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Music in the Afternoon
The Women’s Musical Club of Toronto programs an annual series of five chamber music concerts by illustrious international and Canadian soloists and ensembles, as well as outstanding young musicians on the thresholds of their careers. Every year, the WMCT commissions a new work by a Canadian composer for performance in the series, and every three years presents the prestigious Career Development Award.
WMCT Artistic Mandate
The Women’s Musical Club of Toronto, founded in 1898, is the oldest music presenting organisation in Ontario. Music in the Afternoon is an annual series of five concerts by illustrious international and Canadian soloists and ensembles, as well as outstanding young musicians on the thresholds of their careers. Every year, the WMCT commissions a new work by a Canadian composer for performance in the series, and every three years presents the prestigious Career Development Award. It supports young Canadian musicians through scholarships, awards, and master classes as well as performance opportunities.
The Folks Behind It All
Dedicated volunteers and one part-time arts administrator are the heart and soul of the WMCT and always have been. The WMCT Foundation supports the work of the club, managing finances, awards and scholarships.
Artistic Director Simon Fryer
Simon Fryer is celebrating his 10th year with the WMCT. He is a versatile artist, at home with the demands of the music of our time and of historical performance, with collaboration and solo recital. In demand for his teaching, coaching, and master class skills he is principal cellist of the Regina Symphony Orchestra. Soloist appearances in Canada with the Regina, Mississauga, and Okanagan symphonies, as well as the Esprit Orchestra have been complemented by performances as guest principal with the Hamilton Philharmonic and internationally with the Orqestra Sinfonica de Tenerife and the United Kingdom’s Northern Sinfonia.
Formerly a member of the JUNO-winning Penderecki String Quartet and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Simon Fryer collaborates regularly with such musicians as the Silver Birch String Quartet, Duo Concertante, and pianist Michael Kim and has a discography of more than 20 recordings. He is Head of Strings at the Regina Conservatory for the Performing Arts and founder and director of the Prairie Cello Institute. He has held faculty positions at Wilfrid Laurier University, the University of Toronto and The Glenn Gould School.
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2017-18 Music in the Afternoon concerts
Concerts are in Walter Hall, Edward Johnson Building, U of T
80 Queen’s Park (Museum Subway Station)
1:30 pm on Thursdays
October 5, 2017 — Lara St. John, violin, with Matt Herskowitz, piano. The season opens with the high-romantic Violin Sonata by César Franck, then shifts into higher virtuoso gear for the Shiksa project, a passionate evocation of Eastern European and Jewish diaspora heritage.
November 9, 2017 — The Zodiac Trio brings a programme of works reflecting the 120 years of the WMCT.
March 8, 2018 — the Elias String Quartet perform Beethoven’s op. 127, then explore how Schubert and Janáček met the challenge of his monumental legacy.
April 10, 2018 — soprano Sylvia Schwartz, in her first North American appearance, brings us a dramatic programme of German and Spanish songs.
May 3, 2018 —As the season finale, Artistic Director Simon Fryer has invited his favourite cellists to play music for from one to eight cellos, including Villa-Lobos of course, with the versatile and talented Sarah Slean. Kelly-Marie Murphy’s WMCT commission, an eight-cello work will première this afternoon. Imagine the beauty of a solo cello performance, then multiply that by eight – what could be better?