La Scena Musicale

Monday, 4 March 2013

This Week in Toronto (Mar. 4 - 10)

Composer Tod Machover's A Toronto Symphony debuts this week (

In this, the climactic week of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra's New Creations Festival, there are several important events including commissioned works that will receive their Canadian, North American and World premieres. On Thurs. March 7 8 pm at Roy Thomson Hall, Peter Oundjian hosts and conducts a program of works by Tod Machover (Sparkler), Owen Pallett (Violin Concerto) and Krisztof Maratka (Vabeni). The violinist is Pekka Kuusisto.  Rather than for me to summarize the content, it's best to hear it from the creators themselves at  On Sat. March 9 8 pm, the Festival wraps up with the world premiere of composer Tod Machover's A Toronto Symphony, a TSO commission.  Billed as a collaboration between the composer and the people of Toronto, this new work has received a great deal of press the past few months. Read all about it in   There are pre and post-concert events to complement each performance so be sure not to miss those.

Soprano Erin Wall sings recital with Music Toronto (Photo:

American-Canadian soprano Erin Wall is no stranger to Toronto audiences, having appeared in her adopted home town with regularity the last few years in opera and concerts, including Sariaaho's Love From Afar, Offenbach's Tales of Hoffmann, as well Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. She is appearing this week in recital with Music Toronto, with John Hess at the piano. It's part of Music Toronto's Discovery Series, although Wall is too well established on the opera and concert stages of the world to be considered a "new discovery"! On the program are songs by Schubert, Korngold, Strauss,Poulenc and American composer Ricky Ian Gordon. I first heard Wall in Strauss's Vier letzte Lieder with the RCM Orchestra at the Ford Centre at least ten years ago, and interviewed her for an article in Opera Canada at the time. She has since established herself as an important internationally ranked artist. Any opportunity to hear this excellent singer is not to be missed.  Thurs. March 7th 8 pm at the Jane Mallet Theatre.

Pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico (Photo:

Canadian Christina Petrowska Quilico is a well known concert pianist, educator, and a champion of contemporary works. She concertizes widely and will be giving a noon hour concert at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre on Wednesday Mar. 6. The program is In Praise of Women, consisting of works by women composers the likes of Lili Boulanger and the late Ann Southam. Here's the link to the program -
Be sure to show up an hour early for a seat.

Harpsichordist Greta Kraus 

Aldeburgh Connection's annual Schubertiad honouring the late harpsichordist/pedagogue Greta Kraus takes place this coming Sunday March 10 2:30 pm at Walter Hall. Aldeburgh Connection under the inspired musical direction of Stephen Ralls and Bruce Ubukata have the most thoughtful programming, and I for one will be sorry when it all ends later this season. Let's enjoy it while we can.  Soloists for Love Among the Ruins are soprano Monica Whicher, tenor Isiah Bell and baritone Geoffrey Sirett.

Arc Ensemble (Photo:

One of Canada's premiere chamber groups, the Arc Ensemble is presenting a concert at Mazzoleni Hall on Tuesday March 5th 7:30 pm. On the program are works by Weinberg, Laks, Mendelssohn and Ben-Haim.  The Ensemble is taking this very same program to Wigmore Hall on March 10! They will also give a concert at the famed Concertgebouw later in the spring.
Sinfonia Toronto (Photo:

On Friday March 8th 8 pm at the Glenn Gould Studio, pianist Angela Cheng and violist Rivka Golani are the guest soloists in a Sinfonia Toronto concert. Cheng plays the Mozart Piano Concerto No. 9 and Golani gives the world premiere of Mozetich's Viola Concerto. Also on the program are Suk's  Meditation On An Old Bohemian Choral and Simple Symphony by Britten. /

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