8 years ago

Volume 5 Issue 4 - December 1999/January 2000

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • December
  • Theatre
  • Choir
  • January
  • Symphony
  • Arts
  • Choral
  • Singers
  • Orchestra

. _.· ·. -. . MEMBERS

. _.· ·. -. . MEMBERS PROFILES, 1999-2000 Welcome to part four of our 1'999/2000 Member Profiles livery year WholeNiJte looks at the entire season ahead with these Members' Profiles, which, incidentally. are not written by WholeNote but by the members themselves. So what you read here is straight "from the horses mouth". One hundred and eleven members have been profiled over the last three months. These profiles are all now available for reading on our website at This month we greet ANNEX SINGERS OF TORONTO Address: St. Thomas' Anglican Church, 383 Huron St. Toronto Art istic Director: Ron Cheung Contact : (416)924-9708 Celebrating 20 years since its founding as a neighbourhood group of carolers that grew into a fifty member mixed choir, The Annex Singers meet Mondays from 7:30 to 9:30p.m. to learn music to perform for personal fulfillment, audiences and community outreach. From Bach to Bacharach, the unauditioned group presents three concerts each year. Pergolesi's Magnificat, Fantasia on Christmas Carols by Vaughan Williams and Zaninelli's Two Carols from The Nazarene will be performed at St. Thomas's Anglican Church this Christmas season. On December 13 the singers celebrate their double decade with neighbourhood c~oling . The spring concert will feature Mauler's Gloria. Both former and perspective members are wannly welcomed to attend. The season wraps up with the everpopular cabaret party, Anything Goes, as individual members highlight their musical talent for a lively evening of song and singalong. Special events, social fun and serious music are the hallmark of The Annex Singers of Toronto. RUSSIAN MUSICAL HERITAGE SERIES Artistic Directors: Youri Zaidenberg and Nikolai Malott Phone: (41 6)963-91 61 or {416)767-7589 We are very proud to present this unique opportunity to experience great Russian chamber music masterpieces. This cycle of concerts to be given in the 1999- 2000 season will include different styles, genres, and periods. The works featured are treasures of Russian musical culture, still largely unknown to Canadian audiences. As well, in future concerts you will discover composers representing musical worlds of the Ukraine, Armenia, Latvia, Lithuania and other countries of the former Soviet Union. The Russian Musical Heritage Series will evoke the magic of Russian chamber music, featuring some of Canada's most talented artists. We are certain that you will enjoy your visit with us. Concerts take place at The Chapel of Victoria University, located at 91 Charles Street West, on December 5, 1999, February 27 and May 14, 2000 at 3:00pm. TE DEUM ORCHESTRA & SINGERS 1 05 Victoria Street Dundas, Ontario L9H 2C1 Phone 1-800-263-0320 · or 905 628-4533 Fax: 905-628-9204 Artistic Director: · Richard Birney-Smith The Te Deum Orchestra & Singers present an annual subscription series of six Fridayevening concerts at Christ's Church Cathedral, Hamilton, and six Saturday-evening concerts at Christ Church Deer Park, Toronto. Richard Birney-Smith is founder and Artistic Director. Orchestra and choir each perform at least one concert alone and several together. The annual programme sometimes includes a solo organ or harpsichord recital by the Artistic Director. The choral repertoire includes Gregorian chant, Renaissance and baroque music as well as conservative contemporary music. The orchestral repertoire is mainly baroque music played on period instruments with the occasional excursion into conservative twentieth-century music played on modern instruments. When the orchestra and choir combine, it is almost always to perform baroque music. The Te Deum Orchestra & Singers are known for their approachability and for presenting music with verve, style and a sense of occasion. Te Deum Concerts are fun. TORONTO CHORAL SOCIETY Address: 255-1543 Bayview Ave. Toronto ON M4G 3B5 Tel: {41 6)41 0-3509 Artistic Director: Mr. Geoffrey Butler Pianist/accompanist: Mr. William O'Meara President: Ms. Suzanne Jackson Established in 1845, The Toronto Choral Society, Toronto's oldest choir, is rapidly regaining its reputation as the City's finest choir. Under the baton of Artistic Director, Geoffrey Butler, the Oratorio Choir explores some of the complex and challenging classical and sacred repertoires. The lighter side of the repertoire is an eclectic mix of Show Tunes, Folk Songs and Ethno-Cultural Music. This Season sees the introduction ct'tteToronto Choral Society Ensemble. This smaller group will allow us the flexibility and speed of response to meet an ever more demanding performance schedule in the community, and represents the next logical step in our goal of becoming a "Choral Society" in the fullest sense. Toronto Choral Society welcomes new members who share our love of music and our commitment to performance in the community. Rehearsals are Wednesdays, 7:30 to 9:30(p.m.), St. George the Martyr Anglican Church, John St. in Downtown Toronto. VICTORIA SCHOLARS Music Director: Jerzy Cichocki Choir Manager: Mark McCallen 146 Willowridge Road, Etobicoke ON M9R 3Z7 Tel: 416-761-7776 Fax: 905-849-6808 w w The Victoria Scholars, established in January 1993, take their name from Tomas Luis de Victoria (c. 1548-16ll ), one of the outstanding composers of the Renaissance. The Victoria Scholars were awarded the Canada Council Healey Willan Grand Prize at the II th Biennial CBC Radio National Competition for Amateur Choirs in 1996. In 1998, at the 12th Biennial CBC Radio Competition, they were awarded - for the second consecutive time- First Prize in the Equal Voice (Male) category. 1999/2000 Concert Series: 'Twas the Night Before Christmas Special guest, renowned tenor Michael Schade Sunday, December 19, 1999- 7:30pm, St. James' Cathedral, 65 Church St. Toronto Mystery and Majesty Special guest, Elora Festival Singers, Noel Edison - conductor Sunday, March 5, 2000- 8:00 pm, Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 3055 Bloor St. W Etobicoke GloriaDeo with the Toronto Children's Chorus, Jean Ashworth Bartle - conductor Sunday, April 9, 2000- 3:00pm, The Living Arts Centre, 4141 Living Arts Drive, Mississauga

