Critic’s Picks (January 7 – 13)
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.
Canadian Opera Company | World Music Series: Kamancello. 12 p.m. Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W. Free. Limited Seating.
Kamancello is a World Music concert pairing the kamancheh (Persian spike-fiddle, played by Shahriyar Jamshidi) with the cello (played by cellist Raphael Weinroth-Browne) in an East-Meets-West program based entirely on improvisations, combining the two musical traditions. | Details
Canadian Opera Company | Piano Virtuoso Series: Appassionata. 12 p.m. Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W. Free. Limited Seating.
Rising Canadian pianist Godwin Friesen plays a program of Chopin Piano Sonata No. 2 in b-flat Op. 35 paired with Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor Op. 57 “Appassionata.” | Details
Toronto Symphony Orchestra | Sibelius Symphony 2. 8 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. $40.75-$154 Repeats Jan. 12, 13 (matinee at George Weston Recital Hall)
French conductor Ludovic Morlot (replacing the originally announced David Robertson) leads the TSO in Sibelius Symphony No. 2, Kurt Weill’s Suite from The Threepenny Opera, and Stravinsky Violin Concerto with violinist Leila Josefowicz. | Details
Met Opera Live in HD | Adriana Lecouvreur 12:55 p.m. Select Cineplex Cinemas in GTA $28
Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur is a diva’s vehicle, and the Met has hit the jackpot with Russian soprano Anna Netrebko as a dynamite Adriana, fully justifying spending the money on a new production, directed by David McVicar. Opposite Netrebko is Georgian mezzo Anita Rachvelishvili, a powerhouse La Principessa di Bouillon. They fight for the love of Maurizio, sung by Polish tenor Piotr Beczala. Gianandrea Noseda conducts. Not to be missed. | Details
Opera by Request | Nabucco. 7:30 p.m. College St. United Church, 452 College St. at Bathurst St. $20
The singers-driven Opera by Request puts on an amazing lineup of complete operas in concert with piano accompaniment each season, under its music director/pianist William Shookhoff. This is as close as Toronto opera lovers will get to hear a live performance of Verdi’s Nabucco. Baritone Gene Wu (Nabucco), Antonina Ermolenko (Abigaille), tenor Cian Horrobin (Ismaele), and Dylan Wright (Zaccaria). | Details
Windermere String Quartet | Keeping It in the Family. 3 p.m. St. Olave’s Anglican Church, 360 Windermere Ave. $25
From the Windermere String Quartet’s website: “Musical inheritance is our theme. We open with a J. S. Bach fugue, as arranged by W. A. Mozart. We progress to a Divertimento by Leopold Mozart, Wolfgang’s father, then feature guest artist, traverso player Alison Melville in the Quartet # 1 for flute and strings, by Bach’s son, Johann Christian. The programme is anchored by W.A. Mozart’s masterful Quartet in F, K. 590.” Playing on period instruments, the artists are Elizabeth Loewen Andrews, violin; Michelle Odorico, violin; Anthony Rapoport, viola; and Laura Jones, cello. | Details
Royal Conservatory of Music | We Shall Overcome: A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King. 7 p.m. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W. $40-$95
A concert in memory and in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., We Shall Overcome features songs by Aretha Franklin, Duke Ellington, Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, and Donny Hathaway, as well as spirituals and excerpts from Dr. King’s recorded speeches. Damien Sneed (leader, piano and vocals) and the Toronto Mass Choir (Karen Burke, director). | Details