7 years ago

Volume 21 Issue 9 - Summer 2016

  • Text
  • Festival
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • Quartet
  • August
  • Orchestra
  • September
  • Musical
  • Theatre
  • Concerts
It's combined June/July/August summer issue time with, we hope, enough between the covers to keep you dipping into it all through the coming lazy, hazy days. From Jazz Vans racing round "The Island" delivering pop-up brass breakouts at the roadside, to Bach flute ambushes strolling "The Grove, " to dozens of reasons to stay in the city. May yours be a summer where you find undiscovered musical treasures, and, better still, when, unexpectedly, the music finds you.

ORI DAGAN Meet Music

ORI DAGAN Meet Music Mondays’ Ian Grundy ALLAN PULKER In early April I happened to attend a concert by two distinguished Canadian musicians, pianist, William Aide and flutist, Robert Aitken. Friends since their student days in the late 1950s at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music, where they used to play together frequently, each has had his own individual, successful career. But they had not played together since those distant days until getting together to prepare for this concert, a benefit to help pay off Church of the Holy Trinity’s new piano, showcased in this concert. Arising from this experience, in May I sat down with Ian Grundy, artistic director of the May-to-September Music Mondays noon-hour concert series, as well as music director at Holy Trinity, to talk about the piano, Music Mondays and his new role as its artistic director in this, its 25th season. Knowing of the fabulous reputation of Bechstein pianos, I asked why Holy Trinity had decided to seek out a new instrument rather than rebuild their old Bechstein. The trouble with rebuilding, he told me, is that you really do not know how the rebuilt piano is going to sound; there are no guarantees. With a new piano, on the other hand, you can hear it before you buy it. On behalf of the church, Aide evaluated dozens of pianos. When he tried a seven-foot Steinway, to which Alex Thomson, the general manager of Steinway Piano Gallery had directed them, he knew at once that he had found their instrument. Only 12 years old and little played, its action was good enough to play a double glissando; its tone, strong but not overpowering. “It’s the perfect instrument for chamber music,” Ian told me. Its sound is big enough to fill Holy Trinity’s live acoustic environment but controllable enough to balance other instruments, even with the lid on full stick. An added benefit is that the case is made of Indian rosewood, which makes it extremely beautiful. Piano technician, Leela Khurana, one of only two Steinwaytrained technicians in Toronto, who tuned the instrument for this concert, described it to me as “fabulous...young, flexible, resilient and powerful.” The acquisition of the Steinway is a major step towards the realization of Grundy’s vision for Music Mondays as a first-class venue with first class instruments. One is the Steinway, of course; the other, the Casavant tracker organ acquired seven years ago from Deer Park United Church. A guiding principle for upcoming seasons, he says, is for the series to be a worthy platform for emerging young artists and to continue to feature a variety of musical genres. “First-class publicity” is another part of the picture - to attract a more diverse audience and build audience size. He is interested in “taking music out of its compartment and reaching out to the community.” To this end he has joined the Yonge-Dundas B.I.A., a partnership which, he told me, is proving as welcome to the B.I.A. as it is to Holy Trinity. With this kind of dynamic leadership, we can expect Music Mondays to grow into an even stronger cultural force than it already is and a major contributor to live music in the city in the summer. Stay tuned! (And meanwhile enjoy the rest of this summer's series. Deails are in our GTA and festival listings.) Flutist Allan Pulker is chairman of the board of The WholeNote. Beat by Beat | Classical & Beyond Summer Music Cornucopia PAUL ENNIS A quick glance at the Union Jack-based brochure of Toronto Summer Music’s 11th season, “London Calling: Music in Great Britain,” might lead you to expect a bounty of English music, but the more you delve into TSM’s 25 concerts it’s apparent that what the festival is offering is a cornucopia of music that would have been heard in London over the course of three centuries. As artistic director Douglas McNabney told The WholeNote publisher David Perlman in a recent podcast (video coming soon to, “We’re celebrating musical life in London…[which] has always been the centre – a Mecca for musicians.” No wonder, since the city was the centre of the immense British Empire. And this year’s festival, more so than ever, is also a celebration of chamber music; 14 programs fall into that category. But TSM, with its mentors and fellows program, is more than a showcase for top-notch instrumentalists and ensembles like the Parker or Dover Quartets. It offers full scholarships to musicians on the brink of a musical career the opportunity to be mentored by established professionals, and equally important, to participate in concerts with them (the so-called “Chamber Music reGENERATION” series of eight Saturday afternoon recitals and the two Art of Song reGENERATION Friday afternoon concerts). McNabney has very cleverly taken a handful of 19th-century London concert series and used the conceit to create diverse and satisfying chamber music programs. The Beethoven Quartet Society of 1845, for example, marked the first instance of a complete Beethoven string quartet performance cycle. The acclaimed young American ensemble, the Dover Quartet, who will be launching their own traversal of the Beethoven cycle this fall, will follow the lead of those 19th-century Londoners by including an early, a middle and a late quartet in their program. On July 29 in Walter Hall, they will play Op.18 No.6, Op.59 No.3 and Op. 132, making for an unusually rich and sure-to-be illuminating musical evening. Another American quartet, the Parker, whose Naxos recording of the complete Ligeti quartets won them a Grammy, pay tribute to the Musical Union of 1865, a famous concert series of its day, with a program of late Haydn, early Beethoven and late Schubert quartets, July 15. Of course, there will be English music, beginning with the opening concert July 14, featuring two 20th-century masterpieces, Britten’s sublime Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings and Elgar’s exhilarating Introduction and Allegro for string quartet and orchestra. A second, centred on TSM’s artistic-director-designate, TSO concertmaster and New Orford Jeremy Denk String Quartet violinist, Jonathan Crow, includes Elgar’s mournfully beautiful Violin Sonata, Bax’s Piano Quartet and Bridge’s Piano Quintet. A third, a homage to the People’s Concert Society (another 19th-century London concert series), showcases TSO principal oboist Sarah Jeffrey, one of TSM’s mentors, in a lively program comprised of Britten’s Phantasy Quartet for Oboe and Strings, Op.2, Bliss’ Oboe Quartet and Vaughan Williams’ Piano Quintet, August 3. Two compelling pianists, Pedja Muzijevic and Jeremy Denk, 18 | June 1, 2016 - September 7, 2016

