3 years ago

Volume 26 Issue 2 - October 2020

  • Text
  • Classical
  • Artists
  • Choral
  • Concerts
  • Performances
  • Choir
  • Jazz
  • Musical
  • Toronto
  • October
Following the Goldberg trail from Gould to Lang Lang; Measha Brueggergosman and Edwin Huizinga on face to face collaboration in strange times; diggings into dance as FFDN keeps live alive; "Classical unicorn?" - Luke Welch reflects on life as a Black classical pianist; Debashis Sinha's adventures in sound art; choral lessons from Skagit Valley; and the 21st annual WholeNote Blue Pages (part 1 of 3) in print and online. Here now. And, yes, still in print, with distribution starting Thursday October 1.

sound.” All these

sound.” All these elements will be combined to tell a story about “the liminal space between our perceptions and the perceptions of these N-dimensional entities – “N because who knows how many there are. It’s more about the failure to understand, in the Western sense of understanding, deep truths that nonetheless operate in our lives but that are impossible to articulate.” We concluded our conversation talking about the reality of livestreamed performances in these times. He said that sometimes these are successful, but feels that performances work best when they completely embrace the shortcomings of the streaming platform. Fortunately in this case, Darren Copeland, one of the producers of the event, has chosen to use the Whereby platform that has much higher audio quality than Zoom does, and this has Sinha very excited. There will also be a Q&A after the performance, either by text or video chat, for listeners to interact with questions and comments about what they experienced. CLASSICAL AND BEYOND IN WITH THE NEW QUICK PICKS CLAIRE HARVIE OCT 1 to 18: The Music Gallery’s annual X Avant Festival, “Transmissions,” curated by Pratishtha Kohli and Olivia Shortt. All events are free and will be livestreamed. Highlights include abstract punk ensemble OK Miss with Du Yun; 2020 Griffin Poetry Prize-winner Kaie Kellough with Jason Sharp; Toronto’s own indie jazz musician Tara Kannangara; Thin Edge New Music Collective; Anishinaabe singer-songwriter Leanne Betasamosake Simpson; and avant-jazz explorer Mingjia. The festival will also include an interview with Toronto Black music historian emeritus, Norman “Otis” Richmond, a tribute to Toronto’s unique musical adventurer Ron Gaskin, and a gathering of Jamaican-Canadian artists and supporters in discussion around a community meal. OCT 7, 8PM: Arraymusic. Livestream Concert with Ryan Driver and The Titillators. OCT 8, 8PM: Freesound. The Canadian Music Centre. A concert of works for clarinet, violin and piano by Canadian composers Jason Doell and Anna Höstman. (Livestream The Titillators on CMC website). Oct 17, 7PM: New Adventures in Sound Art/Charles Street Video. “Endosymbiosis: A Live Electronic Music Performance with Liquid Light Imagery by Robert Fantinatto.” RYAN DRIVER Ron Gaskin Wendalyn Bartley is a Toronto-based composer and electrovocal sound artist. TSO, RCM, AND SINFONIA TORONTO Hybrid solutions for viral times PAUL ENNIS Gustavo Gimeno and Kelly Zimba CHRISTOPHER WALL JAIME HOGGE “There’s nothing like the sound of 2,000 people applauding,” said Matthew Loden, Toronto Symphony Orchestra CEO, on September 23, as he welcomed back TSO new music director, Gustavo Gimeno, and principal flutist, Kelly Zimba, during the TSO’s Virtual Opening Night event. A video of Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé Suite No.2, conducted by Gimeno from October 2019, had just finished its online broadcast and Loden was in the process of re-introducing Zimba and Gimeno to viewers for a virtual conversation. 18 | October 2020

