Tag Archives: Music

Toronto Symphony Orchestra Ticket Giveaway: ‘Best of Rodgers & Hammerstein’ (Wednesday April 19, 2017 at 8 p.m.)

This fabulous concert brings you unforgettable songs from every one of the eleven Broadway musicals that this legendary team created—solid-gold classics such as The Sound of Music, South Pacific, Carousel, Oklahoma!, and The King and I, with appealing rarities like Cinderella and Flower Drum Song, too!

All music and lyrics by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Orchestration by Robert Russell Bennett, unless otherwise indicated.

Arr. Adolph Deutsch/orch. Alexander Courage

Selections from Oklahoma!

Main Title (film version)

“Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’” (film version)

“People Will Say We’re in Love”

Orch. Don Walker

Selections from Carousel

The Carousel Waltz

“Soliloquy”

“You’ll Never Walk Alone”

“It’s a Grand Night for Singing” from State Fair

“The Gentleman Is a Dope” from Allegro

Selections from South Pacific

“You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught” (orch. Don Walker)

“I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy”

“Some Enchanted Evening”

“There Is Nothin’ Like a Dame”

Selections from The King and I

Overture

“I Have Dreamed”

“I Whistle a Happy Tune”

“No Other Love” from Me and Juliet

“Everybody’s Got a Home But Me” from Pipe Dream

“Waltz for a Ball” from Cinderella

“I Enjoy Being a Girl” from Flower Drum Song

Selections from The Sound of Music

Prologue and “The Sound of Music” (orch. Irvin Kostal)

“Edelweiss”

“Climb Ev’ry Mountain”

Principal Pops Conductor, Steven Reineke says, “I love the music of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, who together are arguably the most important and successful song writing duos in theatre history. While many of their songs from the eleven musicals on which they collaborated are classics now, it’s worth remembering that they revolutionized the genre when Rodgers and Hammerstein created them. Rather than simply being a diversion to the main action of the story, these song and dance numbers are directly integrated into the drama, furthering the plot and also providing social commentary. The music you’ll hear at this concert is sophisticated and affecting and I’m delighted to be performing these amazing songs with star vocalists Chilina Kennedy and Ryan Silverman, the glorious voices of the Amabile Choirs of London, Canada, and, of course, your Toronto Symphony Orchestra!”

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN

  • Richard Rodgers (1902–1979) and Oscar Hammerstein II (1895–1960) wrote eleven musicals in seventeen years, an astonishing accomplishment.
  • Although Rodgers and Hammerstein had collaborated on writing songs for Oklahoma! (1943), Carousel (1945), State Fair (1945), and Allegro (1947), the first musical they produced entirely on their own was South Pacific (1949). They would produce, or co-produce, every one of their musicals from then on.
  • Rodgers and Hammerstein’s casting process was a cottage industry unto itself. They held weekly Thursday morning audition sessions from which they would recruit fresh talent, who would first be sent out on road tours or be members of Broadway choruses before they became lead performers. For example, Shirley Jones worked in the choruses of South Pacific and Me and Juliet before she undertook the female lead role in the Oklahoma! film.

Thank you to our friends at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for gifting Thirty Four Flavours with a pair of tickets to the ‘Best of Rodgers & Hammerstein’ (Wednesday April 19, 2017 at 8 p.m. )performance!

What are the rules when entering the Thirty Four Flavours and Toronto Symphony Orchestra Ticket Giveaway?

Simple! Please sign up to Thirty Four Flavours Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thirtyfourflavours, Twitter https://twitter.com/34flavours, or email subscription to enter the draw. When you have signed up please send me a Facebook message, a tweet or email (thirtyfourflavours@gmail.com) telling me you why you want to win the Symphony tickets.

