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CRITIC'S PICKS | 9 Concerts You Absolutely Need To See In Toronto This Week (Sept. 24 – 29)

By Joseph So on September 23, 2019

Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of September 24 – 29.

Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of September 24 – 29.

Critic’s Picks (Sept. 24 – 29)

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.

Tuesday 24

Canadian Opera Company | Chamber Music Series: Recovered Voices. 12 p.m. Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W. Free. Arrive early to secure a seat.

The MIR Trio (Mark Skazinetsky, violin; Igor Gefter, cello; Rachael Kerr, piano) plays a program of rarely performed works of composers representing the Jewish people and culture. | Details

Thursday 26

University of Toronto Faculty of Music | Thursday at Noon Concert Series. 12:10 p.m. Walter Hall, Edward Johnson Building, University of Toronto, 80 Queen’s Park. Free.

Two U of T Music faculty members, the celebrated violinist Erika Raum and pianist Lydia Wong, join forces to perform Zoltan Szekely’s Sonata for Solo Violin, Op. 1, and Bela Bartok’s Violin Sonata No. 2, Sz. 76. | Details

Art of Time Ensemble | The Beatles’ Abbey Road. 8 p.m. Harbourfront Centre Theatre, 235 Queens Quay W. $25-$64. Repeats Sept. 27 and 28.

Founded in 1998 by its Artistic Director Andrew Burashko, Art of Time Ensemble is quite unique in its mandate of fusing classical music with popular culture in its concerts, amply demonstrating that classical musicians are far from stuffy. This concert celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ Abbey Road. It features four singers and a dozen instrumentalists. | Details

Friday 27

Toronto Symphony Orchestra | Romantic Brahms. 7:30 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. $31-$144. Repeats Sept. 28 (8 p.m.) and 29 (3 p.m.)

After an eclectic opening night program, the TSO returns to the core repertoire of Brahms Symphony No. 3, Strauss’s Concerto in D for Oboe (Sarah Jeffrey is the soloist), and the tone poem Death and Transfiguration. Donald Runnicles returns to lead the TS forces. | Details

Royal Conservatory of Music | Royal Conservatory Orchestra. 8 p.m. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W. $25-$60. Pre-concert talk at 7:15 p.m.

Tania Miller conducts the Royal Conservatory Orchestra in a program of Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G with pianist Godwin Friesen, and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 in B-flat major, Op. 100. | Details

Saturday 28

Toronto Operetta Theatre | Viva La Zarzuela. 4 p.m. Jane Mallett Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front St. E. $29-$49.

The TOT website unfortunately has minimal information, only that it’s “a tribute to the music from Latin America and Spain.” No casting nor program details as of press time. | Details

Canadian Opera Company | Turandot. 7:30 p.m. Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W. $80-$290. Nine performances to Oct. 27.

COC’s 2019-20 season is finally here! This co-production (with Madrid, Houston, and Lithuania) of Puccini’s Turandot by American Robert Wilson will challenge our assumptions of staging. Be sure to read his Director’s Notes. A great cast led by soprano Tamara Wilson, last season’s Desdemona, in the title role. Russian tenor Sergey Skorokhodov (Calaf) makes his Company debut; Canadian soprano Joyce El-Khoury brings her stunning pianissimi to the FSC as Liu; and bass David Leigh, last heard in Hadrian, is Timur. All principal roles are double cast. Italian maestro Carlo Rizzi returns to the COC to conduct. Not to be missed. | Details

University of Toronto Faculty of Music | What Makes It Great? U of T Symphony Orchestra with Rob Kapilow. 7:30 p.m. MacMillan Theatre, Edward Johnson Building, University of Toronto, 80 Queen’s Park. $40/$25(sr)/$10(st).

The charismatic and engaging conductor Rob Kapilow, currently the Wilma and Clifford Smith Visitor in Music at U of T, presents Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 with the U of T Symphony Orchestra. Two more events of the What Makes It Great? Series to come, on November 13 (on Big Band), and February 11 (on Mendelssohn Octet). | Details

Sunday 29

Elmer Iseler Singers | The Spirit of Nature! 4 p.m. Eglinton St. George’s United Church, 35 Lytton Blvd. $45/$40(sr)/$25(under 30).

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Festival of the Sound, the Elmer Iseler Singers will present the Toronto premiere of The Sound – A Musical Evocation of Georgian Bay by Eric Robertson with text by Gary Michael Dault. Performers include the Penderecki String Quartet; James Campbell, clarinet; Colin Fox, narrator; Suzanne Shulman, flute; Beverly Johnson, percussion. | Details

LUDWIG VAN TORONTO

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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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