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 contemporary music series with the TO.U Collective. Enjoy a reading of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol on December 2 with media personalities, musical interludes and a gingerbread reception. Don’t miss St. Andrew’s annual Mardi Gras concert on February 10. Join us on May 5 for the premiere of For King and Country by Tony Quarrington, recreating the experiences of those Canadians caught up in the First World War. Great music at affordable prices! Concerts take place at St. Andrew’s Church, 73 Simcoe St., Toronto. Dan Bickle 416-593-5600 x231 ●●Music Gallery Named the number #1 experimental music venue by BlogTO, The Music Gallery, “Toronto’s Centre for Creative Music,” is a centre for promoting and presenting innovation in all forms of music, and for encouraging cross-pollination between genres, disciplines and audiences. We occupy a valued position within Toronto’s musical ecology that allows us to present and promote leading-edge contemporary music, and for the last 41 years, we have welcomed diverse audiences to explore and engage with this music through approximately 50 live concerts each season. Monica M Pearce 416-204-1080 ●●Music Toronto “Fear not, chamber music world, the chamber music recital is not just alive, it’s kicking.” A legacy organization in Toronto’s classical music scene, Music TORONTO presents the world’s best chamber ensembles and pianists. Our internationally-renowned strings series opens with Europe’s premier early music quartet, Quatuor Mosaïques, celebrating 30 seasons. The renowned Czech Škampa Quartet and the young German Schumann Quartet also make Toronto debuts. We welcome back our perennial favourites the St. Lawrence Quartet and the Gryphon Trio, Poland’s Apollon Musagète and Canada’s international quartet, the Penderecki. Join us in January when beloved American soprano Dawn Upshaw appears with the Brentano Quartet. Our piano series opens with young British superstar Benjamin Grosvenor. His incomparable countryman Stephen Hough arrives in January (first classical winner of the MacArthur “genius” award). The series includes young Quebecer Philip Chiu and distinguished Hungarian Dénes Várjon – and the legendary Russian master Alexei Lubimov. Great music of five centuries, artists new and familiar: only the best, only at Music TORONTO. You can’t afford to miss music this good! Heather Lacey 416-366-7723 ●●Musicata - Hamilton’s Voices Musicata is a 28-voice chamber choir based in Hamilton. The group was established in 1982 as the John Laing Singers by conductor John Laing. 2016/17 marked the first season of an exciting new identity for us. Since becoming artistic director in 2011, Roger Bergs has built on John Laing’s solid foundation of choral excellence, moving the choir in adventurous new directions. Recent seasons have featured several world-premiere performances and the introduction of delightful newer works by contemporary composers. John-Michael Pocsai ●●Musicians In Ordinary Named after the singers and lutenists who performed in the most intimate quarters of the Stuart monarchs’ palace, The Musicians In Ordinary for the Lutes and Voices dedicate themselves to the performance of early solo song and chamber music, especially violin band. The ensemble has been a fixture on the Toronto early music scene for over ten years, and also performs across North America at universities and museums. Audiences delight in the liveliness of their innovative concerts and the infectious passion of the performers for putting their repertoire in cultural context. John Edwards 416-535-9956 ●●Nathaniel Dett Chorale The Nathaniel Dett Chorale is a 21-voice SATB professional choir based in Toronto, dedicated to performing Afrocentric music of all genres, including classical, spiritual, gospel, jazz, folk and blues. Founded by artistic director Dr. Brainerd Blyden-Taylor in 1998, the Nathaniel Dett Chorale is Canada’s premier performer of Afrocentric composers and a touchstone for the education of audiences and communities regarding the full spectrum of Afrocentric choral music. The mission of the Nathaniel Dett Chorale is to build bridges of understanding, appreciation and acceptance between communities of people through the medium of music. The Chorale has a three-concert season in Toronto, tours extensively each season and has released several CDs and DVDs. The Nathaniel Dett Chorale is artistin-residence at the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on Africa and its Diasporas. Membership is by audition. D. Brainerd Blyden-Taylor 416-736-2100 x33068 ●●New Music Concerts New Music Concerts’ 47th season features four notable visiting groups (Meitar Ensemble from Tel Aviv on October 22, Calgary’s Land’s End Ensemble with special guest Robert Aitken on February 4 and the Iran Project featuring soprano Sarah Albu with the Instruments of Happiness guitar quartet on March 23, all performing works composed especially for them, plus Toronto’s own Trio Arkel in a program that includes Arnold Schoenberg’s iconic String Trio on February 25). Three large ensemble concerts feature our own musicians: On December 3, three local soloists – pianist Eve Egoyan, percussionist Ryan Scott and clarinetist Max Christie – perform concerted works by Linda C. Smith, Robin de Raaff and Paul Frehner; January 14 features Alban Berg’s seminal Chamber Concerto for violin, piano and 13 winds with soloists Duo Diorama, alongside a new work by Michael Oesterle inspired by it and Schoenberg’s Phantasy; the season concludes with the final concert of The Royal Conservatory’s 21C Festival with Claude Vivier’s Zipangu and new works by Roger Reynolds and Brian Harman on May 27. Robert Aitken, artistic director David Olds, general manager 416-961-9594 ●●newchoir Toronto’s first rock choir, newchoir, has been thrilling audiences with a repertoire of unexpected SATB choral renditions of classic rock and pop songs from the 70s onward. From Pink Floyd to Walk off the Earth, Prince to Adele, Queen to Train and many things in between, our ensemble of over 140 voices appeals to audiences of all ages. Currently in our 13th year, we are looking forward to newchoir’s concerts on January 27 at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts with Cadence and at Koerner Hall on May 12. We have two workshops each season with prominent guest clinicians. We have a flash mob for hire, bringing excitement to corporate meetings and open-air venues. Everyone has an inner rock star. Come and unleash yours! Caroline Suri 647-203-3408 B14 | theWholeNote 2017/18 PRESENTER PROFILES

