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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

CRITIC'S PICKS | Fifteen Classical Music Shows You Should Absolutely See This Week

By Joseph So on October 11, 2016

For the week of Oct. 10 – 16

(Photo: Ian Douglas)
(Photo: Ian Douglas)

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. 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 curated concert listings here: Musical Toronto Datebook.

Monday, Oct. 10 being Canadian Thanksgiving, all opera and concert venues are dark. But the rest of the week is chockful of events, some very high profile. Two extraordinary pianists, Chinese Yuja Wang and Russian Denis Matsuev, are in town to dazzle Toronto audiences – Wang with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in Bartok’s Piano Concerto No.3, and Matsuev in a solo recital of Beethoven, Schumann, Liszt, Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev. The COC production of Norma continues, starring the amazing soprano Sondra Radvanovsky, while its second fall production, Handel’s Ariodante, opens. Radvanovsky is being honoured with the “Rubies” (Opera Canada Awards) on Oct. 12. Canadian tenor Ben Heppner is the MC. Other honourees are film/opera director Atom Egoyan and Opera de Quebec General Director Grégoire Legendre. Other interesting concerts include the Juilliard Quartet, bass Dimitry Ivashchenko, Amici Chamber Ensemble, and Italian pianist-composer Ludovico Einaudi.

Tuesday 11

COC | Dimitry Ivashchenko at Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre. Noon. Free!

Russian bass Dimitry Ivashchenko, in town for Oroveso in Norma, sings Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death, as well as songs by Rachmaninov, Borodin and Tchaikovsky. Show up an hour early to line up. Details, here.

Wednesday 12

Soundstreams | Magic Flutes at Koerner Hall . 8 p.m. $47.50–67.50

Soundstreams presents Magic Flutes, featuring flutists Claire Chase, Patrick Gallois, Robert Aitken, Leslie Newman, and Marina Piccinini. They perform works by Debussy, Glass, Takemitsu, and Höstman. Info, here.

Opera CanadaThe Opera Canada Awards: the Rubies on the 68th floor of First Canadian Place. 6 p.m. $300–5,000

The Rubies (Opera Canada Awards) Honourees are Sondra Radvanovsky, Atom Egoyan, Grégoire Legendre. Artists performing in their honour include mezzo Wallis Giunta, tenor Ernesto Ramirez and soprano France Bellemare. For information and tickets, call (416) 922-1229 or visit here.

Thursday 13

COC | Members of the COC Orchestra at Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre. Noon. Free!

Members of the COC Orchestra perform Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time. Show up an hour early to ensure a space. Info, here.

TSO | Yuja Wang (piano) and Krzysztof Urbański (conductor) at Roy Thomson Hall. 8 p.m. $33.75+  (Repeats Oct. 15)

Toronto Symphony Orchestra under guest conductor Krzysztof Urbański performs Bartok Piano Concerto No. 3 with pianist Yuja Wang, plus Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 “From the New World” and Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 by Edvard Grieg. Details, here.

Music Toronto |  Juilliard Quartet at Jane Mallett Theatre. 8 p.m. $55

Music Toronto presents the venerable Juilliard Quartet, in its 71st season. Their newest member, cellist Astrid Schween, joins Joseph Lin, Ronald Copes and Roger Tapping in a program of Beethoven and Bartok. Details, here.

RCM |  Ludovico Einaudi at Koerner Hall. 8 p.m. SOLD OUT (Repeats Oct. 14)

Italian pianist-composer Ludovico Einaudi combines classical, rock, electronics and world music in his unique presentation. Repeats on Oct. 14. Both performances are announced as sold out! Details, here.

Friday 14

TSOWhat Makes It Great? at Roy Thomson Hall. 7:30 p.m. $40.75+

What Makes It Great?  TSO Conductor/Host Rob Kapilow introduces Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition and explains how Maurice Ravel created his orchestral transcription from Mussorgsky’s original score for piano, followed by the complete orchestral version played by the TSO. Info, here.

Saturday 15

COCNorma at the Four Seasons Centre. 7:30 p.m. $50–375

Canadian Opera Company’s Norma, starring Sondra Radvanovsky, Isabel Leonard, Russell Thomas and Dimitry Ivashchenko. Stephen Lord conducts. Details, here.

Oshawa Opera | Liederabend at the Women’s Art Association of Canada. 7:30 p.m. $20

Liederabend by mezzo Kristine Dandavino, baritone Michael Robert Broder, and pianist William Shookhoff. Program includes Wesendonck Lieder, Liederkreis, and songs by Weill and Sharman. Details, here.

Show One Productions | Denis Matsuev at Koerner Hall. 8 p.m. $45–125

Sensational Russian pianist Denis Matsuev plays Beethoven, Schumann, Liszt, Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev. Info, here.

Sunday 16

COCAriodante at the Four Seasons Centre. 2 p.m. $40–350

The Canadian Opera Company presents Ariodante starring Alice Coote, Jane Archibald, Varduhi Abrahamyan and Ambur Braid. Johannes Debus conducts. Details, here.

RCM |  Amici Chamber Ensemble at Mazzoleni Hall. 3 p.m. $10–45

Amici Chamber Ensemble plays works by Johann and Richard Strauss, joined by guests baritone Russell Braun and violinist Jonathan Crow. Details, here.

Toronto Mendelssohn ChoirElora Festival Singers at the Church of the Holy Trinity. 3 p.m. $20–50

Toronto Mendelssohn Choir presents the Elora Festival Singers under the direction of Noel Edison. On the program are works by Palestrina, Arvo Pärt and Morlock.  Info, here.

Elmer Iseler SingersNorthern Sketches at the Eglinton St. George’s United Church. 4 p.m. $20–55

Elmer Iseler Singers with clarinettist James Campbell performs music of Bach, Mozart, Srul Irving Glick, Gary Kulesha and Eleanor Daley. 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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