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Volume 24 Issue 5 - February 2019

  • Text
  • February
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • Arts
  • Theatre
  • Musical
  • Performing
  • Orchestra
  • Symphony
  • Composer
In this issue: A prize that brings lustre to its laureates (and a laureate who brings lustre to the prize); Edwin Huizinga on the journey of Opera Atelier's "The Angel Speaks" from Versailles to the ROM; Danny Driver on playing piano in the moment; Remembering Neil Crory (a different kind of genius)' Year of the Boar, Indigeneity and Opera; all this and more in Volume 24 #5. Online in flip through, HERE and on the stands commencing Thursday Jan 31.

ecently added to the

ecently added to the TCOCP roster. Their varied program celebrates the Year of the Pig with a mix of traditional and contemporary Chinese music. It continues with Colourful Clouds Chasing the Moon composed by Ren Guang, the traditional Purple Bamboo Tune, Jiang Xianwei’s Journey to Gusu, Lu Wencheng’s Rising Higher Step by Step, and Romance on the Grasslands by Wang Luobin/Patty Chan. The program then concludes with Dance of Yi Tribe by Wang Huiren, Hand in Hand by Su Shi/Patty Chan, and the popular Racing Horses composed by Huang Haihuai. ROM Gods in My Home: Chinese New Year The TCO remains active during the New Year season playing public and private events. For example on February 16, 17 and 18, mornings and afternoons at the Royal Ontario Museum, its youth and small ensembles perform ensemble pieces and instrumental solos. They will also offer demonstrations and opportunities for the audiences to try playing selected instruments. These interactive performances are part of the ROM’s current exhibition Gods in My Home: Chinese New Year. Drawn from the Museum’s permanent collection, the exhibition features a selection of ancestral portrait paintings and deity prints that were an integral part of Lunar New Year observances in Chinese households. Gods in My Home “explores the connections between the domestic, material and spiritual life of Chinese society…during the late Imperial period to the early 20th-century Republic era.” New Year. Please see their website for more details. Perhaps, as the temple suggests, you will be among those fortunate enough to “bring home auspicious blessings and wisdom.” In this KonMari-fuelled “tidying and purging” era, those are two possessions I wouldn’t mind more of. WORLD VIEW QUICK PICKS Jane Bunnett and Macqueque Fo Guang Shan Temple of Toronto Plenty of other events I’ve focused attention on just two Chinese Orchestras in this account of Chinese New Year music in the GTA. Of course there are plenty of other events taking place in Chinese communities throughout the GTA. For example the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto holds its signature Year of the Pig Banquet on February 8 at its sprawling Scarborough facility, featuring an evening of community entertainment, many including Chinese music. Finally, for those seeking musical experiences with a spiritual aim, the Fo Guang Shan Temple of Toronto marks the Chinese New Year with several activities in its Mississauga Mahayana Buddhist temple. In a message from the Venerable Master Hsing Yun, the founder of Fo Guang Shan, the Year of the Pig both symbolizes endings and brand new beginnings. “One homophone for pig is ‘all’ or ‘everything,’ which also represents a good wish for everyone to have a wellrounded and auspicious year.” From January 26 to February 10, the Temple hosts Chinese New Year Festival activities such as lighting lamps to the Buddhas, sounding the bell of peace, and participating in Dharma services to welcome the New Year. The Chinese New Year’s Eve Chanting Service is on February 4 starting at 8pm, while the New Year Chanting Service is on February 5 and 10 at 10am. The Temple invites everyone to visit during Chinese !! FEB 2, 8PM: Lemon Bucket Orkestra and Aline Morales at Koerner Hall, Royal Conservatory of Music. Toronto’s guerilla-punk-Balkan-folk-brass band shares the stage with Aline Morales, the Brazilian-Toronto singer, percussionist and member of KUNÉ – Canada’s Global Orchestra. !! FEB 7, 12:30pm: York University Department of Music presents music professor Rob Simms playing a rare concert of tanbur and setar solos in its Faculty Spotlight Series in Room 235, Accolade East Building, York University. !! FEB 9, 7:30PM: The “Queen of Klezmer” Alicia Svigals, a founder of the Grammy Award-winning Klezmatics and “the world’s foremost klezmer violinist” takes the stage of the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts in Kingston, with her band. !! FEB 9, 8PM: The Royal Conservatory of Music presents Cuban-Canadian piano giant Hilario Durán and his Latin Jazz Big Band with Horacio “El Negro” Hernández and Sarita Levya’s Rumberos; at Koerner Hall. !! FEB 21, 22, 23 AND 24: Tafelmusik restages its moving transcultural Tales of Two Cities: The Leipzig-Damascus Coffee House at Koerner Hall. Maryem Tollar serves as the gracious narrator and vocalist while Tafelmusik guests, Persian percussionist Naghmeh Farahmand and oud specialist Demetri Petsalakis, musically illustrate the Damascus end of the tale. Elisa Citterio conducts from the violin. !! FEB 23, 8PM: The powerful Cuban female bolero, canción and son vocalist Yaima Sáez and her group splits the night with Jane Bunnett and Maqueque, her band of deep-groove, earlycareer Cuban women musicians, at the RBC Theatre, Living Arts Centre, Mississauga. !! MAR 3, 1PM: The Royal Conservatory of Music presents Padideh Ahrarnejad, Iranian tar player and member of KUNÉ, performing a free concert (ticket required) with her sextet Partow at Mazzoleni Concert Hall, Padideh Ahrarnejad RCM. Andrew Timar is a Toronto musician and music writer. He can be contacted at worldmusic@thewholenote.com. 26 | December 2018 / January 2019 thewholenote.com

