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CRITIC'S PICKS | 12 Concerts You Absolutely Need To See In Toronto This Week (Feb. 25 – Mar. 3)

By Joseph So on February 25, 2019

Critic's Picks — Feb. 25 – Mar. 3, 2019
Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of February 25 – March 3.

Critic’s Picks (Feb. 25 – Mar. 3)

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.

Wednesday 27

Toronto Mendelssohn Choir | Handel and Haydn. 7:30 p.m. St. Andrew’s Church, 73 Simcoe St. $35-$78/$20(under 30)

TMC and Orchestra perform Handel’s Coronation Anthems and Haydn’s Mass in Time of War in the beautiful St. Andrew’s Church across from Roy Thomson Hall. Mireille Asselin, Christina Stelmacovich, Asitha Tennekoon, Stephen Hegedus. David Fallis conducts. | Details

University of Toronto Faculty of Music | Calidore String Quartet. 7:30 p.m., Walter Hall, Edward Johnson Building, University of Toronto, 80 Queen’s Park. $40/$25(sr)/$10(st).

The Calidore String Quartet (violinists Jeffrey Myers and Ryan Meehan, violist Jeremy Berry, and cellist Estelle Choi) performs a program of Haydn, Beethoven, and Caroline Shaw. | Details

Thursday 28

Canadian Children’s Opera Company | The Snow Queen. 10 a.m., Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queen’s Quay W. $35/$25(sr)/$20(st). Feb. 28 School Preview (1 p.m.); Mar. 1 (10 a.m. & 7:30 p.m.); 2 (2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.); 3 (2 p.m.)

CCOC presents The Snow Queen, an opera by John Greer and libretto by Jeremy James Taylor. Originally commissioned in 1993, it has been updated for the current revival, in a new production. Teri Dunn, music director. | Details

Women’s Musical Club of Toronto | Music in the Afternoon: Joel Quarrington and Friends. 1:30 p.m. (Season announcement at 12:15 p.m.) Walter Hall, Edward Johnson Building, University of Toronto, 80 Queen’s Park. $45.

Bassist Joel Quarrington and his favourite colleagues present works written originally or arranged for the double bass. Also featured is the premiere of a new work for String Quintet with Bass, commissioned by the WMCT from conductor-composer Bramwell Tovey.  [Note: Just received news the following statement at press time: “Due to unfortunate personal circumstances, Bramwell Tovey was unable to deliver the WCMT commissioned work in time to be prepared for Thursday’s performance.”] At 12:15 p.m., WMCT Artistic Director Simon Fryer will announce the 2019-2020 season, WMCT’s 122nd. | Details

Friday 1

Elmer Iseler Singers | Vancouver Chamber Choir: Music from Sea to Sea. 7:30 p.m. Eglinton St. George’s United Church, 35 Lytton Blvd. $40/$35(sr)/$15(st).

The Elmer Iseler Singers presents the Vancouver Chamber Choir as their conductor Jon Washburn steps down after 48 years. On the program are works by Britten, Kodaly, Debussy, Schafer, MacMillan, Gjeilo and Jon Washburn.  This is part of Vancouver Chamber Choir’s Music Sea to Sea: The Farewell Tour. | Details

National Ballet of Canada | Apollo & Night & The Sea Above, The Sky Below & Paquita. 7:30 p.m. Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W. Seven performances to Mar. 21. Days and times vary — check the website for details. $40-$265.

A mixed program evening that includes choreography by Balanchine, Julia Adam, Christopher Stowell and others, set to music by Stravinsky, Matthew Pierce, Ludwig Minkas, and Gustave Mahler. Check the National website for casting and time. | Details

Opera York | Don Giovanni. 7:30 p.m. Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts, 10268 Yonge St. Repeats Mar. 3 2 p.m. $25-$110.

Opera York presents two performances of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, with Andrew Tees in the title role, Natalya Gennadi (Donna Anna), Beste Kalender (Donna Elvira), Douglas Tranquada (Leporello). Geoffrey Butler conducts.  Penelope Cookson, stage director. | Details

Saturday 2

DAM Concert Opera | Le Comte Ory. 7:30 p.m. Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St. W. $30/$25(sr/st)

Domoney Artist Management’s first presentation, Rossini’s Le Comte Ory in concert with soprano Caitlin Wood, mezzos Marjorie Maltais and Maria Soulis, tenor Asitha Tennekoon, and baritones Dion Mazerolle and Clarence Frazer. Francois Racine (host and stage director); Nicole Bellany (music director). | Details

Toronto Chamber Choir | Convivencia: Music Across Three Faiths. 8 p.m., Grace Church on-the-hill, 300 Lonsdale Rd. $30/$25(sr)/$13.50(<30). Pre-concert chat at 7:15 p.m.

From the TCC website: “Jews, Muslims, and Christians co-existed in relative peace during the Convivencia period in Medieval and Renaissance Spain. A surprising amount of cultural amalgamation took place in the arts…The music of all three religions also flourished, with each borrowing stylistic elements from the others.”  Lucas Harris, lute, conductor; Nell Snaidas, guest curator, voice, guitar; Ronnie Malley, oud, voice; Daphna Mor, recorder, ney, voice; Ben Grossman, percussion. | Details

Sunday 3

Royal Conservatory of Music | Jan Lisiecki 3 p.m. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W. Sold Out, but check for returns.

Canadian piano virtuoso Jan Lisiecki returns to Toronto and Koerner Hall for a program of Chopin, Schumann, Ravel, and Rachmaninoff. Listed as sold out on the Koerner website, but do check with the box office for returns. | Details

Toronto Operetta Theatre | Perchance to Dream: Music by Ivor Novello. 3 p.m. Jane Mallett Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front St. E. $29-$49.

Welsh composer and actor Ivor Novello’s Perchance to Dream (1945) was one of the most iconic of wartime shows. His “We’ll gather lilacs” became an immensely popular melody of the era.  Lynn Isnar, Caitlin McCaughey, Cian Horrobin, Eugenia Dermentzis, Rosalind McArthur, Austin Larusson, and Joshua Clemenger. Peter Tiefenbach, music director and pianist. | Details

Toronto Classical Singers |The Path of Genius. 4 p.m. Christ Church Deer Park, 1570 Yonge St. $30

Toronto Classical Singers (Jurgen Petrenko, Artistic Director) presents Mozart Requiem and Solemn Vespers. The quartet of soloists is a mix of young singers and veterans: soprano Irina Medvedeva, mezzo Sandra Boyes, tenor Chris Fischer, baritone Bruce Kelly. | Details

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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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