The month of February provides a handful of new music experiences to beat the cold weather. Three out of four concert recommendations involve out-of-town ensembles, while jazz-contemporary classical group Spectrum Music gives us an opportunity to contemplate the cosmos – anything to distract Torontonians from trudging through rivers of grey slush on our way to a TTC stop.
Spectrum Music presents: “Starry Night”
Saturday, February 7th at Alliance Francaise de Toronto. 8:00 p.m. $12-17
Classical music – and especially contemporary music – is increasingly being performed in unlikely spaces in order to bring music to new audiences. This is a relief to many restaurant and pub patrons who would rather sit in silence than be drowned out by another over-amplified cover band. Interestingly, this has created a crossbreeding of musical genres as musicians and composers begin creating suitable music for these new spaces, and jazz composers increasingly dabble in contemporary music idioms. Spectrum Music presents a creative hybrid of jazz and classical music at their upcoming concert, “Starry Night”, and will feature guided improvisations (an intersection of jazz music practice and 20th century aleatoricism?), a “violin quasi-concerto” by Shannon Graham, and a suitably themed lecture on astronomy in the arts by emeritus professor of U of T’s astrophysics department, John R. Percy.
Thin Edge Music Collective presents: Raging Against the Machine
Thursday, February 19th at The Music Gallery. 8:00 p.m. $13-18
Toronto’s Thin Edge Music Collective will team up with Montréal’s Ensemble Paramirabo to perform minimalist warhorses such as Steve Reich’s Double Sextet and Louis Andriessen’s Worker’s Union, as well as commissions by Toronto’s 2013 Emerging Composer Award winner Anna Höstman and Montréal composers Brian Harman and Patrick Giguère. Worth attending to hear the top-notch Ensemble Paramirabo and the delicate, abstract music of Anna Höstman.
Soundstreams presents: Whisper Opera
Thursday, February 26, March 1st at The Theatre Centre. Times vary. $67.50
The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and soprano Tony Arnold perform Pulitzer prizewinner David Lang’s Whisper Opera, a thoroughly intimate experience on the subject of human struggle, inaudibility and hidden desire. The work pushes the boundaries of opera while also affirming the genre’s roots in vibrantly displaying human drama. The opera is so quiet that shows are limited to 52 audience members: luckily there are 6 shows to attend from February 26 to March 1st.
Sunday, February 15th at the Canadian Music Centre. 7:30 p.m. $25-30
Harpsichord and piano are an unlikely pair: all the more reason to form a travelling duo and commission composers for music! Banff harpsichordist Katelyn Clark and pianist Luciane Cardassi present music by Canadian composers at the cozy performance space in the Canadian Music Centre. Based on their selection of music by Linda Catlin Smith, Antonio Celso Ribeiro, Isaiah Ceccarelli and Louis Andriessen, the concert promises to be minimalistic and dreamy, with some possible contrast provided by Canadian composer Anna Pidgorna.
Latest posts by Tyler Versluis (see all)
- PREVIEW | U of T Faculty of Music Brings Salvatore Sciarrino to Toronto - January 27, 2017
- PREVIEW | The Music Gallery Gears Up For The Viking Of 6th Avenue - November 25, 2016
- SCRUTINY | Esprit Orchestra Salutes The Legacy Of R. Murray Schafer - October 28, 2016