La Scena Musicale

Sunday, 10 July 2011

This Week in Toronto (July 11 - 17)

Photo: 16-year old piano phenom Jan Lisiecki plays Liszt at the Brott Music Festival and at the Glenn Gould Studio

The Toronto classical music scene is pretty quiet this week, as the Black Creek Festival is not programming classical this week and the Toronto Summer Music Festival won't open until the following week. But if you are a fan of musicals and other genres, you are in luck as there are a number of shows to choose from. There's Mirvish Productions' Billy Elliot: The Musical at the Canon Theatre Alternately, DanCap Productions is presenting Donny and Marie Live at the Four Seasons Centre. The Black Creek Summer Music Festival has John Fogerty and the Levon Helm Band. on July 16.

For classical music, Torontonians will do well to venture out of the GTA. Top on my list is 50 minutes down the QEW at Mohawk College's McIntyre Theatre where Brott Summer Music is presenting the 16-year old piano phenom Jan Lisiecki is playing Liszt's Piano concerto No. 2, with Boris Brott leading the National Academy Orchestra. Performance on Thursday July 14 at 7:30 p.m., to be repeated the following day at the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto at 8 p.m.

In the picaresque town of Elora, the Elora Festival is presenting a recital by lyric tenor and former COC Ensemble Studio artist Lawrence Wiliford and the Talisker Players. I haven't heard him live for some time, although in the recently released Mulroney: the Opera, he sings the role of Pierre Elliot Trudeau and the voice is as sweet as ever. Wiliford is singing songs by Britten, as well as the song cycle, Songs In Time of War, by Alec Roth. It takes place at St. John's Church on Sunday July 17 at 4 p.m. The Cecilia String Quartet is giving a recital of Haydn, Shostakovich and Dvorak at St. John's Church on Saturday July 16 at 2 p.m. If you enjoy competitions, be sure to attend the finals of the TD Canada Trust Festival Competition on Wednesday July 13 at 7:30 p.m. There will be finalists in voice, piano, saxophone and clarinet. The event takes place at St. John's Church. Canadian icon Michael Burgess, together with soprano Rebecca Caine will give an evening of Broadway standards at the Gambrel Barn on Friday July 15 at 8 p.m.

The Westben Arts Festival is presenting six evenings of Broadway At The Barn: Send In the Sondheim. Billed as "from Bernstein to Sondheim", the soloists are soprano Donna Bennett, mezzo Gabrielle Prata, tenor Colin Ainsworth and baritone Robert Longo, with Brian Finley at the piano. It opens on July 14 at 2 p.m., and continues on July 15, 17, 21, 22, 23 at 2 p.m.

Last but not least, the Festival of the Sound opens on July 15 with a Piano Gala featuring piano duo Anagnoson & Kinton, pianist Andre Laplante, violinist Emma Carina Meinrenken and pianist Alex Seredenko. On the program are pieces by Strauss, Debussy, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Saint-Saens, Handel and Gershwin. The concert takes place at the Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts.



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