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

By Hye Won Cecilia Lee on July 8, 2024

L-R (clockwise): Cellist Brian Manker (Photo courtesy of the artist); The Gryphon Trio with clarinetist James Campbell (Photo courtesy of the artists); the Tarolinbak Persian Trio - Shahin Fayaz (tar), Bijan Spepanji (violin), and Naghmeh Farahmand (tonbak/daf) (Photo courtesy of the artists)
L-R (clockwise): Cellist Brian Manker (Photo courtesy of the artist); The Gryphon Trio with clarinetist James Campbell (Photo courtesy of the artists); the Tarolinbak Persian Trio – Shahin Fayaz (tar), Bijan Spepanji (violin), and Naghmeh Farahmand (tonbak/daf) (Photo courtesy of the artists)

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

Music Mondays: Modern Music for Guitar

Monday, July 8, 12:15 p.m.
Church of the Holy Trinity, 19 Trinity Sq. PWYC ($10 Suggested)

Grace your Monday — take a brisk break at the Church of the Holy Trinity with contemporary solo and duo guitar music. Modern guitar music, despite its intricacy and beauty, somehow remains a niche interest — and this is your chance to experience top notch guitar performance live. The wide repertoire, ranging from Takashi Yoshimatsu to Aphex Twin, promises a short magical getaway from the midst of the hustle and bustle of the city. Info here.

Summer Music in the Garden 2024: Crossroads: Tarolinbak Persian Trio

Thursday, July 11, 7 p.m.
Toronto Music Garden, Harbourfront Centre. Free.

Tarolinbak Trio members Shahin Fayaz (tar), Bijan Sepanji (violin), and Naghmeh Farahmand (tonbak/daf) bring melodies from faraway lands: Azerbaijan, Lorestan, and Khorasan. Dastgah, the Persian music system is often compared to modal music: however, there’s no better way to experience a new idea than to experience it directly from seasoned performers of the tradition. All three musicians are at the top of their game, and we are lucky to live in such a culturally diverse city — the event promises much beauty for anyone who will join in this shared experience of rich Persian musical heritage and culture. Info here.

Toronto Summer Music: Opening Night: The Fairy Queen

Thursday, July 11, 7:30 p.m.
Koerner Hall. $26+, currently sold out, with a waiting list.

Toronto Summer Music opens the new season with Purcell’s semi-opera The Fairy Queen. The renowned early music specialist William Christie, with musicians of Les Arts Florissants and dancers of Compagnie Käfig, promise an excellent evening of summer fantasy. This particular work, a Masque — a mixture of instrumental music and loosely related arias — will feature singers trained in the Le Jardin des Voix program, Les Arts Florissants’ academy for young singers; they bring with them the exciting prospect of a high calibre performance with great finesse in every corner. Currently sold out, but worthwhile getting onto the waitlist. If you manage to snag a seat, there will be a champagne reception post-performance. Info here.

Toronto Summer Music Festival: Transfigured Night

Friday, July 12, 7:30 p.m.
Walter Hall, Faculty of Music, University of Toronto. $26+

The richness of a string sextet is a magical experience, especially for the full-blooded, romantic repertoire. Current members of the New Orford String Quartet are joined by Eric Nowlin (viola) and Peter Stumpf (cello) for two incredible selections — Brahms’ second sextet and Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4. Familiar works? Yes. Amazing? Yes. Get a ticket, pick a favourite seat, and feel the resonance of 6 instruments in harmony live. Nothing can replace this listening with the whole body experience. And keep an eye on the TSM schedule — there’s a load of good stuff nearly every day! Info here.

Sunday Opera on Market Street

Sunday, July 14, 11 a.m., Noon, and 1 p.m.
St. Lawrence Market. Free

This second instalment of Opera Atelier and St. Lawrence Market’s summer collaboration will feature Christopher Dunham (Baritone) and Trevor Chartrand (Piano), presenting short, sweet 30 minute long programs throughout the afternoon, with excerpts from OA’s next season: Acis and Galatea (Handel), and David and Jonathan (M.A.Charpentier). What a lovely way to enjoy a relaxing Sunday afternoon — info here.

Music at Mount Pleasant: Fiddle Tales: A Métis Journey Through Music

S
unday, July 14, 3:30 p.m.
Mount Pleasant Cemetery. Free.

Music at Mount Pleasant celebrates its 15th annual summer concert series this year. On this Sunday, for the second concert of the series, Alyssa Katrine, Amanda Rheaume, and Anna Ruddick will present music inspired by the Métis culture — from traditional reels to ballads. Mount Pleasant cemetery is a very special place in our city: not only does it hold green space and tranquility, many of our local heroes are buried here, including Glenn Gould. Come out for a beautiful afternoon of storytelling, take a walk, and see who you might find. Info here.

Elora Festival: Messiaen: Quartet for the End of Time

Sunday, July 14, 3 p.m.
St. John’s Anglican Church, Elora, ON. $20+

Parry Sound’s ‘Festival of the Sound’ presents the Gryphon Trio and James Campbell in a performance of Quartet for the End of Time. Considered an iconic work from the WW2 era, Messiaen wrote this work in Görlitz, Germany, during his prisoner-of-war confinement. It is a shame that the world still is engulfed in many armed conflicts, and the desperation and hypnotic elation based on hope alone, remains a reality for many. However, perhaps one of the ways to relate such visceral, yet faraway feelings, is to release ourselves into inspiration, along with thoughts of our unseen, dying brothers and sisters. The phantasmal imagery from the book of Revelation that inspired Messiaen is amazing in its true definition — and this work has the potential to rattle your mind. Info here.

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