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September 23: Toronto classical concert highlights for the next seven days

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Hip Attacca Quartet from New York City make their Toronto début on Thursday.

The week starts with Glenn Gould’s Birthday BACHanalia on Monday night at Koerner Hall, which I’ve detailed here.


  • Chamber music: Attacca Quartet for Music Toronto at the Jane Mallett Theatre, 8 p.m.

These young, hip Juilliard graduates — violinists Amy Schroeder and Keiko Tokunaga, violist Luke Fleming and cellist Andrew Yee — kick off their 10th season and mark the fifth anniversary of their Carnegie Hall début with a tour that includes their Toronto début, courtesy of Music Toronto (they return to these parts with a concert in Kitchener-Waterloo on Nov. 10 and Barrie on Nov. 11). The program features quartets by Joseph Haydn, Felix Mendelssohn and Sergei Prokofiev. You’ll find all the details here.

Here are the Attacca’s with the first movement of their programme-opening piece, Haydn’s Op. 77 No.2 String Quartet, recorded last fall:

  • Symphony: Pianist Joyce Yang and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at Roy Thomson hall, 8 p.m. (repeats Saturday)

Korean up-and-comer Joyce Yang, who has a distinctive, highly articulated playing style, rides the warhorse Piano Concerto No. 2 by Sergei Rachmaninov with the TSO and music director Peter Oundjian. Also on the programme is Maurice Ravel’s rich symphonic arrangement of Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, complete with big-screen visuals to complete the walk-through-a-gallery effect.  The evening opens with Windsor native Kati Agócs’ short 2011 piece, Shenanigan. You’ll find all the details here.

  • Dance: Modern movement meets the music of Ann Southam played by pianist Eve Egoyan at the Enwave Theatre, 8 p.m. (repeats every night to Sat. + Sunday matinée)

Julia Sasso dances presents SLoE, a setting of the late Toronto composer Ann Southam’s Simple Lines of Enquiry, played by Eve Egoyan. The trance-inducing music is alone worth the effort to go. “Relying on the composition’s slow unraveling to evoke a magically suspended, weightless sound world Sasso’s intricately crafted choreography takes great physical and emotional risks in counterpoint to the music’s resonance and stillnesses,” says the PR description. You’ll find all the details here.

Here is Sasso describing her latest work:


  • Open rehearsal of Die Fledermaus at the Four Seasons Centre, 6:30 p.m. Free (part of Culture Days).

The Canadian Opera Company is opening the doors for free to a stage rehearsal of its second production of the season, Johann Strauss Jr’s Die Fledermaus, at the Four Seasons Centre. It stars Canadian tenor Michael Schade and is conducted by COC music director Johannes Debus. There’s a pre-rehearsal talk at 6:30, followed by the rehearsal itself, which starts at 7:30 p.m. The COC is only allowing 500 people in, so it would be wise to arrive early. You’ll find all the details here.

  • Ensemble Polaris “Kitchen Party” at the Tranzac Club, 292 Brunswick Ave., 8 p.m.

Canada’s one-and-only “Arctic Fusion Band” serves up the first concert of its season. As founding member Alison Melville describes it: “Katherine (Hill) will present a solo set of nyckelharpa tunes learned during her year of ‘cultural immersion’ at the Erik Sahlström Institute in Tobo, Sweden, where she studied traditional music and dance. To add to the fun, guest dancers Laine Ruus and members of the Toronto Swedish Folk Dancers and Toronto Danish Folk Dancers will take a few costumed turns through Scandinavian traditional dances including the polsksa, halling, reinlender and more  (audience participation isn’t required!).” Admission is $22.

  • Organist John Tuttle in concert at St Thomas’s Anglican Church, 383 Huron St, 7:30 p.m.

One of this country’s finest organists presents a richly varied and virtuosic program, featuring works by Max Reger, Paul Hindemith and Louis Vierne. Admission is $15 or $20. You’ll find more details here.


Tenor Ramón Vargas
  • Il Trovatore by Giuseppe Verdi at the Four Seasons Centre, 7:30 p.m. (runs to the end of October).

The great Mexican tenor Ramón Vargas stars as Manrico in the Canadian Opera Company’s season-opening production of Giuseppe Verdi’s Il Trovatore. Our own baritone, Russell Braun is Count di Luna in this old warhorse bristling with dramatic arias and choruses. You’ll find all the details here.

  • The Feast of St Michael and All Angels in vocal and instrumental music at the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri, 1372 King St W. 8 p.m.

Tafelmusik violinist Chirstopher Verette is one of several period-instrument musicians joining the St Vincent Baroque Soloists in a concert of sacred music in this great new-old temple in Parkdale. Admission is by donation.


  • Stars of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra present chamber music for Mooredale Concerts at Walter Hall, 3:15 p.m.

Anton Kuerti’s electic concert series starts off with a 19th century flourish, featuring nine Toronto Symphony Orchestra principal players in a concert of Franz Schubert’s F major Octet (D803) and Louis Spohr’s Grand Nonet. You’ll find all the details here.

John Terauds

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