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October 15: Toronto classical concert highlights for the next seven days

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Maxim Vengerov joins the Toronto Symphony on Saturday.


    • Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio reunion at the Richard Bradshaw Amphotheatre, noon. Free.

Five alumni of of the COC Ensemble Studio — soprano Ileana Montalbetti, baritones Peter Barrett and James Westman and bass Robert Gleadow — join piano accompanist Anne Larlee for an hour of opera favourites as well as anecdotes from their days with the Ensemble.

  • Violinist Jacques Israelievitch and harpist Erica Goodman at Gallery 345, 8 p.m.

Two retired high-profile Toronto Symphony Orchestra colleagues team up for a programme of favourite pieces, with Jacques Israelievitch’s icy artistry presumably nicely counterbalanced by Judy Loman’s natural warmth. Big solos include the Violin Sonata by Sergei Prokofiev and J.S. Bach’s G Major Suite for solo viola as well as Carlos Salzedo’s Piece for Solo Harp. Duo pieces are by Ernst Bloch, Camille Saint-Saëns and Baroque composer Jean-Marie Leclair. You’ll find the details here.


  • Pianist Lise de la Salle and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at Roy Thomson Hall, 8 p.m.

Piano fans have been agog over young French star Lise de la Salle for several years, even though she’s now only 24. She tends to have her own, idiosyncratic way of approaching the core of the classical canon, so it will be interesting to hear what she does with Maurice Ravel’s much-loved G Major Piano Concerto. Visiting conductor Douglas Boyd also leads the Roman Carnival Overture by Hector Berlioz and Jean Sibelius’s Symphony No. 2. Details here.

Here is de la Salle with “Une barque sur l’océan” from Ravel’s Miroirs:


  • Toronto Consort 40th anniversary concert at Trinity-St Paul’s Centre, 8 p.m.

Our most recent exposure to Thomas Tallis’ Spem in alium — the infamous 40-part motet — was at Nuit Blanche (and, indirectly, in Fifty Shades of Grey). But there’s nothing quite like hearing it sung live by 40 singers, as it will be for Toronto Consort’s Tudor-flavoured 40th anniversary programme. The concert, which involves the Tallis Choir, also includes pieces the Consort has recorded as background music for the TV series The Tudors. Details here.

  • The Picture of Happiness cabaret with Brad Hampton and Patti Loach at Gallery Fontana Swing. 8 p.m.

Toronto actor Brad Hampton has developed an excellent cabaret show with pianist Patti Loach about a single gay man who finally finds his rightful place in the world, thanks to an old family snapshot. Hampton is charismatic, he and Loach have excellent chemistry, the songs are just the right mix of funny, touching and irreverent, and the show’s timing in impeccable, thanks to director Rae Ellen Bodie’s careful guidance. It all happens at one of the hip new gallery spaces in Leslieville. Details here.

This is the official trailer for the show:


  • Maxim Vengerov and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at Roy Thomson Hall, 8 p.m.

Russian violin star Maxim Vengerov has overcome an injury that kept him away from the concert stage as a soloist, but helped him develop as a conductor. He comes to town for a single concert where he’ll multitask, playing the solos as well as conducting Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherezade with the Toronto Symphony. He also performs Peter Ilytch Tchaikovsky’s warhorse Violin Concerto with the TSO’s new associate conductor Shalom Bard. Details here.


  • The Aldeburgh Connection at Walter Hall, University of Toronto, 2:30 p.m.
Allyson McHardy

Co-artistic directors Stephen Ralls and Bruce Ubukata begin their final season with three excellent singers — soprany Miriam Khalil, mezzo Allyson McHardy and baritone Geoffrey Sirett — and a programme inspired by the writings of the original Master of Massey College, the late, great Robertson Davies. Details here.

  • Pax Christi Chorale at St Anne’s Anglican Church, Gladstone Ave, 3 p.m.

The Mirabilia Festival, which has used the Group of Seven-decorated Byzantine-style church as its inspiration, concludes with a concert featuring two well-known cantatas by J.S. Bach (with orchestra) and three unaccompanied motets by Charles Villiers Stanford. The four strong soloists are soprano Ariel Harwood-Jones, mezzo Catharin Carew, tenor Andrew Haji and baritone Peter McGillivray. Details here.

John Terauds

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