2 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 Toronto’s musical ecosystem and; 3) to offer audiences a direct, challenging and ultimately supportive concert experience, as they engage with the music of today and the artists of the future. Adam Sherkin 416-535-4612 ● The Royal Conservatory of Music The Royal Conservatory’s Koerner Hall is “the greatest venue in this city” and “magnificent in its acoustics, as much as in its design” (Toronto Star). This concert season, we bring you jazz, classical, world, and roots music performances by extraordinary international and Canadian artists - in a way that is safe and responsible. Join us in celebrating our Beethoven’s 250 Festival in November-December 2020 and the 21C Music Festival in January 2021, and close to 100 more concerts to choose from in the 2020/21 concert season, September 2020 through May 2021. We look forward to sharing uplifting and inspiring live music with you! Akshay Kaushik 416-408-0208 ● Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra, The In response to COVID-19, the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra will proudly and safely present our 41st season online. The SPO has always been dedicated to enriching the musical life of the greater Scarborough area by presenting engaging, high-quality musical performances. We are proud and grateful to continue to do so. For 2020/21, the SPO will present two online series based on interesting themes. All-new “SPOGreatMusic” podcast episodes will be available on major platforms every other Friday, beginning September 18, and new Music Performance videos will be posted every other Friday to our YouTube channel, beginning on October 9. Both series run through April 2021. Music Performance videos will feature SPO musicians, the Odin String Quartet, guest artists, and our artist-in-residence, Dr. Lisa Tahara. We will also post animated short films created by fourth year Sheridan College students with new music by composers from our SPO family. Podcasts will feature amazing interviews with musicians, composers, historians, musicologists, special guests, sector representatives, community partners (including the Stratford Symphony Orchestra, Scarborough Arts, and FabCollab Toronto), and more. Our composer-in-residence and podcast host is Dr. Daniel Mehdizadeh. For more information, theme details, music performance selections, and links, please visit our website and social media platforms regularly. #SPOGreatMusic. Devin Scott 647-482-7761 ● SINE NOMINE Ensemble for Medieval Music SINE NOMINE was formed in Toronto in 1991 to research and perform music from before 1500, and has given concerts in Canada, the United States, and the UK. The members have varied backgrounds in vocal and instrumental performance (wind instruments, fiddles, lutes, and percussion), musicology, medieval history, language, literature, liturgy, and manuscript studies. In preparing repertoire, we draw on all of these specialties, and experiment with improvisation and ornamentation, as well as medieval pronunciations and tuning systems, hoping to create performances which are intelligible and enjoyable to modern audiences - and which would not have been wholly foreign to medieval listeners! We blend vocal and instrumental music from medieval courts and churches with readings, and occasionally drama, liturgy, or dance, to provide insight into the fascinating artistic and intellectual culture of the Middle Ages. Our 2020/21 Toronto season is on hold, pending public health developments, but our current project is a detailed exploration of a 14th-century Italian manuscript with an unusually rich combination of vocal music and instrumental dances. Andrea Budgey 416-638-944 ● Soundstreams Founded in 1982, Soundstreams is one of the world’s leading contemporary music companies, and the largest global presenter of new Canadian music. Artistic director Lawrence Cherney and executive director Menon Dwarka are committed to showcasing the work of living composers with a focus on innovative thematic and experiential programming, and creating a living and lasting legacy for Canadian music. Soundstreams also serves a broad community of music lovers through free outreach and education programs including Encounters, the RBC Bridges workshop for early career composers, BMO SoundWave and SoundMakers. Encounters is a free discovery series featuring performances, discussions, and audience participation; the RBC Bridges workshop for early career composers helps talented contemporary composers from around the world launch their careers; BMO SoundWave provides accessible-priced tickets; and SoundMakers provides interactive learning experiences online and in the classroom. Tim Crouch 416-504-1282 ● St. Thomas’s Anglican Church St. Thomas’s Church, Toronto, is one of the oldest Anglo-Catholic congregations in Canada. Established in 1874, the parish has been, from its earliest days, at the forefront of the liturgical and musical life of the Anglican Church of Canada. Excellent choral and organ music are vital components of all Sunday services, Feast Days, and the liturgies of Advent and Holy Week. Starting in September, for as long as COVID-19 restrictions are in effect and choral gatherings are prohibited, we are pleased to offer weekly solo excerpts from Bach’s Church Cantatas, and hope that these provide comfort and joy in such unusual and difficult times. All of our services are live-streamed online and can be found through the St. Thomas’s website. Looking ahead to when we can once again sing together, St. Thomas’s will present three choral services each Sunday, sung by a dedicated group of volunteers supported by section leads: “Sung Eucharist (Contemporary Rite)” at 9:30am; “Solemn Eucharist (Traditional Rite)” at 11am; and “Solemn Evensong and Devotions” at 7pm. The repertoire is diverse, from plainsong and Renaissance masterpieces to gems of the British cathedral tradition, contemporary Canadian compositions, and other choral masterworks. Matthew Whitfield 416-979-2323 ● Tafelmusik Led by music director Elisa Citterio and executive director Carol Kehoe, Tafelmusik is an orchestra, choir, and experience that celebrates beauty through music of the past. Founded over 40 years ago on the pillars of passion, learning, and artistic excellence, Tafelmusik continues to bring new energy to baroque music and beyond. Historically informed performances of 17th- to 19th-century instrumental and choral music (led by chamber choir director Ivars Taurins) share the stage with vibrant, insightful multimedia programs, and bold new music written just for the group. Each piece is played on period instruments, underscored and illuminated by scholarship. Through dynamic performances, international touring, award-winning recordings, and comprehensive education programs, Tafelmusik invites audiences to engage with beauty and experience the breadth of emotion music can inspire. 