Venue: Jane Mallett Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front St. E.
Box Office: 416-366-7723
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Music TORONTO began in 1971 as the music program of Toronto Arts Productions, continued as Music at the Centre and CentreStage Music, and became Music TORONTO in 1987.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, under artistic leaders Franz Kramer, Costa Pilovachi and Jane Forner, we offered a wide variety of concerts, bringing to Toronto, often for the first time, world-renowned chamber ensembles and soloists. As CentreStage Music from 1983, we were instrumental in the organization and presentation of major musical events such as the Bach 300 Festival in 1985 and special events such as musical theatre.
Since 1989, under Artistic Director Chris Wilcox, an advisory committee, and now Artistic Producer Jennifer Taylor, Music Toronto maintains its vision of artistic excellence and innovation, always featuring both international and Canadian artists. Music Toronto also enjoys an international reputation for its loyal and discerning audience.
The Folks Behind It All
Jennifer Taylor, Artistic Producer
Having tried to do everything for too many years, Jennifer now concentrates on artistic programming. She has championed string quartets and pianists, Canadian artists established and emerging, contemporary and Canadian music – while always appreciating Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin and Brahms.
Heather Lacey, General Manager
Heather has worked on the administrative side with Music Toronto since 2013. Prior to that, she was the Production Coordinator at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, where she had the pleasure of working backstage with the Music Toronto season for five years. Heather is now responsible for all operations, especially marketing, fundraising and administration.
Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 8 pm
Celebrating its 30th season, Quatuor Mosaïques is the most prominent period-instrument quartet performing today. Austrians Erich Höbarth (violin), Andrea Bischof (violin), Anita Mitterer (viola) and French cellist Christophe Coin met while performing with Nikolaus Harnoncourt’s Concentus Musicus Wien and decided to perform on original instruments as a classical “caper quartet.” The quartet now tours widely and has an extensive discography.
- Mozart Quartet in B-flat Major, K.458, “Hunt”
- Haydn Quartet in D Major, Op. 33, No. 6
- Mozart Quartet in D Minor, K.421
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Tuesday, November 7, 2017 at 8 pm
English pianist Benjamin Grosvenor made his Toronto debut in February 2014 and returned in October 2015. It seems a long two years since those sensational performances. Called “boy lord of the piano” in Australia, Grosvenor has taken the British piano world by storm. Music TORONTO is pleased to host his return.
- Mozart Sonata in B-flat Major, K.333, “Linz”
- Brahms Four Pieces, Op. 119
- Brett Dean Hommage à Brahms (played as interludes between the Brahms pieces above)
- Debussy L’après midi d’un faune (arr. Leonard Borwick/George Copeland)
- Berg Sonata, Op. 1
- Ravel Gaspard de la nuit
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Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 8 pm
We are grateful that Britain’s brilliant Anglo-Irish quartet, the Carducci, are able to step in for us following a cancellation. The quartet will fly in especially for this concert, their Toronto debut.
Described by The Strad as presenting “a masterclass in unanimity of musical purpose, in which severity could melt seamlessly into charm, and drama into geniality″, the Carducci Quartet performs over 90 concerts worldwide each year. The quartet also run their own recording label Carducci Classics.
Winners of international competitions, including the US’s Concert Artists Guild International Competition and Finland’s Kuhmo International Chamber Music Competition, the quartet studied with members of the Amadeus, Alban Berg, Chilingirian, Takacs and Vanbrugh quartets and, as part of the ProQuartet professional training programme in France, with Gyorgy Kurtag, Walter Levin and Paul Katz.
- Beethoven Quartet No. 11 in F Minor, Op.95, Serioso
- Shostakovich Quartet No. 4 in D Major, Op. 83
- Debussy Quartet in G Minor, Op. 10
The Škampa quartet, previously announced for this date, cancelled because of medical and personnel reasons.
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Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at 8 pm
Toronto recital debut
A pianist who focuses on chamber music, Philip Chiu is an acclaimed accompanist/coach based at McGill University. Dedicated to elevating the standard and art of collaborative piano, Philip is the creator and director of the new Collaborative Piano Program at the Domaine Forget International Festival and Academy. In 2015, he was the first recipient of the Prix Goyer (Extreme Emerging Artist) – Canada’s largest prize for an emerging artist in classical music.
- Ravel Ma mère l’Oye (Mother Goose Suite)
- Rachmaninoff Preludes (Five Selections from Op. 23, Op. 32)
- Schubert/Liszt Fantasy in C Major, “Der Wanderer”, D. 760
- Liszt Legends, S.175
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Thursday, December 7, 2017 at 8 pm
Now in its 23rd year, the Gryphon Trio has impressed international audiences and the press with its highly refined, dynamic performances and has firmly established itself as one of the world’s preeminent piano trios. Their repertoire ranges from the traditional to the contemporary and from European classicism to modern-day multimedia, the Gryphons are committed to redefining chamber music for the 21st century. Music TORONTO’s long relationship with the Gryphons began in 1995 – oops! We’ve passed 20 years together! – and included 10 years as our ensemble-in-residence (1998-2008).
- Haydn Piano Trio in E-flat Major, XV:29
- Marjan Mozetich Scales of Joy and Sorrow (2008)
- Brahms Piano Quartet in A Major, Op. 26
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with soprano Dawn Upshaw
Thursday, January 11, 2018 at 8 pm
The Brentano Quartet just celebrated its 25th anniversary season; it performs music spanning from the Renaissance, through the beloved Classical and Romantic literature, up to music of today. The Brentano appears throughout the world to popular and critical acclaim for their “wonderful, selfless music-making” The Times, London (UK). They succeeded the Tokyo as quartet-in-residence at Yale in 2014.
