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Volume 29 Issue 2 | October & November 2023

  • Text
  • Thewholenotecom
  • Musical
  • Violin
  • Performing
  • Symphony
  • October
  • November
  • Theatre
  • Orchestra
  • Arts
  • Toronto
With this issue we start a new rhythm of publication -- bimonthly, October, December, February April, June, and August. October/November is a chock-a-block two months for live music, new recordings, and news (not all of it bad). Inside: Christina Petrowska Quilico, collaborative artist honoured; Kate Hennig as Mama Rose; Global Toronto 2023 reviewed; Musical weavings from TaPIR to Xenakis at Esprit; Fidelio headlines an operatic fall; and our 24th annual Blue Pages directory of presenters. This and more.


OLEH PAVLIUCHNEK with its impeccable musicianship, sophisticated artistry, and, above all, an unmatched ability to play as one. Their ability to make what they play sound spontaneous will doubtless be on display in works by Purcell, Haydn, Shostakovich and Schubert (the great “Death and the Maiden” string quartet). Roy Thomson Hall: Anyone fortunate enough to have been at the opening night of this year’s Toronto Summer Music festival where Ukraine-born pianist Illia Ovcharenko lit up the Koerner Hall stage can look forward to his performance of Liszt’s Piano Concerto No.1 with the TSO on November 16 and 18, in Roy Thomson Hall. Winner of the prestigious Honens Prize in 2022, Ovcharenko embodies Honens’ ideal of the “Complete Artist” with his technical mastery, perseverance against adversity, and an understanding of musical text that is intellectual and emotional. Guest conductor Ukraineborn Oksana Lyniv’s reputation as one of the world’s most exciting classical music talents was considerably enhanced in 2017 when she became the first female to be named chief conductor of the Graz Opera and the Graz Philharmonic Orchestra in Austria. In the summer of 2021 Lyniv became the first female Oksana Lyniv ever to conduct at the Bayreuth Festival. This season, she makes her Metropolitan Opera debut with Turandot. With the TSO, she leads the orchestra in Dvořák’s genial, folk-inspired Symphony No.8. The Canadian premiere of composer Zoltan Almashi’s Maria’s City, dedicated to the city of Mariupol, rounds out a program paying tribute to the unwavering spirit of the Ukrainian people. Mahler’s Symphony No.5 (which the TSO and guest conductor Michael Tilson Thomas will perform on November 22, 24 and 25) emerged during a period of personal change for Mahler who had been enjoying great success as the conductor of the Vienna Philharmonic but was forced to resign in 1901 after falling seriously ill. Towards the end of the year his fortunes changed again when he met Alma Schindler, whom he married in 1902. Perhaps it was this unexpected brush with mortality, juxtaposed with the discovery of true love, that gives such poignancy to the symphony’s Adagietto which gained even more fame with Luchino Visconti’s 1971 film adaptation of Thomas Mann’s novella Death in Venice. The return of Tilson Thomas takes on another layer given the conductor’s own health. Last summer he announced that he has Glioblastoma Multiforme, a type of aggressive brain cancer. “I had an operation to remove what was visible and had radiation and chemotherapy. Currently the cancer is in check. But the future is uncertain as Glioblastoma is a stealthy adversary. Its recurrence is, unfortunately, the rule rather than the exception.” Trinity-St. Paul’s: In March of 1784, Mozart wrote from Vienna to his father, Leopold, in Salzburg about his just completed Quintet for Piano and Winds: “I consider it the best work I have ever written.” Winds of Change, the second concert of the Amici Chamber Ensemble’s 35th season, takes place on November 26 at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre. The program moves from Mozart’s late- 18th-century gem into the boisterous 20th-century musical world of Francis Poulenc’s Sextet for Piano and Wind Quintet and his Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano before wrapping up the journey with Omar Daniel’s Dreams of the Panther (1991), a piece written for Amici. Clarinetist Joaquin Valdepeñas was a member of the TSO when he co-founded Amici and the opportunity to hear him perform once more with oboist Sarah Jeffrey brings back the halcyon days of CANADA’S FIRST 2SLGBTQIA+ ORCHESTRA Join Us for our 40th Season Melodies of Love : An Enchanted Queer Holiday Soirée SAT. DEC. 9, 2023 Romantic Echoes SAT. MAR. 23, 2024 Melodies of Pride and Progress: LGBTQIA Composer Spotlight SAT. JUN. 15, 2024 ALL CONCERTS AT 7:30PM AT EAST END UNITED CHURCH, 310 DANFORTH 20 | October & November 2023

Peter Oundjian when Valdepeñas and Jeffrey were TSO cornerstones unsurpassed in tone and timbre. George Weston Recital Hall: Sinfonia Toronto, now celebrating its 25th season, is the sign of a sophisticated city – a string orchestra. Its core group of 14 players has illuminated many a familiar score under music director Nurhan Arman (who has arranged several of them). Their concert, on October 21 at the George Weston Recital Sinfonia Toronto’s Nurhan Arman Hall, concludes with Beethoven’s iconic Symphony No.5 in a new arrangement for strings by Sreten Krstič. Whether it’s fate or folly, the four opening notes and what Beethoven does with them are unforgettable. Otar Vasilisdze Taktakishvili, whose Second Violin Concerto will be performed by the young (b. 2000) Austrian violinist Elisso Gogibedashvili, was a well-known composer, conductor, teacher and musicologist during the Soviet era. According to Arman’s program notes, Taktakishvili was influenced by Georgian folk music, Mozart, Bach, Beethoven and more contemporary composers like Scriabin, Prokofiev and Shostakovich. He met Shostakovich during his senior year of high school, which sparked a lifelong relationship and collaboration. Gogibedashvili is the soloist for Sarasate’s virtuoso showpiece Zigeunerweisen (Gypsy Airs) arranged by Arman. Two world premieres – by Louis Sauter and Frank Horvat – complete the festive program. Horvat’s Magnificent Roots was sparked by a 250-year-old oak tree, the largest in Toronto. SINFONIA TORONTO/FACEBOOK Paul Ennis is the managing editor of The WholeNote. Thursday Noon at Met A musical oasis in the heart of the city October 5 Christian Masucci Facchini, countertenor October 12 Philip Joseph Filion, organ October 19 Irina Bazik, piano October 26 Joshua Zentner-Barrett, organ November 2 Julia Mirzoev, violin November 9 Jonathan Oldengarm, harpsichord November 16 Lindsay McIntyre, soprano November 23 Jonathan Kravtchenko, piano November 30 Mark Himmelman, organ 56 Queen St. E. REMEMBRANCES Beethoven - Symphony No. 3 Saturday, November 11, 2023, 8 PM FAIRYTALES Saturday, Tchaikovsky, November Mendelssohn, 11, 2023, Ravel 8 PM Saturday, December 16, 2023, 8 PM October & November 2023 | 21

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