1 year ago

Volume 27 Issue 5 | March 4 - April 15, 2022

"Hard to watch and impossible to ignore"--on the Russian invasion of Ukraine; Tafelmusik goes live again in a tribute to Jeanne Lamon; TSO MD reunion as Centennial Countdown kicks off; PASS=Performing Arts Sunday Series at the Hamilton Conservatory of the Arts ...; crosstown to the TRANZAC, Matthew Fava on the move; all this and more ....


C M Y CM MY CY CMY K While I have spent the majority of my creative life in theatre in one form or another, through friendly coercion and also with great joy, I have written a number of symphonies. — Philip Glass L to R: Philip Glass, Peter Jennings have long-standing relationships with us, having performed at the Conservatory several times in the past,” says Wincza. “Our upcoming recital with Valerie Tryon will be our first livestreamed event, broadening our audience reach and making high-quality arts programming accessible. I couldn’t imagine a finer lineup of musicians to celebrate this thrilling new beginning!” Philip Glass: Symphony No. 13 On March 30 at Roy Thomson Hall, – the first concert of a mini-tour to Toronto, New York and Ottawa – the National Arts Centre Orchestra (NACO) will present the world premiere of Philip Glass’ Symphony No. 13, a work commissioned by the Orchestra on the theme “Truth in Our Time.” Under the direction of Alexander Shelley and featuring violin soloists Blake Pouliot (Roy Thomson Hall) and James Ehnes (Carnegie Hall and the National Arts Centre), the concert will also feature music by Nicole Lizée (Zeiss After Dark: SESQUIE for Canada’s 150th), Dmitri Shostakovich (Symphony No.9) and Erich Korngold (Violin Concerto). Glass’ Symphony No. 13 is a tribute to Toronto-born journalist Peter Jennings who died in 2005. A highly respected ABC News anchor, Jennings was also a trustee of Carnegie Hall during his years in New York City, the founding director of the American chapter of the Friends of the NAC Orchestra and a lifelong champion of Canadian artists. Philip Glass provided the following introduction to his new work: “I started to compose Symphony No.13 in the summer of 2020 in New York City. My life as a ‘symphonist’ began 30 years ago in 1992, when, at the suggestion of conductor Dennis Russell Davies, I was commissioned to write my First Symphony. While I always thought of myself as a theatre composer – which has the virtue of being true – it was Dennis that ‘didn’t want me to be one of those opera composers who never wrote a symphony.’ So, while I have spent the majority of my creative life in theatre in one form or another, through friendly coercion and also with great joy, I have written a number of symphonies which were purely instrumental, as well as another group which included vocal materials or were based on outside material: poetry, wisdom traditions, and even popular music.” Glass’ connection with the National Arts Centre Orchestra dates back to 2016. “I first heard [them] live in 2016 at the Glenn Gould Prize concert when they performed my Symphony No. 8. I have had a home in Nova Scotia for over 50 years and come here every year. And a number of my pieces have premiered in Canada over the years. When invited by the NAC Orchestra to compose a new work, I began to think of a new full-scale instrumental symphony to be part of their program ‘Truth in Our Time.’ The piece is part of the kind of music which I view to be a new body of work that started with Symphony No.7 from five years ago. The journey continues to explore my own ideas about the language of music as it has evolved for me in the form of these symphonies.” So, what can a piece of music express about the idea of truth? “When we consider a figure like Peter Jennings – a Canadian by birth, an immigrant, a journalist, an American by choice – rather than making a proclamation about ‘what is truth,’ for the composer we are on much better ground when we talk about ‘This is the music that I Iisten to, this is the music that I like, and this is the music that I write.’” The Esmé Quartet at Music Toronto Praised for their warm sound and powerful stage presence, the Esmé Quartet makes its Toronto debut on March 24 with a program featuring two pillars of the string quartet repertoire, Debussy’s String Quartet in G Minor and Beethoven’s String Quartet Op.59 No.2 “Razumovsky.” Formed in 2016 at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne, Germany by four Korean musicians, the Esmé made a sensational entrance into the string quartet world by winning the first prize and sweeping four of the special prizes, among them the Mozart and Beethoven prizes, at the 2018 London Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition. They began touring internationally and in the summer of 2018, they were named as the quartet in residence at the Aix-en- Provence festival and also appeared at the McGill International String Quartet Academy in Montreal. The name of the quartet – Esmé – is borrowed from an old French word meaning “being loved.” Based in Germany, the quartet has been mentored in masterclasses with artists such as Günter Pichler (Alban Berg Quartet), Alfred Brendel, Eberhard Feltz, Andraś Keller, Christoph Poppen and Jonathan Brown (Cuarteto Casals). The quartet also studied with Heime Müller (Artemis Quartet) and Oliver Wille (Kuss Quartet). The Esmé Quartet 12 | February 2022

