The inaugural Celebration of Small Ensembles or COSE will take place on May 6 and 20, and June 3, 2023, presented by Music Toronto. The theme expands on Music Toronto’s Discovery concert series, incorporating new artists and a wide range of styles.
The series of three concert events will take place in the Aperture Room, on the top floor of the historic Thornton-Smith Building on Yonge Street. Each of the concerts will feature three sets by different ensembles of vocalists and musicians.
The music presented in the program draws from centuries of repertoire from the Renaissance to the present day, including classical and jazz idioms, as well as instrumentation that incorporates the Chinese pipa and West African kora along with the usual suspects. There will be duos, trios, quartets, piano recitals, lutes and electric violas, and improvisation as well as amplification to add to the typical classical music mix.
“Over the course of the last 50 years, Music TORONTO has treated enthusiastic audiences to extraordinary performances by many of the world’s finest chamber ensembles and artists. In launching the COSE series we embrace and amplify the spirit of Music TORONTO’s long-running Discovery Series, expand the organization’s capacity to engage and support a more diverse range of small ensembles and artists, and create space for presenting new programming ideas and directions,” said Roman Borys, Music TORONTO’s Artistic Director Designate in a statement.
Here’s a look at what is in store.
I. May 6
Sounds of Conflict (Classical) / Daniel Dastoor, violin/Brian Woods, Piano
The theme is the resilience of the human spirit, and the transcendent power of music in the face of war and violence.
Works for violin and piano by Poulenc, Suk, Ravel, and Janáček.
Madame Speaker: the Phonating Pianist (Contemporary Classical) / Madeline Hildebrand, piano and voice
The groundbreaking and award-winning pianist and vocalist offers a dynamic exploration of music for a pianist who both speaks and sings.
Classics, Swing, and the American Songbook (Jazz) / Jurecka, Farrugia, Johnston Trio-Drew Jurecka, violin/Adrean Farrugia, piano/Clark Johnston, bass
The best of improvisational jazz in a small ensemble format using classic jazz repertoire.
II. May 20
The Earth Has Its Music (Ancient melodies for plucked strings) / Lute Legends Collective — Lucas Harris, lute/Diely Mori Tounkara, kora/ Wen Zhao, pipa
Music that evokes the natural world, and draws from three centuries-old traditions that are performed with plucked string instruments, including the European lute, West African kora, and Chinese pipa.
Music From Everyday Life (Contemporary Classical Music for Percussion) / Köng Duo — Bevis Ng, percussion/Hoi Tong Keung, percussion
The Köng Duo reimagines everyday activities via music, with intriguing and entertaining results.
Sonder: A String Quartet Act (Contemporary Classical) / Dior Quartet — Noa Sarid, Toby Elser, violin/ Caleb Georges, viola/Joanne Yesol Choi, cello
Contemporary classical expression infused by history, including influences from ancient Korea, and more.
III. June 3
Far From Triumphing Court (Renaissance and Contemporary Songs Centred in Indigenous Storytelling) / duo nistwayr — Jonathon Adams, baritone/Jesse Plessis, piano/with Lucas Harris, lute
Poems revolving around the themes of land and water, with music by Dowland, Purcell, Crumb and Plessis.
Unspoken Poetry (Classical) / Interro Quartet — Steve Sang Koh, Eric Kim-Fujita, violins/ Maxime Despax, viola/Sebastian Ostertag, cello
Interro Quartet is known for their Compound Quartet programming, where they combine movements from four different composers to create a composite piece. The Unspoken Poetry program features works by Fanny Mendelssohn, Grażyna Bacewicz, Hildegard von Bingen, and Rebecca Clarke.
Colour You Like (Contemporary Electric Viola and Classical) / Radia with the Gryphon Trio — Ryan Davis, viola/Annalee Patipatanakoon, violin/Roman Borys, cello/Jamie Parker, piano
Violist Ryan Davis aka Radia joins the Gryphon Trio for a concert that incorporates live looping and electronics, weaving together classical, folk, hip hop and electronica, and including Radia’s original works.
Concert passes, single tickets and more information are available [HERE].
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