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CRITIC'S PICKS | Classical Events You Absolutely Need To See This Week: Nov. 15 – 21

By Michael Vincent on November 15, 2021

Classical music and opera events for the week of November 15 to 21
Classical music and opera events for the week of November 15 to 21

This is a list of amazing concerts we are attending, wishing we could attend, or thinking about attending between November 15–21, 2021. For more details on what’s happening from our trusted partners, visit our calendar here.

Toronto Symphony Orchestra | String Showcase

📅 Wednesday — November 17, 2021, 8 p.m. ET (repeats Nov. 18)
📍 LINK
💸 $53

After last week’s homecoming, the TSO are going back to basics with a collection of works that highlight the strings. Despite the program title, we’d argue that this is really a showcase of cutting-edge music by some of the best composers going: Caroline Shaw, Dinuk Wijeratne and Kelly-Marie Murphy. To set these new voices in context, there’s also some Mahler (Adagietto from Symphony No. 5) and the string orchestra version of Schoenberg’s Transfigured Night. The show repeats Thursday. If this doesn’t interest you, see the TSO’s offering on Friday below. | Details

Tafelmusik | Spotlight 15 (online)

📅 Thursday — November 18, 2021, 8 p.m. ET
📍 LINK
💸 $19+

Spotlight 15 has a fascinating premise. Collaboratively designed with input from the orchestra, you will learn something new about each of the featured soloists. Led by Tafelmusik’s charismatic Music Director Elisa Citterio, the program is a playful mix that lets each of the musicians flex their musical muscles as soloists and leaders. | Details

High Notes | Concert For Mental Health

📅 Thursday — November 18, 2021, 8:00 p.m. ET
📍 LINK
💸 $35

Our good friends at High Notes return to the stage after almost two years away to present a concert of the best musicians in the GTA and beyond. Performers include cellist David Hetherington, baritone Giles Tomkins, pianist Kathryn Tremills, dancer Sean ‘Bash’ Hirtenstein, and many more. Hosted by singer/songwriter Lily Frost, this looks like a fun night out in support of a good cause. Don’t hesitate to show your support for this important issue. | Details

Toronto Symphony Orchestra | Winds, Brass & Percussion Spotlight

📅 Friday — November 19, 2021, 7:30 p.m. ET (repeats Nov. 20)
📍 LINK
💸 $53

After a look at the strings, the TSO shift focus to the winds, brass & percussion. Do you know your Joan Tower from your Oskar Morawetz? This is a program to challenge the casual classical music lover. You’ll also hear Dvořák, Steve Reich, Stravinsky. Highly recommended. | Details

Royal Conservatory | Royal Conservatory Orchestra with Earl Lee

📅 Friday — November 19, 2021, 8:00 p.m. ET
📍 LINK
💸 $25

We always love a chance to hear the new and upcoming talent from one of Canada’s great music schools. Besides that, you can catch up with former Toronto Symphony Resident Conductor Earl Lee. Since leaving the city a few years ago, he was named assistant conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and before that, Associate Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. For program details, check the link. | Details

Ontario Pops Orchestra | Breaking Barriers Virtual Concert (online)

📅 Friday — November 19, 2021, 8:00 p.m. ET
📍 LINK
💸 Free!

Ontario Pops Orchestra launch an enthusiastic 2021-2022 season opener with Breaking Barriers. You’ll hear Toronto-based violinist Tanya Charles Iveniuk lead a strings-only Mozart Serenade K, 525, “Eine kleine Nachtmusik,” and Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons “Summer”. | Details

Elora Singers | On Love (online)

📅 Saturday — November 20, 2021, 8:00 p.m. ET (Runs January 2, 2022).
📍 LINK
💸 $25

Choir lovers, this is for you. The Elora Singers present the world premiere of On Love, a commissioned work by Canadian composer Timothy Corlis set to the poem by Kahlil Gibran, and sung in English and Arabic. Also on the program will be settings on the theme of love by Duruflé, Clausen, Willan, Pärt, Finzi, Enns, Sheppard and Shaw. | Details

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Michael Vincent
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Tapestry Opera has released details on what may be the zaniest new opera of the season, Gould's Wall.
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SCRUTINY | The National Ballet Roars Back Onstage With Clever Mixed Program

By Paula Citron on November 16, 2021

It was a raucous crowd at the opera house that greeted the return of in-person performances by the National Ballet after 20 long months.
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REPORT | Does Music Before Bedtime Actually Keep You Awake?

By Anya Wassenberg on November 25, 2021

While the soothing strains of a favourite piece of music might appear to be a good way to relax and promote sleep, recent research points to the opposite.
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