1 year ago

Volume 25 Issue 8 - May / June 2020

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  • Choir
  • Performing
  • Performances
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  • Jazz
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  • 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!

Alive and Online It

Alive and Online It seems like every day there are additional new ways to find our music community online. Here are a few of particular note. DANIEL WALDHECKER / ARTE G.E.I.E. Violinist Daniel Hope spends this period of social distancing by performing chamber concerts from his living room in Berlin with specially invited guests. Every day at 6pm. TSO Virtual Orchestra (screengrab) TSO MUSICIANS ONLINE & ACROSS SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS The TSO Facebook page hosts a regular series on Facebook Live on Tuesday and Friday afternoons called #TSOatHome. The most recent on April 24 featured violinist Leslie Dawn Knowles and her husband, tubist Mark Tetrault. The TSO can also be found on Instagram (torontosymphony), on Twitter (@TorontoSymphony), and on YouTube Orchestra members are represented on Facebook and other platforms. They share content on Facebook (TSO Musicians), Instagram (tsomusicians) and Twitter (@TSOmusicians). On Thursdays, the TSO has partnered with the Toronto Star for a collection of ”Musical Moments”. On April 22, concertmaster Jonathan Crow and pianist Phil Chiu (recorded individually and paired up by TSO producers) performed the famous Air from Bach’s Orchestral Suite No.3. KOERNER HALL CONCERTS FROM HOME! There are more than 25 classical, jazz, and roots music concerts available online. Just for example … • András Keller conducts the Royal Conservatory Orchestra (April 26, 2019 ) • Nicolas Altstaedt and Fazil Say (March 2, 2018 ) • Terry Riley: Live at 85! (January 18, 2019.) URGNT LIVE This ad hoc crowd-funded livestream series of concerts was created in response to the covid-19 outbreak. You can pay a cover charge which will contribute to paying a nominal fee to all involved parties, and help with lost gigs and wages as a result of the quarantine. Presenting a wide range of performances, including a May 8 10-show, one day festival that includes the Gryphon Trio, and Stewart Goodyear THE CANADIAN OPERA COMPANY #Opera at Home is an initiative to share one clip every day on social media channels to help bring opera to our audiences during this challenging time. With one clip, every day at 11am there are already 44 of these for viewing, so you have might some catching up to do! Find the link on their homepage Check out “ONLINE, LIVESTREAM, ETCetera” on page 33. than statement.” As extraordinary as it was to be a part of Hope’s salon, Rattle concluded: “Of course, we’re all waiting for the moment when we’re playing to people in front of people. Let’s hope.” Streaming sites: British magazine Classic FM has an extensive list of streaming sites for many musical organizations, including the New York Philharmonic’s Boléro, the TSO’s Appalachian Spring and Daniel Hope’s Hope@Home: live-streamed-classical-music-concerts-coronavirus Updated daily, the list for April 23 includes 43 links for classical music organizations live-streaming, or that have made their concert archives available online. Among them are The Metropolitan Opera’s Nightly Met Opera Streams, the Berlin Philharmonic’s Digital Concert Hall, Carnegie Hall’s Live with Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall’s Live Stream and the London Mozart Players’ At Home with LMP. The list of 12 upcoming classical concerts being live-streamed includes the Bang on a Can Marathon, May 3 at 3pm, with music by Philip Glass, Meredith Monk and others. The list of 75 past classical concerts that were live-streamed features Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic performing Bartók and Berio from March 13 and 14; Avi Avatal, Daniel Hope and Jacques Ammon, Lang Lang, Max Raabe and Christoph Israel performing at the Konzerthaus Berlin without an audience, March 18; and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center 30th Anniversary Gala, April 21. More to mine: Extensive as Classic FM’s streaming sites are, they are not exhaustive. Here are a handful to mine in the weeks ahead. Anyone with a Toronto Public Library card can access concerts and masterclasses and the Naxos Music Library by visiting Bachtrack ( currently has 1000 links to past live performances. YouTube remains a treasure trove; the TSO YouTube channel is one of many well worth examining. Facebook and Twitter are filled with musical notes of interest: the last weekend of April features The Metropolitan Opera virtual at home gala ( with more than 40 artists led by Yannick Nézet- Séguin; more than 40 Broadway stars celebrate Stephen Sondheim’s 90th birthday on April 26 (’s YouTube channel); pianist Igor Levit gave his 42nd House Concert on April 23. Pity, my virtually non-existent German limits my understanding of his extensive introductions, but his Twitter feed (@igorpianist) woke me up with his playing of a Scott Joplin rag on April 13. And his radical rendition of Beethoven’s “Waldstein” Sonata was completely gripping with its whirlwind first movement, contrasting second and sublime finale. The number of streams is closing in on 400,000. Stay safe. Be well. Keep listening. Paul Ennis is the managing editor of The WholeNote. 22 | May and June 2020

