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CRITIC’S PICKS | Classical Music Events You Absolutely Need To See This Week: June 24 – June 30

By Hye Won Cecilia Lee on June 24, 2024

L-R (clockwise): The Toronto Symphony Orchestra at Harbourfront (Photo courtesy of the TSO); Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra (Photo courtesy of Tafelmusik); Choir!Choir!Choir! (Photo courtesy of Choir!Choir!Choir!)
L-R (clockwise): The Toronto Symphony Orchestra at Harbourfront (Photo courtesy of the TSO); Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra (Photo courtesy of Tafelmusik); Choir!Choir!Choir! (Photo courtesy of Choir!Choir!Choir!)

This is a list of concerts we are attending, wishing we could attend, or thinking about attending between June 24 and June 30, 2024. For more of what’s happening around Toronto, visit our calendar here.

Music Mondays: Harmonies Revived: Team Japan! Plays Classical Gems

Monday, June 24, 12:15 p.m.
Church of the Holy Trinity, 19 Trinity Sq. PWYC ($10 suggested)

If you find being back at work for a Monday in summer a tad deflating, get out for a little lunch break at the Church of the Holy Trinity, hidden behind Eaton Centre, for a noon concert break of chamber music. This time, the music of Brahms (sextet arranged for trio by Theodore Kirchner), and Hisato Ohzawa will fill the afternoon, through the lovely playing of Eri Kosaka, Leana Rutt, and Tomoko Inui. Info here.

Making Herself Heard

Friday, June 28, 7 p.m.
Walker Court, Art Gallery of Ontario. Included In the AGO general admission.

AGO curated ‘Making Her Mark: A History of Women Artists in Europe, 1400-1800’ earlier this year, and this is the second of the two Tafelmusik concerts in celebration of the music of lesser-known women composers. Music from Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, Isabella Leonarda, Marianne Martinez, and the enigmatic Mrs. Philarmonica, will be presented in the lovely Walker Court by a keyboard quartet of Tafelmusik members. Short and sweet choice, before heading out to the vibrant summer weekend evening. Info here.

Choir! Choir! Choir!: Hallelujah — Epic Canadian Sing-Along!

Saturday, June 29, 9 p.m.,
Concert Stage, Harbourfront Centre, $25+.

Part of the ‘Canada Day Long Weekend 2024’ at the Harbourfront Centre (which starts on Friday June 28), Choir! Choir! Choir! will lead a delightful sing-along session for all participants through a selection of Canadian favourites. Whether you are new to Canada, or have been here for generations, it is always good to revisit these familiar classics, and think about what makes up our shared identity in this diverse city. Singing along with Leonard Cohen’s songs on a summer evening feels just right for the long July weekend. Info here.

Aga Khan Museum: Rhythms of Canada 2024

Saturday, June 29 – July 1
Aga Khan Museum. Open to the public, with selected workshops with a materials fee.

This year, Aga Khan Museum hosts Rhythms of Canada once again, consisting of various workshops and performances for the long weekend of June 29 to July 1, generously supported by the Nanji Family Foundation. Performances by the Toronto Chinese Orchestra, martial artists from Wayland LiWushu Centre, Nagata Shachu (taiko), Lion Dance team from the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto, Shaho Andalibi Ensemble, Big Smoke Brass, Alpha Rhythm Roots, Running Rivers, Kazdoura, Toronto Klezmer Society, Maracatu, PASSARIM, and the Band of The Royal Regiment of Canada, will take place over the weekend, along with many active participatory workshops for all ages. If you haven’t been to Aga Khan Museum, this may just be the perfect chance to explore this beautiful space — with extra fun. Info here.

Saba Yousefi: From Persian Gardens to Tango Streets

Saturday, June 29
Arraymusic, 155 Walnut Ave., 8 p.m. $38.93

An Iranian violinist, an Iranian-Canadian coloratura soprano, and a Finnish accordionist explore the emotional capacity of music through two disciplines: contemporary Iranian and the classical tango of Astor Piazzolla. Sounds like a strange mix, and perhaps it is. However, looking at the shared sorrows of both groups — the oppression, immigration, and place for women, perhaps those two genres are closer together, thanks to Saba Yousefi’s imagination. It is such a personal venture to create events in the effort to connect thoughts and feelings divided up by far distances in the current craze of identity politics. Perhaps events such as this may be the way to connect, and dispel the isolation we build so easily in today’s world full of disconnection. Read our Q&A with Saba Yousefi here. Info here.

Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Festival: Midsummer Follies

Sunday, June 30
Toronto Botanical Garden, 777 Lawrence Ave. E., 2 p.m. Free.

Four musicians from Tafelmusik will fill the Sunday afternoon at the Toronto Botanical Garden with selections from the Baltic region, British Isles, Spain and France. By bringing the tunes from cafés, taverns, and country fairs, we can revisit and continue to thrive in human joy. Cross fingers for good weather, and come out regardless! Info here.

Toronto Symphony Orchestra
: Canada Day Weekend at Harbourfront Centre Canada Day Weekend at Harbourfront Centre

Sunday, June 30
Concert Stage, Harbourfront Centre, 9 p.m., free

TSO joins in the Canada Day Long Weekend at HC with a free concert for everyone. Come out early in the day, enjoy some sunshine and festivities, and as the late summer sun heads for dusk, wind down with friends and family with familiar classical favourites. Low key, much happiness. Info here.


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