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Volume 28 Issue 1 | September 20 - November 8, 2022

  • Text
  • Thewholenotecom
  • Arts
  • Jazz
  • Violin
  • Composer
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  • October
  • November
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  • September
  • Toronto
Our 28th season in print! “And Now, Back to Live Action”; a symphonic-sized listings section, compared to last season; clubs “On the move” ; FuturesStops Festival and Nuit Blanche; “Pianistic high-wire acts”; Season announcements include full-sized choral works like Mendelssohn’s Elijah; “Icons, innovators and renegades” pulling out all the stops.

He stressed how

He stressed how important clear and accurate notation is when writing orchestral music due to limited rehearsal time. He firmly believes that this is the composer’s responsibility and he has learned to write everything into the parts that will help the orchestra work things out as fast as possible. An earlier work of Lindberg’s, Arena II, composed in 1995, is being performed on October 25 by the University of Toronto’s Contemporary Music Ensemble, a concert that includes other contemporary work by Finnish composer Sampo Haapamaki and American composer Mason Bates. Chin’s longtime champions Returning to the music of Unsuk Chin, Esprit Orchestra will be programming SPIRA, her Concerto for orchestra in their October 27 concert. Esprit are longtime champions of Chin’s music, introducing Toronto audiences to her compositional language that is steeped in strong gestures, clear musical ideas, shimmering colours and a range of cultural perspectives. The earliest Esprit performance of a work by Unsuk Chin that we could locate was February 6, 2009 when Esprit played her Double Concerto for piano and percussion in a program titled Breathless. SPIRA, composed in 2019 and premiered by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, is inspired by the mathematical “spira mirabilis” or growth spiral seen in various natural forms such as a snail shell. True to the image, the music begins with the sounds of two bowed vibraphones that unleash a series of overtones picked up by the other instruments in an unfurling of explosive and shimmering detail, resulting in textures of both robust energy and quiet stillness. Upcoming concerts by the U of T Wind Ensemble and Wind Symphony, October 14 and 15 respectively, are also signs of healthy change: very few of the 12 composers listed were familiar to me. Digging deeper, I discovered a wide range of new voices, ranging from Waterloo-based Cait Nishimura, a prominent voice in the concert band community, to composers from Australia, the USA, Russia, Belgium and Spain. Can we more confidently say that contemporary music is establishing a more natural place in the life of concert music? QUICK PICKS SEP 24, 3&8PM: Confluence Concerts. Music Gallery. Although occurring early in this cycle, this concert combining the rich and diverse voices of Marion Newman, Patricia O’Callaghan and Suba Sankaran promises to raise the roof. They will be performing various works, including the world premiere of The Drawing Room by Ian Cusson and André Alexis. Cusson, of Métis and French extraction, is well known for his operatic works, having recently Ian Cusson been composer-in-residence for the Canadian Opera Company from 2019 to 2021. After the successful premiere of Fantasma, his opera for young people, in March 2022, this new work created with Trinidad-born Canadian author André Alexis for the voices of Newman, O’Callaghan and Sankaran promises to be a rich sonic adventure. OCT 22, 7&9:30PM: Soundstreams. Surface Tension. Universal Music. This concert presents six world premieres for percussion composed by participants in Soundstreams’ emerging composer program who will be mentored by Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy in the week leading up to the concert. Dennehy’s work, Surface Tension for percussion ensemble, will be performed in the second half of the concert. The piece was inspired by the percussion instruments at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and the techniques used to play the bodhrán, the traditional Irish frame drum. TorQ Percussion Quartet will perform all the works on the program. OCT 22, 8PM: Sinfonia Toronto. Dvořák & Doubles. George Weston Recital Hall. Pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico will perform two concertos for piano, violin and string orchestra – Alice Ping Yee Ho’s Capriccio Ballo and Arabesque by Christos Hatzis. In recent news, Petrowska received a large grant from the Canada Council to have composer Frank Horvat create a solo piano suite, More Rivers, for her to record and tour, and for further projects relating to music and the environment. Horvat’s intensely emotional music explores a range of themes including social justice issues and concern for the environment. OCT 23, 8PM: Against the Grain Theatre. Identity: A Song Cycle. ONLINE, streaming October 23–April 23. This streamed film will showcase the song cycle created by composer Dinuk Wijeratne and poet Shauntay Grant in its current state of development. The work is based on a moving social media post written in early June 2020 by baritone Elliot Madore about his struggles with how to express his identity as a biracial person. Madore, who will perform in the work, has expressed how his personal struggles are a common theme in society that hasn’t been fully explored. The film will feature five newly composed songs woven together with stories from Elliot’s life. Elliot Madore JOHN ARANO CYRILL MATTER Wendalyn Bartley is a Toronto-based composer and electro-vocal sound artist. sounddreaming! 22 | September 20 - November 8, 2022 2801_Features.indd 22 2022-09-18 8:10:15 PM

AROUND OPERA BALLYCROY and Beyond LYDIA PEROVIĆ Marek Norman DAVID COOPER Stratford: On April 29, 1875, a fire in Ballycroy, Ontario took three young lives. Several buildings went down in this probable arson, but the only human casualties were the three women trapped in their second floor room of the Small’s Hotel. Recent immigrants from Ireland, Mary Fanning, Bridget Burke and Margaret Daley had just started working in the millinery trade. They belonged to a Catholic parish in Colgan, one town over. Nothing else is known about them. Reasons for the arson, if indeed it was, remain unknown. The once vibrant all-Irish town, Ballycroy itself is now a ghost town. Something about this story deeply touched composer and writer Marek Norman who, upon coming across an article about it in a local paper, felt called to imagine and write these women’s lives. The result is Ballycroy, his two-act play with music in which the ANN BAGLEY three women come back as ghosts to recount their lives. Stratfordbased INNERChamber Ensemble with its artistic director Andrew Chung on violin and Norman conducting from the piano will perform a condensed concert version of the play on November 5 in Avondale United Church in Stratford. The piece is scored for three voices, piano, violin, viola, cello, flute, oboe, clarinet and percussion. Directing the production: one of Canada’s theatre legends, Marti Maraden. Norman was kind enough to share the libretto with me and just a few pages in it became clear to me that we are in for Marti Maraden a treat. The narrative is non-linear and oneiric, reminiscent of Lincoln in the Bardo, but the three milliners are generously and sharply drawn. Various hints are dropped about potential storylines that may lead to arson. Other town characters appear through their voices, men who’ve helped them, and men fuelled by the Catholic- Protestant divide among the Irish. Little is known about the three women, but Norman has filled their shapes with life. “Their journeys were born of my imagination,” Norman told me in an email. It 2022-2023 SEASON MOZART AND HIS PEERS The coming season pays tribute to opera in the classic period leading to the turbulent years of the French Revolution. In the best Opera in Concert traditions, you will be introduced to rarities in performances, diverse, unplugged and innovative programming. MOZART ST LAWRENCE CENTRE FOR THE ARTS 27 FRONT ST E TORONTO 2022 November 20 LUCIO SILLA by W.A. Mozart 2023 February 19 MÉDÉE by Luigi Cherubini 2023 March 19 L’AMANT ANONYME by Joseph Bologne CHERUBINI 416-366-7723 1-800-708-6754 OPERAINCONCERT.COM BOLOGNE September 20 - November 8, 2022 | 23

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