8 years ago

Volume 20 Issue 2 - October 2014

  • Text
  • October
  • Toronto
  • Choir
  • November
  • Concerts
  • Jazz
  • Musical
  • Arts
  • Orchestra
  • Theatre
Includes the 2014 Blue Pages Member Directory

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Britain. However, Romanian violinist Corina Belcea and Polishviolist Krzysztof Chorzelski, the two founding members, bring a verydifferent artistic provenenance to the ensemble while drawing fromthe best traditions of string quartet playing received from the quartet’smentors: the members of the Alban Berg and Amadeus Quartets.Their October 23 Toronto recital includes Beethoven’s Third Quartet aswell as the First by Brahms and Schubert.On October 9, the U of T Faculty of Music’s ensemble-in-residence,the Cecilia Quartet, is joined by the Gryphon Trio for an exploration ofhumour, play and games through the lens of chamber music in a freenoontime concert at Walter Hall.The Attacca Quartet continues its historic traversal of all ofHaydn’s 68 string quartets October 24 to 26 under the auspices of theKitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society.The legendary Talich Quartet, recognized since 1964 as one ofEurope’s finest, is evolving as a more youthful ensemble under theleadership of Jan Talich, Jr., who took over the first violin post fromhis father. Chamber Music Hamilton presents them October 26 in acharacteristic program that includes Dvořák’s String Quartet No.13animated by its Czech dance rhythms and Smetana’s moving StringQuartet No.1 “From My Life.”Finally, Mooredale Concerts presents the New Orford StringQuartet November 2 in a program that includes Ravel’s ravishingString Quartet in F Major. Violinists Jonathan Crow and AndrewWan are concertmasters of the Toronto and Montreal SymphonyOrchestras, Brian Manker is principal cellist in Montreal and EricNowlin is assistant principal viola of the TSO. They will be joined byTSO principal violist Teng Li for Mozart’s String Quintet No.4 in GMinor K516. The program will be repeated at The Isabel in KingstonNovember 4.Paul Ennis is managing editor of The WholeNote. Hecan be reached at by Beat | World ViewMusic at theAga KhanMuseumANDREW TIMAREven before the construction dust had settled in its galleries, theshiny new granite-clad Aga Khan Museum had, in quick order,been touted in many media reports and by our Prime Ministeras a key addition to Toronto’s multi/inter/trans-cultural topography.Yes, it has elegant Fumihiko Maki-designed architecture and a worldclasscollection dedicated to the arts of Muslim civilizations, but it alsopromises to be a significant music programmer and destination forcitizens and tourists alike.The museum has only been open since September 18 but live musichas already animated the impressive spaces within its walls. TheAKM’s programming focusses on Islamic diversity, encompassing andcelebrating a vast range of cultural geographies energizing the GTA.In its opening flourish of concerts the museum’s programming alsoshows itself to be admirably ecumenical, auguring well for the myriadways cultures interact musically here.October 3 at Koerner Hall the AKM marks one of its first co-presentationswith The Royal Conservatory of Music – also part of the SmallWorld Music Festival – an evening featuring Indian-Canadian singerKiran Ahluwalia (her cover story was featured in the September 2014issue of The WholeNote) and Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali. The latteris a ten-member Pakistani group, a leading representative of theart of qawwali, Sufi devotional songs accompanied by tabla andharmonium. While the two groups are playing two separate sets in theconcert, they will collaborate on one song. This column will undoubtedlyrevisit the AKM museum’s programs in the future.The Small World Music Festival:Last issue I focused tightly on onelate September concert within theSmall World Music Festival, whichruns until October 5. The series setsout, in its words, to “capture theworld in a ten-day festival.” Here area few others I’d like to highlight.October 1 the spotlight fallson the music of North and SouthIndia; usually presented individually,they are here combined on theFlato Markham Theatre stage. ZakirHussain, among the world’s preeminenttabla virtuosi, representsthe Northern tradition. He joinsveena maestra Jyanthi Kumareshand violin maestro KumareshRajagopalan, both representing theSepideh RaissadatSouthern, or Carnatic, music lineage. Rajagopalan is among India’sleading Carnatic violinists (a standard-issue fiddle but played in aninverted position, sitting on the floor), while Kumaresh performs onthe veena, a plucked string instrument with ancient Indian roots. Thetwo traditions have multiple points of divergence in music theory,as well as performance. Therefore it’s always exciting to witness topmusicians from each camp issuing musical challenges, because thetwo parties must inevitably negotiate common ground in terms ofpitch, drone tones, tempi and musical repertoire. They must also agreeon phrases ending on sum (sam), the downbeat and point of resolutionin both rhythm and melody.24 | October 1 - November 7, 2014

