This Week in Toronto (Mar. 7 - 13)
~ Joseph So
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra's New Creations Festival continues this week with two performances. On Wednesday March 9th 8 p.m. is the North American premiere of Two Memorials: Anton Webern and John Lennon, in which Australian composer James Ledger pays tribute to the two musical greats. Also on the program is Brett Dean's trumpet concerto Dramatis personae, with soloist Hakan Hardenberger, for whom Dean composed this work. There's also the world premiere of From the Vortex Perspective, a TSO commission from composer Paul Frehner. Both Ledger and Frehner will be interviewed by Gary Kulesha at intermission. Peter Oundjian conducts. https://www.tso.ca/
Tapestry Opera is joining forces with Scottish Opera and Music Theatre Wales to present The Devil Inside, a "Faustian opera" composed by Scottish composer Stuart MacRae with libretto by Louise Welsh, based on a short story by Robert Louis Stevenson, The Bottle Imp. It was recently staged in Theatre Royal in Glasgow to resounding success, receiving a 5-star rating by George Hall in The Guardian. It's the same creative team who will be performing here at the Harbourfront Centre Theatre, opening on March 10th 8 p.m. and continuing on March 12th and 13th. The soloists are Nicholas Sharratt, Rachel Kelly, Ben McAteer, and Steven Page. Michael Rafferty conducts players of the Orchestra of the Scottish Opera. Matthew Richardson directs.
Music Toronto's Discovery Series brings to Toronto artists who are relatively new to our city. This week, it's Collectif9. It's a Canadian string ensemble founded in Montreal in 2011, known for its cutting-edge, rock-infused arrangements of the classical repertoire. Program includes works by Brahms, Shostakovich, Bartok, Schnittke, Hindemith and others. For information on the group, go to http://www.collectif9.ca/ Concert on Thursday March 10th 8 p.m. at the Jane Mallett Theatre.
Canadian pianist-composer Adam Sherkin is giving a recital, True North Stories, at the Canadian Music Centre on 20 St. Joseph Street in downtown Toronto on Thursday March 10th 7:30 p.m. He is playing the works of Istvan Anhalt and Oskar Morawetz, as well as his own compositions. The centerpiece is True North Stories, which as I understand is made up of pieces by Sibelius, Applebaum, Grieg, Rangstrom, Somers as well as Sherkin himself. You can always count on Mr. Sherkin for innovative and thoughtful programming. So rather than my trying to explain what he does, do go to hear him. https://www.musiccentre.ca/node/137396
On March 11th and 12th 8 p.m. at the Trinity St. Paul's Centre, the Toronto Consort is presenting an intriguing piece, Beowulf, a one man show by "Medieval Performer Benjamin Bagby, in one of the great epics of the European bardic tradition, of the battle between the hero Beowulf and the monster Grendel. Find out more about the performer and the show at http://www.bagbybeowulf.com/
On Sunday March 13, the Danish chamber group Ensemble Midtvest makes its Canadian debut, with a program of Brahms, Beethoven, and Nielsen, at Walter Hall. There is a young person's event, Music and Truffles, to happen at 1:15 pm. The regular concert is at 3:15 p.m.. Go to the Mooredale website for details -https://www.mooredaleconcerts.com/event/ensemble-midtvest-mt/
Also on March 13 Sunday afternoon, Attila Glatz Concert Productions is bringing to Toronto the Vienna Mozart Orchestra, with soloists soprano Sera Gosch and baritone Sokolin Asllani in a program of Mozart bon bons the likes of Eine kleine Nacht Musik, plus arias and duets from Die Zauberfloete and Le nozze di Figaro. Andras Deak conducts. This Orchestra is currently on a North American tour. http://www.roythomson.com/eventdetail/ViennaMozartOrchestra