WHO'S WHO | Women's Musical Club Of Toronto Marks Historic 123rd Season

By Member on March 1, 2020

Joyce El-Khoury (Photo courtesy of the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto)


Virtuosity, variety and vitality mark this season, from the oboe recital that starts the year to the final concert featuring two string quartets, yes the same two who in an unprecedented move, shared first prize at the 2019 Banff International String Quartet Competition.  As well,  Eric Lu creates the definitive piano recital; Michael Bridge and friends perform a mixed instrumental ensemble; and Joyce El-Khoury constructs in song the immigrants journey from the Middle East to Canada.

The Women’s Musical Club of Toronto (WMCT) continues to explore the rich and inclusive world of chamber music.

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October 8, 2020 | 1.30 pm

Ramón Ortega Quero
Ramón Ortega Quero (Photo courtesy of the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto)

RAMÓN ORTEGA QUERO, oboe; Annika Treutler, piano

The season opens with a rarity – a recital appearance by an oboist, indeed by one of the foremost oboists in the world, Ramón Ortega Quero.  Ortega Quero was born in Granada in 1988. After studying in Spain, he became a member of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra established by Daniel Barenboim and in 2008, joined the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. He received the ECHO award for his debut album of early music, Shadows, released in 2010, and again in 2012 for an album of chamber music by Beethoven and Mozart.   Performing with the rising young German pianist Annika Treutler, their repertoire will lead us from profundity to fireworks.

Maurice Ravel — Le tombeau de Couperin

Clara Schumann — Romances op. 22

Manuel de Falla — El amor brujo

Robert Schumann — Romances op. 28

François Borne — Carmen: fantaisie brillante

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November 12, 2020 | 1.30 pm


Michael Bridge & Kornel Wolak
Michael Bridge & Kornel Wolak(Photo courtesy of the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto)


Michael Bridge, accordion; Kornel Wolak, clarinet, Joseph Johnson, cello

Unconventionality continues with our second recital.  Michael Bridge (“a wizard of the accordion,” CBC Music) teams up with clarinetist Kornel Wolak and TSO principal cellist Joseph Johnson for a program of original compositions and arrangements of familiar music.  Michael’s mentor Joseph Macerollo – Canada’s patriarch of the accordion – makes a special appearance in a duo by Canadian Andrew Staniland (certainly the first time that two accordions have appeared together on the WMCT stage!). Anna Pidgorna is this year’s WMCT commissioned composer.

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March 4, 2021 | 1.30 pm

Joyce El-Khoury
Joyce El-Khoury (Photo courtesy of the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto)


Lebanese-Canadian Joyce El-Khoury and Armenian-Canadian Serouj Kradjian bring a topical program illustrating Ms. El-Khoury’s journey as an immigrant to Canada. These artists are preparing an expansive project involving national music and instrumental artists from their home countries, to culminate in a new CD album.  Their recital features music from the planned recording interspersed with music from the traditional Western canon. Songs by Bizet, Fauré, Chausson, Ravel and Saint-Saëns reflect Lebanon’s former colonial power, and twentieth-century Lebanese songs in Arabic demonstrate the vital culture of this jewel of the east.

“El-Khoury possesses the rare gift of art that conceals art, making music seem to flow generously from the heart.” (Santa Fe Reporter)

Georges Bizet — Adieux de l’hôtesse arabe

Gabriel Fauré — Les roses d’Ispahan

Ernest Chausson — La caravane, Op.14

Maurice Ravel — Shéhérazade

Camille Saint-Saëns — Mélodies persanes, Op. 26:  La brise; Au cimetière

Zaki Nassif — Ya aashikate al wardi

Assi and Mansour Rahbani — Rah halfak bel ghosn ya asfour

Najib Hankash — Aatini al naya wa ghanni

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April 1, 2021 | 1.30 pm

Eric Lu
Eric Lu (Photo courtesy of the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto)

ERIC LU, piano

Born in Massachusetts, extraordinary pianist Eric Lu studied at the New England Conservatory preparatory school, and at the Curtis Institute.  He first came to international attention as a prize-winner at the 2015 Chopin International Competition in Warsaw aged just 17, becoming one of the youngest laureates in the history of the competition.   In 2018 he won First Prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition.  He made his BBC Proms debut the following year and is currently a member of the prestigious BBC New Generation Artist scheme, enjoying a successful international career.

“…an astonishing command of keyboard tone and colour, his instinctive feel for Schubert and Chopin the sign that he is already a true artist.” (The Guardian)

Mozart — Sonata in B flat major, K. 333

Schubert — Sonata in A minor, D. 784

Scriabin — Sonata No. 3 in F-sharp minor, Op. 23

Chopin — Andante spianato et Grande polonaise brillante, Op.22

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May 6, 2021 | 1.30 pm


Marmen Quartet & Viano String Quartet
Marmen Quartet & Viano String Quartet

MARMEN QUARTET: Johannes Marmen, violin; Ricky Gore, violin; Bryony Gibson-Cornish, violist; Steffan Morris, cello

VIANO STRING QUARTET: Lucy Wang, violin; Hao Zhou, violin; Aiden Kane, viola; Tate Zawadiuk, cello

The WMCT takes advantage of the unique result of the 2019 Banff International String Quartet Competition.  Two string quartets tied for the 1st prize and will appear together in a joint recital.  The English Marmen and Canadian-American Viano string quartets will each perform a work of their choice in the first half and then together present Mendelssohn’s famous Octet in E-flat major, Op. 20.   Rarely performed, and never before on the WMCT stage, this brilliant work, written when the composer was 16, will be a spectacular ending to this 123rd season of diversity and innovation.


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