1 year ago

Volume 25 Issue 8 - May / June 2020

  • Text
  • Choir
  • Performing
  • Performances
  • Orchestra
  • Musicians
  • Jazz
  • Recording
  • Toronto
  • Musical
  • Concerts
"COVID's Metamorphoses"? "There's Always Time (Until Suddenly There Isn't)"? "The Writing on the Wall"? It's hard to know WHAT to call this latest chapter in the extraordinary story we are all of a sudden characters in. By whatever name we call it, the MAY/JUNE combined issue of The WholeNote is now available, HERE in flip through format, in print commencing Wednesday May 6, and, in fully interactive form, online at Our 18th Annual Choral Canary Pages, scheduled for publication in print and flip through in September is already well underway with the first 50 choirs home to roost and more being added every week online. Community Voices, our cover story, brings to you the thoughts of 30 musical community members, all going through what we are going through (and with many more to come as the feature gets amplified online over the course of the coming months). And our regular writers bring their personal thoughts to the mix. Finally, a full-fledged DISCoveries review section offers cues and clues to recorded music for your solitary solace!

performances with the

performances with the Having a break from the rigorous Orchestra of the Age of world of live performance Enlightenment (London) and the Orchestra of the is a welcome opportunity to 18th Century (Amsterdam). reconnect with people, catch I teach baroque violin up on things that I have been at the University of “meaning to do”, and gives Toronto, at Tafelmusik’s Summer Institute and at me some space (during panic the Banff Centre for the breaks!) to think and create. Arts (for the Evolution: Quartet program). Since COVID-19 hit, I have had to let go of all of my concerts and recordings thus far until August. That includes 2 St. John Passions (one with L’Harmonie des Saisons in Montreal, one with Tafelmusik), a St. Matthew Passion (Kalamazoo Symphony), a Bach program and a Handel program with Tafelmusik including a new Handel recording, performances at the Toronto Bach Festival in May, a chamber music program in Montreal with some colleagues and students, a few Eybler quartet concerts as well as recording a new Haydn CD, teaching at Tafelmusik’s Summer institute and at the Banff Centre in July….and more to come… All of the groups are planning on some kind of postponement of projects, but time will tell what kind of format they will take. I think probably my work with smaller groups will resume more quickly than others, but also we may start doing things like streaming concerts, planning smaller concerts, prioritizing recording, etc. For some projects we are doing things online instead of in person (like the recent Aspylmayr online CD launch). Right now it is a lot of planning, re-thinking, strategizing, learning new skills, and creating projects that will support the changing world of what it means to be a musician. I have been working on a new website. Almost everyone has been making videos - I have done a few for Tafelmusik and L’Harmonie de Saisons, Eybler Quartet is in the process of making videos to support our newly released Aspylmayr recording, and I FURIOSI is in the process of releasing some tracks from live recordings that we have made over the last 20 years. Having a break from the rigorous world of live performance is a welcome opportunity to reconnect with people, catch up on things that I have been “meaning to do”, and gives me some space (during panic breaks!) to think and create. I would say that I am also being buoyed and inspired by my incredibly talented, creative and imaginative colleagues all around the world. It is definitely a time like this that I am exceedingly grateful for online platforms keeping us connected. As for how best