3 months ago

Volume 28 Issue 5 | April & May 2023

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April and May is Canary Time in the world of WholeNote -- the time when choirs in larger than usual numbers refresh the info in our online "Who's Who" to inform prospective choristers and audiences what they have to offer. Also inside: There's a new New Wave to catch at Esprit; Toronto Bach Festival no 6 includes a Kafeehaus; another new small venue on the "Soft Seat Beat" (we assume the seats are soft!); an ever-so Musically Theatrical spring. And more.

2022-2023 Season: A Golden Anniversary Celebration CELESTIAL REVOLUTIONS MAY 3 & 4 AT 8PM Artistic Direction by Ben Grossman & Alison Melville The heavens changed and he was the first to notice. Astronomer and alchemist Tycho Brahe’s meticulous observations altered our understanding of the skies forever. Join us for an exploration of Brahe’s fascinating life and times, featuring music from the cosmopolitan cities of 16th-century Leipzig, Basel, and Prague, and the world premiere of a new commission on Brahe by Canadian composer Alex Eddington, with cymbalom master Richard Moore, and director Tyler Seguin. Tickets starting at only TRINITY-ST. PAUL’S CENTRE 427 BLOOR ST WEST Buy Tickets at

EARLY MUSIC TORONTO BACH FESTIVAL True to Its Intents DAVID PERLMAN The Toronto Bach Festival taking place this coming May 26, 27 and 28, curated by long-time Tafelmusik oboist and Bach scholar John Abberger, is the first attempt to make an annual festival dedicated to what Abberger calls Bach’s “timeless music” a recurring part of the city’s musical calendar since the University of Torontobacked Toronto International Bach Festival – under the direction of Bach luminary Helmuth Rilling – had Bach devotees circling their calendars months in advance from 2002 to 2006. Festivals that are created in a “top-down” way, however, often fall victim to the very things that propelled them to almost instant success – major institutional support and the presence of an international superstar at their helm. When those disappear, the calendar fixtures they gave rise to can very quickly follow suit. The Concert Hall at Yonge & Davenport: “Zimmermann’s Kaffeehaus” This is not to say that growing a festival from the grass roots up is any guarantee of success either: it requires fertile soil, grit, and an unwavering sense of what the festival is for. With these thoughts in mind, I got in touch with Abberger to talk about this year’s TBF and how it got this far. WN: On the festival website you call Bach “the consummate artist, who channelled the human spirit into music”. Translating that into keeping a festival like this going year after year is another matter, though, isn’t it. What keeps you going? JA: Quite simply, I’ve never met a person who isn’t touched by Bach’s music; his ability to speak to our common humanity makes his art universal. When I think about the astonishing quality of pretty much everything he wrote, I feel strongly that we should all have an opportunity to experience more of his works, and a festival is the obvious way to go beyond the mere 20 per cent or so that is performed John Abberger regularly by other musical organizations. Bach as an essential community service, you might say – a more reliable way to get where we want to go – or need to be – than the TTC. DENISE MARIE April & May, 2023 | 27

Volumes 21-25 (2015-2020)

Volumes 16-20 (2010-2015)

Volumes 11-15 (2004-2010)

Volumes 6 - 10 (2000 - 2006)

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)