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THE SCOOP |Toronto Summer Music 2023: World Premieres, Toronto Debuts In Eclectic Programming

By Anya Wassenberg on March 8, 2023

L-R (clockwise): TSM Artistic Director Jonathan Crow; the Isidore Quartet, pianist Illia Ovcharenko (Photos courtesy of TSM)
L-R (clockwise): TSM Artistic Director Jonathan Crow; the Isidore Quartet, pianist Illia Ovcharenko (Photos courtesy of TSM)

Toronto Summer Music has announced the details of this year’s Festival, which will take place from July 6 to 29, 2023. The theme of TSM this year is Metamorphosis.

“This year’s theme of Metamorphosis is particularly apt. It represents the re-emergence after a transformative time; an era of new ideas built on the foundation of classical masterworks,” said Jonathan Crow, Artistic Director, in a statement.

“This is an exciting juncture in classical music where we have top musicians inspiring us with their musical mastery alongside a new generation breaking the mould and boasting dizzying technical heights.”

The Festival will include 26 mainstage concerts, along with a variety of free concerts, children’s programming, and educational events.

Mainstage Highlights

  • Opening night with Ukrainian pianist Illia Ovcharenko, winner of the 2022 Honens International Piano Competition, and Jon Kimura Parker, Music Director of the Honens Competition, together with Yura Lee and Jonathan Crow (violin), Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt (viola), Ani Aznavoorian (cello), and Michael Chiarello (bass) performing a program of masterworks.
  • Pianists Angela Hewitt, who performs an all-Bach program that includes Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue and the Italian Concerto, and Charles Richard-Hamelin (with Yura Lee and Jonathan Crow (violin), Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt (viola), Ani Aznavoorian (cello), and Rachael Kerr (piano),) in a program of Robert and Clara Schumann and Brahms.
  • Acclaimed soprano Sondra Radvanovsky performs her Carnegie Hall recital program, including Rachmaninoff, Duparc, Richard Strauss, Heggie and Verdi, with American pianist and pedagogue Anthony Manoli.
L-R (clockwise): Sondra Radvanovsky; Teiya Kasahara 笠原貞野; Payadora (Photos courtesy of TSM)
L-R (clockwise): Sondra Radvanovsky; Teiya Kasahara 笠原貞野; Payadora (Photos courtesy of TSM)
  • Grammy Award-winning Puerto Rico-born soprano Ana María Martínez with her collaborator Craig Terry perform a recital of Spanish-language songs, including work by de Falla, Rodrigo, Turina and Carlos Gardel.
  • Amplified Opera’s The Butterfly Project reclaims tunes from Puccini’s famous opera by interdisciplinary performer-creator Teiya Kasahara 笠原貞野. Also called The Ballad of Chō-Chō san, it includes live and recorded sounds, electronics, and classical singing.
  • A multidisciplinary performance of newly commissioned works by composers Evan Mitchell, Kevin Lau, and Alexina Louie, along with R. Murray Schafer’s Parting Wild Horse’s Mane, with members of the Ironwood Quartet, along with Tai Chi Chuan players in a blend of Chinese martial arts and Canadian performance.
  • The Miró Quartet in a program blending classics with contemporary works, and New Orford String Quartet, performing works by Canadian composer Kelly-Marie Murphy, Schubert, and Béla Bartók.
  • Violinist Jonathan Crow and pianist Philip Chiu examine Beethoven’s legacy by way of quotations of his work, including pieces by Brahms, Alice Hong, Strauss, and Kevin Lau.
  • The Toronto debut of the Isidore String Quartet, 2022 winners of the Banff International String Quartet Competition (BISQC), in an eclectic program of Beethoven, Bach, Sri Lankan born Canadian Dinuk Wijeratne, and Aida Shirazi.
  • In a second concert, Isidore will be joined by Min-Jeong Koh and Jonathan Crow (violin), Barry Shiffman (viola) and Adrian Fung (cello) for Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence, and works evoking travel by Bartók, Dvořák, Telemann, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw.
Bridge & Wolak (Photos courtesy of TSM)
Bridge & Wolak (Photos courtesy of TSM)
  • Clarinet and digital accordion duo Bridge & Wolak bring their signature blend of comedy and musical chops to a program titled Bach to Benny Goodman.
  • Traditional music from Europe to Iran to Broadway is performed by Jennnifer Frautschi and Kelly Hall-Tompkins (violin), Barry Shiffman (viola), Matthew Zalkind (cello) and Philip Chiu (piano).
  • Award-winning dance company PointeTango and acclaimed chamber music ensemble Payadora get together in a performance that mixes ballet and tango to music that ranges from classical to jazz to work music.
  • Artistic Director Jonathan Crow is joined by TSM Academy Mentor, violist Juan-Miguel Hernandez, and cellist Cameron Crozman in a performance of Dmitry Sitkovetsky’s arrangement of Bach’s Goldberg Variations for string quartet.
  • In a concert title Metamorphosis, members of the TSO, l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, and the Rosebud Quartet, perform Richard Strauss’ Metamorphosen Septet, Francis Poulenc’s Sextet for piano and winds, and Brahms’s Piano Trio No. 1.

Festival passes are on sale now, with individual tickets going on sale March 21, here. Full details will be announced in June.


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