CRITIC'S PICKS | Classical Events You Absolutely Need To See This Week: Sept. 26 – Oct. 2

By Arthur Kaptainis on September 26, 2022

L-R (clockwise): The Toronto Symphony Orchestra with Gustavo Gimeno (Photo: Jag Gundu); Charlemagne Palestine (Photo courtesy of FutureStops Festival); Christina Petrowska Quilico (Photo courtesy of the artist)
L-R (clockwise): The Toronto Symphony Orchestra with Gustavo Gimeno (Photo: Jag Gundu); Charlemagne Palestine (Photo courtesy of FutureStops Festival); Christina Petrowska Quilico (Photo courtesy of the artist)

This is a list of amazing concerts we are attending, wishing we could attend, or thinking about attending between Sept. 26 – Oct. 2, 2022.

Toronto Symphony Orchestra/Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony

Thursday Sept. 29, 8 p.m. (repeats Saturday Oct. 1 at 8 p.m. and Sunday Oct. 2 at 3 p.m.). Roy Thomson Hall. $54+

The second TSO subscription program of the season imports Gemma New from nearby Hamilton to conduct Saint-Saëns’s irresistibly regal Symphony No. 3 with the Montreal-based Frenchman Jean-Willy Kunz at the organ. Other attractions are Samy Moussa’s Juno-winning violin concerto “Adrano” and Chausson’s rapturous Poème, each featuring the estimable Canadian Kerson Leong as soloist. The overture to this appealing program is Mendelssohn’s Fingal’s Cave. More info here.

Christina Petrowska Quilico/Rivers

Thursday Sept. 29, 2022, 7:30. Tribute Communities Recital Hall. $15+

The York University pianist with a penchant for modern music gives a recital comprising 11 selections from Ann Southam’s minimalist Rivers cycle. More info here.

FutureStops Festival

Thursday Sept. 29-Saturday Oct.1. Roy Thomson Hall, Cathedral of St. James, Metropolitan United Church. Free-$33.

Just in case you viewed organ performance as a primarily antiquarian phenomenon, the Royal Canadian College of Organists has organized FutureStops, a three-day celebration of the instrument’s radical 21st-century manifestations. Synopsis is impossible; prediction, futile. Browse the website for the many offerings in three major downtown settings. Note also the free talks in the Roy Thomson Hall lobby. More info here.

Royal Conservatory of Music/Commemorate Truth & Reconciliation

Friday Sept. 30, 8 p.m. Koerner Hall. Free.

This multifaceted RCM event includes a song cycle by composer Ian Cusson and poet Marylin Dumont. Tickets are all spoken for. Click on the link for the free livestream. More info here.

Toronto Mendelssohn Singers/The Pilgrim’s Way

Saturday, Oct. 1, 8 p.m. Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church. $40+

The Toronto Mendelssohn Singers — the professional core of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir — perform the British composer Joby Talbot’s Path of Miracles, an a cappella work in four movements (and many languages) inspired by the Way of St. James pilgrimage route. Another offering is I Forgive by TMC composer-in-residence Shireen Abu-Khader. This piece based on the 2020 death of Egyptian activist Sarah Hegazi comes with a content warning. Jean-Sébastien Vallée conducts. More info here.

Emerson String Quartet/Farewell

Sunday, Oct. 2, 5 p.m. Koerner Hall. $45+

Founded in 1976, the eminent American ensemble is calling it a career. The farewell to Toronto is a solid 19th-century program of quartets by Mendelssohn (Op. 12), Brahms (Op. 67) and Dvořák (Op. 105). More info here.

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