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CRITIC’S PICKS | Classical Music Events You Absolutely Need To See This Week: May 13 – 19

By Hye Won Cecilia Lee on May 13, 2024

L-R (clockwise); Violinist Itzhak Perlman (Photo courtesy of the artist); Payadora (Photo courtesy of the artists); The Orpheus Choir of Toronto (Photo courtesy of OCT)
L-R (clockwise); Violinist Itzhak Perlman (Photo courtesy of the artist); Payadora (Photo courtesy of the artists); The Orpheus Choir of Toronto (Photo courtesy of OCT)

This is a list of concerts we are attending, wishing we could attend, or thinking about attending between May 13 and 19, 2024. For more of what’s happening around Toronto, visit our calendar here.

Amadeus Choir of Greater Toronto: Haydn’s Creation

Wednesday, May 15, 7:30 p.m.
Meridian Arts Centre, George Weston Recital Hall, 5040 Yonge St. $42+

To mark their 50th anniversary season, The Amadeus choir chose Haydn’s Creation to celebrate. A true masterwork full of humour and beauty, the Creation will feature soloists Midori Marsh (soprano), Andrew Haji (tenor), and Tyler Duncan (baritone), with musicians of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Singing in community for 50 years means many things — artistry, dedication, community-building and wide accessibility. Please join in for this momentous occasion. Info here.

Payadora Tango Ensemble: A Night of Tango with Payadora

Wednesday, May 15, 8 p.m.
Jazz Bistro. $25.

Payadora recently lost their beloved pianist, Robert Horvath, in March to cancer, but the show must go on, and multi-instrumentalist Clark Schaufele will be taking the piano bench. Their mix of tango, classical, jazz, folk, and original music is always heartfelt, and this would be the perfect evening to come and show one’s support, and to meet the next version of Payadora. Info here.

TO Live: John Coltrane: Legacy

Wednesday, May 15, 8 p.m., Meridian Hall, 1 Front St. E.
$50+, arts worker discount available at $33.75.

Composer and arranger Carlos Simon chose Toronto to premiere his brand new orchestral arrangements of John Coltrane’s music with soloist Joe Lovano, the American saxophone giant, and musicians of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra with conductor Edwin Outwater. Simon is a true pan-American composer, well-versed in styles of jazz, gospel, and contemporary classical music; an Atlanta native of three generations of preachers, Simon’s been busy connecting different spheres of the world, and the featured soloist, Lovano, is one of the very best we’ve got at the moment. A great chance to experience Coltrane’s music in a new light. Info here.

Trinity Bach Project: Bach & Handel: Chamber Baroque

Wednesday, May 15, 8 p.m.
Holy Family Roman Catholic Parish, 1372 King St. W. Pay-What-You-Choose ($30/20/10)

For their 19th and final concert of the season, TBP is mounting an encore performance of ‘Bach and Handel.’ Three sopranos will sing with four instrumentalists (but this time, with organist Aaron James), to fill the lovely space of Holy Family parish. With a mix of vocal works and a trio sonata, there’s plenty of interesting music to fill this tidy one-hour program. Info here.

Itzhak Perlman & Rohan De Silva

Thursday, May 16, 8 p.m.
Roy Thomson Hall. $99+

Itzhak Perlman, going strong at age 78, is bringing the experience and finesse that earned him 16 Grammy Awards and four Emmys to Toronto, with his frequent collaborator, Rohan De Silva. The mixed program includes Leclair, Beethoven’s Kreutzer, Schumann’s Fantasiestücke, and a surprise selection. Perlman became an instant sensation when he appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show for the first time in 1958 as a 13-year-old, and ever since then, he’s been busy, hopping across the globe, playing, conducting and educating. Seeing an artist at the peak of their maturity is often a complex experience that goes beyond simple musical joy — and this concert surely could be magical. Only a handful of tickets left. Info here.

TO Live: Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl Live In Concert

Friday, May 17, 7:30 p.m., Saturday, May 18, 7:30 p.m.
Meridian Hall, 1 Front St. E., $76.50+

Pirates of the Caribbean. Live orchestral music. Super Fun. Great choice for the light-hearted, or the pirate-crazed; a perfect weekend family outing, and cute date idea. The only challenge that lies ahead is: getting your ticket. Nearly sold-out, so act fast with your lucky charm. Info here.

Trio Arkel

Sunday May 19, 3 p.m.
Jeanne Lamon Hall, Trinity St. Paul’s. $40

This intimate Sunday afternoon concert will feature Trio Arkel with guest artist David Louie on piano. A lovely program of Brahms’ Piano Quartet, Op. 25., selections from Janáček’s On an Overgrown Path for the solo piano, and Beethoven Trio No.3, Op.1 No.3. Great chamber music requires congeniality, familiarity, and consideration, from everyone, and Trio Arkel always delivers with finesse. Info here.


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