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CRITIC'S PICKS | 8 Concerts You Absolutely Need To See In Toronto This Week (January 6 – 12)

By Joseph So on January 6, 2020

Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of Jan 6 - 12.
Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of Jan 6 – 12.

Critic’s Picks (Jan. 6 – 12)

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 8

Toronto Symphony Orchestra | Beethoven 7th Symphony. 8 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. $51-$154. Repeats Jan 9 & 11.

To celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Beethoven, the TSO offers an all-Beethoven program conducted by Sir Andrew Davis — Symphony No. 7; Piano Concerto No. 4 with pianist Seong-Jin Cho, and the comparatively rare King Stephen Overture. | Details

Thursday 9

University of Toronto Faculty of Music | Mark Fewer, violin and James Parker, piano. 12:10 p.m. Walter Hall, Edward Johnson Building, University of Toronto, 80 Queen’s Park. Free.

U of T Music faculty members Mark Fewer and James Parker join forces to present half of Beethoven’s violin sonatas over two concerts, of which this is part 1. Part 2, a ticketed event, is on January 27. | Details

Music Toronto |Miró Quartet. 8 p.m. Jane Mallett Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre, 27 Front St. E. $53.75-$58.25. Pre-concert talk at 7:15 p.m.

The U.S. based Miro Quartet (Daniel Ching and William Fedkenheuer, violins; John Largess, viola; Joshua Gindele, cello) makes its fourth appearance with Music Toronto, in a program of Mozart, Glière, Franck, and Servais, with guest pianist Lydia Wong. | Details

Friday 10

The Piano Lunaire | Wolf Moon. 7:30 p.m. Bunker Lane Press, 1001 Bloor St. W., Rear entrance down laneway. $18.

January’s concert celebrates the Wolf Moon, with saxophonist David Zucchi and pianist Adam Sherkin, performing music by John Adams, James MacMillan, Charlotte Bray, Mark-Anthony Turnage and Adam Sherkin. This program will be presented in Ottawa the following day. | Details

Saturday 11

Cineplex Events/Met Opera Live in HD | Wozzeck 12:55 p.m. at select Cineplex Cinemas in the GTA. Consult website for details. $28. Encores on Mar. 7, 9, 11, 15.

Met Music Director Canadian Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts William Kentridge’s new production of Alban Berg’s expressionistic masterpiece Wozzeck, a 20th century masterpiece of Modernism. Peter Mattei makes his role debut as Wozzeck opposite Elza van den Heever as Marie. Christopher Ventris (Drum-Major), Gerhard Siegel (Captain), Christian Van Horn (Doctor), and Andrew Staples (Andres). This production was premiered in 2017 in Salzburg to critical acclaim. Not to be missed. | Details

Royal Conservatory of Music | 21C Music Festival: Ayre (Against the Grain Theatre). 8 p.m. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W. $21-$90.

As part of the 21C Music Festival, Against the Grain Theatre presents Ayre, by Argentinian composer Osvaldo Golijov, “a lush fusion of Arabic, Hebrew, Sardinian, and Sephardic folk melodies and texts.” It stars Canadian soprano Miriam Khalil, staged by Joel Ivany. The evening also features other works: Mariel, K’vakarat, and Tenebrae. Musicians include Jamey Haddad, Barry Shiffman, Gabriel Radford, Michael Ward-Bergman, Juan Gabriel Olivares, Roberto Occhipinti, and Cantor Alex Stein. | Details

Royal Conservatory of Music | 21C Music Festival: 21C Afterhours: Veronique Mathieu. 10:30 p.m. Temerty Theatre, Telus Centre, 273 Bloor St. W. $21.

Violinist Véronique Mathieu and pianist Stephanie Chua perform True North, featuring the Canadian premiere of 4 Seasons by Alice Ping Yee Ho as well as works by Derek Johnson, Adam Scime, and the world premiere a work by Odawa First Nations composer Barbara Croall, a RCM co-commission. | Details

Sunday 12

Li Delun Music Foundation | New Year’s Concert. 3:30 p.m. George Weston Recital Hall, Meridian Arts Centre, 5040 Yonge St. $35-$68; $98(VIP, includes one CD)

This concert celebrates the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, as well as the 50th anniversary of Canada-China diplomatic relations. Program includes Beethoven Piano Concerto No.1 with pianist Haochen Zhang; Beethoven Violin Concerto with violinist Ti Zhang; Wagner: Rienzi Overture; Rossini: William Tell Overture; John Williams: theme from Schindler’s List; and works by Chinese composers. Toronto Festival Orchestra conducted by Junping Qian. | Details

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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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