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CRITIC'S PICKS | 11 Concerts You Absolutely Need To See In Toronto This Week (Sept. 30 – Oct. 6)

By Joseph So on September 30, 2019

Critics Picks September 30 to October 6

Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of September 30 – October 6.

Critic’s Picks (Sept. 30 – Oct. 6)

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 30

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

Acadian soprano and U of T Music Faculty member Nathalie Paulin and pianist Steven Philcox perform Messiaen’s Chants de Terre et de Ciel (1938). | Details

Tuesday 1

Canadian Opera Company | Vocal Series: Vanessa Vasquez. 12 p.m. Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queens St. W. Free. Arrive early to secure a seat.

Colombian-American soprano Vanessa Vasquez, whom I recently heard as Mimi in La bohème at the Santa Fe Opera, is in town to sing Liu in Turandot. She joins pianist Miloš Repicky for a recital of songs by Richard Strauss, Enrique Granados and others. Program details unavailable at press time. | Details

Wednesday 2

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

The American soprano Marjorie Owens, whom I had heard several seasons ago at the Semperoper Dresden’s Strauss Festival, is currently starring as the alternate cast Turandot at the COC. She sings a recital of Richard Strauss songs, with Michael Shannon at the piano. No program details available at press time. | Details

University of Toronto Faculty of Music | The 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 Beethoven string quartets Op. 74 (Harp), Op. 18 No. 2, and Op. 131. | Details

Thursday 3

Women’s Musical Club of Toronto | Trio Fibonacci. 1:30 p.m. Walter Hall, Edward Johnson Building, University of Toronto, 80 Queen’s Park. $45

In the WMCT season opener, Trio Fibonacci (Julie-Anne Derome, violin; Gabriel Prynn, cello; Steven Massicotte, piano) plays a program of chamber pieces by Enrique Fernández Arbós, Maxime McKinley, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Marie-Pierre Brasset, and Ludwig van Beethoven. There’s a pre-concert talk given by pianist Jamie Parker at 12:15 p.m. | Details

Toronto Symphony Orchestra | Star Wars: Return of the Jedi In Concert. 7:30 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. $54-$126. Three more performances on Oct. 4 & 5.

TSO Pops Maestro Steven Reineke leads the forces in yet another blockbuster Star Wars movie, this time Return of the Jedi. | Details

Soundstreams | Top Brass. 8 p.m. Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St. W. $49-$77/$25(BMO Soundwave)

Three trumpeters (Ole Edvard Antonsen, Ingrid Jensen, Jens Lindemann), the Virtuoso String Orchestra (Joaquin Valdepeñas, conductor), Heather Schmidt (piano), Robi Botos (piano), and Mike Downes (bass) open the new Soundstreams season in a program of works by R. Murray Schafer, Takemitsu, Ligeti and others. | Details

Friday 4

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

COC’s Turandot continues this week, in a co-production with Madrid, Houston, and Lithuania, directed by American Robert Wilson. A great cast led by soprano Tamara Wilson in the title role. Russian tenor Sergey Skorokhodov (Calaf) makes his Company debut. Canadian soprano Joyce El-Khoury returns to the COC as Liu. Bass David Leigh, last heard in Hadrian, is Timur. All principal roles are double cast. Italian maestro Carlo Rizzi conducts. | Details

Saturday 5

University of Toronto Faculty of Music | U of T Symphony Orchestra. 7:30 p.m. $30/$20(sr)/$10(st).

Maestro Uri Meyer leads the U of T Symphony Orchestra in an eclectic program combining Beethoven, Ravel and Debussy with Colgrass and Schmitt. | Details

Sunday 6

Off Centre Music Salon | Schubertiad: A Day with Schubert. 3 p.m. Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St. W. $50/$40(sr)/$15(young adult)/$5(child).

An All-Schubert program, but no program details available at press time. Andrea Ludwig, mezzo; Inna Perkis, piano; Boris Zarankin, piano; Rosebud Quartet (Aaron Schwebel, violin, Sheila Jaffe, violin, Keith Hamm, viola, Leana Rutt, cello). | Details

Esprit Orchestra | I Hit My Head And Everything Changed. 8 p.m., Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W. $20-$65. 7:15 p.m. Pre-concert chat.

The intriguing title refers to the new piece by Canadian Brian Harman, which is on the program of the season opener of the Esprit Orchestra (Alex Pauk, conductor). Also featured are the Elmer Iseler Singers, pianist Avan Yu and artist Moira Ness, performing works by Thomas Adès, Alexina Louie, and Hans Abrahamsen. Presentation of the 2019 Canada Council Molson Prize in the Arts to recipient Alexina Louie will take place at the concert. | Details

LUDWIG VAN TORONTO

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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 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).
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