Dover Quartet will each give what are certain to be fascinating recitals. Muzijevic is back as a mentor this year after a fulfilling session in 2015. As well as being a pianist of impeccable flair, he proved to be an engaging man with a mic in last year’s American Avant-Garde concert, introducing the music and reading from John Cage’s 32 Questions. Both qualities will no doubt be evident in July 19’s Haydn Dialogues, the Walter Hall event in which Muzijevic will discuss Haydn’s London experience (where he wrote two of the three sonatas on the program) and relate Haydn’s work to Cage’s seminal In a Landscape, Knussen’s Sonya’s Lullaby and Berger’s Intermezzo. Winner of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, Denk brings his keen intellect to everything he does. A gifted writer in addition to being a supreme musician, his New Yorker account of his years as a music student, "Every Good Boy Does Fine," is revealing, moving and a must-read. The program for his July 21 recital has not yet been announced but it promises to be imaginative, insightful and engaging, one I won’t miss. Festival of the Sound Festival of the Sound’s 37th summer offers an abundance of musical treats to snack on. Each week features several chamber music combinations; the Gryphon Trio, playing Dvořák’s popular Dumky Trio and Schubert’s delightful Trio No.1 D898, shares the stage with the New Zealand String Quartet at 7:30 on July 19 and Moshe Hammer and Peter Longworth at 3:30 the same day; Hammer appears in “Our Favourite Sonatas I” the next day while Longworth accompanies cellist Rolf Gjelsten in a late Beethoven sonata in “Our Favourite Sonatas II” later that day. Stewart Goodyear brings his penchant for Beethoven to the “Pathétique,” “Moonlight,” “Tempest,” and “Appassionata” sonatas in “My Favourite Beethoven” on July 22. On July 21, he puts on his chamber music hat teaming up with the Penderecki String Quartet and New Zealand String Quartet for Schumann’s Piano Quintet Op.44 and Brahms’ Piano Quintet Op.34. Recent Chopin International Competition second-prizewinner, the gifted Charles Richard-Hamelin, highlights week two, July 28, with two concerts that show off his sensitivity as soloist and collaborator. After playing a Chopin nocturne, ballade and polonaise before intermission, he returns as pianist with the Hochelaga Trio to perform Tchaikovsky’s Piano Trio in A Minor Op.50. Earlier that day, Trio Hochelaga plays Ravel’s gem, Piano Trio in 119 TH SEASON 16 17 MUSIC IN THE AFT E R NOON W O M E N ’ S M U S I C A L C L U B O F T O R O N T O ARTISTIC DIRECTOR: SIMON FRYER Walter Hall, Faculty of Music, University of Toronto (Museum Subway Station) OCTOBER 6, 2016 | 1.30 PM ISSACHAH SAVAGE tenor piano TBA NOVEMBER 24, 2016 | 1.30 PM JAMES SOMMERVILLE MARCH 9, 2017 | 1.30 PM APRIL 6, 2017 | 1.30 PM MAY 4, 2017 | 1.30 PM TORONTO RECITAL DEBUT Five Concerts for 5 For information and to subscribe call 416-923-7052 All artists, dates, and programmes are subject to change without notice. Support of the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario, and the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council is gratefully acknowledged. PRESENTED BY Concert Sponsor: WMCT Foundation French horn with: Scott St. John, violin; Peter Longworth, piano TRIO TORONTO DEBUT SHAHAM EREZ WALLFISCH Hagai Shaham, violin; Arnon Erez, piano; Raphael Wallfisch, cello TORONTO DEBUT AIZURI QUARTET Miho Saegusa, violin; Ariana Kim, violin; Ayane Kozasa, viola; Karen Ouzounian, cello CHARLES RICHARD-HAMELIN piano 416-923-7052 June 1, 2016 - September 7, 2016 | 19

Copied successfully!

Volumes 21-25 (2015-2020)

Volumes 16-20 (2010-2015)

Volumes 11-15 (2004-2010)

Volumes 6 - 10 (2000 - 2006)

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)