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CRITIC’S PICKS | 10 Musical Outings You Absolutely Must Do This Week

By Michael Vincent on September 29, 2014

CRITICS-PICKS_09292014

It’s incredible just how much goes on in Toronto each week – everything from world-class classical music and opera events, to our very own local performers and arts groups offering glimpses into the music of tomorrow. Our weekly Critic’s Picks is a fully curated list of some of the best concerts going on now through the end of the week. Of course this is not to say we are the provocateurs of taste, but simply strive 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.

Monday 29

Gryphon Trio and mezzo-soprano Julie Nesrallah, at University of Toronto’s Walter Hall, 7 pm. $10-40

To start the week, two-time Juno Award winning Gryphon Trio and mezzo-soprano Julie Nesrallah, will perform a program including Wright’s Letters to the Immortal Beloved, Chan Ka Nin’s …and the masks evoke…, and Tchaikovsky’s Trio in a, Op.50. Full of abundantly romantic sensibility, Wright’s Letters to the Immortal Beloved is a real treat. Info here.

Tuesday 30

Soundstreams: The Seasons, at Koerner Hall, 8 pm. $20-67.50

Kudos to Soundstreams for the innovative programming lined up this year. This Tuesday, they will feature a series of works for string orchestra including, Recomposed by Max Richter | Vivaldi The Four Seasons, John Luther Adams’ Dream in White on White, and Mojave Dreaming by Canadian composer Paul Frehner. For fans of larger scale contemporary music of the tuneful variety, this is a do-not-miss event. Performers include Daniel Hope with Joaquin Valdepeñas, conducting.

For a preview of the event, see what Margaret Lam has say here.

Thursday 2

Canadian Opera Company Vocal Series at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Noon. Free!

In celebration of the bard’s 450th birthday, the COC presents Brush Up on your Shakespeare! The University of Toronto’s Opera Division will perform Arias and ensembles from operatic works inspired by some of Shakespeare’s best known plays. (some) info here.

Women’s Musical Club of Toronto at University of Toronto’s Walter Hall, 1:30 pm. $45

Looking for a Thursday afternoon musical getaway? The Women’s Musical Club of Toronto present Trio Wanderer, with pianist Vincent Coq, violinist Jean-Marc Phillips-Varjabédian, and cellist Raphaël Pidoux, performing Fauré, Liszt, and Tchaikovsky. Good things always come in threes. Details here.

Toronto Symphony Orchestra with Khatia Buniatishvili, piano; David Zinman, conductor at Roy Thomson Hall, 8 pm. $33-145

As part of the Masterworks Series, TSO presents acclaimed pianist Khatia Buniatishvili and guest conductor David Zinman doing some heavy lifting with Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No.2.. They will also perform Chopin’s early and wonderfully detailed Piano Concerto No.2. Info here.

Friday 3

Canadian Opera Company, Verdi’s Falstaff at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. 7:30 pm. $12-339

No money, no morals, no problem. The COC open with Verdi’s Falstaff,starring Lauren Segal, soprano (Meg Page); Simone Osborne, soprano (Nanetta); Marie-Nicole Lemieux, mezzo (Mistress Quickly); Frédéric Antoun, tenor (Fenton); Gerald Finley, baritone (Falstaff); Russell Braun, baritone (Ford); COC Orchestra and Chorus; Johannes Debus, conductor. Show repeats: Oct 9, 12 (2:00 pm), 14, 25 (4:30 pm), 29, Nov 1. Performance and tickets info here.

Saturday 4 

Global Motives: Scotiabank Nuit Blanche at the Canadian Music Centre. 7:00 pm. Free! 

Over a marathon of twelve hours, the CMC will showcase how global music transitions have infiltrated themselves into contemporary Canadian music. It will include both music and visual art. Performers including Suba Sankaran (voice), Parmela Attariwala (violin), TorQ percussion quartet, Germaine Liu  and Deb Sinha (percussion), Ernie Tollar (Sax/Bansuri), Ed Hanley (table), Jordan O’Connor (bass) Dinuk Wijeratne (piano), and Laura Silberberg, (DJ). Details here.

Greater Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra at the Calvin Presbyterian Church. 8:00 pm. $20-25.

The Greater Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra will present a concert featuring winners from the 2014 Kiwanis Music Festival. Repertoire includes Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A, Vieuxtemps’ Violin Concerto No.4, Dvořák’s New World Symphony, and well as arias by Handel, Gounod and Rossini. The concert will feature Emily D’Angelo, soprano, Meng Jia Lin, violin, Ethan Chen, piano and David Fallis, conductor. Come out and support this community orchestra. (limited) details here. http://www.gtpo.ca/

Sunday 5

Amici Chamber Ensemble at Mazzoleni Concert Hall. 3:00 pm. $10-45

Amici Chamber Ensemble, one of Canada’s finest and most illustrious chamber music ensembles, will perform an afternoon siesta with Grisha Goryachev: ¡España! The Spanish themed concert includes Albéniz, de Falla, Paco de Lucia, Guinovart and Lecuona. Of course it wouldn’t be a Spanish music concert without some guitar, and Russian Flamenco guitarists Grisha Goryachev will perform alongside Jeffrey Beecher (bass), and Jamie Drake (percussion). Info here.

Elmer Iseler Singers at Eglinton St. George’s United Church. 4:00 pm. $15-40

Rounding out the weekend with some choral music, the Elmer Iseler Singers will open a five-concert season The Spirit Sings! Works include Whitbour’s Song of God Mass, Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna, Howells’ A Hymn to St. Cecilia, and Whitacre’s Alleluia. Guests include Shawn Grenke, piano/organ and Robert Carli, saxophone, with Lydia Adams, conducting. Details here.

Michael Vincent
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Michael Vincent

Michael Vincent is Publisher of Ludwig Van. He publishes regularly and writes occasionally. He has worked as a senior editor over fifteen years and is a former freelance classical music critic for the Toronto Star. Michael holds a Doctorate in Music from the University of Toronto.
Michael Vincent
Follow me
Michael Vincent
Follow me

Michael Vincent

Michael Vincent is Publisher of Ludwig Van. He publishes regularly and writes occasionally. He has worked as a senior editor over fifteen years and is a former freelance classical music critic for the Toronto Star. Michael holds a Doctorate in Music from the University of Toronto.
Michael Vincent
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