TSO Strike Notes continued from page 6 hour's drive from his .summer home. There was absolutely nothing wrong with living in Detroit. going to have to change." TSO response To get an idea of how close the two are to an agreement I asked the TSO's marketing manager and labour dispute spokesman, Michael Buckland, about Gary Labovitz's comments on the musicians' fundamental argument that without salaries comparable What the TSO musicians are to those of U.S. symphonic asking for is not unreasonable, he musicians the calibre of the TSO says. "It is as good an orchestra as will decline. Buckland said that, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra given the cost ofliving in but we are not asking for any- Toronto, the TSO's musicians where as much as they are being definitely deserve to be the best paid." TheTSO will lose one-third paid symphonic musicians in of its present members over the Canada. But, he sa!d, there were next I 0-15 years, and without several mitigating factors, having competitive salaries it will not to do with the differences attract musicians of a quality between U.S. and Canadian comparable to those that will be cities, that made a lower salary being replaced. For the really here quite competitive with good ones the TSO will become higher salaries in the United merely a stepping stone rather States (all you'd need to do is than a destination. Already one of spend a few days in New York our more prominent players has an City to know what he's talking audition next Monday for a about.) position in another orchestra. Buckland pointed out that in the "What we are asking of the Board Board's latest offer, four years of Directors is to broaden its base from now the lowliest musician, of support, to be more creative straight out of music school, and less set in its ways. They have would be paid over ,000 a been keeping the scope of their year plus benefits, and that at the fund-raising activities small and present time, of the 98 members appear to have been afraid of of the orchestra only 3 are being making a splash or of going to the paid at the minimum salary, public for support. All this is which means, of course, that most of the musicians would be earning considerably more than that. These numbers obviously compare very well with the remuneration of many professional positions in Canada. And of Mr. Labovitz's comment that the board had to be more creative, Buckland said that the TSO's recent Fund for the Future campaign had raised million, more than any other Canadian arts organization has ever been able to raise, and that in August, before the strike began, it had approved a major new endowment campaign. Over the past two years board members had contributed million a year, when over the same period the members of the board of another major Canadian arts organization had contributed a mere 0,000. Of the "finality" of the Board's final offer, Buckland said that in making it the Board committed all its available resources and then made a leap of faith that they could cover the shortfall. "We've already had a lot of criticism about the level of our offer, for raising the bar too high, from other arts organizations [that employ musicians], and a number of business leaders and politicians have asked if we can afford to pay our musicians at this level. It would be irresponsible of us to offer more." What will it take So the two sides appear to be still worlds apart. One TS musician, who joined the orchestra relatively recently, commented that there has been such bad blood between musicians and management for so many years that "a mere settlement will not be enough for either side, because both sides are so intent on winning." It is anything but obvious what the outcome will be. The sounds of "silence" Whatever the outcome, though, one thing is certain (pace Councillor Rae). Even if the strike continues to the end of the season, the concert halls of Toronto will continue to be anything but silent. As readers of this magazine's listings know, approximately 800 concerts have taken place in Toronto since the strike began. And close to two thousand more will take place between now and the end of June, with a paying audience of more than 250,000 people. Food for thought, we think, for the TSO--board, management, and musicians alike. Katherine Hill continued from page 2 7 porary sensibility. It is not that far removed from the music of our contemporaries John Tavener and Arvo Part, whose music is enjoying great popularity at this time." Another aspect of this music that she fmds tremendously appealing is its spirituality. "Much of it is s1mg over a drone, which gives it a hypnotic or other-worldly quality. Many people in our culture are looking for spirituality, and I think they hear something spiritual in this music that attracts them." As an example of this "other-worldliness" she points the immensely popular recording of the Hilliard Ensemble with saxophone improvisations by Jan Garbarek. As a performer, however, there is something quite frustrating about it, she says, because no one will ever know what this music actually sounded like at the time it was created. There is an abundance of written material, but much of it is very sketchy, and the performance of this music did not survive as an oral tradition into our time. Even the instruments did not survive, because they were made of wood and were not intentionally preserved. "All we can do today is study the poetry and the cultural context and try to let the music teach us how to perform it." For this reason there is a strong creative component to what she does ''which is another reason I love doing it. There is still much repertoire available that nobody has performed yt;t. There is so much music left to discover and to re-create!" I have now heard Katherine Hill perform several times. She puts her fine soprano voice to good Suggest a local performer for Musician in Our Midst. Contact WholeNote's Editor at (416) 603-3786. use, and her background as a string player gets a real workout, on two bowed medieval instruments the rebec and the vielle and th~ renaissance bowed instrument, the viola da gamba. Do you see yourself primarily as a singer or as an instrumentalist? I asked. "For Medieval music, both," was her reply, "just as most medieval musicians both sang and played instruments. For later music I am a singer." · 1l1ere will be four opportunities to hear Katherine Hill in December: December 4 with the Toronto Chamber Choir, December 10 with the Toronto Consort (this will also be the launch of their new CD), December 11 with the Aradia Ensemble, and December 12 at the ROM. In January she will be in Boston to work with a group of people from Holland on a recording of John Dowland's music, which they are preparing for the Early Music America competition and for the European summer early music festival circuit. In February she Will be on tour in Western Canada with the Toronto Consort.

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