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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

Toronto classical concert picks for January 20 to 26, 2014

By John Terauds on January 20, 2014

Louis Lortie joins -- and leads -- the Toronto Symphony on Wednesday and Thursday nights (Hiroyuki Ito photo)
Louis Lortie joins — and leads — the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in more Mozart this week (Hiroyuki Ito photo).

20 Monday

  • Cellist Shauna Rolston and friends at Walter Hall, 7 p.m.

A dozen of Toronto’s finest string players are getting together to play two Romantic gems: Felix Mendelssohn’s beloved Op. 20 Octet and Peter Ilytch Tchaikovsky’s ravishing “Souvenirs de Florence” Sextet.

This should be quite an evening to begin an incredible week of public musicmaking at University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music that includes masterclasses and a recital by Stephanie Blythe as well as the arrival of Gabriel Prokofiev to headline its annual festival of new music.

You can check out the full performance calendar here.

21 Tuesday

  • Pianist Marc André Hamelin for Music Toronto at the Jane Mallett Theatre, 8 p.m.

This great virtuoso makes his annual visit to Toronto with a stimulating programme that ranges from the late Impromptus of Franz Schubert and a sonata by Nikolai Medtner to a little something by Hamelin himself. You’ll find all the details here.

22-23 Wed. & Thu.

  • Pianist Louis Lortie with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at Roy Thomson Hall, 8 p.m.

Our city’s flagship orchestra concludes its annual Mozart festival with one of Canada’s flagship pianists and violinists, concertmaster Jonathan Crow. It means we get a piano concerto — the engaging No. 22, K482, — as well as some chamber-scale works, including a violin sonata — No. 18, K301. You’ll find all the details here.

23 Thursday

  • Soprano Carla Huhtanen and pianist Adam Sherkin at the Canadian Music Centre, 7:30 p.m.

Here is how this wonderfully talented duo describes the first in a projected series of art song recitals at Chalmers House: “Carla Huhtanen and Adam Sherkin celebrate the musicality of Winter in a recital of songs from Canada and Scandinavia. The inaugural performance includes works by Ana Sokolovic, Omar Daniel, Jeffrey Ryan, Jean Sibelius and Ture Rangstrom. Also on the programme: Winter Aubade (2009) for solo piano, by American composer Daniel Crozier.” You’ll find further details here.

23- Thu. to Sat.

  • Toronto Masque Theatre at the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse (106 Trinity St), 8 p.m.

Artistic director Larry Beckwith sent along this description:

“We are currently in rehearsal for Toronto Masque Theatre’s upcoming cabaret show Arlecchino Allegro. The show features the incomparable mezzo soprano Laura Pudwell, violist da gamba Felix Deak, recorder player Avery MacLean and lute/guitar player Terry McKenna. The evening is hosted by Nicholas and Mina from the Gorgonetrovich Corps de Ballet Nationale. We are playing and singing music from the late Spanish Renaissance and early Italian Baroque; composers such as Luis Milan, Frescobaldi, Barbara Strozzi and Dario Castello. However, during the course of the evening, we are required to perform arrangements of music that is seemingly further and further away from our core repertoire. For a variety of reasons, the hosts get more and more ornery as they throw music at us by Debussy, Schubert, Mozart, Roy Orbison and others. It’s a fun program in the tradition that I think people are coming to expect from Toronto Masque Theatre: juxtapositions of great music from wildly different styles and eras.

“It is a great treat to work with Laura Pudwell again. She is gamely throwing herself into the wide range of songs and arias she’s been asked to learn and she possesses the golden combination of a strong musical technique, emotional depth and a wicked sense of humour.

“Arlecchino Allegro is a great antidote to the winter blahs with its lively mix of beautiful performances of a wide array of superb music and snappy improv comedy in a warm and relaxed setting. Come join us!”

You’ll find performance and ticket details here.

24 Friday

isabelle

  • Violinist Isabelle Faust with pianist Alexander Melnikov at Koerner Hall, 8 p.m.

This remarkable German violinist arrives with a serious recital programme consisting entirely of sonatas by Ludwig van Beethoven — Nos 3, 4, 9 and 10. You’ll find the details here.

25 Saturday

  • The Larkin Singers at the Church of the Holy Trinity (Eaton Centre), 4 p.m.

This excellent choir led by Ottawa-based master organist and choral conductor Matthew Larkin presents at programme of sacred Magnificats — settings of what is now called the Song of Mary — in this acoustically rich space. For tickets, click here.

26 Sunday

  • Esprit Orchestra at Koerner Hall, 8 p.m.

Young Montreal-born, Berlin-based conductor-composer Samy Moussa joins composer-DJ Gabriel Prokofiev to place Toronto’s great new-music orchestra at the forefront of the current state of contemporary art music. You’ll find the details here.

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, the founder of Musical Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
John Terauds
John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, the founder of Musical Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
John Terauds
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