8 years ago

Volume 18 Issue 4 - December 2012

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • December
  • Theatre
  • Jazz
  • January
  • February
  • Arts
  • Symphony
  • Choir
  • Concerts

Conservatory, dancing to

Conservatory, dancing to twoChristmas medleys; the KWSYouth Orchestra, playing threepieces alongside its parentKWS; and — this just in — A.J.Bridel, the talented Kitchenerbornsinger who placed thirdin CBC TV’s recent Over theRainbow “Dorothy” search.Here’s a mere sampling ofwhat is on the program: selectionsfrom A Charlie BrownChristmas, All I Want forChristmas is You, Angelicusand Jingle Bell Rock. Andthere’s also a sing-along componentwhich will include Joyto the World!Snowmen: The animatedfilm, The Snowman, whichturns 30 on December 26, isa holiday classic beloved byfamilies around the world.Howard Blake’s score, includingthe film’s one and onlysong, Walking in the Air, will be performed in two very different settingsin December.Dali Quartet (left to right): Carlos Rubio,second violin; Adriana Linares, viola;Jesús Morales, cello; Simón Gollo, first violin.On December 9, 3pm, at Roy Thomson Hall, the Toronto SymphonyOrchestra will accompany the film (which runs about 25 minutes)live, with Stuart Chafetz conducting. In addition to The Snowman,there’s a full program of seasonal music planned: Herman’s “WeNeed a Little Christmas,” (from Mame), Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Dance ofthe Tumblers” from Snegurochka (The Snow Maiden), A CharlestonChristmas and Santa’s Smashing Medley are only some of the selections.The guests for the evening bringing it all to life, along with theTSO, are Joseph Pongonthara, treble, Gabriel Gilhula, treble, MicheleRagusa, soprano, Cawthra Park Chamber Choir and the HolidayDancers. For even more family fun, there will be free art activitieswith the Avenue Road Arts School at intermission.I did want to mention, briefly, that two days later, the TSO continuesits seasonal celebrations with “A Merry TSO Christmas(December 11 and 12) and “Barenaked Ladies: Hits & Holiday Songs”(December 14). Both programs include a nod to that other seasonalholiday, Chanukah. Will the “Ladies” sing If I Had A Million Latkes?Oy. See the Quick Picks for dates and times.Moving from orchestra and concert hall to the intimacy of a chambertrio and a church, The Snowman will reappear on December 21and 22 (details below), when the Gallery Players of Niagara presents“Glissandi Christmas,” with the trio of Douglas Miller, flute,Deborah Braun, harp, and David Braun, violin, otherwise known asGlissandi! Miller told me that the Niagara-based trio has been performingtogether for over 18 years and that its “popular Christmasconcerts on the Gallery Players series have become an annual event.”Indeed, the Gallery Players and Glissandi have been collaborating atChristmastime since 2007.Employing the theme “angels and snowmen,” “Glissandi Christmas”2012 offers a “delightful evening of poems and short stories intertwinedwith seasonal music for flute, violin and harp.” RegularGlissandi/Gallery Players guest, actor Guy Bannerman, will, onceagain, be participating. Harpist Braun sketches out how the eveningwill unfold: “We will be performing traditional carols — Angels WeHave Heard On High, Angelus ad Virginem ... Hark the Herald AngelsSing, with a reading or two by Guy Bannerman, then The Snowmanscore, narrated by Guy, and a few more traditional carols, includinga final Frosty the Snowman sing-a-long!” Braun adds that St.Catharines’ Ian Middleton, a member of Chorus Niagara Children’sChoir, will sing Walking in the Air.Both concerts begin at 7:30pm; on December 21, at Grace UnitedChurch, Niagara-on-the-Lake; on the 22nd, at the Fonthill UnitedChurch, Fonthill.A peak at 2013: Somecommon threads run througha few of the late January andearly February listings. SoI’ve paired them up as aninteresting (and economical)way to introduce them.But first, a quick mentionof the Kitchener-WaterlooChamber Music Society. Thesheer number of concertsthis indefatigable groupproduces each month isastonishing, and January isno exception, with five concerts.On January 12th it’strios by Mozart, Brahmsand Tchaikovsky, and onthe 14th, sextets by the lattertwo, in a concert titled“Ménage à 6”; on the 16thit’s solo piano music featuringfour Haydn sonatasand three of the Etudes-Tableaux by Rachmaninoff.The Madawaska String Quartet performs works by Dvořák, Harleyand Britten on the 27th, and the Bergmann Piano Duo celebratesSchubert’s birthday on the 31st. Phew! You’ll find the details in theBeyond the GTA concert listings.Common threads: Brilliant Canadian pianist, Louis Lortie, and awork by Liszt, are what the concerts being presented by the PerimeterInstitute and the Royal Conservatory have in common. On January 29,7:30pm, at the Institute’s Mike Lazaridis Theatre of Ideas in Waterloo,Lortie appears in solo recital. Five days later, on February 3, the RoyalVanessa Briceno-Scherzer16 December 1 – February 7, 2013

