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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

CRITIC'S PICKS | 9 Concerts You Should Absolutely See This Week (Sept. 24 – 30)

By Joseph So on September 24, 2018

Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of September 24 – 30.
Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of September 24 – 30.

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.

Critic’s Picks (September 24 – 30)

Tuesday 25

Canadian Opera Company | Vocal Series. 12 p.m., Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W. Free. Be sure to show up early for a seat.

“Meet the Young Artists,” a noon hour free concert gives COC fans an opportunity to hear the new roster of the COC Ensemble. The artists this year are sopranos Lauren Eberwein, Lauren Margison and Anna-Sophie Neher; mezzo Simone McIntosh and Simona Genga; baritone Samuel Chan; bass-baritone Joel Allison; pianists Rachael Kerr and Stephane Mayer. No program details at press time. | LISTING

Voicebox/Opera in Concert | Little Mahagonny: A Tribute to Kurt Weill. 7:30 p.m. Gallery 345, 345 Sorauren Ave. $45. Repeats Sept. 29, 8 p.m.

Artists in this fundraising evening of Kurt Weill are soprano Caitlin McCaughey, mezzo Alida Doornburg, tenors Cian Horrobin and Edward Larocque, and pianist Suzy Smith. This “Little Mahagonny” is a sneak peek of the complete Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, scheduled for next March. | LISTING

Wednesday 26

Toronto Symphony Orchestra | Romantic Rachmaninoff. 8 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. Repeats Saturday, Sept. 29, 8 p.m. $35.50-$131.75.

Violin virtuoso Nicola Benedetti returns to the TSO for Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2. Kirill Karabits, the Ukrainian-born chief conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, makes his TSO debut, in Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 3Serenade for String Orchestra by Valentin Silvestrov opens the proceedings. | LISTING

Friday 28

Trio Arkel | Harpstrings. 7:30 p.m., Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St. W. 35/$20(sr)/$10(st).

With violist Teng Li now the new Principal Viola of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, her availability to concertize with Trio Arkel is likely limited. For this season opener, we have two guest artists – harpist Heidi Van Hoesen Gorton, and violist Theresa Rudolph, Assistant Principal of the TSO. On the program are music by Debussy, Renié, and Françaix. | LISTING

Royal Conservatory of Music | Royal Conservatory Orchestra. 8 p.m. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W. Free.

In this season opener, Hungarian conductor Gábor Takács-Nagy conducts the RCO and violinist Orin Laursen in works by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Dvořák. This is a free event. Prelude Recitals start at 6:45 p.m. and Pre-concert Talks at 7:15 p.m. | LISTING

Saturday 29

University of Toronto Faculty of Music | University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra. 7:30 p.m. MacMillan Theatre, Edward Johnson Building, 80 Queen’s Park. $30/$20(sr)/$10(st).

To mark its 100th Anniversary season, conductor Uri Mayer and the U of T Symphony Orchestra open with Fanfare for a Centennial and England: An Ode Overture, composed by conductor and former Dean of the Faculty Sir Ernest Macmillan. Elsewhere on the program are Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, and Symphonie fantastique by Berlioz. Soloist is harpist Myriam Blardone, a 2017-18 UTSO Concerto Competition winner.  | LISTING

Toronto Chamber Choir | Music and Friendship 8 p.m. Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St. W. $30/$25(sr)/$12.50(<30)

TCC, a choral ensemble that specializes in Baroque and Renaissance music, celebrates its 50th anniversary season with a reunion of former choir members, directors, section leads, and other friends for a special performance featuring all-time favourites by Bach, Purcell, Monteverdi, Schütz, Willan, plus the premiere of David Barber’s Gaudeamus. Conductors are Lucas Harris, Elizabeth Anderson, David Fallis, and March Vuorinen. Stephanie Martin is the chamber organist. | LISTING

Sunday 30

Canadian Opera Company | Eugene Onegin. 2 p.m. Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W. $35-$225. Repeats Oct. 4, 10, 18, 20, 26, 30, Nov. 3. Start times vary.

The Canadian Opera Company opens its season with Tchaikovsky’s most popular opera, Eugene Onegin, in a Robert Carsen production originally staged at the Met. Baritone Gordon Bintner sings the title role, and soprano Joyce El-Khoury is Tatiana. Joining them are tenor Joseph Kaiser (Lensky), mezzo Varduhi Abrahamyan (Olga), bass Oleg Tsibulko (Gremin), mezzo Helene Schneiderman (Madame Larina), and mezzo Margaret Lattimore (Filipevna). COC Music Director Johannes Debus conducts. The pageant-loving Met audience was at first cool to this “psychological production,” but it has since become a widely praised classic. Not to be missed. | LISTING

Mooredale Concerts | Calidore String Quartet. 3:15 p.m. Walter Hall, Edward Johnson Building, University of Toronto, 80 Queen’s Park. $30/$20(<30). Music and Truffles (Kids Concert Series) at 1:15 p.m.

New York-based Calidore String Quartet performs works from their debut album (to be released in October) for Signum Records, including Prokofiev’s String Quartet in F Major, Op. 92, Mendelssohn’s String Quartet in F minor, Op. 80, and Golijov’s Tenebrae. | LISTING

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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