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.


BLUE PAGES 2020/21 SECTION I: PRESENTERS & PERFORMERS do some singing outside! While safe distancing is necessary, we will continue to sing together by using Zoom. Our conductor, Isabel Bernaus, has designed a repertoire that we can receive by email. We have tried the remote singing, and found it easy to do with a desktop or tablet. Technical help is available to those of us who need some coaching in launching the online system. As we progress, we hope to offer some optional live rehearsals to small groups. Our long term goal is to be ready when the world gets back to normal! Pauline McKenzie 416-223-7690 ● Kindred Spirits Orchestra The Kindred Spirits Orchestra has been performing to great acclaim, sold-out audiences, and standing ovations at the Flato Markham Theatre and at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts, as well as at the CBC Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto. Highlights of the 2020/21 concert season include Bruckner’s First, Shostakovich’s Fourteenth, Prokofiev’s Fifth and Scriabin’s Second symphonies as well as Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony and Wagner’s Symphony in C Major. We are thrilled to welcome back Michael Berkovsky in Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2, Andrew Ascenzo in Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1, and Christina Petrowska-Quilico in Tan Dun’s Piano Concerto “The Fire”. Ludmil Angelov will make his début with the KSO in Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1, and Gregory Vandikas in Scriabin’s Piano Concerto. In June 2021, the KSO and Markham Contemporary Music Festival will return to Cornell Recital Hall for a series of concerts presenting pieces by Pärt and Górecki as well as Symphony No. 14 by Shostakovich, featuring soprano Stephanie de Ciantis and bassbaritone John Holland. The concert season will conclude with a performance at the CBC Glenn Gould Theatre and a Canada Day celebration at Unionville Millennium Theatre. Jobert Sevilleno 905-604-8339 Spirits-Orchestra/250778850797 ● Music Gallery, The The Music Gallery is Toronto’s Centre for Creative Music. We present and promote experimentation and innovation in all forms of music, and encourage cross-pollination between genres, disciplines and audiences. Since 1976, we have occupied a valued position within Toronto’s musical ecology, presenting both internationally-renowned contemporary music and a wide spectrum of local artists and projects. We are now located in the beautiful 918 Bathurst St. Centre for Culture, Arts, Media and Education, though this season most of our programming will be delivered online. We present the “X Avant Festival” during October, and “Emergents” (emerging artists) and “Departures” (offsite) series as well as unique main stage concert experiences throughout our season. We also partner with artists and arts organizations to co-present their work in our space, assisted by our highly experienced technical crew. Our season runs September through June with off-season events. David Dacks 416-204-1080 ● Music Toronto “…serious, discerning presenters like Music Toronto have everything to celebrate.” ( A legacy organization in classical music, Music Toronto continues to represent the world’s best chamber ensembles and pianists, though we cannot present live concerts during the pandemic. We specialize in string quartets, long recognized as the highest form of western classical music. Throughout our history we have invited to Toronto only the finest, from established masters like the Amadeus, the Tokyo and the Hagen to exciting new quartets like the vision and the Schumann. Of course we always welcome back our home-grown favourites, the St. Lawrence Quartet and the Gryphon Trio. Our reputation for pianists is equally eclectic - and compelling. From world-renowned interpreters like Stephen Hough, Marc-André Hamelin and Janina Fialkowska to brilliant rising stars like Benjamin Grosvenor, our piano is always in good hands. Great music of five centuries, from Haydn to new works written in this 21st century, and always including Canadian music; artists new and familiar, extraordinary music-making: only the best, only at Music Toronto. Join the best audience in the city for these great concerts. Heather Lacey 416-214-1660 ● New Music Concerts Now entering its 50th season, New Music Concerts is a vital and central part of Toronto’s new music scene and has been providing a leadership role in the community throughout its history. Founded by internationally-acclaimed Canadian musicians Robert Aitken and Norma Beecroft, NMC presented its first concert in January 1972 with guest composer/conductor Luciano Berio. Since that time NMC has commissioned hundreds of new works, and has brought countless historically important compositions to thousands of listeners through meticulous performances by Toronto’s top musicians, most often with the participation of the composers. NMC is known throughout the world as the pre-eminent new music organization of our country. Composers from around the world know that if their work is performed in Canada by NMC, then the performance will not only be outstanding, but probably definitive. NMC is internationally renowned and unique in Toronto as the foremost champion of contemporary works for large chamber ensembles. After 50 years under the artistic direction of Robert Aitken, we are embarking on a transition to our new, innovative artistic director, composer, and conductor, Brian Current. Adam Scime 416-961-9594 Concerts-295010083855752 ● Off Centre Music Salon Off Centre Music Salon re-creates the magical, inclusive atmosphere of the Viennese and Parisian Salons of the 19th century. Music is intimately shared, with each concert telling a story and creating personal connections for the audience and performers alike. Dedicated to the discovery and development of young, professional musical talent, Off Centre concerts include voice and instrumental performances. Repertoire is rarely, if ever, repeated. During these otherworldly times, while our live concerts are on hold, we are planning a number of online events. We look forward to sharing some short performances, personal reflections and musical insights. Please continue to check the listings section of The WholeNote or our website to stay up-to-date with our planned activities. Until we can meet again at our normal venue in Toronto, at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, please keep safe and be well. Inna Perkis 416-466-6323 ● Opera Atelier Opera Atelier is a world leader in the rediscovery and revitalization of period opera and ballet, particularly works from the Baroque era. Through their historically-informed productions, founding co-artistic directors Marshall Pynkoski and Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg seek to provide a thrilling theatrical experience for modern audiences. Opera Atelier presents a two-opera season in Toronto, and tours internationally. The 38 | theWholeNote 2020/21 PRESENTER PROFILES