people reading this can stay in touch … my new website!!! I have been working on this with one of my brilliant students and I am thrilled with how it’s coming together! It is a way for people to keep up with what I have been up to, watch videos, find links to my groups, to buying recordings that will give money directly to artists, AND, what I might be the most excited about – it is a place where people have access to resources that I love! There is a baroque music learning page with links to books and scores, and there is a wellbeing section with links to books, websites, articles and more. This is a collaborative effort so please send me a comment through my contact page if you have suggestions or resources that you would like to see added! I’ve “pinned” my response on this map to Trinity-St Paul’s Church, Tafelmusik’s home base and my favourite place to work in Toronto. I love the acoustics, I love the energy of the space with all of the different activities that happen here, and I love all of the people - both at Tafelmusik and at the church. It is my musical “happy place.” JACK MACQUARRIE Music has been a part of my life since I started playing in a Boy’s Band at age 13. Although I am a Life Member of the musicians’ union, in recent years most of my musical life has been in amateur organizations. For the past fourteen years I have written the monthly Bandstand column for The WholeNote. What have I had to let go of completely since COVID-19 hit? Weekly rehearsals in three different groups, on three different instruments have all been cancelled. As well, at least three planned concerts have been cancelled. As soon as possible I hope to carry on with As soon as possible I hope to carry on with all rehearsals all rehearsals and performances. Meanwhile and performances. Meanwhile I am researching a variety of musical topics. I am researching a I also am doing some lonely practicing in an variety of musical attempt to retain some level of proficiency. topics. I also am doing some lonely practicing in an attempt to retain some level of proficiency. For people reading this to stay in touch, the best way would be by e-mail through For mapping purposes here, my home community is Goodwood, Ontario. This is a small hamlet in the Township of Uxbridge. Goodwood has now received some fame as the location where the TV show “Schitt’s Creek” has been located. I live across the street from “The Mayor’s House”. RAUL DA GAMA I am a poet and critic who writes regular reviews for David Olds’ “Discoveries” section in The WholeNote. I am single; with 3 grown children and a small grandson. But I live alone and only go out to attend concerts or exercise to keep a handle on multiple serious health issues. Of all the things I have had to forgo since COVID onset, the hardest has been attending concerts at clubs and (my beloved) other venues e.g. Koerner Hall. I also had to forgo (this month) an opportunity to interview Elio Villafranca live at Lincoln Center about his new project. First priority when circumstances permit? Getting back to attending live events, of course. Meanwhile, staying touch with musicians I know to keep tabs on when they will perform live and/ or go on tour keeps me occupied and somewhat hopeful. To stay in touch with what I am doing, planning,and listening to: print and online media, social media, e-mail. For mapping purposes, home base is L9T 6Z5 (Milton, Ontario), but my heart is at M5S 1V6 (Koerner Hall). EDWIN HUIZINGA I am an artistic director, violinist, baroque violinist, experimentalist, and producer. I am speaking for myself, as myself, in the time of Corona. Of all the things I had planned, I have completely let go of performing live. I have had over 30 concerts cancelled, including a short tour, as well as multiple summer festivals, big and small. It is 10 | May and June 2020

