3 years ago

Volume 23 Issue 2 - October 2017

  • Text
  • October
  • Toronto
  • Choir
  • Arts
  • Concerts
  • Orchestra
  • Jazz
  • Musical
  • Performing
  • Symphony
  • Volume
In this issue: several local artists reflect on the memory of composer Claude Vivier, as they prepare to perform his music; Vancouver gets ready to host international festival ISCM World New Music Days, which is coming to Canada for the second time since its inception in 1923; one of the founders of Artword Artbar, one of Hamilton’s staple music venues, on the eve of the 5th annual Steel City Jazz Festival, muses on keeping urban music venues alive; and a conversation with pianist Benjamin Grosvenor, as he prepares for an ambitious recital in Toronto. These and other stories, in our October 2017 issue of the magazine.


BLUE PAGES 2017/18 for Canada’s 150th celebration. Included within 350+ performances each year are traditional student ensemble performances (from choirs and opera to orchestra, band, jazz, percussion, contemporary and early music), plus our signature Fridays@12:30 concert series. Our Faculty Concert Series returns in 2017/18 plus extraordinary guest artists from around the world, including the Canadian Brass and Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet. Rachel Condie 519-661-3767 ●●Durham Chamber Orchestra Durham Chamber Orchestra has been performing in Durham region for the past 21 years, featuring talented amateur and professional musicians, guest soloists and ensembles. We are excited to move to a new larger concert venue in Ajax this season after selling out all performances last year. Conducted by dynamic music director Carlos Bastidas in his second season with the DCO, the orchestra will present three concerts in 2017/18. Highlights include “It’s Christmas” with audience sing-along, “A Musical Journey” with Shout Sister choir and soloists from the Oshawa Opera company and “A Salute to our Youth” with international violin virtuoso Andrew Sords. The DCO is also performing a joint concert with the Ontario Pops Orchestra to celebrate Canada 150, with the generous sponsorship of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Details of these events are available on the website. New playing members are always welcome. Sandra Weeks, president 905-852-1141 ●●Eglinton St. George’s United Church Our non-auditioned 45-voice choir meets Thursday evenings for two hours and Sunday mornings for worship, preparing music ranging from Renaissance to jazz and from chant to oratorio. Prior experience in choral singing is a requirement. Outreach and benefit concerts are regular fare with support from our wonderful and talented eight section leads. This year we feature our 2017/18 Concert Series with special guests the Elmer Iseler Singers and Amadeus Choir of Toronto, our annual Christmas concert “All Bells in Paradise” with the Trillium Brass and finally, “Darkness to Light,” with the ESG Choir, Cellar Singers and Orchestra featuring the hauntingly beautiful Darkness to Light by Ruth Watson Henderson and Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna. Shawn Grenke 416-481-1141 ●●Elmer Iseler Singers Celebrating its 39th season in 2017/18, the Elmer Iseler Singers, conducted by artistic director Lydia Adams, is a 20-voice professional choral ensemble based in Toronto. Founded by the late Dr. Elmer Iseler in 1979, the Singers have built an enviable reputation throughout Canada, the United States and internationally. The Singers present a five-concert subscription series in Toronto, also participating in local workshops and other Toronto concerts – including guest performances with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Touring is a major component of the EIS activities, having just completed a seven-city