Critic’s Picks (Sept. 18-24)
Ludwig van 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.
Toronto Symphony Orchestra | Opening Night: Life of Pi. 7 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall. $50.75–$154
The opening night program starts with Derek Charke’s Elan: Sesquie for 150. Canadian violinist James Ehnes is the soloist in Chausson’s Poème for Violin and Orchestra and Saint-Saëns Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso. Also on the program is the Stravinsky Firebird Suite, followed by a world premiere, a new orchestral suite by Canadian composer Mychael Danna, adapted from his Oscar-winning film score to Life of Pi. Peter Oundjian starts his final season as TSO Music Director. | LISTING.
University of Toronto Faculty of Music | Winona Zelenka and James Parker. Walter Hall, Edward Johnson Building. 80 Queen’s Park. Free.
U of T Music Faculty members cellist Winona Zelenka and pianist James Park play Bach Three Sonatas for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord. | LISTING
Tafelmusik | Season Opener: A Joyous Welcome. Koerner Hall. 8 p.m. Repeats Sept. 22, 23, 24 (Koerner Hall); 26 (George Weston Recital Hall). Check website for start times. From $39
This concert marks the debut of violinist Elisa Citterio as Tafelmusik’s new Music Director, in a program of Handel, Corelli, Vivaldi, and Rameau. Pre-concert chats one hour before each show, and a Post-concert Talkback (Sept. 21 only). | LISTING
Toronto Symphony Orchestra | A Tribute to Glenn Gould. Roy Thomson Hall. 7:30 p.m. Repeats Sept. 23 8 p.m. $43.90-$161.25
The TSO pays tribute to the great Canadian pianist Glenn Gould, hosted by actor Colm Feore. The centerpiece is Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki playing Brahms Piano Concert No. 1. The evening opens with Plamondon’s Wihtikow: Sesquie for Canada’s 150th. Also on the program is Curiosity, Genius, and the Search for Petula Clark, by Canadian composer Kelly Marie Murphy, winner of the just announced Azrieli Prize, given to a Sephardi-influenced orchestral composition. Rounding out the evening is Richard Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll. Peter Oundjian conducts. | LISTING
Toronto Operetta Theatre | Operettts: A Musical Comedy 8 p.m. St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts. Repeats 23, 24 (mat). $29-$49.
TOT presents a musical comedy in collaboration with Attila Glatz Concert Productions, direct from Vienna. This evening of tenor shenanigans stars Austrian Thomas Sigwald, joined by Canadians Michael Barrett and Adam Fisher. Christian Koch is the pianist/conductor. For a taste of what this show is like, here’s an interview of the three guys by Bill Anderson on 96.3 FM | LISTING
Tapestry Opera | Bandits in the Valley. 12:00/1:20/3:40 p.m. Todmorden Mills, 67 Pottery Road. (416) 537-6066. Free (ticket required). Repeats Sept. 24, 30. Note: Rush Tickets Only!
Catch the tail ends of the run of Bandits in the Valley, a new multimedia opera composed by Benton Roark with libretto by Julie Tepperman. It is based on the local history of the Don Valley as a haven for smugglers and bandits in the late 1800’s. Keith Klassen, ten.; Jennifer Taverner, sop.; Jacques Arsenault, ten.; Alex Dobson, bar.; Sara Schabas, sop.; and Stephanie Tritchew, mezzo. Michael Mori directs. | LISTING
Yamaha Recital Space | Leslie Kinton: Beethoven Recital. 8 p.m. Atelier Rosemarie Umetsu, 310 Davenport Road, Toronto. (289) 253-7086. $20
Renowned RCM pianist/pedagogue Leslie Kinton plays Beethoven’s best-known sonatas—Op. 13 “Pathétique,” Op. 27 No. 2 “Moonlight” and Op. 81a No. 26 “Les adieux.” | LISTING
Mooredale Concerts | TSO Chamber Soloists. 3:15 p.m. Walter Hall, Edward Johnson Building, University of Toronto, 80 Queen’s Park. $40.
Mooredale’s new season opens with the TSO Chamber Soloists (Jonathan Crow, violin; Teng li, viola; Joseph Johnson, cello; Jeffrey Beecher, bass; Michael Sweeney, bassoon; Neil Deland, horn; Miles Jacques, clarinet, in a program of Françaix, Nielsen, Beethoven and Richard Strauss. | LISTING
Canadian Music Centre | Christina Petrowska Quilico and Hye Won Cecilia Lee. 3:30 p.m. Canadian Music Centre 20 St. Joseph St. (416) 961-6601 x202 $20
Canadian pianists Christina Petrowska Quilico and Hye Won Cecilia Lee perform jazz-inspired contemporary Canadian compositions by Masamitsu Takahashi, Michel-Georges Brégent, William Westcott, Art Tatum, Phil Nimmons, and Dani Oore, plus selections for piano four-hands by Nikolai Kapustin and Samuel Barber. | LISTING
University of Toronto Faculty of Music | Fall Baroque Academy Concert. 7:30 p.m. Trinity College Chapel, 6 Hoskins Avenue. Free
The Fall Baroque Academy presents excerpts from Handel’s Giulio Cesare featuring U of T Faculty of Music students. Jeanne Lamon and Daniel Taylor share conducting duties. | LISTING