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CONCERT REVIEW | The King’s Singers Offer a Strict Regime of Poise and Delicacy

By Colin Eatock on December 15, 2014

The King’s Singers aren’t just an ensemble – they’re an institution. Founded at King’s College Cambridge in 1968, the vocal sextet now contains none of its original members. However, with about 150 recordings to their credit and countless tours around the globe, they’ve built a strong brand-name and a devoted fan-base. Evidently, more than a few of those fans live in Toronto: Koerner Hall was filled to capacity on Sunday afternoon for a Christmas program by the ensemble. It was also evident from the enthusiastic applause in the hall that their fans weren’t disappointed. I wish I shared their unbridled enthusiasm – but I came away with a somewhat different impression...
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FITS & BURSTS | Why Messiah - Forever and Ever?

By Michael Vincent on December 15, 2014

At any given time during the holiday season, hundreds of choirs will amass in churches and various concert halls across the world, to perform Handel’s Messiah . With the exception of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, no other choral work has been so fixed into western musical culture. In fact for many, the tradition of going to a performance of the Messiah is as dear as beautifying the Christmas tree in the family living room. But why?
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WEEKEND ROUNDUP | Nine Posts You May Have Missed This Week

By Michael Vincent on December 14, 2014

SCHMOPERA | #UncleJohn: the Toronto Story Jenna Douglas was at the Toronto premiere of Against the Grain Theatre’s production of #UncleJohn this week, and had plenty to say about it. Check it out! WHO'S WHO | The Chamber Music Society of Mississauga The Chamber Music Society of Mississauga joined our WHO'S WHO family this week, and we couldn’t happier to welcome them to the fold.
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SCHMOPERA | #UncleJohn: the Toronto Story

By Jenna Douglas on December 13, 2014

Joel Ivany is all about the audience’s experience, which translates into unconventional venues, like outdoor spaces subject to rain, mosquitoes, and sulphur, and extraordinary demands on the mechanics of opera, like the AtG Messiah chorus performing from memory, or managing Mozart recitative without any singer-conductor sight lines. The AtG creative team tends to work with a wild idea, and enough open minds around to try it out; the award-winning company has been full of successes from the beginning. All these unknown elements hover in the air throughout the rehearsal process, including the first performance, and no one really knows how they’ll all settle. In my own experience working with their team, there’s always a bit of alchemy that happens in AtG shows. In Banff, #UncleJohn was an incredible mix of good energy amongst the team, green and responsive audiences, and an unforgettable venue. The reward for all that creative work was enormous.
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WHO'S WHO | The Chamber Music Society of Mississauga

By Member on December 12, 2014

Since 1997 The Chamber Music Society of Mississauga (CMSM) has created, produced, performed and recorded professional cultural programs for audiences of all ages. Each season CMSM presents a "Saturday Evening Great Hall Concert Series", an “Out and About” the community free performances in public spaces and as funding permits, curriculum based performances of “Tales and Tunes for Toonies” for young families and elementary school audiences.
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THE SCOOP | Tafelmusik Welcomes World-renowned Conductor Kent Nagano to Toronto

By Michael Vincent on December 12, 2014

In a press release announced this morning, Tafelmusik have confirmed l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal conductor Kent Nagano will be coming to Toronto to direct the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir in Toronto at Koerner Hall, on Thursday January 22, for a four-day engagement. This occasion will mark the first time Nagano comes to Toronto to perform with Tafelmusik.
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COFFEE BREAK | Reno erat Rudolphus or Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer?

By Michael Vincent on December 11, 2014

(via) In the spirit of Advent, we give you Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, translated to latin, and composed using a Gregorian chant melody. (The fun things you can do with music degrees!). Though you probably won't hear this sung at a church anytime soon, this is very well done!
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EXCLUSIVE | Interview with Orchestra London's Joe Swan: There May Be Hope Yet

By Michael Vincent on December 10, 2014

In an attempt to gain insight in the stunning and sad turn of events for Orchestra London (see original story here), we contacted London Orchestra Executive Director, Joe Swan for an exclusive interview. It was a candid conversation, which started with Swan apologising for his current state of anxiety. He had been preparing for a meeting with the orchestra musicians and was in crisis mode.
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COFFEE BREAK | A Genius Scrolling Score to Steve Reich's Clapping Music

By Michael Vincent on December 10, 2014

Today we dive into the fascinating minimalist score to Steve Reich's 1972 Clapping Music. The premiss is simple: a one-bar rhythm that shifts one eighth note at eight bar intervals. Watch the video to see the score in action - from a musicians point of view. We tried performing it at the MT office, but sounded more like a bunch of frat boys watching a hockey game. Your mileage may vary.
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BREAKING NEWS: Orchestra London Silenced

By Michael Vincent on December 9, 2014

According to AM 980, Orchestra London has confirmed that the seventy-seven year-old orchestra will cease operations effective Tuesday, 16 December 2014. The planed closure is due to a massive budget shortfall, to the tune of nearly half a million dollars...
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CRITIC’S PICKS | 10 Things You Absolutely Must Do This Week

By Michael Vincent on December 9, 2014

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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CD REVIEWS | The Wonder of Christmas: Elora Festival Singers & Unclouded Day: Conspirare Christmas 2013

By Paul E. Robinson on December 8, 2014

It’s that time of year again when we are inundated with those all too familiar Christmas songs that we once loved and now loathe. It is simply too much to have canned Christmas music coming at us everywhere we go. How about some peace and quiet? And wasn’t that the original message of Christmas i.e. Peace on Earth?
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