●●Nine Sparrows Arts Foundation Nine Sparrows Arts Foundation marks its 24th anniversary this season under the continuing leadership of artistic director Eric Robertson. Nine Sparrows Arts Foundation has presented a rich variety of concerts for Toronto audiences, including its popular weekly recital series, as well as international groups such as King’s College Cambridge Choir, Clare College Singers and St. John’s College Choir. It has also featured Canadian artists including John Neville, Erica Goodman, Colin Fox, John McDermott, Sharlene Wallace, Anne Lindsay, the True North Brass, the Gryphon Trio, Christine Duncan’s Element Choir, and percussion ensemble NEXUS. Nine Sparrows Arts Foundation is also involved in the City Carol Sing, a large annual charity event that raises money for food banks across Canada. Nine Sparrows Arts Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to bringing the best in inspirational arts programming. It is governed by an elected volunteer board of directors and operates with the assistance of advisors from a variety of backgrounds, including event management, promotions, finance and business. Nine Sparrows Arts Foundation, in cooperation with Yorkminster Park Baptist Church, began its 2017/18 season on Tuesday, September 12 with the first recital in its weekly “Lunchtime Chamber Music” series. E. Burns 416-241-1298 ●●Nocturnes in the City The organization started 16 years ago as Nocturnes at Masaryktown, to get Czech and Slovak communities together a few times a year for cultural events of the highest quality, from the fields of classical music, jazz, musical lectures and entertainment. The first very successful season included the Panocha quartet, violinist Ivan Zenaty, George Grosman and his Bohemian jazz group – together, five evenings. After the second season, Nocturnes grew to eight performances a year. Classical concerts moved to St. Wenceslaus Church in the Bloor/Dufferin area (Gladstone Ave.); jazz remained at Prague Restaurant at Masaryktown in Scarborough. The combination of two venues has been a success, subscriptions are growing and some additional concerts have been added when top artists from the Czech Republic and Slovakia have been available here. The upcoming season brings violinist Ivan Zenaty; jazzman George Grosman; Karolina Kubalek, a young pianist following in the footsteps of her father Anton Kubalek; Duo Ventapane from Montreal; baritone John Holland with friends in one operatic evening; and jazzman Emil Viklicky from Prague. Highlights of our audiovisual presentations include professor Iain Scott, lecturing on 100 years of Czech operas with audiovisual NEWCHOIR excerpts of famous Czech and Slovak singers. Milos Krajny 416-481-7294 ●●Oakville Chamber Orchestra Entertaining Oakville, Burlington and Mississauga since 1984, the Oakville Chamber Orchestra (OCO) performs favourite classics, contemporary music and rare gems, in intimate settings. Originally founded as a group of amateur string players, the OCO has steadily grown in size and quality to become the well-loved community orchestra it is today. Audiences and critics resoundingly agree that our musical quality has never been better. The purpose of the OCO is to enrich the cultural landscape by: sharing our passion for music with the community, helping local musicians develop their artistry, and promoting Canadian soloists. In addition to bringing exceptional chamber music to the doorsteps of Oakville residents, we play at charitable, private and corporate events, and participate in community events. Our annual Youth Concerto Competition is recognized for fostering exceptional emerging talent. Details are available on our website General Manager 905-483-6787 ●●Oakville Children’s Choir The Oakville Children’s Choir holds fast to its mission of providing world-class choral, musical and performance training to young people in Halton, where it has become a comprehensive music education program for up to 240 auditioned choristers ranging in age from 4 through 25 years. The OCC presents three to four self-produced concerts annually for the community, each featuring all levels of choir plus a guest artist. In addition, the choir performs at workshops, provides guest appearances at community functions, collaborates with other choirs and arts groups in Ontario, and tours internationally. Theory, musicianship, vocal coaching and workshops with professional artists are all components of the choral program. Competitions and touring also add to the choristers’ experience, as well as the choir’s wide range of repertoire, diverse concert programming and its high standard of performance. The OCC gives back to its community by developing youth, partnering with other groups, bringing music to seniors and hospitals, offering bursaries to families in need, supporting other charities, participating in community events, providing educational outreach initiatives, and encouraging volunteering. Katherine Hamilton 905-337-7104 ●●Off Centre Music Salon Now in its 23rd Anniversary Season, Off Centre Music Salon began as an attempt to find the magical, inclusive atmosphere of the Viennese and Parisian Salons of the 19th century. At a time when the concert hall experience had become almost clinical in its austerity, we felt the need, more than ever, to go back to a time when music was intimately shared, and when concerts told a story and created personal connections for audience and performer alike. “Music will save the world,” said the great Pablo Casals. And we can certainly all agree that right now we are in dire need of some saving. This season we are transported (and saved) by our beloved Schubert, by a dose of the very best musical medicine, by a traipse through the Salons theWholeNote 2017/18 PRESENTER PROFILES | B15

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