Dawn Upshaw has achieved worldwide celebrity as a singer of opera and concert repertoire ranging from the sacred works of Bach to the freshest sounds of today. A five-time Grammy Award winner, in 2007 she was named a Fellow of the MacArthur Foundation, the first vocal artist to be awarded the five-year “genius” prize.
- A set of interwoven Webern Bagatelles with Schubert Minuets (D.89)
- Mario Davidovsky Quartet No. 4 (1980)
- Respighi Il tramonto
- Schoenberg Quartet No. 2 with Dawn Upshaw
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Tuesday, January 23, 2018 at 8 pm
Stephen Hough distinguished himself as a renaissance man, not only as a uniquely insightful concert pianist but as a writer and composer. In 2001 Mr. Hough was the first classical performing artist to win a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (colloquially called the genius awards). Many of Mr. Hough’s catalogue of over 50 albums have garnered international prizes; he now records exclusively for Hyperion.
- Debussy Clair de Lune (Suite Bergamasque)
- Debussy Images Bk II
- Schumann Fantasie, Op. 17
- Debussy La terrasse des audiences au clair de lune (Préludes Bk II)
- Debussy Images Bk I
- Beethoven Sonata in F Minor, Op. 57, “Appassionata”
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St. Lawrence Quartet
Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 8 pm
Established in 1989, the SLSQ came to Music TORONTO in 1992 and continues annually. The SLSQ has developed an undisputed reputation as one of the world’s great ensembles. Called “witty, buoyant, and wickedly attentive” (the Gazette, Montreal), with a “peerless” sense of ensemble (Financial Times, London), the quartet has been the Ensemble-in-Residence at Stanford University since 1998. In 2016-17, the SLSQ toured Italy, Paris, London, and the Netherlands, played a three-concert series at Stanford Live, and returned to many favourite venues in North America.
- Haydn Quartet in C Major, Op. 33, No. 3, “The Bird”
- Janacek Quartet No. 2, “Intimate Letters”
- Tchaikovsky Quartet No. 3 in E-flat Minor, Op. 30
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Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at 8 pm
Toronto Recital Debut
Born in Moscow in 1944, Alexei Lubimov is a rare pianist whose interests range over the history of western music, with special fascination in the baroque and the contemporary. He premiered many 20th century pieces in Russia, where Soviet authorities heavily criticized his commitment to Western music and prevented him from leaving the Soviet Union for several years. Since political restrictions were lifted during the 1980s, he has given solo recitals throughout the world, appeared with leading symphony orchestras, and worked regularly with early music ensembles.
- Mozart Sonata in D, K.311
- Mozart Adagio in B Minor, K.540
- Beethoven Sonata No. 7 in D, Op. 10, No. 3
- Stravinsky Sonata (1924)
- Debussy Nine Preludes, Book 1: nine selections
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Apollon Musagète Quartet
Thursday, February 22, 2018 at 8 pm
We introduced this young Polish quartet to our audience in November 2015 – and invited them to return. Founded in 2006, they met in Vienna, and were mentored by the legendary Alban Berg Quartett. They have won many awards, the latest being a prestigious Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award in 2014
- Haydn Quartet in D Major, Op. 64, No. 5, “The Lark”
- Arensky Quartet No. 2 in A Minor, Op. 35a
- Grieg Quartet in G Minor, Op. 27
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Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 8 pm
The Penderecki String Quartet celebrated its 30th anniversary season in 2016. These four musicians from Poland, Canada, and the USA bring their varied yet collective experience to create performances that demonstrate their “remarkable range of technical excellence and emotional sweep” (Toronto, Globe and Mail). Their recent schedule has included concerts in New York, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, St. Petersburg, Paris, Prague, Berlin, Rome, Belgrade, Zagreb, Atlanta, as well as appearances at international festivals in Poland, Lithuania, Italy, Venezuela, Brazil, and China. They enter their 20th year as Quartet-in-Residence at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.
- Schumann Quartet in A Major, Op. 41, No. 3
- Kelly-Marie Murphy Oblique Light (2016)
- Elgar Quartet in E Minor, Op. 83
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Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at 8 pm
Hungarian pianist Dénes Várjon made his Toronto debut in February 2015 and we discovered his commanding virtuosity. At the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music, he studied piano with Sándor Falvai and chamber music with György Kurtág and Ferenc Rados, finishing his studies in 1991. He is a regular guest at the most prestigious festivals world-wide, has performed with major orchestras throughout Europe and in the US, and is a deeply committed chamber musician.
Dénes Várjon has recorded for Naxos, Capriccio and for Hungaroton Classics. His latest, in Jan. 2016, is his much-awaited recording of all five Beethoven piano concertos for Hungaroton.
- Beethoven Bagatelles, Op. 126
- Bartók For Children – excerpts
- Bartók Elegy No. 2
- Bartók Improvisations, Op. 20
- Liszt Sonata No. 2 in B Minor
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Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 8 pm
The three brothers Mark, Erik and Ken Schumann, who grew up in the Rhineland, have been playing together for since 2007. In 2012, they were joined by violist Liisa Randalu, who was born in the Estonian capital, Tallinn, and grew up in Karlsruhe, Germany. CDs, study with the Alban Berg Quartet, a residency of many years at the Robert-Schumann-Saal in Düsseldorf, winning the prestigious Concours de Bordeaux along with other awards – it all adds up to an exciting new European quartet. Their latest award was the Newcomer Award for 2016 of the BBC Music Magazine.
- Haydn Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 76, No. 4, “Sunrise”
- Shostakovich Quartet No. 7 in F-sharp Minor, Op. 108
- Schumann Quartet in F Major, Op. 41, No. 2