In our current age of impermanence when it comes to the classical music world, it is practically a minor miracle to encounter an organization that can boast a history as August as the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto. Today I attended their 2016-17 Season Announcement, which is their – are you ready – 119th season! Their Artistic Director, Simon Fryer, was there to make the announcement, complete with an audiovisual presentation. Walter Hall was filled with loyal members of the WMCT, and I think everyone was pleased about next season’s line-up.
Every year, WMCT brings Canadian and foreign artists to Toronto for their Music in the Afternoon series that takes place at 1:30 p.m. I’ve attended many concerts over the years and heard some wonderful artists. This coming season, American heldentenor Issachah Savage opens the season with a recital on Oct. 6th in the usual venue of Walter Hall on the campus of the University of Toronto. I was fortunate to have heard this tenor sing Siegmund at the COC when the regularly scheduled tenor Clifton Forbis was indisposed. Savage has a fantastic voice – what is described as a Jugendlich dramatischer Tenor. He was simply a wonderful Siegmund. It’s great to have him back in Toronto. On his program is Schumann’s Dichterliebe, Beethoven’s An die ferne geliebte, songs of Richard Strauss and Roger Quilter, plus Spirituals.
On November 24th, James Sommerville, French horn, joins violinist Scott St. John and pianist Peter Longworth for a recital of Brahms Horn Trio, and a WMCT-commissioned work from Vivian Fung.
Trio Shaham Erez Wallfisch comes to town to give a recital of Rachmaninoff, Schumann, and Shostakovich on March 9th.
The all female women Aizuri Quartet gives a chamber recital of works by Beethoven, Webern, Mendelssohn and Caroline Shaw on April 6th.
Finally, a very proud moment for WMCT is the return of Warsaw Chopin Piano Competition laureate (Silver Medal 2015) Charles Richard-Hamelin in a recital of Schubert, Chopin, and Scriabin on May 4th. Mr. Richard-Hamelin received a very substantial Career Development Grant from WMCT last spring, and he went on to wow critics and audiences in Warsaw. Some of us might have heard him play in a noon hour concert at the opera house, as well as a joint recital with 5th place winner Yike Tony Yang recently. This is an important recital not to be missed.
Here is the link to the WMCT 2016-17 Season Brochure – (PDF).
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