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“Music will save the world,” said the great Pablo Casals.
And we can certainly all agree that right now we are in dire need of some saving. This season we are transported (and saved) by our beloved Schubert, by a dose of the very best in musical medicine, by a traipse through the salacious salons of Paris, and finally, by the passion of the Spaniards (and their brothers-in-ardour, the Russians).
Now in its 23rd Anniversary Season, Off Centre Music Salon began as an attempt to find the magical, inclusive atmosphere of the Viennese and Parisian Salons of the 19th Century. At a time when the concert hall experience had become almost clinical in its austerity, we felt the need, more than ever, to go back to a time when music was intimately shared, when concerts told a story and created personal connections for audience and performer alike.
This fall, we welcome you back to our “home” at Toronto’s Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre to do just that – to find those magical connections on the journey towards Musical Salvation.
Lofty plans, indeed!
The Folks Behind It All
Inna Perkis, pianist/artistic director/founder
Russian-Canadian pianist Inna Perkis was described by the Weekly Seattle as having “…a commanding musical personality… poetry to every nuance…” Ms. Perkis has performed internationally as a soloist and a chamber musician, collaborating with such distinguished musicians as Ofra Harnoy, Michael Schade, Measha Bruggergosman, and Isabel Bayrakdarian. As a collaborative pianist, she has been praised for her “singing tone and sensitivity.” She is the Co-founder and Artistic Director of Off Centre Music Salon with her husband Boris Zarankin.
Boris Zarankin, pianist/artistic director/founder
A pianist of international renown, Boris Zarankin was hailed by the Los Angeles Times as a “pianist of flair, style and exciting virtuosity”. Mr. Zarankin studied at the Kharkov State Conservatory with Regina Horowitz and at the Moscow State Conservatory. Mr. Zarankin has appeared as a soloist with many leading orchestras. His most recent recording of Schubert Sonatas (released on the DOREMI label in February 2012) has been called “magic… compelling listening” (Toronto Star), while Beethoven? Beethoven! (July 2007), has been called “a paragon of intelligent artistry” and his 24 Chopin Etudes remain “an aesthetic revelation”. For his two volumes of Schubert-Liszt Lieder, he was praised as a “master of tone colour.” He is the Co-founder and Artistic Director of Off Centre Music Salon with his wife Inna Perkis.
23rd Annual Schubertiad: SCHUBERT MANIFOLD
Sunday, October 1, 2017 | 3 p.m.
“Anyone who loves music can never be quite unhappy.” (Franz Schubert)
In his journal of music Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, Robert Schumann once described the “heavenly lengths” of Schubert’s 9th Symphony. Indeed, Schubert’s mastery transcended all genre: he was equally at home composing one-page-wonder Lieder and sweeping Symphonic works. This year, we would like to dedicate the afternoon to what we’ve lovingly nicknamed his “heavenly shorts”: great nuance and myriad emotions, all within the span of a few measures of glorious music.
Emily Kruspe, violin | Inna Perkis, piano | Giles Tomkins, bass baritone | Kathryn Tremills, piano | William Webster, actor | Monica Whicher, soprano | Boris Zarankin, piano
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Medicine + Music: A CARDIAC AFFAIR
Sunday, November 26, 2017 | 3 PM
“There is only one difference between a madman and me. I am not mad.” (Salvador Dali)
There is an almost uncontested romantic notion that mental illness and creativity are somehow linked. While researchers have endlessly debated the finer points of this argument, we can all agree that eminent creators have often triumphed over their suffering – both physical and mental – by transforming it, dissecting it, reimagining it, and ultimately composing it anew. Join us in a celebration of what Schumann called “awesome spiritual resistance” in the music of the great sufferers: Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Mahler, Shostakovich and Schumann himself.
Ben Carlson, actor | Steven Dann, viola | Dr. David Goldbloom, host | Virginia Hatfield, soprano | Inna Perkis, piano | Ernesto Ramirez, tenor | Boris Zarankin, piano | Julia Zarankin, host
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French Salon: A MIDDAY IN PARIS
Sunday, April 15, 2018 | 3 PM
“How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?” (Charles de Gaulle)
Join us on a tour-de-Paris as we traipse on and off-the-beaten path of the Great Parisian Salons! From the salon of George Sand hosting her tempestuous lover Chopin, to the salon of Princesse Winnaretta Singer de Polignac – whose biographical details alone hold enough intrigue to keep us on the edge of our seats for the entire afternoon! – with Debussy and Ravel, to chez Misia Sert – whose bohemian, libertine, drug-using-and-abusing circle included none other than Coco Chanel and Erik Satie! As you can see, come prepared for time travel and a certain je ne sais quoi!
Tom Allen, host | Allison Angelo, soprano | Nico Dann, drums | Erica Iris Huang, mezzo soprano | Elina Kelebeev, piano | Joseph Macerollo, accordion | Maeve Palmer, soprano | Inna Perkis, piano | Alex Samaras, voice | Boris Zarankin, piano
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Spanish-Russian Salon: MADRID > MOSCOW = 4094 KM
Sunday, June 17, 2018 | 3 PM
“All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love!” (Leo Tolstoy)
These could the words of a fiery-tempered Spaniard or those of an ardent Russian! A vast 4094 kilometers separate Madrid from Moscow. That’s’s 40 long hours in a car. 798 hours if you wanted to walk… A whole world apart! And yet, and yet…Join us as we pay homage to the music – and passions – of these two distant European titans. “Our hours in love have wings, in absence: crutches.” (Cervantes).
Lara Dodds-Eden, piano | Joni Henson, soprano | Sheila Jaffé, violin | Inna Perkis, piano | Brett Polegato, baritone | Guillermo Silva-Marin, tenor | Boris Zarankin, piano | Ilana Zarankin, soprano | Julia Zarankin, host