Critic’s Picks (Dec. 10 – 16)
Ludwig van Toronto’s weekly Critic’s Picks are a curated list of some of the best concerts happening now through the end of the week. For a look at the full breadth of what’s available in and around Toronto, check out our curated concert listings here.
St. Michael’s Choir School | Annual Christmas Concert. 7 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. $25-$58
Many of Canada’s professional and amateur musicians are graduates of the St. Michael’s Choir School. Their annual Christmas Concert of sacred and secular carols is a tradition in its 81-year history. Conductors: Maria Conkey, Teri Dunn, and S. Bryan Priddy. William O’Meara, accompanist. | Details
Royal Conservatory of Music | Joaquin Valdepenas Conducts. 7:30 p.m. Mazzoleni Hall, Royal Conservatory of Music, 273 Bloor St. W. $20
Toronto Symphony Orchestra Principal Clarinet and Royal Conservatory Orchestra Resident Conductor Joaquin Valdepeñas conducts Glenn Gould School students in Stravinsky’s Concerto in E-flat “Dumbarton Oaks” and in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4. | Details
Canadian Opera Company | Against the Grain Theatre: Life, Love, and Drinking Alone: The Artist’s Guide to Smashing Your Phone. 12 p.m. Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W. Free. Limited Seating.
“Against the Grain Theatre presents the story of Sam, as he both celebrates and grieves the end of a relationship. This cabaret features music from Opera to Musical Theatre, Pop to Country, (to maybe even rap), with a special emphasis given to the brilliant music of Kurt Weill. Lead from the piano by Topher Mokrzewski (bartender), this cabaret has been conceived, staged and to be performed by baritone Andrew Love.” | Details
Hannaford Street Silver Band | Christmas Cheer. 7:30 p.m. Metropolitan United Church, 56 Queen St. E. $48/$36.50(sr)/$12.50(st)
Tenor/Host Ben Heppner and the Elmer Iseler Singers (Lydia Adams, Artistic Director) in a Christmas concert. Program details not available on their website. | Details
Toronto Symphony Orchestra | TSO Holiday Pops. 8 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. $61-$141. Repeats Dec. 12 (2 p.m. & 8 p.m.), Dec. 13 (8 p.m.), Dec. 15 (8:30 p.m.)
Steven Reineke conducts the TSO, vocalist Matt Dusk, and the Etobicoke School of the Arts Holiday Chorus in concert that includes tunes from Home Alone 2, Mame, and the traditional audience sing-along. | Details
National Ballet of Canada | The Nutcracker 7 p.m. Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W. Runs to Dec. 30. Start times vary, so check the website for details. Very limited remaining tickets $78-$163.
The perennial audience favourite, The Nutcracker, continues until Dec. 30. Tickets are limited, so act fast. Premiered in 1995, the James Kudelka’s version resituates the story to 19th century Russia. Beautiful sets by Santo Loquasto. Not-to-be-missed! | Details
Toronto Consort | Praetorius Christmas Vespers. 8 p.m. Trinity St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St. W. Repeats Dec. 15 (8p.m.) and Dec. 16 (3:30 p.m.) $15-$79.
The medieval, renaissance and early baroque ensemble presents its Christmas concert under the artistic direction of David Fallis. Singers, violins, cornetti, sackbuts, theorbos and keyboards join forces to recreate the joy of Christmas Vespers as it might have been heard under the direction of Michael Praetorius in 17th-century Germany. | Details
Royal Conservatory of Music | Michael Kaeshammer 8 p.m. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W. $35-$90.
Canadian pianist, vocalist, composer and arranger Michael Kaeshammer is joined by bassist David Piltch, drummer Johnny Vidacovich and others in an evening of jazz, boogie-woogie, and blues. | Details
Toronto Children’s Chorus | A Chorus Christmas: Children of the World 2 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. $35.50-$45.50
The 300 voices of the combined Toronto Children’s Chorus, Toronto Youth Choir and the TCC Alumni Choir perform Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols with TSO harpist Heidi van Hoesen Gorton. Choristers will also sing seasonal music by Bob Chilcott, John Rutter, Allan Naplan, Greg Gilpin, Ken Berg and Mark Hayes. | Details
Pax Christi Chorale | England’s Golden Age. 3 p.m., Grace Church-on-the-Hill, 300 Lonsdale Road, Toronto. $45/$40(sr)/$25(st)
The Pax Christi Chorale (Artistic Director David Bowser) performs William Byrd’s Mass for Four Voices and Turdor Anthems by Tallis, Weelkes and Gibbons. | Details
Royal Conservatory of Music | The King’s Singers: Gold 50 3 p.m. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W. $45-$95.
To celebrate their 50th anniversary, the King’s Singers perform a holiday season program of works by John David, Adrian Willaert, Bob Chilcott, Mykola Leontovych, plus traditional pieces. | Details