Deadline for the Thirty Four Flavours and the ‘Best of Rodgers & Hammerstein (Wednesday April 19, 2017 at 8 p.m.)’ Ticket Giveaway is Monday April 17, 2017.

https://www.tso.ca/concert/best-rodgers-hammerstein

Ticket Giveaway: The Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s ‘New Creations Festival’: Kronos Quartet (SaturdayMarch 11, 2017 – 7:30pm)

New music rock stars the Kronos Quartet add to their 800-plus world premières with Nicole Lizée’s Concerto, a wild and imaginative rave for this rare combination of instruments. Also on the program are daring works by Canada’s Cassandra Miller and Iceland’s Daníel Bjarnason.

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra is a Commissioning Partner for the Kronos Quartet’s Fifty for the Future project.

On Thursday, March 9, 2017, as part of the Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire project, the Kronos Quartet will lead three quartet masterclasses with members of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory of Music from 5:00 to 8:30pm.

For more than 40 years, the Kronos Quartet—David Harrington (violin), John Sherba (violin), Hank Dutt (viola), and Sunny Yang (cello)—has pursued a singular artistic vision, combining a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to continually re-imagining the string quartet experience. In the process, Kronos has become one of the most celebrated and influential groups of our time, performing thousands of concerts worldwide, releasing more than 50 recordings of extraordinary breadth and creativity, collaborating with many of the world’s most intriguing and accomplished composers and performers, and commissioning more than 850 works and arrangements for string quartet. In 2011, Kronos became the only recipients of both the Polar Music Prize and the Avery Fisher Prize, two of the most prestigious awards given to musicians. The group’s numerous awards also include a Grammy for Best Chamber Music Performance (2004) and “Musicians of the Year” (2003) from Musical America.

Kronos photographed in San Francisco, CA March 26, 2013©Jay Blakesberg

Kronos’ adventurous approach dates back to the ensemble’s origins. In 1973, David Harrington was inspired to form Kronos after hearing George Crumb’s Black Angels, a highly unorthodox, Vietnam War–inspired work featuring bowed water glasses, spoken word passages, and electronic effects. Kronos then began building a compellingly diverse repertoire for string quartet, performing and recording works by 20th-century masters (Bartók, Webern, Schnittke), contemporary composers (Sophia Gubaidulina, Bryce Dessner, Aleksandra Vrebalov), jazz legends (Ornette Coleman, Maria Schneider, Thelonious Monk), rock artists (guitar legend Jimi Hendrix, Brazilian electronica artist Amon Tobin, and Icelandic indie-rock group Sigur Rós), and artists who truly defy genre (performance artist Laurie Anderson, composer/sound sculptor/inventor Trimpin, and singer-songwriter/poet Patti Smith).

Thank you to our friends at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for gifting Thirty Four Flavours with a pair of tickets to the ‘New Creations Festival’: Kronos Quartet (Saturday, March 11, 2017 – 7:30pm) performance!

What are the rules when entering the Thirty Four Flavours and Toronto Symphony Orchestra Ticket Giveaway?

Simple! Please sign up to Thirty Four Flavours Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thirtyfourflavours, Twitter https://twitter.com/34flavours, or email subscription to enter the draw. When you have signed up please send me a Facebook message, a tweet or email (thirtyfourflavours@gmail.com) telling me you why you want to win the Symphony tickets.

Deadline for the Thirty Four Flavours and the ‘New Creations Festival’:  Kronos Quartet (Saturday, March 11, 2017 – 7:30pm) Ticket Giveaway is Wednesday March 8, 2017.

https://www.tso.ca/concert/kronos-quartet

Ticket Giveaway: The Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s ‘New Creations Festival’: James Ehnes (Wednesday, March 8, 2017 – 8:00pm)

Known for his virtuosity and probing musicianship, violinist James Ehnes has performed in over 35 countries on five continents, appearing regularly in the world’s great concert halls and with many of the most celebrated orchestras and conductors.

In the 2016-2017 season James continues his cross-Canada recital tour in celebration of his 40th birthday, performs the complete Bach Sonatas and Partitas in Stresa, Montreux, Los Angeles, Liverpool, and Amsterdam, and joins the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra on a tour of China and the National Arts Centre Orchestra on a tour of Eastern Canada. James also holds artist residencies with the Melbourne Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, and the Scotia Festival, undertakes two tours with the Ehnes Quartet, and leads the winter and summer festivals of the Seattle Chamber Music Society, where he is the Artistic Director.

