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.
Pianist Adam Sherkin at the Jane Mallett Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts. Noon. Free!
Toronto’s Adam Sherkin will present a free noon–hour concert exploring the genre of the piano prelude. Works include Rachmaninoff’s northern atmosphere inspired Preludes Op.32 Nos.8-13, as well as Sherkin’s own Preludes of Adlivun. Details here.
Thin Edge Music Collective at Gallery 345. 8:00 p.m. $15-20
One of Toronto hottest and bravest new music collectives kick off their second show of the season with Cuatro Esquinas (Four Corners). It is a collaborative project featuring members of Thin Edge and Argentinian pianist Laura Ventemiglia. They will perform works by María Cecilia Villenueva, Marcos Franciosi, Gerardo Gandini, Linda Catlin Smith, Mark Molnar and Adam Scime. There will also be selections from Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Natural Durations and John Cage’s Daughters of the Lonesome Isle for prepared piano. Info here.
Opera by Request at College Street United Church. 7:30 p.m. $20
For those interested in lighter fare, Opera by Request (an opera company with a twist) will present a recital by soprano Tsu-Ching Yu accompanied by pianist William Shookhoff. The song–heavy program includes works by Cécile Chaminade, Clara Schumann, Eric Whitacre, Pyotr Tchaikovsky. They will be donating a portion of the proceeds to One Free World International, a human rights organization, to help with humanitarian aid for refugees in Iraq. Details here.
Art of Time Ensemble with Margaret Atwood at the Harbourfront Centre Theatre. 8:00 p.m. $25-59
A highlight of the week is a rare opportunity to hear the Art of Time Ensemble’s The Poem/The Song project which features the one and only, Margaret Atwood. She will be reciting poetry along with music set especially for the event. A do not miss event. Details here.
Group of 27 at the Church of the Holy Trinity. 8:00 p.m. PWYC
For those looking for music on a larger scale, check out Toronto’s all-star Group of 27, perform World to World: a voyage from Russia to France to the United States to Canada. Includes works by Stravinsky’s Dumbarton Oaks, Downing’s Nottawasaga, and Copland’s classic Appalachian Spring. More info here.
Toronto Consort Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre. 8:00 p.m. $21-54
The chock-full Friday includes a treat for Early music fans with the Toronto Consort’s Paris Confidential. The concert presents an insider’s tour of 16th century Paris organized by double-bassist Alison Mackay. She has a remarkable skill for multimedia storytelling, and you should not miss her latest creation of music, words and magnificent images. Includes music by Jannequin, Sermisy, Chardavoine and LeJeune. Highly recommended. Details here. Repeats November 8.
Toronto Symphony Orchestra at Roy Thomson Hall. 7:30 p.m. $29–79
We use the term masterpiece in reference to works that represent some of the most significant musical accomplishments in history. But what makes them great, exactly? The TSO aim to figure out why. This series features Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (“Autumn” & “Winter”) with commentary led by the engaging classical music expert Rob Kapilow. Also features violinist Chee-Yun. Details here.
Jeremy Denk at Koerner Hall. 3:oo p.m. $30-65
If you haven’t yet heard of the American pianist Jeremy Denk, you are in for a treat. Besides being a popular blogger, he is an incredible interpreter of both contemporary and classical repertoire. The afternoon concert will include Janáček’s On the Overgrown Path, Schubert’s Ländler Moments musicaux, and Grazer Galopp, Mozart’s Rondo in a, and Schumann’s Carnaval. Details here.
Choir of Schola Cantorum and Theatre of Early Music at Trinity College Chapel. 7:30 p.m. $10-30
The Choir of Schola Cantorum and Theatre of Early Music with Cristina Zacharias, violin, and Daniel Taylor, conductor are back by popular demand with a repeat performance of the Schola Cantorum. Expect a Coronation Service, with trumpet fanfares, drum marches and the music of Gibbons, Purcell, Tallis and Handel. Details here.
If Volcanoes Could Sing – The Art of Pansori at the Music Gallery. 8:30 p.m. $10-30
The Music Gallery, Open Ears Festival & Wilfrid Laurier University’s Faculty of Music present a voice with a unique story. Bae Il-Dong spent 7 years alone in the mountains of Korea, sleeping in a hut, and singing every morning into a roaring waterfall for up to 18 hours a day – a traditional training regimen to develop the fearsome vocal strength that defines Pansori. Yo-Yo Ma, writes, “Every pore of his being is devoted to expressing the deep emotion he feels for traditional Korean culture. Its philosophy, physicality and spirituality are organic to Dong-Won’s art. It is an inspiration to make music with him.” There will be a Pre-show screening of Intangible Asset No.82 at 7:00 p.m. sharp. Details and tickets here.