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.
Soundstreams | Beat It! 8 p.m. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St .$20-25
Percussionist Ryan Scott highlights works by composers Michael Oesterle, Nicole Lizée, Robin De Raaff, Kaija Saariaho, James O’Callaghan, and Andrew Staniland, including an arrangement of Michael Jackson’s, Beat it. Features flautist Leslie Newman. Get out there and hear these amazing composers. | Listing
Canadian Opera Company | Chamber Music Series: Viola Quintets. 12 p.m. Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W. Free. Be sure to show up an hour ahead for a seat.
Artists of the COC Orchestra perform Mozart String Quartet No. 3 in C and Brahms String Quartet No. 2 in G. Both the are considered “viola quintets” because of the scoring for an extra viola (two violins, two violas and a cello.) Viola gets a bum rap as an instrument, especially from violinists, or so it seems! Go hear for yourself. | Listing
Canadian Opera Company | The Nightingale and Other Short Fables. 7:30 p.m. Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W. $50-350. Last performance on May 19.
Your last two chances to catch this magical and visually striking Robert Lepage production of the Stravinsky opera. It is best to have a seat not too far from the stage, given the peculiarity of the staging. Jane Archibald (Nightingale), Owen McCausland (Fisherman), Oleg Tsibulko (Emperor). Johannes Debus conducts. | Listing
Canadian Opera Company | Anna Bolena. 7:30 p.m. Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W. $50-350. Repeats May 20 at 2 p.m + two more performances ending May 26.
The COC’s season-ending production of Anna Bolena continues, with the great Sondra Radvanovsky wowing audiences in the title role. She’s joined by soprano Keri Alkema (Giovanna Seymour), tenor Bruce Sledge (Percy), bass-baritone Christian Van Horn (Enrico VIII), and mezzo Allyson McHardy (Smeton). Corrado Rovaris conducts. If you like bel canto opera, be sure to catch this before it disappears. | Listing
Roy Thomson Hall and Rubin Fogel Productions | Nana Mouskouri. 8 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall. $69.50-119.50.
Few non-classical shows are included in Critic’s Picks, but with the legendary Nana Mouskouri, I’d make an exception. She returns to Toronto with her Forever Young tour. Born in 1934, she will turn 84 this fall, simply astounding that she is still performing. This is very much an autobiographical show. Her fans will love it. | Details
TorQ Percussion Quartet | Light Years/Dark Matter. 8 p.m. 918 Bathurst Centre for Culture, Arts, Media and Education, 918 Bathurst St. PWYC
Toronto’s favourite percussion quartet presents the premiere of a new space inspired multi-movement work composed by all four TorQ members. Featuring audio and video by members of TorQ, and lighting design by Oz Weaver. Highly recommended. | Listing
Gallery 345 | Four Short Song Cycles 8 p.m. Gallery 345, 345 Sorauren Ave. $25 (Cash only at the door). Reserve tickets at firstname.lastname@example.org
Two fine Canadian singers, baritone Michael Nyby and bass-baritone Giles Tomkins, join forces to give a recital of songs by Beethoven, Finzi, Rolfe, and Brahms. | Listing
Kindred Spirits Orchestra | Wrath and Revolution. 8 p.m. Flato Markham Theatre for the Performing Arts, 171 Town Centre Blvd, Markham. $15-40
Kristian Alexander conducts two works by Camille Saint-Saens – Dance Macabre and Piano Concerto No. 4 in C minor with pianist Gregory Millar. Also on the program is Shostakovich Symphony No. 11. | Listing
Gallery 345 | Arthouse Ensemble. 2 p.m. Gallery 345, 345 Sorauren Ave. $35/10(st). Cash at the door. Reserve tickets at email@example.com
Arthouse Ensemble (violinists Arkady Yanivker and Adam Diderrich, violist Ethan Filner, cellist Britton Riley, and pianist Elina Kelebeev) presents a program of works by Chausson, Faure, and Sibelius. | Details