October 5 “Cover MeGlobally” occupies theintimate Small World MusicCentre. The musicians on thisparticular evening are DrewGonsalves, the singer-songwriterof Kobo Town; AvivaChernick, the lead singer ofJaffa Road; Donne Roberts, amember of the African GuitarSummit; and Lisa Patterson,singer-songwriter with ROAM.Each of these Canadian artistsembodies musical influenceswhich extend in four differentglobal directions. “Cover MeAna MouraGlobally” sets out to explorewhat happens when songscross genre, culture and language. We’ll find out what happens whenthe “Canadian cultural diaspora … connects through its songwriters.”Other PicksNEXUS in the World: October 27 the venerable percussion ensembleNEXUS takes the Walter Hall, University of Toronto stage in a programthat also features the Persian vocalist Sepideh Raissadat. NEXUShas from its beginnings incorporated elements of global musics inits diverse concerts and this show is no exception. Founding groupmember Russell Hartenberger’s percussion ensemble composition,The Invisible Proverb (2002), for example, exhibits substantial Africanreferences. Persian composer and setar player Reza Ghassemi’sPersian Songs, arranged by Hartenberger, is sung by Music Facultydoctoral candidate Raissadat, the first female soloist to perform publicallyin Iran since the 1979 revolution. It is another example of thecultural dialogue encouraged throughout the group’s career. In thiscase it’s between Persian and North American musical cultures.Twentieth-century modernist and postmodernist classics also have acentral place in the core NEXUS repertoire. In this concert they alsore-visit Steve Reich’s 1973 luminous minimalist opus Music for MalletInstruments, Voices & Organ, itself profoundly influenced by thecomposer’s study of West African ensemble music.Fado in the City: November 5, presented by The Royal Conservatoryin association with Small World Music, singer Ana Moura headlinesat Koerner Hall. At the breaking wave of the fado music renaissance,re-interpreting this soul music of Portugal for a new generationof international audiences, Moura typically sings her heartbreakingsongs accompanied by a trio of a Portuguese guitar plus two classicalguitars. “Even among the new breed of fado singers, which has daredto deviate from a rigid tradition, Ms. Moura is a distinctly worldlysuperstar,” wrote The New York Times. I couldn’t have said it better.Polaris Music Prize Trailer: As seasoned concertgoers well know,not many formal music performances last much longer than the usual90 minutes. That odd hybrid, the music award show, made even moretedious for general music buffs due to long pauses between performancesfor set changes, TV, and other media breaks, is an exception.Ever the eager reporter for The WholeNote, however, I managed toconvince our stern publisher that I should obtain media accreditationfor the Polaris Music Prize gala. Itwas the first time our august magazinewas represented at the Polaris.My story? I was following up onmy review of the avant-garde Inukvocalist Tanya Tagaq’s June 10, 2014concert at Luminato publishedon The WholeNote blog. She hasperformed, toured and recordedwith Björk, the Kronos Quartetand the Winnipeg Symphony, butit was her astounding CD Animismthat had been short-listed for thePolaris best Canadian album ofthe year, a surprise to some in themainstream music industry. Suitedup and media pass in hand, I wasset to take it all in at The Carlu onthe night of September 22. Little did I know how sleep-deprived I wasgoing to be the next day.Many of you undoubtedly know how the endgame of this grandCinderella music story unfolded, since it was splashed over thenational media the next day. On the other hand much of its musicalcolour and significance for Canadian music hasn’t filtered through tothe media – yet. Fortunately for you, and especially for those who havenever heard of the Polaris, your hard-working reporter has the playby-play,the inside scoop. For a backstage pass to Tanya Tagaq’s jawdroppingten-minute performance with her musicians backed up byElement, the Toronto improvising choir of 40 conducted by ChristineDuncan, along with her political and provocative comments, I will becovering the story in dcetail on our blog at Timar is a Toronto musician and music writer. Hecan be contacted at October 1 - November 7, 2014 | 25

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