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Volume 28 Issue 6 | Summer 2023

  • Text
  • Festival
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • Quartet
  • Musical
  • Orchestra
  • Theatre
  • Fallsview
  • Choir
  • August
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Fast start to the summer and it just keeps going: Luminato walks with Little Amal; the Historical Organ Society comes to town; composer Carmen Braden is keeping busy; Phil Nimmons turns 100; TSM's metamorphosis; and check out live links in ads, listings and our easy surfing directory of summer festivals. See you August 30 for Volume 29 no.1


CLASSICAL AND BEYOND HILTON HEAD COMPETITION OLE CHRISTIANSEN Illia Ovcharenko, July 6 Angela Hewitt, July 25 TSM’s metamorphoses PAUL ENNIS Toronto Summer Music (TSM) returns July 6 to 29 with Metamorphosis as its motif and, appropriately enough, a butterfly as its graphic signature. The festival began, in 2004 and 2005, as the Silver Creek Music Foundation, running two summer pilot programs in each of those first two summers: a series of one-or-two-week chamber music workshops in piano, strings and percussion; and a mini-series of public concerts by the Gryphon Trio, Scott St. John, Shauna Rolston, Lydia Wong and NEXUS, all centred around Walter Hall in the University of Toronto Faculty of Music’s Edward Johnson Building.The seeds of the Fellows and Mentors program that is now at the heart of the TSM experience were sown right from the start. Two seasons later, with the arrival of Agnes Grossmann as TSM’s founding artistic director, a Vocal Academy was added to the mix, and the key ingredients of TSM’s recipe for success were in place. Fellows and Mentors The Metamorphosis metaphor works wonders in terms of the festival’s growth: the TSM Academy features 23 Mentors and 28 emerging artists/Fellows (all attending tuition-free), and their interaction has become the lifeblood of both the Festival and the Academy. Fellows will rehearse and perform with Mentors from both the Chamber Music Institute and the Art of Song program in a series of eight Saturday ReGeneration concerts at Walter Hall; Academy Fellows will also perform in a series of free noon-hour concerts in Heliconian Hall (July 12-14 and July 26-28); and some will appear in TSM’s 5pm Shuffle Hour free concerts (July 11-13 and 18-20), also at Heliconian Hall. Adding to the vibrant mix, around 20 top-flight musicians are mentoring the Community Program that runs parallel to the Academy. Some of them will share the stage with Academy Mentors and other guest artists in the ambitious June 28 mainstage concert, titled Metamorphosis, at Walter Hall, and can also be heard on July 29 in free concerts featuring TSM Artists, Academy Fellows and Community Program participants (repertoire still to be announced). Mainstage concerts All in all, an astonishing 20 of the 23 TSM Academy Mentors (there is a full list on the TSM website – will participate in the festival’s mainstage concerts, either as established ensembles, or as part of the mixing and matching of musicians who don’t usually get to play with each other, that is the hallmark of a well-curated summer festival. And of course there are other great musicians who will grace the TSN main stages as well, visiting Toronto as part of of a number of summer festival appearances. Take the festival’s opening concert for example, at Koerner Hall on July 6. Ukrainian pianist Illia Ovcharenko, winner of the 2022 Honens International Piano Competition at age 21, stops by as part of a 17 concert swing between June 15 and September 10, including multiple concerts in France, Germany, Switzerland, Poland and the USA, and two return Canadian visits – to Domaine Forget at the end of July and Calgary, scene of last year’s Honens triumph, in early September. For the July 6 TSM opener, Ovcharenko will be joined by Honens music director, pianist Jon Kimura Parker, for a two-piano extravaganza tour of Beethoven’s indelible “Moonlight” Sonata; the chamber version of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.12; Milhaud’s rollicking Scaramouche; and a pair of two-piano works by Rachmaninoff and Liszt. Ovcharenko adds a special twist with two preludes by Levko Revutsky, a composer from his hometown. Setting the tone for festive collaboration, their “supporting cast” for the concert includes TSM artistic director Jonathan Crow (violin), Academy strings Mentors Yura Lee (violin), Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt (viola) and Ani Aznavoorian (cello), and Community Academy strings Mentor Michael Chiarello (bass). Piano plus The next concert in Walter Hall on July 7 picks up in terms of mixand-match music-making where the opening concert leaves off: with Crow, Lee, Pajaro-van de Stadt and Aznavoorian being joined by fellow Mentors pianists Charles-Richard Hamelin and Rachael Kerr (accompanist for the Community Academy choir). The concert features music by Clara and Robert Schumann, and their remarkable protégé, Johannes Brahms, who originally conceived his colossal 20 | Summer 2023

An agency of the Government of Ontario Un organisme du gouvernement de l’Ontario Your Season. Your Choice. All your favourite concerts in one perfect package. BO HUANG Bridge and Wolak, July 18 From Bach to Vivaldi, enjoy a steady diet of soul-nourishing music during our 45th Anniversary season. noun: metamorphosis; plural noun: metamorphoses 1 The action or process of changing in form, shape, or substance – The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary and profoundly dramatic Piano Quintet as a piece for string quintet (with two cellos) and then revised it for two pianos before its final metamorphosis into the Piano Quintet. Richard-Hamelin, musically evolving into one of our most sensitive chamber performers, plays the key Brahms piano role. Solo piano in all its glory is on display in Koerner Hall on July 25, when Angela Hewitt, hailed by The Guardian as “the pre-eminent Bach pianist of our time,” presents a full evening of Bach’s ever-fresh music. Selections cover a wide range of repertoire, from the bold Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue to the joyous Italian Concerto. Bach’s music is well served throughout the festival, starting with his Goldberg Variations – the 18th century’s most outstanding work in this form –which will be performed for string trio by Jonathan Crow, TSM Academy Mentor Juan-Miguel Hernandez (viola) and former Build your own 2023/24 subscription. On Sale Now at JULY 8-15, 2023 MUSIC FESTIVAL AWARD-WINNING ARTISTS Classical • Jazz • World • Indigenous Summer 2023 | 21

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