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CRITIC'S PICKS | 11 Classical Music Shows You Should Absolutely See This Week

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For the week of March 20–26

Aisslinn Nosky | Photo: Cylla von Tiedemann
Aisslinn Nosky | Photo: Cylla von Tiedemann

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. 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 our curated concert listings here: Musical Toronto Datebook.

Monday 20

Gallery 345 | Six Sonatas and Partitas for Violin by J.S. Bach. Gallery 345, 345 Sorauren Ave. 7 p.m. $15 – $25.

Violinists Patricia Ahern, Valerie Gordon, Elyssa Lefurgey-Smith, Aisslinn Nosky, Michelle Odorico, and Julia Wedman join forces for this recital of six works by J.S. Bach. Details found here.

Wednesday 22

Toronto Symphony Orchestra | Beethoven Symphony No. 6 Roy Thomson Hall. 8 p.m. From $33.75. Repeats Mar 23.

Finnish conductor Hannu Lintu leads the TSO forces in a performance of the Beethoven Symphony No. 6. Also on the program are Sibelius Suite from The Tempest; Magnus Lindberg’s Accused: Three Interrogations for Soprano and Orchestra, a North American premiere, with soprano Anu Komsi. The evening opens with a work composed for Canada 150, A Hero’s Welcome, by Kati Agócs. Full listing here.

Show One Productions | Dmitry Masleev in Recital. Koerner Hall. 8 p.m. $40-$75.

Russian pianist and XV International Tchaikovsky Competition gold medalist Dmitry Masleev makes his Canadian debut with a recital of Rachmaninoff, Liszt, Beethoven, Scarlatti, and Prokofiev. Full details, here.

NOTE: He is also giving a masterclass on Mar 21 7 the Remenyi House of Music, 210 Bloor St. West across from the RCM. Admission is free, but space is limited. Reservations may be made by calling (416) 961-3111.

Thursday 23

Music Toronto | Marc-André Hamelin. Jane Mallett Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts. 8 p.m. $60.

The great Canadian pianist, now Boston-based, returns to Toronto under the auspices of Music Toronto, for a recital.  Haydn: Sonata in C Hob.XVI:48; Feinberg: Sonata No.2 in A Minor Op.2; Feinberg: Sonata No.1 in A Op. 1; Beethoven: Sonata in F Minor Op.57 “Appassionata;” Scriabin: Sonata No.7 Op.64 “White Mass;” Chopin: Sonata No.2 in B-flat Minor Op.35. More info found here.

Tafelmusik | The Baroque Diva. Koerner Hall. 8 p.m. $49 and up. Repeats Mar 24, 25, 26(mat.).

The exquisite voice of Canadian soprano Karina Gauvin returns to Tafelmusik for opera arias by Handel and a motel by Vivaldi. Also on the program are works by Telemann, and the world premiere of a piece by Colin Labadie. Rodolfo Richter conducts. Listing, here.

Friday 24

Gallery 345 | James Shields/Keith Hamm/Peter Longworth. 345 Sorauren Avenue. 8 p.m. $20/$10

Three well-known musicians (clarinetist James Shields, former Principal Clarinet of the COC; Keith Hamm, Principal Viola of the COC; and pianist/GGS Faculty member Peter Longworth) play Mozart: Trio in E-flat for Clarinet, Viola and Piano; Bernstein: Sonata for Clarinet and Piano; Bruch: Eight Pieces for Clarinet, Viola and Piano. More details found right here.

Saturday 25

Toronto Symphony Orchestra | How the Gimquat Found Her Song. Roy Thomson Hall. 2 p.m. and 4 pm. $20.50-$32.75.

The TSO’s kids-friendly show suitable for children 5 to 12, How the Gimquart Found Her Song is performed by the TSO and the Platypus Theatre. It tells the story of a rare and silent bird who lives in hiding. One day, her life is forever changed when she meets a magician who takes her on a journey through the history of western music in search of the perfect song. Martin MacDonald conducts and Georgia Lin is the soprano soloist. See here, for more info.

Met Live in HD | Idomeneo. At select Cineplex locations. 12:55 pm. $28

To the connoisseur, Idomeneo ranks as one of Mozart’s most inspired creations. This realistic-looking Jean-Pierre Ponnelle production is over 30 years old and still strikingly beautiful. It stars American tenor Matthew Polenzani in the title role. British mezzo Alice Coote (Ariodante at the COC) is Idamante, American soprano Nadine Sierra is Ilia, and South African soprano Elza van den Heever is Elettra. James Levine conducts. Listing here.

Elmer Iseler Singers | The Journey to Canada from Armenia. St. Anne’s Anglican Church, 270 Gladstone Ave. 7:30 p.m. $40.

Armenian-Canadian soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian, now on the faculty of University of California at Santa Barbara, returns to Toronto for a concert of Armenian sacred and secular music. It will include a work by Serouj Kradian composed specifically for this concert, which will also mark the release of the soprano’s latest CD. Details found here.

Continuum Contemporary Music/Canadian Music Centre/Canadian League of Composers | PIVOT: Celebrating emerging Canadian composers. The Music Gallery, 197 John St. $30

PIVOT features premieres of works by six emerging composers – Rebecca Bruton, Maxime Corbeil-Perron, Juro Kim Feliz, Beavan Flanagan, Evelin Ramon, and Bekah Simms, works in the acoustic, electroacoustic and acousmatic worlds. Info found here.

Sunday 26

Voicebox/Opera in Concert | Khovanshchina Jane Mallett Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts. 2:30 p.m. $22-$52.

OIC is presenting the challenging Mussorgsky opera Khovanshchina in concert, its last opera of the current season. Soloists are Emilia Boteva, Andrey Andreychik, Dion Mazerolle, Hassan Anami, Cian Horrobin, Lyn Isnar, and Michael Robert-Broder. Narmina Afandiyeva is the music director and pianist. Robert Cooper is the Choral Director. Info here.

For more events, visit our DATEBOOK CALENDAR.


Joseph So

Joseph So

Joseph So is Professor Emeritus at Trent University and Associate Editor of Opera Canada.He is also a long-time contributor to La Scena Musicale and Opera (London, UK). His interest in music journalism focuses on voice, opera as well as symphonic and piano repertoires. He appears regularly as a panel member of the Big COC Podcast.He has co-edited a book, Opera in a Multicultural World: Coloniality, Culture, Performance, published by Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group).
Joseph So
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