Western Canada tour in April 2017 and an Eastern Canada tour, with Dr. Roberta Bondar, in July 2017. The Singers are active in many Ontario communities and specialize in their GET MUSIC! Educational choral workshops and performances in the GTA. Recently, Lydia Adams was appointed Visiting Associate Professor in Choral Studies at Western University. She is the Artist Recipient of the 2013 Ontario Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the 2012 winner of the Roy Thomson Hall Award of Recognition and a 2017 JUNO nominee with the Elmer Iseler Singers. Jessie Iseler 416-217-0537 ●●Elora Singers The Elora Singers, an all-professional Grammyand JUNO-nominated chamber choir, was founded in 1980 by Noel Edison as principal choral ensemble of the Elora Festival. Since 1997, the choir has been the core of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and the Toronto Mendelssohn Singers, and is the choral ensemblein-residence of the Elora Festival each summer. Through regular concert series, recordings, broadcasts and touring, The Elora Singers has established a reputation as one of the finest chamber choirs in Canada and beyond, contributing to the musical life not only of the community but on an international stage. With 11 releases on the Naxos label, The Elora Singers is known for its rich, warm sound and clarity of texture. The choir is renowned for its diverse styles, commitment to Canadian repertoire, and collaborations with other Canadian artists. Esther Farrell 519-846-0331 ●●Ensemble Vivant Ensemble Vivant, “Canada’s chamber music treasure” (Toronto Star), has dazzled audiences worldwide with innovative, genre-diverse programming for three decades. A pioneer among piano chamber ensembles, Ensemble Vivant garners accolades internationally. EV are Opening Day recording artists. Through EUTERPE (www., Ensemble Vivant is known for fostering a love of great music among our youth. Core members: Catherine Wilson, piano/artistic director; Corey Gemmell, violin; Sybil Shanahan, cello; Norman Hathaway, viola; Jim Vivian, bass. Regular guests: Don Thompson, vibes; Guido Basso, flugelhorn; Mike Murley, sax; Brian Barlow and Juan Carlos Medrano, percussion. “…the highest calibre…No matter the genre, there is magic in Ensemble Vivant’s music-making.” Rick Wilkins, CM “…precisions of sonority, dynamics and rhythm that Ensemble Vivant fully deliver…[Burke’s] intricate ensemble writing is performed magnificently…a moving experience…Wilson’s playing is evocative.” The WholeNote “…thoroughly enjoyable…” Boston Herald, USA “…beautiful, poised performances...these musicians capture the passion and verve…Wilson’s piano gives this music unerring drive and plenty of sparkle.” Toronto Star “To my heart, your rendition of Oblivion is the most touching I have ever heard: Bravo!” Radio Classique, Montreal Catherine Wilson 416-768-8856 ●●Esprit Orchestra Founded in 1983 by music director and conductor Alex Pauk, Esprit’s commitment to commissioning and advancing contemporary music has set it apart as one of the few organizations of its kind on a global scale. Esprit consistently collaborates with outstanding composers, and performs with first-class soloists and ensembles from Canada and abroad. Each concert season, Esprit Orchestra commissions, promotes and performs the work of Canadian composers, and features Canadian premieres of music by leading international composers. With a dynamic annual subscription concert series, this skilled 65-member orchestra presents music that is otherwise unavailable in Canada, always performed to the highest standards in the acoustically acclaimed Koerner Hall at the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning. Amber Melhado 416-408-0208 B8 | theWholeNote 2017/18 PRESENTER PROFILES

