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CRITIC'S PICKS | Ten Concerts You Should Absolutely See This Week (Mar. 5 – 11)

By Joseph So on March 5, 2018

Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of March 5 – 11.
Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of March 5 – 11.

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 5

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

It was announced last summer that the 2017-18 season will be Cecilia String Quartet’s last, so catch them while you can! It is currently the James D Stewart Quartet-in-Residence at the U of T Faculty of Music. They are joined by veteran pianist Patricia Parr in this concert, in a program of Beethoven, Dvorak and Curcin.  | Details

Wednesday 7

Toronto Symphony Orchestra | New Creations Festival: Little Mass. 8 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall.  Festival Pass $30 for all three shows.

Sad news. It has just been announced that the TSO New Creations Festival, now in its 14th season, will not be back next year. This concert features the North American premiere of Little Mass, by Scottish composer James MacMillan for children’s chorus and orchestra. Also on the program are Screen Memories by Trevor Grahl, and Duo Concerto by Wolfgang Rihm. Mira Wang, violin; Jan Vogler, cello, and the Toronto Children’s Chorus. Peter Oundjian conducts. | Listing

Thursday 8

Canadian Opera Company | Vocal Series: The Monkiest King. 12 p.m. Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre. Free. Be sure to show up early for a seat.

The audience at the CCOC 50th anniversary gala last October had a brief glimpse of this newly commissioned children’s opera. Here’s a longer preview of this work by composer Alice Ping Yee Ho, based on the Chinese fairytale The Monkey King. Teri Dunn conductors the Principal and Youth Choruses, with pianist Christina Faye. | Details (PDF)

Women’s Musical Club of Toronto | Music in the Afternoon: Elias String Quartet. 1:30 p.m. Walter Hall, Edward Johnson Building, University of Toronto. $45.

The Elias String Quartet (Sara Bitlloch and Donald Grant, violin; Martin Saving, viola; Marie Bitlloch, cello) performs a program of Beethoven, Schubert, and Janacek.  Show up at 12 noon for the 2018-19 season announcement by the WMCT Artistic Advisor Simon Fryer.| Listing

National Ballet of Canada | The Sleeping Beauty. 7:30 p.m. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W. $65-$265. Repeats Mar. 9-11, 13-18. Check website for start times.

One of the most beloved of classical ballets, The Sleeping Beauty, is back at the National. This sumptuous production by Rudolf Nureyev is still going strong. Check website for casting details. | Listing

Gallery 345 | Austrian Sounds of Spring. 8 p.m. 345 Sorauren Avenue, Toronto. $25/$10(st) Cash only at the door. Reserve tickets at info@gallery345.com

Austrian violinist Elena Denisova and pianist Alexei Kornienko play a program of works by Mozart, Maximilian Kreuz, Friedegung Rainer, and Zemlinsky. | Details

Friday 9

Eybler Quartet | Two Pioneers and a Smart-Aleck Kid + Beethoven Op. 18 CD Launch. 7:30 p.m. Keliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Ave. $30/$25(sr)/$15(st; arts workers)

The mission of the Eybler Quartet (violinists Julida Wedman and Aisslinn Nosky, violist Patrick G Jordan, and cellist Margaret Gay) is to explore the works of the first century of the string quartet, with a focus on lesser known composers. On the program are works by Mozart, Haydn, and Franz Asplmayr.  | Listing

Soundstreams | Tan Dun’s Water Passion. 8 p.m. Trinity-St.Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St. W. $22-$67.50

The ever-adventurous Soundstreams (Lawrence Cherney, Artistic Director) is presenting Tan Dun’s Water Passion, a strikingly original work. Here’s what The Times (London, UK) has to say: Its images (in Water Passion) are unlike anything that the average Western audience will have encountered in a concert hall before (the title refers not only to the bowls of water on the stage, which singers and percussionists ripple to hypnotic aural and visual effect). Like its model, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, it transcends language, cultural and religious divides.” David Fallis conducts the Canadian and International Ensemble, with baritone Stephen Bryant, soprano Carla Huhtanen and others. | Listing

Saturday 10

Academy Concert Series | A Portrait of Paganini. 7:30 p.m. Eastminster United Church, 310 Danforth Ave. $20/$14(sr/st)$5(<18)

Violinist Scott St. John, guitarist Lucas Harris, violinist Emily Eng, and cellist Kerri McGonigle perform A Portrait of Paganini, including his rarely performed chamber music and a virtuosic violin caprice.  | Details

Toronto Symphony Orchestra | New Creations Festival: Doctor Atomic. 8 p.m. $40.75-$128.50

This is the true finale of TSO’s New Creations Festival, now that it’s not coming back. On the program is the world premiere of Gary Kulesha’s Double Concerto, composed for violinist Jonathan Crow and violist Teng Li.  If you are like me a fan of Adam’s opera, Doctor Atomic, you’ll love his Doctor Atomic Symphony. Rounding out the evening is Insomnia by Finnish conductor/composer Esa-Pekka Salonen.  | Listing

LUDWIG VAN TORONTO

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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