January starts off slow with contemporary music features, but by the end of the month we’re rolling with a handful of exciting experiences. January’s concert recommendations include orchestra concerts, intimate solo recitals, an amassing army of flutes, and Cellophone(?!).
Spanning Tree: A New Work by Michael Oesterle
Saturday, 17 January at Array Space. 8:00 p.m. $12-20 (pre show talk at 7:15)
Despite the thrills associated with hearing a large orchestra or the warm communicative sound of a good string quartet, some of the most enriching musical experiences remain in the solo recital. Arraymusic’s Spanning Tree: a New Work by Michael Oesterle pits percussionist David Schotzko against a monolithic work for solo percussion by widely performed Canadian composer Michael Oesterle. The combination of intimacy and monumentalism makes this event worth witnessing.
Esprit Orchestra: the world’s turning
Thursday, 29 January at Koerner Hall. 8:00 p.m. $40-65 (7:15 pre concert chat)
Esprit Orchestra’s third concert of their 2014-2015, entitled the world’s turning, includes world premieres by English composer Philip Cashian and Canadian composer Samuel Andreyev, a piece for flute and orchestra by Robert Aitken (with the composer as soloist), and a recent work by eclectic Icelandic composer, conductor and recording artist Daníel Bjarnason. Bjarnason’s piece, Over Light Earth, has been turning heads internationally, and is the must-hear work on Esprit’s programme January 29th.
Flute Street: Distinctively Canadian
Saturday, 31 January at The Music Gallery. 8:00 p.m. $15-30
There is a distinct lack of patriotism among Canadians, but Canadian new music ensembles remain passionate about performing music by Canadian composers – passionate to a fault, some might argue. The Music Gallery presents Flute Street: Distinctively Canadian, an all-Canadian programme of music for flute choir. The flute choir – piccolos, concert flutes, alto flutes, bass and contrabass flutes – will sound unearthly in the Music Gallery’s historical St. George the Martyr Anglican Church. This concert is also worth checking out for the world premiere of Toronto composer Hiroki Tsurumoto’s piece, Cursor 4. Tsuromoto’s music- conceptual and obsessive compulsive – is exciting and instigative.
Grit: TPC Ensemble + Cellophone
Saturday, 24 January at Heliconian Hall 8:00 p.m. $15
The Toy Piano Composers take the term “fresh-faced” to a whole new level: almost the entire collective is under 35, and the group works continuously to expose and promote emerging performers, groups and composers. Grit: TPC Ensemble + Cellophone pairs the Toy Piano Composers’ resident ensemble with Cellophone, saxophonist Chelsea Shanoff and cellist Nadia Klein. The Toy Piano Composers’ concerts are casual and accessible, bucking many new music stereotypes. Music by Daniel Brophy, Colin Labadie, Monica Pearce, Jose Guillermo Puello, Nancy Tam, Chris Thornborrow, and Bekah Simms.
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