7 months ago

Volume 28 Issue 4 | February - March 2023

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Volume 28 no.4, covering Feb, March and into early April '23! David Olds remembers composer John Beckwith; Andrew Timar reflects on the life and times of artistic polymath Michael Snow; Mezzo Emily Fons, in town for Figaro, on trouser roles, the life of a mezzo-soprano on the road and more; Colin Story on the Soft-Seat beat; tracks from 22 new recordings added to our Listening Room. All this and more.

Three Tours Billed as a

Three Tours Billed as a “two act opera” the Nathaniel Dett Chorale’s Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line to Freedom makes a three-city tour (Toronto, St. Catharines and Kingston) on February 17, 18 and 24, respectively. While Tubman, the legendary Underground Railway conductor, is the towering backdrop to the story, the storyline, based on recent Tubman biographies, is more intimate – two sisters vowing never to let slavery tear them apart. Founded in 1998, and still under the direction of its founder, Brainerd Blyden-Taylor, the Chorale was, and remains, Canada’s first professional choral group dedicated to Afrocentric music of all styles, with a mission “to build bridges of understanding, appreciation, and acceptance … through the medium of music, seeking to dissolve the barriers of stereotype, and to empower humans in general, and those of African descent in particular.” Tuskegee Golden Voices Choir The Nagamo Project Concert Tour: Toronto, London, St. John’s, Winnipeg, Edmonton is the coast-to-coast-and-back again path that Vancouver-based choir Musica Intima and Andrew Balfour will take, featuring music from their recording, NAGAMO (reviewed on page 51). Revolving around Elizabethan choral music by Byrd, Tallis, and Gibbons, NAGAMO features the unique musical perspective of Balfour’s reimagining of these motets into Cree and Ojibway. “NAGAMO (Sings) reimagines history Andrew Balfour and the concept of nation to nation respect and musical dialogue” Balfour says. “During the beginning of the 17th century, several Chiefs and esteemed Indigenous leaders journeyed to Europe in the hope of forging alliances. NAGAMO explores the fantastical idea of what might have happened if the sharing of music, and the respect of culture had contrived, and how a different history might have played out.” The Nagamo Project Concert is at Eglinton St. George’s United Church in Toronto on March 4, 2023, with the Toronto Youth Choir, and in London, March 7, at Western University, with choirs from the Don Wright Faculty of Music. KRISTEN-SAWATZKY Welcome Tuskegee Golden Voices “There are few choirs anywhere with a history as illustrious as the Golden Voices,” writes Tom Mawhinney. “Booker T. Washington, a liberated slave, founded Tuskegee University in 1881 in rural Alabama, about 40 kilometres east of Montgomery, eventually becoming the primary spokesperson for the Black community in the United Stated for more than two decades. He founded the Golden Voices choir in 1886; since then, the choir has won acclaim at national and international levels, and has sung command performances for Presidents Wilson, Roosevelt, Kennedy and Carter. The songs the Golden Voices sing have a special significance; many are the first choral arrangements, created between 1931 and 1955 by Tuskegee choir director William Levi Dawson, of songs that were anchored in the years of slavery: songs like ‘Follow the Drinking Gourd’, ‘Deep River’, ‘I Want to be Ready’, ‘Wade in the Water’ and ‘Every Time I Feel the Spirit’.” Crossing a big lake or two in the opposite direction to get here, what promises to be a memorable Golden Voices Ontario tour starts on March 8 in London and travels east from there to Toronto, Kingston, and Ottawa, on March 9, 11, and 12. David Perlman can be reached at STEVE REICH: Now & Then MARCH 25 GEORGE WESTON RECITAL HALL Celebrate composer Steve Reich’s 86th birthday. Program to include the iconic Drumming, featuring NEXUS and TorQ Percussion Quartet. NEXUS lauded by the New York Times as “the most acclaimed percussion group on earth” and TorQ, described as “outstanding—no, make that astonishing!” (Ottawa Citizen) Presented in partnership with TO Live. Visit for more details 10 | February & March, 2023

KOERNER HALL 2022.23 Concert Season “Rhapsody and the Blues” An Evening with Jens Lindemann, Jon Kimura Parker, and the Yamaha All Star Big Band SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 8PM KOERNER HALL TICKETS START AT ONLY Rhapsody in Blue is the focal point in this special gala concert of big band jazz by composers such as Oscar Peterson, Nat King Cole, Tommy Dorsey, and more. Celebration Sponsor: Heather Edwards Anton Nel and Friends SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2PM MAZZOLENI CONCERT HALL TICKETS ARE ONLY Anton Nel, “an uncommonly elegant pianist,” (The New York Times) will perform Brahms with James Anagnoson, Erika Raum (violin), Barry Shiffman (viola), and Alexandra Koerner Yeo Chair in Cello, Andrés Díaz. Supported by The Michael and Sonja Koerner Fund for Classical Programming The King’s Singers: Finding Harmony THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 8PM KOERNER HALL TICKETS START AT ONLY An evening of iconic anthems of struggle and revolution through history, commissioned by and for The King’s Singers. Supported by The Michael and Sonja Koerner Fund for Classical Programming Emily D’Angelo WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 8PM KOERNER HALL TICKETS START AT ONLY Canadian mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo will perform works by Hildegard von Bingen, Missy Mazzoli, Arnold Schönberg, Aaron Copland, and others. Supported by The Michael and Sonja Koerner Fund for Classical Programming Mingus Dynasty Band and John Beasley’s MONK’estra Quartet SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 8PM KOERNER HALL TICKETS START AT ONLY Mingus Dynasty features musicians Mingus recorded or played with. MONK’estra is a six-time Grammy Award nominated band led by John Beasley. Imogen Cooper SUNDAY, MARCH 5, 3PM KOERNER HALL TICKETS START AT ONLY Sir Simon Rattle has said that Imogen Cooper is “one of the greatest musicians England has produced.” Program includes Liszt, Beethoven and Schubert Supported by The Michael and Sonja Koerner Fund for Classical Programming TICKETS & SUBSCRIPTIONS ON SALE NOW! 416.408.0208 RCMUSIC.COM/PERFORMANCE 237 BLOOR STREET WEST (BLOOR ST. & AVENUE RD.) TORONTO February & March, 2023 | 11

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Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)