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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

CRITIC'S PICKS | Nine Amazing Concerts You Should Absolutely See This Week

By Joseph So on June 14, 2016

For the week of June 13–19.

Critic’s Picks for classical music and opera events in Toronto for the Week of June 13 to 19.
Critic’s Picks for classical music and opera events in Toronto for the Week of June 13 to 19.

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 our concert listings in the Musical Toronto Datebook.

With the 2015-16 classical music season drawing to a close, this weekly column is taking a summer break, to resume in mid-September. Having spent 45 years of my life as an academic in a university environment, I’m so used to this routine!  Of course, a summer away from the classroom then didn’t mean I didn’t have to do any academic work, given the “publish or perish” ethos of academe. But it did mean some freedom to travel, in my case for great music. In the next two months, I look forward to filing reports from the several music festivals I’ll be attending, including Munich and Santa Fe, plus the Toronto Summer Festival and points beyond the GTA. In the meantime, this week the great Israeli pianist Yefim Bronfman comes to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3. It’s paired with Symphony No. 3. Luminato Festival is in full swing, and the TSO is offering a Late Night version. Tafelmusik is also performing as part of Luminato at the Hearn Generating Station.

Tuesday 14

CASA LOMA | Toronto Concert Orchestra: Symphony in the Gardens at Casa Loma. 7:30 p.m. $15-25 (Season Passes available; repeats every Tuesday, all summer)

June 14, 7:30 p.m. Casa Loma. $25. Season Passes available. Toronto Concert Orchestra with conductor Kerry Stratton presents Symphony in the Gardens, featuring songs by Frank Sinatra. This Orchestra appears every Tuesday with different programs until August 30. Details, here.

Wednesday 15

TSO | Beethoven Eroica Symphony and Piano Concerto No. 3 with Yefim Bronfman at Roy Thomson Hall. 8 p.m. $33.75–148 (Repeats June 16)

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s 2015-16 season ends with Beethoven Eroica Symphony and Piano Concerto No. 3, with soloist Yefim Bronfman. The opener is City in Colour by Canadian composer Jordan Pal, RBC Affiliate Composer. Peter Oundjian conducts. Details, here.

TAFELMUSIK | Baroque Summer Festival at Walter Hall. 1 p.m. Free!

Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute Orchestra and Choir under Jeanne Lamon, Ivars Taurins and Peter Harvey present a casual noon-hour baroque chamber concert by members of the faculty of the Institute. No program details available. Details, here.

Friday 17

TSOLate Night Beethoven Eroica Symphony and R.E.M.’s Mike Mills at Roy Thomson Hall. 10 p.m. $25–46

Toronto Symphony Orchestra Goes Late Night, with the Beethoven Eroica Symphony and the world premiere of a new concerto for electric violin by Mike Mills, founding member of R.E.M., featuring violinist Robert McDuffie. There’s also the Massey Hall Band in a free pre-concert performance of R.E.M.’s greatest hits on the ROH patio at 8 p.m. There’s also an after-party in the lobby in partnership with Pride Toronto, featuring cabaret performances. Details, here.

RACHEL FENLONFenlon and Fenlon at Gallery 345. 8 p.m. $20-25 (cash only at the door)

Berlin-based Canadian soprano Rachel Fenlon is presenting Fenlon and Fenlon, a one-woman show of Liebesbotschaft (Love’s Message), an hour-long recital of Schubert Lieder. She’s accompanying herself on the piano.  A lyric soprano and an accomplished pianist, Fenlon was trained at UBC and the Vancouver Opera Young Artists Program before moving to Germany. Among the roles she has sung are Pamina, Zerlina, Nannetta, Cleopatra, and Lauretta.  For more information, go to her Facebook page.

Saturday 18

TAFELMUSIKThe Grand Finale at Grace Church on-the-Hill. 7:30 p.m. Free! (maximum 2 tickets per person, in advance)

Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute Orchestra and Choir presents The Grand Finale. Program information not available, but some details, here.

Sunday 19

ORCHESTRA TORONTOMusic of the Czechs at George Weston Recital Hall. 3 p.m. $43

Orchestra Toronto, conducted by Kevin Mallon, is presenting Music of the Czechs. On the program are works by Janacek, Dvorak, and A. Walter. There’s a pre-concert chat with Maestro Mallon at 2:15 p.m. According to Orchestra Toronto’s website, the musicians are primarily volunteers who pay a membership fee to rehearse and perform. It has 80 players and is Canada’s largest community orchestra. Details, here.

TORONTO OPERETTA THEATREParis on Broadway at the Jane Mallett Theatre. 3 p.m. $25–45

Toronto Operetta Theatre is presenting Paris on Broadway. It features works by composers whose creations are inspired by Paris – Cole Porter, Lerner & Loewe, Sigmund Romberg, Leonard Bernstein, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Arnold Schoenberg. Soloists include Elizabeth Beeler, Vania Chan, Jennifer Taverner, Dion Mazerolle, Michael Nyby, Curtis Sullivan, and Guillermo Silva-Marin. Details, here.

LUMINATOTafelmusik at The Hearn Generating Station. 7:30 p.m. $28.25

Tafelmusik performs at the Luminato Festival, in a program of works by Telemann, Lully, Handel, Torelli, Bach, and Marais. The event takes place at the newly restored Hearn Generating Station. Details, here.

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Joseph So

Joseph So

Joseph So is Professor Emeritus at Trent University and Associate Editor of Opera Canada.He is also a long-time contributor to La Scena Musicale and Opera (London, UK). His interest in music journalism focuses on voice, opera as well as symphonic and piano repertoires. He appears regularly as a panel member of the Big COC Podcast.He has co-edited a book, Opera in a Multicultural World: Coloniality, Culture, Performance, published by Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group).
Joseph So

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