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CRITIC'S PICKS | 11 Concerts You Should Absolutely See This Week

By Joseph So on October 30, 2017

Critic’s Picks (Oct. 30 – Nov. 5)

(Photo: Jeff Fasano)
Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of Oct. 30 to Nov. 5 (Photo: Jeff Fasano)

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.

Monday 30

University of Toronto Faculty of Music | Joseph Johnson and James Parker. 7:30 p.m. Walter Hall, Edward Johnson Building, University of Toronto. $40/$25(sr)/$10(st)

Two eminent musicians, TSO principal cello Joseph Johnson and Gryphon Trio pianist James Parker, join forces for an evening of Debussy, Beethoven and Brahms. | Listing

Tuesday 31

Canadian Opera Company | Chamber Music Series: From Another Planet. Noon. Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre. Free.

The Rosebud String Quartet is joined by the COC Ensemble Studio soprano Lauren Eberwein in Haydn’s Arianna a Naxos. Also on the program is Schönberg’s String Quartet No. 2, Op. 10.  Be sure to show up an hour ahead for a seat. | Listing

Toronto Symphony Orchestra | All Beethoven 8 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall. $40.75-$113

Canadian violinist Blake Pouliot, Grand Prize winner of the 2016 Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal Manulife Competition, plays Beethoven’s Violin Romances No. 1 & 2. Also on the program are Coriolan Overture and Symphony No.5, in an all-Beethoven evening. RBC Resident Conductor Earl Lee is at the helm. | Listing

Soundstreams | Musik für das Ende. 8 p.m. Crow’s Theatre, 345 Carlaw Ave. Repeats Nov. 1, 2, 3, 4. Check website for start time. $30.97-$59.73.

A staged performance of Musik für das Ende by Claude Vivier, featuring a vocal ensemble, actor, percussion, and synthesizers. Chris Abraham, stage director; John Hess, music director; Alex Ivanovici, actor; Owen McCausland, tenor; Adanya Dunn, soprano and others. | Listing

Thursday 2

Opera York | Carmen. 7:30 p.m. Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts. 10268 Yonge St., Richmond Hill. Repeats Nov. 4 $50/$40/$25(st)

Performing in the intimate and acoustically friendly Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts, Opera York presents Carmen, led by mezzo Beste Kalender in the title role. Romulo Delgado is Don Jose, Sara Papini is Micaëla, and Andrew Tees is Escamillo. | Listing

Art of Time Ensemble | Hosted by Glenn Gould. 8 p.m. Harbourfront Centre Theatre, 235 Queens Quay W. $25-$64. Repeats Nov. 3, 4.

Glenn Gould’s Perspectives on Beethoven and Shostakovich, via screenings of CBC’s Glenn Gould on Television, serves as introductions to performances of Beethoven’s Cello Sonata No. 3 and Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet in G Minor. Andrew Burashko, piano; Stephen Dann, viola; Sheila Jaffe, violin; Stephen Sitarski, violin, Thomas Wiebe, cello. | Listing

Friday 3

Toronto Symphony Orchestra | What Makes It Great? 7:30 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall. $61-$89.75.

Conductor Rob Kapilow is back for the popular What Makes It Great series, this time focusing on Stravinsky’s The Firebird. Maestro Kapilow analyzes the piece in the first half, and leads the TSO in a complete performance in the second. The concert opens with Daniel Janke’s Small Song: Sesquie for Canada 150. | Listing

Saturday 4

Toronto Mozart Players | Nathalie Paulin Sings Mahler. 8 p.m. Church of the Redeemer, 162 Bloor St. $15-$35

Acadian soprano/Toronto resident/University of Toronto music faculty member Nathalie Paulin sings Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn with the Toronto Mozart Players, conducted by David Bowser. | Listing

Royal Conservatory of Music | Joshua Bell. 8 p.m. Koerner Hall.  SOLD OUT (Call box office for returns)

The great American violinist Joshua Bell joins pianist Alessio Bax in a program of Mendelssohn, Grieg and Brahms. Pre-concert talk with Rick Phillips at 7 p.m. The concert is listed as sold out, but do call or visit the box office on day of performance for returns. | Listing

Sunday 5

Toronto Operetta Theatre | The Widow. 3 p.m. St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts. $29-$49.

TOT celebrates Canada 150 with a rarity, The Widow (La veuve), an opera comique in three acts by French Canadian composer Calixa Lavallée. He is best known for composing the music for “O Canada.” This operetta is so rare that I haven’t been unable to find a synopsis of the work on the internet. You’ll just have to go to the show and find out!  Cast includes Julie Nesrallah, Diego Catala, Stefan Fehr and Gregory Finney. Michael Rose is the Music Director. | Listing

Orpheus Choir of Toronto | Last Light Above the World: A Remembrance Commemoration. 3 p.m. Grace Church-on-the-Hill. $41.80/$36.65(sr)/$16.05(st)

With Remembrance Day around the corner, this is the first concert honouring the war dead I’ve come across, a Toronto premiere of Last Light Above the World” A War Litany. Soloists and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Robert Cooper, conductor. | Listing 

Trio Arkel | The Edge of Revolt 7:30 p.m. Trinity St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St. West. $30/$15(st)

Trio Arkel (Marie Berard, violin; Teng Li, viola; Winona Zelenka, cello) is joined by Shauna Rolston for this concert of works by Tanyev, Arensky and Gliere.

#LUDWIGVAN

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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
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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