TSO at the Drive-In – coming soon! “I find it uncomfortable to watch myself,” said the conductor – from his home in Amsterdam – in answer to a question by Loden. “My analytic mind wonders ‘Could I have done something different?’ – but the music is moving and emotionally powerful… the human being can’t stop the emotion… I got goosebumps right away... It’s simply wonderful to see the faces of the musicians around me and the audience.” That October 2019 performance of the Ravel Daphnis and Chloé was Gimeno’s third time conducting the TSO and Loden asked whether it felt different. Gimeno said that he felt a connection to the orchestra within the first half of the first rehearsal he ever had with them. “With the atmosphere, with the sound and the way of making music, I felt in the right place.” And the TSO still feels like his musical family, but now that he’s no longer a guest conductor “the analysis goes much further and deeper.” “We were all very excited to work with Gustavo,” Zimba said. “The energy that was onstage was really strong and palpable… We really trusted Gustavo’s musical vision.” Ever since early July when all concerts in the 2020/21 season were cancelled, we’ve been wondering how the TSO will be engaging with the public under COVID-19 protocols, and Loden was able to reveal a few things for the coming months at the September 23 event. One he spoke about was four upcoming appearances on select Fridays by TSO musicians in the Walker Court of the AGO (with accompanying pop-ups in other spots within the AGO) – September 25 (concertmaster Jonathan Crow and principal cello Joseph Johnson); October 2 (Ashley Vandiver, viola, and Alastair Eng, cello); October 9 (principal percussion Charles Settle and percussionist Joseph Kelly); and October 16 (TBD). Audiences are welcome to drop in, stand on physically distanced markers and enjoy the program. Limited accessibility seating is available. Free with admission, the performances will happen in the Gallery from 2pm to 4pm. These are not continuous performances and can only be attended by booking a timed-entry ticket for AGO admission. Space is limited. He also talked about the fact that groups of approximately 20 TSO musicians will play at each of three outdoor concerts at CityView Drive-In, in the Toronto Port Lands. “Kings of Ragtime” kicks off the mini-series October 7 at 7pm with a selection of six Scott Joplin CITYVIEW DRIVE-IN tunes, three by Jelly Roll Morton and two by George Gershwin, plus W.C. Handy’s iconic St. Louis Blues. Gordon Gerrard conducts. Next up, concertmaster Jonathan Crow is soloist and leader in Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, October 16 at 8pm. And then “First Ladies of Soul,” a tribute to legendary voices from Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone to Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston and Tina Turner rounds things out October 17 at 8pm, featuring award-winning blues singer Shakura S’Aida and TSO principal education conductor and community ambassador, Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser. Loden then surprised us with the disclosure that TSO musicians would be collaborating with the cast of Murdoch Mysteries beginning September 24. Don’t touch that dial. And finally, he offered a teaser for an upcoming HD concert series – “Gustavo’s putting these programs together” which will include masterworks – like Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, the Adagietto from Mahler’s Symphony No.5, an all-Mozart program, and two Beethoven programs including the “Pastoral” Symphony 6 and Symphony No.7 – intermixed with works by contemporary composers Gabriela Lena Frank, Dinuk Wijeratne, Jörg Widmann and Barbara Croall. Gimeno will conduct the two Beethoven programs himself. For now, the video of Gimeno’s finely calibrated October 2019 Ravel – the TSO so-well balanced, their sound relaxed and transparent – is a reminder of what awaits us in a post-pandemic world. Twists and turns at RCM: Meanwhile, up the road from a shuttered Roy Thomson Hall, The Royal Conservatory is gamely trying to navigate the various twists and turns in the COVID-19 river while maintaining as full a concert schedule as possible despite the current limit of 50 people in the audience – at their season launch in the spring, they planned for audiences as large as 400. October 2, for example, was to be the first Royal Conservatory Orchestra concert of the season with British harpsichordist/conductor Trevor Pinnock leading the orchestra. With Pinnock unable to travel, Toronto Symphony Orchestra concertmaster and New Orford String Quartet violinist, Jonathan Crow, stepped in, to lead the from the concertmaster’s chair in a program which, in addition to Mozart’s Haffner Symphony, will feature the new recipient of the Ihnatowycz Piano Prize, Sae Yoon Chon, as the soloist in Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto. In-venue attendance on October 2 has now been ruled out, and the event as advertised will now be replaced with a free online concert at a date to be announced. Similarly Follies in Concert, a performance and gala event originally scheduled for October 17, has been postponed to October 16, 2021. On the bright side, Angela Hewitt will be performing J.S. Bach’s magnificent Art of the Fugue BWV 1080 in Koerner Hall at 3pm Kristian Alexander | Artistic Director Stiptititibtiti 8 titi Dtitititibtiti 12, 2020 StiSV titititititititi titititititi Itititititititititititi tititititi tititititititi titititititititi tititiktihtipti Optiti titihtititititititi Exhtibtititi Ltititititititi Ftitititi MCMF.CA October 2020 | 19

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