CONCERT REVIEW | Rafał Blechacz: Gold, but not burnished
By Neil Crory on October 20, 2014
The much-anticipated Toronto debut of the $300,000.00 pianist - Rafał Blechacz - took place on Sunday afternoon at Koerner Hall. The near capacity audience was treated to a somewhat old-fashioned programme which included Bach's Italian Concerto, Beethoven's "Pathtique" Sonata and, after intermission, a collection of diverse works by Frédéric Chopin.
CD REVIEW | Dvořák and America
It has long been known that Dvořák’s New World Symphony was inspired by African-American and Native American music. And Dvořák himself mentioned Longfellow’s The Song of Hiawatha as another source of inspiration. But most musicians and musicologists were reluctant to be more specific than that. In recent years, however, the musicologists Joseph Horowitz and Michael Beckerman have tried to show that all of these elements, especially the Hiawatha story, can be linked to specific passages in the New World Symphony...
Q&A | 28 questions with Sir James Galway
Nicknamed “The Man With the Golden Flute”, Sir James Galway is one of the most accomplished flautists in world. He has performed for Presidents, Popes, Emperors and Queens, and shared the stage with entertainers including Liza Minnelli and B. B. King, Pink Floyd and Jessye Norman. With over 70 recordings and 30 million albums sold, Sir James is a force to be reckoned with. In September 2014, he was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award by Gramophone, and this fall, in celebration of Sir James’ 75th birthday, Sony Classical released The James Galway Complete RCA Album Collection, a 71-CD and 2-DVD collection. He has been honoured twice by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, with The OBE in 1979 and again in 2001 with a Knighthood for his services to music. Most recently, Sir James has released an online series of lessons geared for flute students and music lovers available here.
COFFEE BREAK | Hitler's New Orchestra
By admin on October 19, 2014
We couldn't resist sharing this one. Hitler insists on being the concertmaster... "All those who don't know the difference between violin and viola, leave the room."
CONCERT REVIEW | London Philharmonic Orchestra spellbinds Toronto (via the Toronto Star)
As some have already heard - I have recently been asked to join the Toronto Star to contribute reviews and advise them on upcoming shows. I will keep Music Toronto readers up to speed as they appear. Unfortunately I am not allowed to print it in full on Musical Toronto, but we can post an excerpt and link.
CD REVIEW | Soprano Suzie LeBlanc launches CD inspired by Acadian Christmas songs
You’ll want to dance when you hear these tunes! Suzie LeBlanc says of her new CD of Christmas music titled, La Veillée de Noël (Christmas Eve) out this past Tuesday, October 14.
Fiddle or voice, music is an inseparable part of the Acadian cultural tradition. In the Maritimes, old French songs ring out like heirlooms moving across generations as seamlessly as the Nova Scotia fog belt.
COFFEE BREAK | Yo-Yo Ma injured during practice
The Onion) News in photos: Yo-Yo Ma takes a fall during practice. No telling if he will be out for the season.
LINES OF ENQUIRY | Ten Pieces of Advice for Prospective Graduate Students in Musicology
I recently started an MA program in Music and Culture further north, at Carleton University, Ottawa. I feel it could be useful to give a few points of advice based on my brief experience to far, for those who may be beginning to consider something similar, as the Fall marches on and the next year's plans come to view. Granted, this is only one graduate student's perspective one month in, but I'll do my best...
Soundstreams’ “Encore” curates a cultural experience without bounds
It is no mystery to any of us that Toronto holds the promise of being a gold mine of arts and culture experiences. Yet, navigating the various listings and digging for the gold can involve quite an effort, with no guarantee that the show you pick will be as good as you had hoped. Throw in the usual complex mess of trying to organize your friends for a simple coffee meet-up, and a simple dinner and a movie starts to sound like a good idea.
WHO'S WHO | Amici Chamber Ensemble
By admin on October 16, 2014
Amici Chamber Ensemble has celebrated over twenty-five years as one of Canada’s finest and most distinguished chamber music ensembles.
Artistic Directors clarinetist Joaquin Valdepeñas, cellist David Hetherington and pianist Serouj Kradjian invite some of the finest musicians to join them in innovative and eclectic programming, celebrating friendship through music.
In Spring of 2009, founding member Patricia Parr (Order of Canada) retired, and the ensemble welcomed pianist, composer and arranger, Serouj Kradjian...
THE VOICE | Maria Callas in Toronto – the highs and the lows
By Neil Crory on October 15, 2014
"Maria Callas Is Coming!" trumpeted one newspaper headline a few days before the Greek-American soprano was to make her highly anticipated Toronto debut on October 21, 1958. Vocally, the diva was at the peak of her game and the height of her celebrity, so it is perhaps not surprising that an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 opera fans gathered to hear her perform in the cavernous Maple Leaf Gardens - home not only to the Maple Leafs, but also to New York's Metropolitan Opera on tour. So dense were the crowds of fans, the Toronto Daily Star reported, that when she appeared, police had to drive a path through the cheering throngs...
WHO'S WHO | The Larkin Singers
By admin on October 15, 2014
Founded in 2008, The Larkin Singers, has established itself as one of the finest professional choirs in Canada. The ensemble is made of eighteen distinguished musicians from Toronto and the surrounding area. Both critics, and audience alike have applauded their annual concert series presented at Holy Trinity Church, Toronto...