Superstar violinist James Ehnes performs a concerto that Pulitzer Prize–winner Aaron Jay Kernis wrote especially for him. Festival curator Owen Pallett offers his latest piece, Songs From an Island.

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s ‘New Creations Festival’ has snapped up James Ehnes to highlight their ‘New Creations Festival’ with light in these dark winter months.

As part of the performance night, be sure to enjoy Harry Stafylakis: Shadows Radiant (TSO Co-commission) [2′], Aaron Jay Kernis: Violin Concerto (World Première/TSO Co-commission) [25′], Owen Pallett: Songs From An Island (World Première/TSO Commission) [15′] and Nico Muhly: Mixed Messages [11′].

Thank you to our friends at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for gifting Thirty Four Flavours with a pair of tickets to the ‘New Creations Festival’: James Ehnes (Wednesday, March 8, 2017 – 8:00pm) performance!

What are the rules when entering the Thirty Four Flavours and Toronto Symphony Orchestra Ticket Giveaway?

Simple! Please sign up to Thirty Four Flavours Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thirtyfourflavours, Twitter https://twitter.com/34flavours, or email subscription to enter the draw. When you have signed up please send me a Facebook message, a tweet or email (thirtyfourflavours@gmail.com) telling me you why you want to win the Symphony tickets.

Deadline for the Thirty Four Flavours and the ‘New Creations Festival’: James Ehnes (Wednesday, March 8, 2017 – 8:00pm) Ticket Giveaway is Monday March 6, 2017.

Limited tickets available.

https://www.tso.ca/concert/james-ehnes

Ticket Giveaway: The Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s ‘New Creations Festival’: Tanya Tagaq (Saturday, March 4, 2017 – 8:00pm)

tanya-tagaq-1-credit-ivan-otis

Inuit throat singer and artist Tanya Tagaq won the Polaris Prize for best Canadian album in 2014, for Animism. Those who thought she had then made her definitive artistic statement are in for a surprise.

Also in for a shock are those who thought international success, playing to major festivals and packed houses all over the world, would lead to a mellower sound, or a more laid back approach.

Tagaq follows up Animism with Retribution, an even more musically aggressive, more aggressively political, more challenging, more spine tingling, more powerful masterpiece.

The Inuit people live on the cutting edge of the climate emergency. As sea ice dwindles at astonishing rates, they are witnessing the death of the entire Arctic ecosystem, as the colonialist machine rolls on, mining newly uncovered areas for diamonds. And the Inuit know the truth about the contemporary natures of the crimes at the center of Canada’s identity. Tagaq herself is a survivor of Canada’s infamous genocidal Residential School System, something most Canadians would rather imagine as a dealt-with thing of the distant past.

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s ‘New Creations Festival’ has snapped up Tanya Tagaq to highlight their ‘New Creations Festival’ with light in these dark winter months.

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s ‘New Creations Festival’ program ranges from an imposing work for piano and orchestra by Jörg Widmann to the World Premières of works by the TSO’s RBC Affiliate Composer Jordan Pal and Tanya Tagaq, written with Christine Duncan and Jean Martin, with orchestrations by Christopher Mayo.

Thank you to our friends at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for gifting Thirty Four Flavours with a pair of tickets to the ‘New Creations Festival’: Tanya Tagaq (Saturday, March 4, 2017 – 8:00pm) performance!

What are the rules when entering the Thirty Four Flavours and Toronto Symphony Orchestra Ticket Giveaway?

Simple! Please sign up to Thirty Four Flavours Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thirtyfourflavours, Twitter https://twitter.com/34flavours, or email subscription to enter the draw. When you have signed up please send me a Facebook message, a tweet or email (thirtyfourflavours@gmail.com) telling me you why you want to win the Symphony tickets.

