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CRITIC’S PICKS | Classical Music Events You Absolutely Need To See This Week: April 8 – April 14

By Hye Won Cecilia Lee on April 8, 2024

Artists of Opera Atelier Ballet Rena Seeger, Eric César de Mell da Silva, Kealan McLaughlin, Xi Yi, and Julia Sedwick (Photo: Bruce Zinger); The Trinity Bach Project (Photo courtesy of the artists); Accordion duo con:trust (Photo courtesy of the artists)
Artists of Opera Atelier Ballet Rena Seeger, Eric César de Mell da Silva, Kealan McLaughlin, Xi Yi, and Julia Sedwick (Photo: Bruce Zinger); The Trinity Bach Project (Photo courtesy of the artists); Accordion duo con:trust (Photo courtesy of the artists)

This is a list of concerts we are attending, wishing we could attend, or thinking about attending between April 8 and April 14, 2024. For more of what’s happening around Toronto, visit our calendar here.

Canadian Opera Company. Instrumental/Vocal Series: Stories from the Front Lines of Music & Medicine

Tuesday, April 9, Noon
Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre. Free, tickets required.

A life crisis is a strong muse, and serious illnesses may bring out hidden emotions from the depth of the heart — or suppress. What thoughts go through people who are facing the edge of their lives? Music will interweave narrations from the front line of oncology and palliative care, from collections from individuals facing life-limiting illnesses, and from music therapist SaraRose Black, who walks with them through their colourful journeys. Stories will be told through vocal and chamber repertoire, drawing from Bach to Arvo Part and Beatles, with SaraRose Black, Andrew Ascenzo, and Tristan Savella. Info here.

Array Space: con:trust

Tuesday, April 09, 7pm; doors at 6:45 p.m.
Arraymusic, 155 Walnut Ave. PWYC, suggested price $5+, cash only.

Toronto has an active scene of serious accordion music — which may come as a surprise to many. As a ‘classical’ instrument, large sections of accordion repertoire are truly avant-garde, exploring the dimensions that do not come up in folk and pop scenes — from the softest, barely audible whispers, to explosive, dense outbursts of sound. con:trust, an accordion duo featuring Marius Staible and Daniel Roth, from Germany, presents a rare one-night opportunity to hear the true versatility of the instrument. New commissions from René Hirschfeld, Matt Simon, Joshua Nuñez, Jose Eduardo Muñoz, and others, to be performed. Info here.

Opera Atelier: All is Love

Thursday, April 11, 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 12, 2:30 p.m., Saturday April 13, 7:30 p.m., Sunday April 14, 2:30 p.m.
Koerner Hall, $59+

Dancers, actors, and musicians will fill Koerner Hall with a themed-program featuring works by Handel, Lully, Purcell, Rameau, Hahn, Debussy, and others. Centred around the local favourite, Measha Brueggergosman-Lee (soprano), musicians from Tafelmusik and additional vocalists will be led by David Fallis. Marshall Pynkoski’s stage direction is always a joy to experience, as he creates a ravishing visual feast for the audience with costumes and brilliant set decisions. Limited number of $40 rush tickets are available two hours before each performance. Info here.

Sinfonia Toronto: Mozart’s Spring

Friday, April 12, 8 p.m.
Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St. W. $20+

Sinfonia Toronto presents a unique chamber orchestra program of both old and new. Opening the program is a world premiere of Prayer by Nina Grigoryan, followed by Canadian composer Marjan Mozetich’s Concerto for Viola, Vibraphone and String Orchestra (a ST commission, premiered in 2013) featuring soloist Sharon Wei. More familiarly classical, Mercadante’s Flute Concerto in E minor with Mario Carbotta, and Mozart’s String Quartet: ‘Spring’, in a string orchestra version will round out the evening. A great way to experience the versatility of orchestra in an intimate setting. Info here.

Choir! Choir! Choir!: Epic 80s Sing-Along

Friday April 12, 8 p.m. Massey Hall.
Sold out with the option of waitlist

Come and experience the 80s all over again — or for the first time! Fresh choral arrangements of familiar classics will be sung — by Choir! Choir! Choir!, and…you? They will share with the audience a sing-along version of the best of the 80s from Prince, Madonna and George Michael, so that we can all sing our hearts out. It is mega-popular and is currently sold out, but worth joining the waitlist. Info here.

Trinity Bach Project: Bach and Tallis

Saturday April 13, 7:30 p.m.
Little Trinity Anglican Church, 425 King St. E. PWYC, cash, card, and tap accepted.

Eleven voices, seven instrumentalists, with Bach, and Tallis. This young ensemble brings Bach and his relation to the divine to the public in an hour-long program drawing from the Lenten period music of English Renaissance composer Thomas Tallis, and from Bach. As we just passed the high point of Easter, TBP promises a chance to look back at the sombre temperament of Lent with BWV 131, Aus der Tiefen, Bach’s first sacred cantata, with fresh joy in our hearts. Info here.

Toronto Symphony Orchestra: Bhangra & Beyond

Sunday April 14, 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 4 p.m.
Roy Thomson Hall. $23.

TSO presents music and dance from Punjab, in three performances: a Relaxed performance, and two Young Peoples’ Concert series, with guests Maritime Bhangra and Sanskriti Arts. Anticipate the pulse of Bhangra joy in your ears, and your eyes, as we see the joy of rhythm become real on the stage with fantastic dance — even better, you can join in from your seats. The first performance at 11 a.m., is a designated Relaxed performance, where neurodiverse patrons are welcomed to experience a concert in the manner that suits them the best, as need for self-expression has been considered and will be accommodated for every individual. 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. concerts follow. Info here.

Ancestral Harmonies: Maestro Irshad Kahn meets Hildegard of Bingen

Sunday April 14, 7 p.m.
Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St. W. $25

Sitar maestro Irshad Kahn from England and singer/harpist Andrea Gerhardt, are joined by Sadaf Amin (Santur: a hammered dulcimer), and Pedram Khavarzamini (Tombak: Iranian goblet drum), in an evening of ancient music from two different realms, drawing from tradition, spirituality, and improvisation. Expect a rich variety, from traditional ragas to Hildegard of Bingen’s chants, and everything in between. A great chance to experience true cross-pollination in this diverse city of Toronto. Info here.


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