeen eaten.They will also, no doubt, enjoy performing the rest of their holidayprogram for you, which will include, among several carols, “Carol ofthe Bells,” Warlock’s Capriol Suite, “Nocturne” from Mendelssohn’sA Midsummer Night’s Dream, and “two musical evocations of sleighrides, by Mozart and Leroy Anderson,” as it was so nicely put inLJYO’s press release. LJYO music director, Michael Lyons, will conductthe orchestra for the evening as it brings it all home.Joy and a Yuletide Spectacular: Aside from being a favouriteChristmas carol, “Joy to the World” is also the title of the GreaterToronto Philharmonic Orchestra’s December 8 concert at CalvinPresbyterian Church. The evening’s program is an interestingone: curiously, the eponymous carol is not listed (though it mightturn up in Canadian composer Andrew Ager’s Merry-making: anEnglish Carol-medley — which is). Also featured are Beethoven’sChoral Fantasy Op.80, for piano, chorus and orchestra, with pianistBrett Kingsbury, Harlan’s Christmas Canticles and “Winter” fromGlazunov’s music for the balletThe Seasons Op.67. Into its sixthyear of innovative programming,the GTPO has invited two guestchoirs to join in the joy: EnsembleTrypTych Chamber Choir and theUTSC Concert Choir, both conductedby Lenard Whiting. Thiseclectic evening of piano, choraland orchestral music gets underwayat 8pm.The Kitchener-WaterlooSymphony is presenting its“Yuletide Spectacular” for thefourth year in a row, becoming anewish tradition — a variation onthe holiday concerts the KWS featuredfor many years on its Popsseries. And speaking of the Pops,leading the evening is multi-talentedPops conductor Matt Catingub. Saxophonist, pianist, vocalist,arranger, conductor and composer, Catingub has also arranged allthe music that will be performed at the three KWS Yuletide concerts.There’s one on December 14 at 8pm and a matinee and an eveningshow on the 15th; all three concerts are held at Kitchener’s Centre inthe Square.And it looks like things will indeed “pop” given the line-up ofguests the KWS has assembled: drummer Steve Moretti (who touredwith Catingub and the legendary Rosemary Clooney for six yearsand recorded two Grammy-nominated CDs with them); the GrandPhilharmonic Choir and its Children’s Choir; the Classical Dance14 December 1 – February 7, 2013

2013 Great Artist Piano SeriesPresenting 4 stunning concerts in the intimate salon setting of Brevik Hall,located in the beautifully restored Church Street School.February 1, 8pmCHU-FANG HUANG pianoWinner of the 2011 Avery Fisher Career Grant,1st Prize Winner Cleveland Piano Competition.Works by Haydn, Chopin, Wanghua Chu.March 8, 8pmSEILER PIANO TRIOOutstanding Canadian musicians exploring the great traditionsof the piano trio repertoire with intensity & passion.Works by Mozart, Schubert, Piazzolla.April 12, 8pmBAX & CHUNG piano duo“…a marriage of wondrous colours & dexterous aplomb, subtly balanced…”—Music and Arts, UKWorks by Brahms, Stravinsky, Piazzolla.May 31, 8pmWILLIAM WOLFRAM pianoMedalist International Tchaikovsky& Naumburg Piano Competitions.Works by Liszt, Schubert, Chopin, Ligeti.TICKETS 4-Concert Subscription Series: Adult; Seniors (60+) & Students (up to 18 years)Single tickets: Adult; Senior & StudentBOX OFFICE 905 713-1818 (9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday), or in person at the CentreCash • Debit • Cheque • VISA • MasterCard • All sales final – no refund or exchangeDoors open at 7pm; Concert at 8pmGeneral Admission seating • Building fully accessible – enter by north doors22 Church Street, Aurora, Ontario L4G 1G4 • • • 905 713-1818The Great Artist Piano Series is made possible through the generosity of Bonnie & Norbert Kraft.

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