40 | theWholeNote 2020/21 PRESENTER PROFILES

1-833-964-6337 ● Tallis Choir of Toronto Under the leadership of artistic director Peter Mahon, The Tallis Choir is a mixed-voice chamber choir of 36 voices that has been performing together since 1977. The choir presents an annual subscription series of four concerts between October and May each year in the magnificent acoustic of St. Patrick’s Church in downtown Toronto. Known for innovative programming and polished performances of repertoire covering more than five centuries, the Tallis Choir is an extremely versatile ensemble. They specialize in performances of rarely-heard sacred masterpieces of the Italian, Spanish and English Renaissance that form the cornerstone of their concert series. While they frequently feature a capella polyphonic works, the Choir often works with guest artists performing on period string and wind instruments to add further authenticity to the experience. Additionally, the Choir can be heard in performances around the GTA and southern Ontario, having appeared in the Colours of Music Festival, Luminato Festival, and in multiple performances at the Sony Centre. David Martin 416-286-9798 ● Toronto Chamber Choir Building on more than 50 years of concert performances, the Toronto Chamber Choir of around 40 skilled singers under artistic director Lucas Harris has held a prominent place in Canada’s early music scene since 1968. It specializes in Renaissance and Baroque repertoire, collaborating regularly with Toronto’s rich pool of period instrumentalists, but also with forays into other periods. Currently on pandemic hiatus but meeting virtually until it’s safe to resume, the choir generally presents four concerts per season - two Saturday evening concerts and two Sunday afternoon “Kaffeemusik” presentations - that explore the cultural context of our repertoire through narration, often with a special guest expert. Rehearsals are Wednesday evenings with occasional Saturday “retreats.” Auditions for new volunteer members are held anytime by arrangement with the director, while auditions for our Toronto Chamber Consort section lead program are held in May or June. Choir blog and other information is available on the website. Lucas Harris 416-763-1695 Soundstreams’ Two Odysseys: Pimooteewin/Gállábártnit ● Toronto Children’s Chorus The award-winning Toronto Children’s Chorus is currently marking its 43rd season and its 14th year under the baton of artistic director Elise Bradley, MNZM. The Chorus comprises a family of choirs: KinderNotes for children within the Junior and Senior Kindergarten age range (no audition required), four Training Choir levels, Main Choir (six ensembles) and Toronto Youth Choir (aged 16 to 30). Each year, more than 400 choristers develop their skills in vocal technique, sightsinging and music theory, and perform an array of season concerts and guest performances. The Chamber Choir also performs nationally and internationally, most recently representing Canada at choral festivals in New Zealand and Australia. Carol Stairs 416-932-8666 torontochildrenschorus ● Toronto Classical Singers For 29 years, Toronto Classical Singers has been known for its unique musical point of view and its high-quality performances, often presenting the lesser-known and rarely performed vocal/ orchestral repertoire as well as the standard works. With its exuberant approach, the group celebrates the choral tradition with its complex sonority of large choir with professional orchestra. Over 28 seasons in Toronto, it took a full-blown pandemic for the group to cancel a performance and like all arts groups we are greatly impacted by the situation. However, we are optimistic that founding conductor Jurgen Petrenko will lead the choir, the Talisker Players and soloists for a concert on May 2, 2021 featuring an all Vaughan Williams programme. As vast as the ocean, his Sea Symphony will be performed with Five Mystical Songs, creating a concert of atmospheric awe and wonder. We look forward to resuming our full schedule in 2021/22, as we celebrate 30 years of contributing to the fabric of musical life in Toronto. Our concerts are presented at Christ Church Deer Park, 1570 Yonge Street. Please visit our website for more information. Kathleen Payne 437-344-1719 TorontoClassicalSingers ● The Toronto Consort The Toronto Consort is Canada’s leading ensemble, specializing in the music of the Middle Ages, Renaissance and early Baroque. Led by a collective of artistic associates, ten of Canada’s leading early music specialists, the Consort presents a main stage concert series at the beautiful Trinity- St. Paul’s Centre, located in the Annex. The Consort has toured extensively and has recorded music for film and television, including the hit television series The Tudors and The Borgias, and is releasing its 15th CD recording in Autumn 2019: Frescobaldi and the Glories of Rome. Michelle Knight 416-966-1045 ● Toronto Mendelssohn Choir Canada’s world-renowned large vocal ensemble plans to continue to bring great choral music to the community throughout the pandemic. For the DAHLIA KATZ theWholeNote 2020/21 PRESENTER PROFILES | 41

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