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PREVIEW | The Brott Summer Music Festival Offers Imaginative Experiences In Classical Music Programming

By Anya Wassenberg on May 23, 2024

L: Conductor and Artistic Director Tania Miller; Tania Miller conducts the National Academy Orchestra (Photos courtesy of The Brott Music Festival)
L: Conductor and Artistic Director Tania Miller; Tania Miller conducts the National Academy Orchestra (Photos courtesy of The Brott Music Festival)

Artistic Director and Conductor Tania Miller and The Brott Summer Music Festival have announced the lineup for 2024’s events. Over a nine-week period, BSMF will present 16 concerts of traditional classical favourites, Broadway musical and movie music, and more in a range of venues.

“This season is a breath of fresh air,” says Executive Director Ardyth Brott. “I know Boris would love the creative ideas Tania brings to the podium and especially her passion for connecting to our musicians and to our audiences in so many different musical ways.”

Here’s a look at the Festival at a glance.

Brott Summer Music Festival

Immersive Openings

“Both these programs are designed to be intimate and immersive,” Tania Miller says in a statement. “This season is about elevating and exploring the life-changing experience of music.”

The Beethoven Immersive Experience | June 20

The Summer Festival kicks off with Beethoven in a setting and format beyond the formal concert hall in the historic Church of the Ascension. Tania Miller conducts, and audience members can sit alongside the musicians in the church’s fine acoustics during Beethoven’s Symphony No 3 (Eroica), then change seats between movements to experience the music from different sides.

Along with the concert, there will be a meet-and-greet after party at the Pheasant Plucker pub a few blocks away where you can mingle with musicians and other music lovers.

Max Richter’s Vivaldi: Four Seasons Recomposed | June 22 & July 18

Composer Max Richter’s uber-popular Vivaldi: Four Seasons Decomposed brings the Festival back to the Church of the Ascension for two performances. The atmospheric church will be decorated with fairy lights and candles.

Another after party at The Pheasant Plucker awaits later on.

Other Season Highlights

The festival offers blockbuster works from the realms of opera, musical theatre, and orchestral music.

  • Rachmaninoff 2 + Brahms 4: two performances on June 26 (at the LR Wilson Concert Hall) and June 27 (at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre);
  • Bel Canto: opera’s greatest hits by the BrottOpera cast: Ana Isabella Castro, soprano; Wesley Harrison, tenor; Justine Ledoux, mezzo soprano; Matthew Li, bass; Nicholas Murphy, baritone; Mikelis Rogers, baritone, National Academy Orchestra, and conductor Tania Miller July 4 at Theatre Aquarius;
  • The Barber of Seville: Rossini’s beloved rom-com, with: Justine Ledoux as Rosina; Mikelis Rogers as Figaro; Wesley Harrison as Count Almaviva; Nicholas Murphy as Doctor Bartolo; Matthew Li as Basilio; Ana Isabella Castro as Berta; Tania Miller, conductor; Jessica Derventzis, stage director July 11 at Theatre Aquarius;
  • Brott on the Waterfront: a free lunch time concert on July 13, 20 & 27 at Pier 8, soloists TBA;
  • Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8: July 25 at Theatre Aquarius;
  • Stravinsky’s Firebird: August 1 at the McIntyre Performing Arts Centre (at Mohawk College).

Along with Western art music, the Festival offers classic film and musical theatre concerts, including The Music of James Bond on July 19, and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita on August 8.

An East Coast Kitchen Party takes place on August 9. The full orchestra begins, then the musicians join the audience will North Atlantic Drift and conductor Martin MacDonald take over the stage.

The Festival Finale on August 15 is dedicated to its namesake, the late Boris Brott, who would have celebrated his 80th birthday this year. The concert features Mahler’s epic 5th symphony performed by this year’s National Academy Orchestra, along with past graduates, and guest artists from across North America.

Later in 2024

  • The Brott Music Festival continues its commitment to music education with its program of school concerts that kick off again this November;
  • Family Christmas concerts and the return of its beloved production of Handel’s Messiah in December.

Find more details, passes, and ticket sales [HERE].

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