Deadline for the Thirty Four Flavours and the ‘New Creations Festival’: Tanya Tagaq Ticket Giveaway is Monday February 27, 2017.

If you don’t win tickets, make sure you grab a NEW CREATIONS FESTIVAL PASS! See all 3 shows for only $30! Limited quantity.

https://www.tso.ca/concert/tanya-tagaq

http://tanyatagaq.com/

Review: The Canadian Opera Company’s “The Magic Flute” from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (February 1, 3, 4, 7, 10, 16, 18, 19 and 24, 2017)

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It’s a fairy-tale start to 2017 with the revival of the Canadian Opera Company’s playful and whimsical production of Mozart’s beloved opera, The Magic Flute. Bernard Labadie, one of Canada’s pre-eminent conductors, makes his COC debut with one of the most popular operas in the world with a cast of international and Canadian rising stars. The Magic Flute was last performed by the COC in 2011 and returns February 1, 3, 4, 7, 10, 16, 18, 19 and 24, 2017.

Canadian conductor Bernard Labadie is a specialist in Baroque and Classical repertoire who “moulds the phrases, plucks out all-important details in the texture and radiates an infectious joy in the music” (The Telegraph). An Officer of the Order of Canada and a knight of Ordre national du Québec, Labadie is a regular guest with the premier orchestras across North America and gaining increasing renown in Europe. He now brings his musicianship to the COC for the first time to lead the internationally acclaimed COC Orchestra and Chorus through some of Mozart’s most beautiful and infectious melodies.

The COC production was conceived by Tony Award®-winning director Diane Paulus with a purposeful sense of fun, playfulness and whimsy in this theatrical version of Mozart’s humorous, sometimes profound, exploration of the trials of growing up, seeking ideals and finding love. COC Ensemble Studio graduate and artistic director at the Thousand Islands Playhouse, Ashlie Corcoran, makes her COC mainstage debut staging the 2017 revival, based on Paulus’ original direction. The production is full of wonder and wisdom in following the adventures of Prince Tamino as he undergoes feats of heroism to rescue his love, Pamina, from the forces of evil.

The look and feel of the COC’s production evokes an 18th-century storybook sensibility in its costume and set design by acclaimed designer Myung Hee Cho with slight contemporary touches in colours and textures. The period feel carries through in the lighting design by Scott Zielinski who incorporates such 18th-century performance practices as candles, torches, and reflections off shiny surfaces and mirrors. The production conjures up a play-within-a-play scenario with the guests of a young girl’s name day celebration finding themselves entertained by an opera to only become the characters themselves, with the line between performer and audience quickly blurring. The ensuing trials and tribulations of the play travel through the girl’s home and take place over the course of one night, beginning at evening and ending at dawn.

Leading the young cast are two breakout tenors from the COC’s own Ensemble Studio, recent graduates Andrew Haji and Owen McCausland, who share the role of Prince Tamino. They are matched with two sopranos to watch: Russian Elena Tsallagova and Canadian Kirsten MacKinnon, singing the role of Princess Pamina, in their Canadian and COC debuts, respectively.

Two of the finest baritones of their generation, Canadians Joshua Hopkins and Phillip Addis, return to the COC to share the role of the bird catcher, Papageno. COC Ensemble Studio graduate soprano Jacqueline Woodley, heard last season as the Forest Bird in Siegfried, brings her exceptional talent to the role of Papageno’s sweetheart, Papagena.

The Queen of the Night is brought to life by the thrilling coloratura of COC Ensemble Studio graduate soprano Ambur Braid.

The priest-king Sarastro is sung by Croatian bass Goran Jurić, in his Canadian debut, and American bass Matt Boehler. The roles of Monostatos and the Speaker are sung by two notable voices on the international opera scene, COC Ensemble Studio graduate tenor Michael Colvin and German baritone Martin Gantner, respectively.