company is dedicated to the education of youth and young artists, and offers a robust slate of education, enrichment and outreach opportunities. Opera Atelier’s reimagined 2020/21 season features a new creation called Something Rich and Strange (Oct 28, 2020) and Handel’s The Resurrection (April 1, 2021) both livestreamed from Koerner Hall, TELUS Centre. Visit our website for more information. Alexandra Skoczylas, executive director 416-703-3767 x227 ● Orchestra Toronto Orchestra Toronto is an orchestra created by passionate musicians within the community, for the community. Under the direction of music director Michael Newnham, we offer the enjoyment of music, foster education and music appreciation and support emerging Canadian talent. We perform five annual concerts with repertoire from great symphonic classics to new delights, in the acoustically splendid George Weston Recital Hall, at the Meridian Arts Centre. Our organization of volunteers is committed to making symphonic music accessible to a broad and diverse public beyond the concert hall. We are proud to be offering a full, five-concert season, in venues around the city of Toronto. Check our website for concert details. Jennie Worden 416-467-7142 ● Oriana Women’s Choir Oriana Women’s Choir is an auditioned ensemble of 30 amateur female singers with a long history of performance at a high artistic standard. Led by artistic director Mitchell Pady since 2011, Oriana explores the possibilities in choral music for the female voice, collaborating with a diverse range of artists to push the boundaries of typical expectations for women’s choir performances. We foster the creation of Canadian choral music, regularly commissioning works from Canadian composers for women’s voices. Oriana typically presents a three-concert series, in November, February and May. In this anything-but-typical year, we are starting the season virtually, and continuing our focus on Canadian repertoire, including our collaborative project with the composition students in the Claude Watson Senior Arts program. We continue to monitor developments to determine when we may be able to gather safely in-person again, but in the meantime we are looking forward to engaging with you online! Lido Pimienta, in Road to Miss Colombia, at the Music Gallery (Oct 2019) Choir Administrator 416-346-7918 OrianaWomensChoir ● Orpheus Choir of Toronto The Orpheus Choir’s vision is to celebrate the power of choral music as an agent of social change and a passionate medium of artistic expression. The 65-voice choir under artistic director Robert Cooper, champions the new and unusual in choral performance, commissioning and introducing new works and performing overlooked masterpieces. Regularly working with living composers, and singing a wide range of repertoire in concerts with high production values, Orpheus has introduced audiences to many accessible works from the current generation of leading composers. Orpheus also supports young emerging vocal talent through its highly respected Sidgwick Scholars Program and its newer Vocal Apprentice Program for high school singers. Winner of the 2018 Choral Canada Award for Outstanding Innovation, Orpheus continues to present an “expect something different” experience! The 2020/21 season will begin virtually, with livestreamed performances in November and December, moving to live performances when circumstances permit. Planned projects include a program of favourites selected by the choir members, and an exploration of music and mental health in Allan Bevan’s Ancient of Days. Helen Coxon 416-530-4428 ● Pax Christi Chorale Pax Christi Chorale delivers stirring performances with great polish and total conviction. Under the leadership of artistic director David Bowser, the award-winning choir aspires to build on its strengths and accomplishments to achieve new levels of performance and audience engagement. Collaborations with outstanding guest artists and partners give audiences and performers a deep appreciation for choral masterworks and new Canadian music. The Pax Christi Chamber Choir placed first in its category in Choral Canada’s 2017 national competition for amateur choirs. We champion great choral music among a diverse community. We have an inclusive philosophy and welcome audience members and choristers from all backgrounds and walks of life. Pax Christi Chorale has moved its activities online for the 2020/21 season. Visit our website for more information on audition and concert information, or email interim executive director Cynthia Hawkins. Cynthia Hawkins ● The Piano Lunaire The Piano Lunaire is a contemporary classical music organization based in Toronto, pursuing the presentation of artistic excellence in the 21st Century. The company’s portfolio is three-fold: we produce monthly full moon performances, house a record label (“Lunaire Records”), and collaborate with the Canadian musical community at large, in the capacity of both fundraising and pedagogical platform. Correspondingly, our mission comprises three mandates: 1) to present new, dynamic and piano-centric music from the last fifty years to present; 2) to give voice to emerging professionals in the vibrant scene that is THE MUSIC GALLERY theWholeNote 2020/21 PRESENTER PROFILES | 39

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