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CRITIC'S PICKS | 11 Concerts You Absolutely Need To See In Toronto This Week (Jan. 21 – 27)

By Joseph So on January 21, 2019

Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of January 21 – 27.
Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of January 21 – 27.

Critic’s Picks (Jan. 21 – 27)

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.

Monday 21

University of Toronto Faculty of Music | New Music Festival: Toshio Hosokawa. 7:30 p.m. Walter Hall, Edward Johnson Building, University of Toronto. 80 Queen’s Park. $30/$20(sr)/$10(st)

U of T’s New Music Festival continues this week with a concert of works by Toshio Hosokawa, the Roger D. Moore Distinguished Visitor in Composition, performed by the Gryphon Trio, Joseph Macerollo, Camille Watts, Younggun Kim, Rob MacDonald and others. Pre-concert talk at 6:30 p.m. | Details

Additional New Music Festival concerts this week: 1) Jan 24 12:10 p.m.: Gen-dai-ongaku, contemporary music ensemble performs Japanese music; Walter Hall. Free. 2) Jan 24 7:30 p.m.: Justyna Gabzdyl Piano Recital of works by Szymanowski, Gershwin and others. Walter Hall. Free. 3) Jan 25 8:00 p.m.: Toshio Hosokawa: A Portrait. Founding Artistic Director Robert Aitken and the New Music Concerts Ensemble perform music by Toshio Hosokawa, alongside works by his teacher Klaus Huber and his protégée Misato Mochizuki. Walter Hall. $35/$25(sr & arts workers)/$10(st). 4) Jan 26 7:00 p.m.: University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra plays works by Kulesha, Bartók, Paley, and Bernstein. U of T Jazz Orchestra; Saehae Bae, piano; Gordon Foote, director; Uri Mayer, conductor. MacMillan Theatre. $30/$20(sr)/$10(st). | Details

Adam Sherkin | Piano Lunaire. 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. Brockton Nanostage.  710 Brock Avenue, Toronto. Limited seating of 40. Free, donation of $5-$10 suggested.

The ever-creative composer/pianist Adam Sherkin is giving a monthly recital called Piano Lunaire. Given on a full moon(!) thus the title, but of course, it’s also a take-off on Arnold Schönberg’s Pierrot Lunaire. The January version is called “Wolf Moon.” Adam Sherkin and cellist Sebastian Ostertag will play works by MacMillan and Sherkin. | Details

Tuesday 22

Canadian Opera Company | Vocal/Chamber Music Series: Meet the Orchestra Academy. 12 p.m. Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W. Free. Limited seating.

The COC Orchestra Academy and members of the COC Ensemble Studio (baritone Samuel Chan and bass-baritone Joel Allison) join forces for Opera Through the Ages, a recital of Vivaldi, Purcell, Handel, Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti. | Details (PDF)

Lula Lounge | Mendelssohn and Chill. 8 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.) Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W. $25/$20(adv)$15(st/arts workers). Dinner reservation guarantees seating.

Violinist Aaron Schwebel, cellist Drew Comstock, and pianist Sarah Hagen perform Debussy’s Préludes, Book 1 and Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio in C minor. | Details

Wednesday 23

Toronto Symphony Orchestra | Star Wars: A New Hope (In Concert). 7:30 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. $56.90-$105. Repeats Jan. 24, 25, 26, 7:30 p.m.

The showing of cinematic blockbusters with the TSO playing the music has become a huge draw for an audience that otherwise might not be attending a Symphony concert. This time it’s Star Wars: A New Hope, conducted by Sarah Hicks, in a four-show run. | Details

Friday 25

Stuart Graham | In Recital 7:30 p.m. Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre 427 Bloor St. W. $30/$25(adv)

Canadian baritone Stuart Graham sings a recital of works by Rachmaninoff and Rachel Laurin in the first half, and Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn in the second half. Narmina Afandiyeva is the pianist. | Details

Royal Conservatory of Music | Nicola Benedetti with Alexei Grynyuk. 8 p.m. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W. $40-$90.

Violinist Nicola Benedetti and her long-time collaborator pianist Alexei Grynyuk perform a program of Bach, Prokofiev, and Strauss. Benedetti will give the Canadian premiere of a new solo violin piece by Wynton Marsalis, written specially for her. | Details

Saturday 26

Toronto Mendelssohn Choir | Spotlight on North America. 3 p.m. Yorkminster Park Baptist Church, 1585 Yonge St. Free. General admission.

Interim Conductor David Fallis leads the TMC in a program featuring works by Canadian and American choral composers for the 2019 free community concert, on pieces by Andrew Balfour, Healey Willan and Stephanie Martin. | Details

Canadian Opera Company | Elektra. 7:30 p.m. Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W. $45-$350.

The COC winter season opens with a revival of the 20-year old production of Elektra, directed by James Robinson and conducted by Johannes Debus. American soprano Christine Goerke, COC’s most recent Brunnhilde, takes on Elektra. British soprano Susan Bullock, COC’s Brunnilde and Elektra, returns as Klytemnestra. Canadian soprano Erin Wall is Chrysothemis. Canadian tenor Michael Schade sings Aegisth, and German baritone Wilhelm Schwinghammer is Orest. Seven performances to Feb. 22. | Details

Canadian Women Composers Project | Canadian Bird Song. 7:30 p.m. Grace Church on-the-Hill, 300 Lonsdale Rd. $20/$15(adv)/$15(st/arts workers)

The Canadian Women Composers Project and Classical Context present an evening of Canadian art song. Soprano Clarisse Tonigussi, pianist Narmina Efendiyeva, and pianist/composer Andrew James Clark perform a programme of exclusively Canadian repertoire about birds by Amice Calverley, Martha Hill Duncan, Emily Doolittle, Gary Kulesha, Serge Gallant, and Diane Chouinard. Also included in the concert are Songs from the Aviary by E.K.R. Hammell, Cock by Alice Ping Yee Ho, and Vultures by Andrew James Clark. | Details

Sunday 27

Royal Conservatory of Music | Mazzoleni Songmasters: Winter Words. 2 p.m. Mazzoleni Hall, 273 Bloor St. W. $30.

Mezzo-soprano Lucia Cervoni and tenor Michael Colvin sing a program of works by Britten, Mahler’s Ruckert-Lieder, duets by Robert Schumann, and others. Rachel Andrist is the pianist.  | Details

Trio Arkel | “…the melodies just surged upon me…”  3 p.m. Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St. W. $30/$20(sr)/$10(st)

Trio Arkel (violinist Marie Berard and cellist Winona Zelenka), guest pianist Todd Yaniw, and guest violist David Harding play a program of Dvořák, Schubert and Röntgen. | Details

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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