If it starts with the allowance of parties coming together in groups of 10 or less, I will begin by performing concerts for 10 people, Just think, I might even sell out my first concert after Corona! absolutely amazing how much I miss the opportunity to share with others, to feel the excitement and energy in a room full of people - there is absolutely NOTHING like it. Performing will be a thrill, and something I will jump at the chance to do once the situation allows. If it starts with the allowance of parties coming together in groups of 10 or less, I will begin by performing concerts for 10 people, Just think, I might even sell out my first concert after Corona! Instead of performing live right now, I’m looking inside, and discovering and noticing what I really really want to do, and to share in the future. I am also learning a ton about recording - have set up a personal recording studio, and I am even learning the basics of video. Things that we have to do all on our own at the moment to stay safe, and follow the protocols of distancing. I am also teaching online, sending out words of encouragement to my staff, colleagues, and friends. I am also working hard with my festival to find alternative scenarios to concerts that have already been postponed, to outreach, to youth programs, all of which may or may not be in peril of having to be completely restructured and organized to be able to follow the rules and guidelines of today’s world. I am also having fantastic meetings with fellow directors and composers and colleagues about things we can help each other with, and also reading a ton, and hiking - so much more hiking!!!! As far as getting ready for the time when I can perform? Well, I’m practising and recording so much, I think I’m going to have enough recital materials for multiple tours anywhere where people are willing to listen! The best way to get in touch is just send a message, tweet, gram, book, email, and even snail mail me - I’m happy to chat, discuss, and share my music. It’s a lonely world - and now some of us are forced to really really recognize and appreciate the need for community, the need for friendships, gatherings, and above all, well for me anyways, HUGS!!! I’m pinning myself, on this map to N0B 2J0 - Puslinch, where I grew up, my home for the first 18 years of my life, and where I hope one day, I can start a music school, a festival for the ages, a concert series, and SO MUCH MORE!!!! We are plugging ahead with LARRY BECKWITH our plans to launch a digital My name is Larry Beckwith podcast series on the eclectic and I wear a few musical hats. music scene here in Toronto. I am the artistic producer of And we are taking the time Confluence Concerts; I conduct the Mooredale Senior Youth to do some deep strategic Orchestra and I teach strings thinking and planning and voice in the Arts Unionville program at Unionville High School. Well, like everyone, I’ve had to let go of rehearsing and performing in person. I had a number of events planned with Confluence that have been either cancelled or postponed and we have had to modify or cancel several school concerts and recitals. Two of our important Confluence events will be postponed to next season: our Salon on “Creativity and Aging” featuring Drs Michael and Linda Hutcheon and performers Patricia O’Callaghan, Lawrence Wiliford, Sanya Eng and Robert Kortgaard; and our mainstage concert “The Mandala” curated by Suba Sankaran and featuring a whole host of wonderful musicians and storytellers. With Mooredale Youth Orchestra Concerts, we will have to see if we can proceed with our June concert, though it seems unlikely. Similarly, with Unionville, we are currently looking at going back to school sometime in early May, but that could have changed by the time you read this. Meanwhile, we carry on as and how we can. With Confluence, we are plugging ahead with our plans to launch a digital podcast series on the eclectic music scene here in Toronto. And we are taking the time to do some deep strategic thinking and planning in the hopes that we can contribute positively to the music scene once we are able to gather again. With Mooredale, we are continuing with our regular Saturday afternoon rehearsals online, meeting in sections and rehearsing Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and the Overture to Die Zauberflöte. We hope we can perform these pieces in public at some point. With Unionville, we are continuing our regular classes and recitals online, preserving our special community and giving the students a chance to be together “virtually” and to continue their special bond through music. To stay in touch, please check the Confluence Concerts website at and sign up for our newsletter, which we send out every few weeks or so. RORY MCLEOD I’m a violist & co-director, with pianist Emily Rho, of Pocket Concerts, with a mission to use intimate, extraordinary listening experiences to build and sustain connections in our community. Since 2013, we have brought people together to share the transformative power of music in banks, hair salons, clothing stores, parks, condo party rooms, and dozens of homes. Individually since COVID-19 hit, I’ve had to let go of all the work I had been hired for with The National Ballet of Canada and Canadian Opera Company Orchestras. I’ve also had to let go of chamber music performances with Canzona Concerts, The Elora Festival, and Off Centre. Pocket Concerts has had to postpone all of the public and private concerts that we had planned this spring (six concerts in total). Once circumstances allow, we will follow through with all of the Pocket Concerts performances if and when it’s possible to gather in person again. We plan to present all of the postponed concerts at some point in the future, using the same hosts and the same artists whenever possible. Meanwhile, instead of my performances, I’m practising repertoire that I wouldn’t normally play, writing more for the Pocket Concerts blog, and we have launched a Livestream concert series called Pocket Concerts Live, pivoting to presenting ticketed live-stream concerts, and selling tickets for these performances through our website. No longer bound by geography, we have engaged Canadian solo artists who live abroad and wouldn’t normally be able to perform with us. We have also set up a Patreon page so that people can support us with small monthly No longer bound by geography, we have engaged Canadian solo artists who live abroad and wouldn’t normally be able to perform with us. We have also set up a Patreon page so that people can support us with small monthly contributions. May and June 2020 | 11

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)