3 months ago

Volume 28 Issue 5 | April & May 2023

  • Text
  • Thewholenotecom
  • Festival
  • Quartet
  • Theatre
  • Jazz
  • Conductor
  • Symphony
  • Violin
  • Orchestra
  • April
  • Toronto
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.


THE SOFT SEAT BEAT The Aperture Room WELCOME TO THE APERTURE ROOM COLIN STORY BO HUANG With a fifty-year history producing both traditional and contemporary chamber concerts, Music Toronto is a mainstay to patrons of classical music in the GTA. This year, the organization launches a new series: the Celebration of Small Ensembles (COSE), a unique concert concept that will take place in an unconventional classical-music venue, the Aperture Room, an event space on the third floor of the Thornton-Smith Building, at 340 Yonge Street, close to Dundas Square. Each COSE concert will feature three different ensembles playing short, thematically focused programs. Recently announced as Music Toronto’s Artistic Director Designate, cellist Roman Borys, who has curated this first COSE, is a founding member of the Juno Awardwinning Gryphon Trio and has been a presence on the Canadian classical scene since the 1990s. WN: How did the Celebration of Small Ensembles first come about? This series seems to have grown naturally out of Music Toronto’s Discovery Series; in what ways is COSE different? RB: The direction we’re taking with the Celebration of Small Ensembles series stems from previous programming ventures in Music Toronto’s rich programming history – supporting emerging artists much like the Discovery Series did, and also having much in common with the concerts that Gryphon Trio, MTO Artistic Roman Borys Producer Jennifer Taylor, and musical friends from various other genres presented at Toronto’s Lula Lounge. Those concerts celebrated diverse small ensemble traditions and facilitated collaboration among musicians with different musical backgrounds, a direction that influenced many programming choices and projects I initiated during my 13-year tenure as Artistic Director of the Ottawa Chamber Festival. Now working in a new capacity at Music Toronto, I see the COSE series re-engaging MTO in an exploration of forward-looking, small-ensemble programming trajectory that introduces audiences to a roster of very exciting, well defined artistic voices, many of whom are just beginning to emerge on the professional concert scene. Reading through the individual concert descriptions, there seems to be a focus on unique themes and on undertold musical stories (e.g. Interro Quartet’s “Compound Quartet”, duo nistwayr’s Indigenous-centred readings of repertoire, and KöNG Duo’s unconventional musical use of conventional non-musical objects.) What were some of the guiding principles behind the programming? Every COSE concert will feature three artists, each presenting a short, curated set. We’ve prompted the artists to set aside traditional classical programming parameters and instead take the audience on a short, well-defined musical journey, juxtaposing music in new ways, exploring themes rooted in contemporary culture, and allowing artists to hone and express their artistic point of view. And the Aperture Room as a venue? It’s also somewhat unconventional. How did you find it? We liked the idea of inviting audiences to discover a new gathering space on the top floor of a historic Toronto building in the centre of the city, and then to find themselves in the friendly company of other curious listeners in an intriguing new space that will feature wonderful artists sharing music new and old. What else can audiences expect from these concerts? These events all take place on Saturday afternoons. Starting at five and ending after seven each event will have two short breaks during which patrons can chat and purchase refreshments – a little surprise and delight to help you make the most of your weekend. The Celebration of Small Ensembles takes place on May 6, 20 and June 3. For more information, please visit Music Toronto’s website. Colin Story is a jazz guitarist, writer and teacher based in Toronto. He can be reached at, on Instagram and on Twitter. The Thornton-Smith Building, circa 1925, and today. 30 | April & May, 2023

OAKLAND STROKE JAZZ @ LBP HOSTED BY JAYMZ BEE Get ready for the Greatest Horn Hits of the 70s! Featuring music by Tower of Power, Earth Wind & Fire, Blood Sweat & Tears, Chicago, and more! Oakland Stroke is a 10-piece juggernaut of soul and good vibes, featuring a 5 piece horn section. Led by Toronto native Lou Pomanti, experience them live. APRIL 11, 2023 8:00PM THE ROSE ORCHESTRA A ROSE FESTIVAL The festival of music begins! Truly this has been a year of celebrating the return of live music! The Rose Orchestra invites you to a festival of sound to commemorate a triumphant season of exquisite orchestral entertainment at the glorious Rose Brampton. The night will feature an opening piece of the world premier of a song cycle composed by Maestro Warren, sung by internationally acclaimed bass baritone Daniel Lichti; The Rose Orchestra performing Brahms Symphony no 2; and don’t miss The Rosebuds who will perform classical selections. BOOK TICKETS THEROSEBRAMPTON.CA APRIL 29, 2023 7:30PM April & May, 2023 | 31

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