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THE SCOOP | Ben Heppner Accepts Academic Appointment at McGill’s Schulich School of Music

By Michael Vincent on January 31, 2015

Since announcing his retirement from the stage last April, (due to an "unreliability" in his voice), Canadian tenor, Ben Heppner seemed content with maintaining his role as announcer for CBC II's radio program “Backstage with Ben Happner”. But the question remained – what of his singing? Is that really it?
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THE VOICE | The Cult of Magda

By Neil Crory on January 31, 2015

Born in 1910, Olivero made her professional operatic debut in Turin in 1933, at the age of 23. Within a few years, she had established herself as one of Italy's hottest new talents, securing her reputation over the next few years by singing everything from Lauretta (her debut role), to heavier roles such as Cio-Cio San, Mimi, Manon Lescaut, and even Elsa. In the 1939/40 season, she also added Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur to her repertoire – a role which was to play an important part in her career...
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CONCERT REVIEW: Toy Piano Composers and Cellophone are Pleasantly Gritty

By Tyler Versluis on January 30, 2015

In general, I find the best concert-going experiences are when not only the music is excellent but when the experience delivers a revelation. A presumptuous attitude, perhaps, but I feel this is what divides an entertaining experience from an artistic one...
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CONCERT REVIEW | Esprit Orchestra Walks Musical High Wire With Grace

By Michael Vincent on January 30, 2015

A lot of people talk about how lucky we are to have a boutique orchestra devoted to the performance of contemporary work. And we are. The problem is, Esprit Orchestra only produces four concert per season and, by those numbers, there is a lot riding on every show...
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THE SCOOP | Toronto Symphony Orchestra Announces 2015/2016 Season

By Michael Vincent on January 29, 2015

The TSO have just released details on their upcoming 2015/2016 season and it looks to be much more collaborative and dare I say "innovative" than previous years. The season starts with a concert gala on September 24, 2015 with violinist Itzhak Perlman, who returns to Roy Thomson Hall to perform Bruch's Violin Concerto with Music Director Peter Oundjian leading, and music by Dukas and Grieg...
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THE CLASSICAL TRAVELER | Ukrainian Composers of the Twentieth Century

By Paul E. Robinson on January 29, 2015

Ukraine has often been in the news lately, and for all the wrong reasons. It is not easy sharing a border with Russia, especially after gaining its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Russia under Vladimir Putin resents Ukraine’s aspirations to move closer to the West and has acted militarily to crush them. First it was Crimea and now it is eastern Ukraine. NATO has been acting to support Ukraine but whether its efforts will be enough remains to be seen...
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CRITIC’S PICKS | Ten Musical Outings You Absolutely Must Do This Week

By Michael Vincent on January 28, 2015

Musical Toronto’s weekly Critic’s Picks are a fully curated list of some of the best concerts happening now through the end of the week. Of course this is not to say we are the provocateurs of taste, but simply seek to provide a good weekly summary. For a look at the full breadth of what’s available in and around Toronto, check out the comprehensive concert listings from our friends at Wholenote Magazine...
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COFFEE BREAK | Hilarious Band Geeks Battle it Out 'Star Wars' Style

By Musical Toronto on January 28, 2015

Brandishing light-sabers, two high school students are caught on video in an epic Star Wars Sousaphone battle! One bystander is heard calling out, "Somebody die already!" This is pure nerdy awesomeness, and we love it...
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THE SCOOP | 2015 Juno Award Nominations Announced (Classical Category)

By Michael Vincent on January 28, 2015

The 44th Annual JUNO Award Nominees have just been released. Each will participate in the 2015 JUNO Awards and JUNO Week celebrations over March 9-15. The awards will be broadcast on CTV from FirstOntario Centre on Sunday, March 15, 2015...
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CD REVIEW | Distilling the Spaces Between Carthage and Rome

By Jay Caron on January 28, 2015

I am always skeptical of what I would call “fusion” composition; I would briefly describe this as taking the harmonic language, rhythms, or instruments of some non-western culture, or the elements of a popular music genre, and unceremoniously shoving them into the context of western art music. This could perhaps be analogized as mixing water and oil; things that are, on their own, valuable, but which resist amalgamation. The result can often leave me wondering whether greater care could have been taken to present each separate element in its best light. It is a technique dangerously prone to superficiality...
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WELCOME | "High Notes Avante Productions Inc." Has Joined the Growing Musical Toronto Community

By Member on January 27, 2015

High Notes Avante Productions Inc. uses the power of music and words to put the spotlight on mental health, touch your soul and reduce stigma...
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COFFEE BREAK | Dinner With Lang Lang

By Michael Vincent on January 26, 2015

Dinner with Lang Lang... (cartoon by Eugene Chan "don't shoot the pianist")
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