Also on the March 24 program is Yessori – one of Kronos Quartet’s 50 for the Future – written for string quartet and haegeum (a Korean stringed instrument) and performed by Soo Yeon Lyuh, its composer. “When I first played the haegeum for Kronos violinist David Harrington,” explained Lyuh, “he commented that the sound seemed ‘ancient’ and commissioned me to write a piece that explores aspects of Korean traditional music. With his observation in mind, I composed Yessori, which is Korean for ‘sound from the past.’ The first time I experienced Korean traditional music, the relative pitch relationships and fluid nature of the rhythmic cycles felt chaotic, perhaps because of my background in Western music. However, over the past two decades of studying the haegeum, I came to love these unique qualities and am excited to share them through Yessori. “My compositional process began with improvisations on the haegeum in the style of traditional Korean music. I then adapted the distinctive techniques, vibrato, and articulations for string quartet.” QUICK PICKS MAR 12, 4:30PM: In five concerts spread over the next six weeks, the Royal Conservatory gives us an opportunity to hear the musicians of the future. First up on March 12 is the Taylor Academy Showcase Concert with elementary and high school students – FREE tickets can be reserved for Mazzoleni Hall from March 4. On MAR 30, 7PM, RCM presents the Glenn Gould School Chamber Competition Finals. FREE tickets available for Koerner Hall from March 23. On APR 13, 7:30PM hear artists on the cusp of major careers when Mazzoleni Hall hosts the Rebanks Family Fellowship Concert – FREE tickets available from April 6. On APR 14, 4PM, the Robert W. and G. Ann Corcoran Concerto Competition takes place in Koerner Hall; FREE tickets available from April 7. On APR 23, 7:30, Mazzoleni Hall hosts the Glenn Gould School (GGS) Piano Showcase. All seats . MAR 27, 3PM: Show One presents Mischa Maisky playing Bach Suites 1, 4 and 5 for solo cello at Koerner Hall. Born in Latvia and educated in Russia, Maisky has the distinction of being the only cellist in the world to have studied with both Mstislav Rostropovich and Gregor Piatigorsky. Rostropovich said that Maisky’s playing “combines poetry and exquisite delicacy with great temperament and brilliant technique.” MAR 29, 8PM: Thanks to the acumen of Music Toronto artistic producer, Jennifer Taylor, we have been privileged to hear British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor in recitals in 2014, 2015 and 2017 and WMCT presents Cameron Crozman and Philip Chiu witness him maturing before our eyes as he enters his 30s. His programs are typically built on a foundation of technical prowess and sensitive musicianship. This one begins with Franck’s Prelude Chorale and Fugue and Schumann’s Fantasie Op.17 before the pianist tackles Albeniz’s Iberia Book One and two Ravel gems: Jeux d’eau and La Valse. MAR 31, 1:30PM: The Women’s Musical Club of Toronto (WMCT) presents the acclaimed chamber duo of Cameron Crozman, cellist, and pianist Philip Chiu, who will bring us a musical tastingmenu of Spanish and Hispanic-American pieces from their Tapeo recording, and a new WMCT commission written by Allan Gordon Bell. Crozman was just awarded the Canada Council’s Virginia Parker Prize of ,000. APR 1, 8PM: Sinfonia Toronto presents Daniel Vnukowski in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.12 K414; Marc Djokic is the soloist in the world premiere of Robert Rival’s Violin Concerto (which is dedicated to Djokic); conductor Nurhan Arman’s arrangement of Haydn’s String Quartet in D Minor Op.42 concludes the program. APR 7, 6:45PM: The TSO Chamber Soloists series curated by Jonathan Crow returns with guest violinist James Ehnes joining Crow, Rémi Pelletier and Theresa Rudolph, violas, and Joseph Johnson, cello in a pre-concert performance of Beethoven’s “Storm” Quintet (1801). Ehnes is playing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto – conducted by Andrew Davis – on April 6 and 7 at 8pm. Paul Ennis is the managing editor of The WholeNote. FREE RECITALS RETURN! MARCH 4, 11, 18 & 25 YOUTUBE RECORDINGS Posted each Friday: APRIL 1 ONWARDS IN-PERSON RECITALS RETURN! Register in advance on our website OR watch YouTube recordings King & Simcoe Toronto March 4 - April 15, 2022 | 13

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