Beat by Beat | Choral Scene Choral Fire in Winter Snow BRIAN CHANG Two upcoming choral concerts promise to take some of the chill out of winter. The Nathaniel Dett Chorale, joined by alumni, premieres a new work, Hosea, to perform what artistic director Brainerd Blyden-Taylor calls a concert of “wonderful, inspirational, moving music.” This concert continues the Chorale’s 20th anniversary season. And two of the finest chamber choirs in Canada join forces to present a joint concert; the Vancouver Chamber Choir (VCC) is hosted by the Elmer Iseler Singers on their 92nd and last tour with Jon Washburn at the head of the VCC. To Return, with Love: Hosea The Nathaniel Dett Chorale takes the Koerner Hall stage to perform a new work, Hosea. “This year we have a composer-in-residence, Dr. Stephen Newby,” shares artistic director Blyden-Taylor. “He has written a mini-oratorio based on the Old Testament Book of Hosea. It is a fusion mashup of the classical, jazz and gospel genres.” “When the Book of Hosea was written, it was a metaphor for God’s relationship with the children of Israel,” shares Blyden-Taylor. “Initially God tells Hosea he should marry a prostitute and take in her children.” Figuratively, Hosea invokes wayward Israelites, who have turned their backs on God, to turn back to God. “He calls them to repentance with an open heart of forgiveness should they return to him.” That path to repentance is one of inclusion, opening doors and hearts to the denigrated and lowly. The Book of Hosea is controversial, more so now, for its disparaging depictions of “wanton women.” The metaphoric reading, though, is more nuanced than the literal text taken at face value. For Blyden- Taylor, “looking at it from our point of view today, it’s essentially the theme of unconditional love, reconciliation, and compassion.” Composer-in-residence Newby is professor of music at Seattle Pacific University, a Christian college rooted in the Wesleyan Methodist tradition. He conducts the University’s Gospel Choir and teaches composition. Blyden-Taylor describes Hosea as “a combination of Newby’s two passions: music and theology.” Hosea will be performed by the current Chorale. The other half of the concert will include alumni across the 20-year history of the The Nathaniel Dett Chorale's composer-in-residence, Dr. Stephen Newby in his role as national anthem singer for the Seattle Sounders FC. ensemble. Blyden-Taylor says “there are about 18 to 20 alumni who are coming back to sing with the current ensemble. We’re doing a series of favourite spirituals in the other half of the concert. We’re doing pieces by Nathaniel Dett and Moses Hogan.” Added to this, Blyden- Taylor has programmed songs from young American composer, Brandon Waddles, making three generations of composers spanning 100 years. It is a banner year for the Chorale, celebrating its 20th anniversary. It is also, Blyden Taylor shares, “a big year for Nathaniel Dett too. This season marks the 75th anniversary of his death, and the 90th anniversary of the school of music he founded in Hampton University, Virginia. Dett was also one of the founding members of the National Association of Negro Musicians in the US, and they’ll be celebrating their 100th anniversary in Chicago in the summertime.” The ongoing process of exploring Afrocentric music has become a life’s work for Blyden-Taylor. “This ensemble is not just to commemorate Nathaniel Dett, but also his belief in Afrocentric music in its entirety,” he says. “It’s been a rich 20 years, and we’ve done a lot of things over that time, always striving to provide wonderful, inspirational, moving music.” February 13, 8pm. The Nathaniel Dett Chorale presents Voices thewholenote.com December 2018 / January 2019 | 27

Volumes 21-24 (2015-2018)

Volume 24 Issue 7 - April 2019
Volume 24 Issue 6 - March 2019
Volume 24 Issue 5 - February 2019
Volume 24 Issue 4 - December 2018 / January 2019
Volume 24 Issue 3 - November 2018
Volume 24 Issue 2 - October 2018
Volume 24 Issue 1 - September 2018
Volume 23 Issue 9 - June / July / August 2018
Volume 23 Issue 8 - May 2018
Volume 23 Issue 7 - April 2018
Volume 23 Issue 6 - March 2018
Volume 23 Issue 4 - December 2017 / January 2018
Volume 23 Issue 3 - November 2017
Volume 23 Issue 2 - October 2017
Volume 23 Issue 1 - September 2017
Volume 22 Issue 9 - Summer 2017
Volume 22 Issue 8 - May 2017
Volume 22 Issue 7 - April 2017
Volume 22 Issue 6 - March 2017
Volume 22 Issue 5 - February 2017
Volume 22 Issue 4 - December 2016/January 2017
Volume 22 Issue 2 - October 2016
Volume 22 Issue 1 - September 2016
Volume 21 Issue 9 - Summer 2016
Volume 21 Issue 8 - May 2016
Volume 21 Issue 6 - March 2016
Volume 21 Issue 5 - February 2016
Volume 21 Issue 4 - December 2015/January 2016
Volume 21 Issue 3 - November 2015
Volume 21 Issue 2 - October 2015
Volume 21 Issue 1 - September 2015

Volumes 16-20 (2010-2015)

Volumes 11-15 (2004-2010)

Volumes 6 - 10 (2000 - 2006)

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)