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PREVIEW | Music Toronto Kicks Off The 2023-24 Season Of Chamber Music With A Free Concert

By Anya Wassenberg on October 25, 2023

L-R (clockwise): Geoff Nuttall; Duo Turgeon; Gryphon Trio with Marion Newman and čačumḥi aaron wells; Verona Quartet (All photos courtesy of Music Toronto)
L-R (clockwise): Geoff Nuttall; Duo Turgeon; Gryphon Trio with Marion Newman and čačumḥi aaron wells; Verona Quartet (All photos courtesy of Music Toronto)

Music Toronto is the city’s chamber music and piano recital specialist, offering a concert series that runs from October 2023 to March 2024. As presenters, they offer a blend of the traditional and contemporary, and Canadian as well as touring international artists.

With a history that stretches back a half century, Music Toronto also launched the first Celebration of Small Ensembles in 2023, with plans for a second in the spring of 2024.

Here’s a look at their upcoming concert series.

The Season At A Glance

Geoff Nuttall Haydn Celebration | FREE Event Oct. 26, 2023

Violinist Geoff Nuttall was a co-founder of the St. Lawrence String Quartet, passed away in 2022. Inspired by his legacy, and dedicated to him, the programme of Joseph Haydn’s string quartets will be performed by past and present members of the St. Lawrence Quartet, along with the collleagues and members of the music community, including Geoff’s students.

Duo Turgeon | Nov. 7

Canadian pianists Anne Louise-Turgeon and Edward Turgeon, natives of Montreal and Toronto, make up Duo Turgeon. Performing together since 1996, the duo, currently artists-in-residence at Algoma University, have released several albums as well as touring together. They’ll be performing Bach’s Concerto in C Major for two keyboards, along with works by Octavio Pinto, Barbara Assiginaak, Shostakovich, and Rachmaninov, and a piece by Anne Louise-Turgeon.

Gryphon Trio with Marion Newman Nege’ga (mezzo-soprano) & čačumḥi aaron wells (actor) | Dec. 7

The Gryphon Trio and guest artists Marion Newman and Aaron Wells present Echo(s): Memories of the World. The Gryphon Trio has been a favourite of Music Toronto audiences since 1995, and they collaborate with a global network of Indigenous and non-Indigenous compsers and other artists in a work that examines our understanding of history, and how it can be modified, and even erased.

Verona Quartet | Jan. 18

Mentored by the Cleveland, Juilliard and Pacifica Quartets, the Verona Quartet won first prize at a string of competitions, including the Wigmore Hall competition and 2015 Concert Artists Guild Competition. The ensemble is the Quartet-in-Residence at Oberlin College and Conservatory, where they also serve on the faculty. The All Roads Lead To Rome programme includes works by Puccini, Britten, Mozart and Verdi.

L-R (clockwise): Maria Thompson Corley; Ying Quartet; David Fung; St. Lawrence (All photos courtesy of Music Toronto)
L-R (clockwise): Maria Thompson Corley; Ying Quartet; David Fung; St. Lawrence (All photos courtesy of Music Toronto)

Maria Thompson Corley | Feb. 13

Dr. Maria Thompson Corley is a concert and collaborative pianist and composer, as well as a poet, author, and voice actor. The Jamaican-born Canadian pianist earned a doctorate from Juilliard, and currently serves on the piano faculty at Millersville Unviersity in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Her concert career has taken her all over the world, both as a solo performer and collaborator with vocalists.

Ying Quartet | Feb. 22

Formed by the Ying siblings from Winnetka, Illinois in 1988, while studying at the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music, the Ying Quartet have gone on to perform everywhere from Carnegie Hall and the White House to hospitals and other institutions. They won a Grammy in 2005 for their recordign with the Turtle Island String Quartet. They are the quartet-in-residence at the Eastman School.

David Fung | Mar. 5

Australian-born pianist David Fung studied at the Hannover Hochschule für Musik and at Yale, and became the first piano graduate of the Colburn Conservatory in Los Angeles. David won the 2002 ABC Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year Award, and is a laureate of the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition in Brussels and the Arthur Rubinstein Piano International Masters Competition in Tel Aviv. He went on to an international performing and recording career, and has worked with orchestras in Australia, Europe, Israel, and South Africa as well as in North America. He’s currently on the faculty at the University of British Columbia.

St. Lawrence and Friends | Mar. 28

Christopher Costanza, Cello, Lesley Robertson, Viola, Owen Dalby, Violin make up the St. Lawrence. They’ll be joined by friends pianist Stephen Prutsman and bassist Joel Quarrington for a programme of Lili Boulanger, Silvestrov, Mozart, and Vaughan Williams’ Piano Quintet in C Minor.

All the concerts take place at the Jane Mallett Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts. Tickets and more information [HERE].

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