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CRITIC'S PICKS | 10 Concerts You Absolutely Need To See In Toronto This Week (January 20 - 26)

By Joseph So on January 20, 2020

Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of January 20 – 26.
Classical music and opera events happening in and around Toronto for the week of January 20 – 26.

Critic’s Picks (January 20 – 26)

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 20

Associates of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra | The Small Concerts: Song Before the Storm 7:30 p.m. Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St. W. $25/$23(sr/st).

ATSO, now in its 47th season, presents “Song Before the Storm,” an evening of Brahms Piano Quartet #1 in g minor, Op. 25; and Shostakovich Piano Quintet in g minor, Op. 57. Shane Kim, violin; Clare Semes, violin; Theresa Rudolph, viola; Joseph Johnson, cello; and Philip Chiu, piano. | Details

Tuesday 21

University of Toronto Faculty of Music | New Music Festival. 7:30 p.m. Walter Hall, Edward Johnson Building, 80 Queen’s Park. Free.

The U of T New Music Festival continues with this concert in memory of the late Roger D. Moore, who was a great supporter of New Music. The Contemporary Music Ensemble presents Saariaho From the Grammar of Dreams; Simms Foreverdark; Lim Speak, Be Silent; and Chin Gougalon. Directed by Wallace Halladay, with Amahl Arulanandam, cello; Mark Fewer, violin; and Xin Wang soprano. | Details

Wednesday 22

Canadian Opera Company | The Barber of Seville 7:30 p.m. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W. $80-$350. Eight performances running to Feb. 7. Check website for details.

The slickly beautiful production by Spanish director Joan Font, last seen at the COC in 2015, returns with a terrific and youthful cast led by the barber of baritone Vito Priante in his COC debut. Also debuting is Argentinean tenor Santiago Ballerini as Lindoro. Renato Girolami returns to reprise his Doctor Bartolo. The rising star mezzo Emily D’Angelo is Rosina. Bass baritone Brandon Cedel, last season’s Colline, returns as Basilio. I saw the opening on Sunday Jan. 19 — a terrific show and not to be missed. | Details

Toronto Symphony Orchestra | Mozart 40 8 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. $41-$154.
Repeats Jan. 23 (8 p.m.), 26 (3 p.m., George Weston Recital Hall, Meridian Arts Centre, North York)

In TSO’s annual Mozart Fest, French Canadian conductor Bernard Labadie returns to lead the TSO in an All-Mozart program of Overture to Così fan tutte, K. 588; Piano Concerto No. 9, K. 271 “Jeunehomme” with guest pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet; and Symphony No. 40, K. 550. | Details

Thursday 23

University of Toronto Faculty of Music | Music and Poetry 12:10 p.m. Walter Hall, Edward Johnson Building, 80 Queen’s Park. Free.

The fine Canadian lyric tenor Lawrence Wiliford is joined by pianist Steven Philcox and retired U of T professor of English Eric Domville in a performance marking the 25th anniversary of Music and Poetry. No additional program details available. | Details

Friday 24

University of Toronto Faculty of Music | Early Music Concerts: Music in the Castle of Heaven. 7:30 p.m. Trinity College Chapel, 6 Hoskins Ave. $30/$20(sr)/$10(st).

Soloists from the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage, tenor Charles Daniels and baritone Peter Harvey, are joined by musicians from the Collegium Musicum and students from the Historical Performance Area for an evening of Bach Cantatas, conducted by Daniel Taylor. Program details not available. | Details

Royal Conservatory of Music | 21C Music Festival Series. 8 p.m. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W. $21-$105. Pre-concert talk at 7 p.m.

Calling all World Music fans: tabla master Zakir Hussain and jazz bassist John Patitucci join forces to present a program that includes the Canadian premiere of Hussain’s tabla concerto, Peshkar, and the world premiere of Patitaucci’s Hypocrisy for orchestra and jazz trio, conducted by Zane Dalal, Associate Music Director of the Symphony Orchestra of India. The concert opens with an improvisation by Hussain and the trio. | Details

Saturday 25

Ludwig Van | An Evening With Ludwig Van: The Met: Live in HD — Madama Butterfly/ Exclusive Screening. Cineplex Cinemas Yonge-Dundas, 10 Dundas Street East. 5 p.m. (recommended arrival time: 4:30-4:45) Free!

As a special thank you to our readers, we’re inviting you to join us for a free exclusive Encore screening of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly Live in HD from the Metropolitan Opera. Popcorn and opera is a match made in heaven. | Details

Tafelmusik | More Bach Motets: Special Choir Event. 8 p.m. Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St. W. $20-$89.

In this special Tafelmusik Choir event, it’s an evening of motets by the extended Bach family — Johann Bach, Johann Christoph Bach, and Johann Michael Bach. These pieces are interwoven with movements from J.S. Bach’s Suites for Solo Cello, played by cellist Keiran Campbell, the newest member of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. Ivars Taurins conducts. | Details

Sunday 26

Royal Conservatory of Music | Invesco Piano Concerts: Louis Lortie. 3 p.m. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W. $50-$110.

The great French-Canadian pianist Louis Lortie returns to Koerner Hall to perform an All-Beethoven program — Piano Sonata No. 27 in E Minor, op. 90; No. 28 in A Major, op. 101; and No. 29 in B flat Major, op. 106 (“Hammerklavier”). | 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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