Beat by Beat | One World View When Your Instrument Is a Collective Noun JOSEF TIMAR ANDREW TIMAR by saying who you are and where music fits into that,” were my editor’s instructions for this piece. After which “Start I was to move on to talking about what I was doing when COVID-19 hit: what I’d had to abandon, what I’m hoping to pick up on again, and how I am preparing for that. Be careful what you ask for! Born midcentury as Tímár András in Szombathely, Hungary, as a young child I was an unwitting participant in my family’s Canadian immigration saga. We segued from the trauma and dislocation of the aftermath of the Hungarian Revolution to the welcoming though utterly unfamiliar WASP-dominated environs of 1950s Toronto. These days I’m navigating another radical change - the challenging socially distanced landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic. A few things of course happened in the intervening six decades, the branches of my various careers intertwining quite unpredictable, even mysterious, ways. I’ve worked as a landscape labourer and firm vice president, supervisor, draftsperson, tree nursery manager, copy editor, New Music Concerts’ production manager, and artistic director of several music groups. I served as the founding editor of and frequent contributor to Musicworks magazine and as the President of my construction company. One through-line though: I never stopped critically listening to, thinking about, performing and composing music. Since early childhood I’d been a musician - first a piano student, then a bassoonist and finally a gamelan and suling player. (The suling is the bamboo ring flute of West Java, Indonesia. And that is a story for another time. Andrew Timar performing his Invocation to the Ancestors for solo suling gambuh, at ECCG concert, Array Studio, Toronto, 2017. Tímár András/Andrew Timar, Lábatlan, Hungary, c. 1954. (photographer unknown, coll. of author) As for music journalism, my roots in it reach back to January 1978 when Musicworks, the music journal “for curious ears,” began publishing. For five years as its first editor-in-chief and a major contributor I worked with the brilliant John Oswald, building on the nascent writing and paste-up skills I honed at high school and university print weeklies. Most recently, for over the last decade it’s been a pleasure to serve as The WholeNote’s World View columnist, features writer, blogger and disc reviewer, filing several hundred items. (I invite you to sample them on WN’s comprehensive online archive.) Like most musicians, my live gigs were cancelled when COVID-19 shut venues down. Several feature story ideas for The WholeNote are on ice. And while I remain Evergreen Club Contemporary Gamelan’s suling soloist, I was also deeply involved in planning two upcoming ECCG events which are also on ice: our composers’ workshop, organised with the support of the Canadian Music Centre, scheduled for this May at the Array Studio; and plans made over a year ago with leading Indonesian composer and musician Iwan Gunawan to travel to Toronto to work with ECCG for an extended period in June 2020. I also lead monthly community Gamelan Meetups, a joint ECCG/ Array project, which have been cancelled since March 2020. ECCG is actively discussing potential reactivation dates for the composer workshop with the CMC and Array. We’re also exploring how remote workshopping (via video) could work as an option in addition to live participation. Our artist-in-residence programme will have to wait until international travel and visas to permit it will once again be available. And as for the May and June 2020 | 23

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