Conservatory (in association with Alliance Française de Toronto andBureau du Québec) presents Lortie with fellow French Canadianpianist, Hélène Mercier, in a program of music for one piano/four hands, and for two pianos. Here’s where it gets interesting:Lortie performs works by Wagner, and Liszt’s Réminiscences deDon Juan in Waterloo; for the RCM et al, (in addition to works byMozart, Schubert — the sublime Fantasy in F Minor — Ravel andRachmaninoff), Lortie and Mercier perform Liszt’s later, two-pianoversion of Réminiscences. Neat, eh? The duo pianists are at KoernerHall, 8pm.Mooredale Concerts and the aforementioned Kitchener-WaterlooChamber Music Society (KWCMS) have a very special commonthread running through their consecutive early February concerts:the Dali String Quartet. The members of this captivating quartet –violinists Simón Gollo and Carlos Rubio, violist Adriana Linares andcellist Jesús Morales — are all graduates of Venezuela’s renownedand highly respected El Sistema (referred to in past WholeNoteissues), a revolutionary music education program founded in 1975by economist and musician José Antonio Abreu; Abreu recognizedmusic’s transformative powers and its use as an effective agent ofsocial change. From its humble inception, with 11 students, thevolunteer program has since delivered (and continues to deliver) freemusical training (instruments included) to hundreds of thousands ofimpoverished children throughout Venezuela, and now overseas 125youth orchestras and 31 symphony orchestras. El Sistema has inspiredmyriad programs around the world, including Sistema-Toronto.Shining proof of the program’s unparalleled success, members ofthe Dali Quartet have been trained by world-renowned artists, studiedat such esteemed institutions as Indiana University Bloomington,recorded for the likes of Dorian and Naxos and appeared at CarnegieHall. The Quartet combines the best of both El Sistema and Americanclassical conservatory traditions, offering an enchanting rangeof traditional string quartet and Latin American repertoire. Likethe press release says, its performances “embrace the imagination,excellence and panache of the Quartet’s namesake, the Spanishsurrealist artist Salvador Dali.”It’s the Dali Quartet’s first time performing in Canada. BothMooredale and KWCMS are to be commended for delivering themto Toronto and Waterloo audiences. Not surprisingly, both programswill include works by Latin American composers — Amaya, Gardel,Almarán, Villa-Lobos, Valdes — and standard quartet repertoire byMendelssohn (Mooredale), Mozart and Haydn (KWCMS). Mooredale’sFebruary 3 concert (for the adults) begins at 3:15pm at WalterHall; earlier at 1:15pm, same venue, the Dali will also perform inMooredale’s one-hour interactive program for young people ages 6to 15, “Music & Truffles” (adults welcome). Next day, 8pm, the DaliQuartet performs in the KWCMS Music Room in Waterloo.That should get you off to a healthy musical start in 2013!The holiday season is here. The Quick Picks are below. The richesof the listings await you. Raise a glass to good health, to the new year,and enjoy!CHRISTMAS QUICK PICKS!!December 01 3:00: University of Toronto Scarborough. Sounds ofthe Season. Meeting Place, 1265 Military Trail, Scarborough.!!December 08 3:00: Onstage Productions. Sounds of Christmas.Flato Markham Theatre, 171 Town Centre Blvd., Markham. Also at8:00; also Dec 9(2:30).!!December 09 3:00: Guelph Symphony Orchestra. Holiday Classics.River Run Centre, 35 Woolwich St., Guelph.Associates of theToron to SymphonyOrchestra2013 SeasonSubscribe to the Five Small Concert Series ~an ideal gift for your family, friends and yourself!Monday, January 21, 2013, 7:30 p.m.Arnold Schoenberg Transfigured Night, Op. 4Johannes Brahms String Sextet no 2 in G major Op.36Monday, February 25, 2013, 7:30 p.m.W. A. Mozart Flute Quartet No.1 in D major K285Benjamin Britten Phantasy Quartet in F for oboe andstring trio, Op.2Giacomo Puccini Crisantemi elegy for String QuartetGustav Holst Fugal Concerto for flute, oboe and strings,op 40, No.2, H.152Alexander Borodin String Quartet No.2 in D majorMonday, March 4, 2013, 7:30 p.m.Ensembles from the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestrawill present a varied program.Monday, April 22, 2013, 7:30 p.m.Franz Berwald Septet in B flat majorLudwig van Beethoven Septet in E flat major for Strings andWind Op. 20Monday, May 13, 2013, 7:30 p.m.W. A. Mozart String Quartet No.17 in B flat major“The Hunt” K.458Johannes Brahms Clarinet Quintet in B minor Op.115Five Small Concert Series: / ; single tickets / All Concerts at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St. W.Box Office 416-282-6636 1 – February 7, 2013 17

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