●●Etobicoke Centennial Choir Coming off its landmark 50th anniversary season, the Etobicoke Centennial Choir (ECC) looks ahead to more great music-making! We are an auditioned SATB community choir that offers a high-calibre choral experience for both singers and audiences. Under music director Henry Renglich, ECC performs a diverse repertoire ranging from classical choral masterpieces to contemporary compositions and popular music. Our season begins on Saturday, December 2, 2017 with “Sacred Traditions 2017,” a joyful celebration of the holiday season featuring Pergolesi’s Magnificat, Holst’s Christmas Day and other seasonal repertoire. On April 7, 2018, “Gloria! Joyous Music from Haydn to Poulenc” will feature Haydn’s Te Deum, Schubert’s German Mass, Brahms’ Vier Quartette and Poulenc’s Gloria. The season concludes on Saturday, June 8, 2018 with “Oh Canada!,” celebrating music of composers and arrangers from our talented home and native land. Rehearsals are Tuesdays from 7:30pm to 10pm at Humber Valley United Church in Etobicoke. The ECC always welcomes new choristers. Interested singers are encouraged to attend a rehearsal. Open rehearsals are held in in September and January. Shari Ellis, membership chairperson 416-622-6923 ●●Etobicoke Community Concert Band The Etobicoke Community Concert Band is beginning its 24th season, providing: “Great music... right in your own backyard!” Our goal is to provide a fun and challenging environment where local amateur musicians can share their passion for music and perform regularly in their community. ECCB has successfully pursued a vision of presenting a diverse and entertaining repertoire at a wide variety of venues. Under the dynamic leadership of John Edward Liddle, the band and its various ensembles have made a significant impact on the community of Etobicoke. Over the years, several thousand people have heard the band in our many many public performances. We have also continued to add new and innovative programming and have formed many financial and musical partnerships in the community. The Etobicoke Community Concert Band is truly an unique organization and a true success story – from the passionate inspirations of our artistic director to the incredible dedication and enthusiasm of each and every member. Rob Hunter, president 416-410-1570 DON WRIGHT FACULTY OF MUSIC WESTERN UNIVERSITY ●● Etobicoke Philharmonic Orchestra For over 56 years, the award-winning Etobicoke Philharmonic Orchestra has presented great classical music and is well known for its talented musicians and exciting repertoire. Their new season of six concerts for 2017/18 includes a children’s matinee, “Kids ‘N Klassics,” and begins with “Romantic Classics,” October 20, (Dvořák’s Symphony No.7 and Beethoven’s Emperor Suite with guest star Peter Longworth). November’s concert is “Pastoral Wonders” (Wagner’s Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg and Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony); December brings “Holiday Magic” and March 2018 highlights the annual Young Composer Competition winner, Strauss (Four Last Songs), Shostakovich (Symphony No. 5) and soprano Allison Cecilia Arends. The May final concert is “Classical Brilliance” (Joseph Johnson, principal cellist with the TSO, with Elgar’s Cello Concerto; Le Tombeau de Couperin by Ravel; and Brahms’ Symphony No.4). Concerts are at Martingrove Collegiate Institute, 50 Winterton Dr., Etobicoke. “Holiday Magic” and “Kids ‘N Klassics” are at Humber Valley Church. Advanced orchestral musicians of all ages interested in joining the orchestra should contact our personnel manager. Student scholarships are by audition in spring. Rehearsals every Wednesday at Martingrove Collegiate 7:30pm to 10pm, and continue until mid-May. 416-239-5665 ●●Exultate Chamber Singers For more than 35 years, the Exultate Chamber Singers have garnered praise from all quarters for sensitive, precise and seamless performances. The choir is enriched not only by the excellent musicianship of its members but also by their varied academic and professional backgrounds. Conducted by Dr. Hilary Apfelstadt, the ensemble shares its affinity for Canadian repertoire, as well as other music for chamber choir. Our latest CD, Winter Paths, features works for the Christmas season by Canadian composers. We engage audiences through a four-concert subscription series in Toronto, and collaborate with other groups in the community. Look for our video interview series with Canadian composers, a recent innovation. Elana Harte 416-971-9229 ●●Flute Street: Toronto’s Professional Flute Choir Flute Street, Toronto’s Professional Flute Choir, is comprised of first-class musicians performing on the full range of instruments from piccolo through G treble, concert, alto, bass, contrabass and the subcontrabass flutes. Often featuring the less-explored colours of the rarer-sized flutes, Flute Street members present concerts of refreshing new repertoire balanced with traditional transcriptions and well-crafted settings of folk songs, jazz and popular tunes. Flute Street continues to offer world and Canadian premieres and appearances of outstanding international guest artists. Recently, a collaboration with Les Flûtistes de Montréal involved performances in Montreal and the Laurentians. Opening this year’s four-concert season is “A Canadian Celebration” on October 14. On November 19, American flutist Christine Beard will be our featured soloist and on March 6 will be the return of the dazzling piccolo recording sensation, Jean-Louis Beaumadier. Our final, not-to-be-missed concert promises to be an extravaganza of contrabass flutes. Check with The WholeNote for upcoming concert details. theWholeNote 2017/18 PRESENTER PROFILES | B9

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