Rounding out the cast are many new and returning Ensemble Studio members: graduate soprano Aviva Fortunata, mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo, in her COC mainstage debut, and graduate mezzo-soprano Lauren Segal are the First, Second and Third Ladies, respectively; tenor Charles Sy sings the First Priest and is joined by baritone Bruno Roy, in his COC mainstage debut, as the Second Priest. Alternating in the role of the First Armed Man will be Ensemble Studio graduate tenors Owen McCausland and Andrew Haji, when not singing the role of Tamino, with graduate bass Neil Craighead as the Second Armed Man. Singing the First, Second and Third Spirits are members of the Canadian Children’s Opera Company.

The Magic Flute was Mozart’s final opera, receiving its premiere only three months before his death in December 1791. From the spectacular fireworks of the Queen of the Night to Pamina’s anguished lament and Papageno’s comic antics, the charm and profundity of Mozart’s music has made The Magic Flute a timeless classic in the years since with it consistently ranked as one of the most performed operas in the world.

The COC’s production of The Magic Flute is sung in German with English SURTITLESTM.

The COC performs The Magic Flute at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. The COC’s 16/17 season marks the 10th anniversary of the Four Seasons Centre, Canada’s first purpose-built opera house, which opened in fall 2006 and has been hailed internationally as one of the finest in the world.

TICKET INFORMATION

Single tickets for The Magic Flute range from $35 – $235 and box seats, when available, are $350. Tickets are now on sale, available online at coc.ca, by calling 416-363-8231, or in person at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts Box Office (145 Queen St. W.). For more information on specially priced tickets available to young people under the age of 15, standing room, Opera Under 30 presented by TD Bank Group, student groups and rush seating, visit coc.ca.

Review:

The Canadian Opera Company’s “The Magic Flute” from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is an opera that digs deep into the psychopathy of what a ‘happy ending’ really means. The audience is immediately thrown into a play within a play and are tasked to feel out the emotional mayhem transforming itself in front of their eyes.

Indeed fairtyale like with injections of comedy throughout the over 2 hour production – the joyfully painted portraiture as seen through exuberant costuming and enthusiastic stage production is thwarted by the ‘in your face’ theme of the mistreatment of women in “The Magic Flute”.

This production is filled with robust romance and decadent melodrama. It is also a wonderful introduction to Mozart’s work.  “The Magic Flute” is accessible and indeed very hummable.  There was many a toe tapping and giggling felt in the aisles throughout the evening.

Cheeky, campiness and majesty aside, our heroine, Pamina is offered to the audience in a rich text for feminine critique. Pamina represents the ideal woman, a good wife and daughter. Her mother, the Queen of the Night, is all attitude, heavy on the melodrama and exciting.  Whereas Prince Tamino and Papageno show us aristocracy’s stiff upper lip in contrast to the court jester.

Director, Diane Paulus, states “We have set the action in 1791, the year in which the opera was first performed, against the backdrop of the Enlightenment. The entire play-within-a-play is presented in the open space of a nobleman’s garden, itself a place of enchantment and symbolic power during this historical period. As the drama unfolds, the actors leave the theatre behind and continue to enact their story in an elaborate labyrinth that covers the grounds of the estate. The theatricality of their journey is enhanced by the mysteries of the outdoor world beneath the cover of night where they act out the rituals of the drama. All distinctions between fantasy and reality fade away as their pageant lasts through the night until dawn.”

The staging of “The Magic Flute” is grand, complex and ethereal. It was indeed the icing on the cake.  Watching the singers and chorus frolic, clash and find a common ground amongst lit wall sconces, well-manicured shrubbery, revolving hedge doors and The Shining like passageways transported us into a European country side far away from big city living.

The arts and crafts paper dragons, alligators, birds and giraffes were a delight to see. The sparkles of glittery dresses, kitschy fire walls and umbrella festooned men in electric blue jumped off the stage.  These vignettes felt like a scene out of “Beauty School Drop Out” from Grease.  These simple artisan notes added a pop up experience to the production and again continued to hypnotize the audience into a light mood even though the textures of music brought a silence to linger upon and the idea if the end really does justify the means?

Be sure to dwell on the gorgeous sicilienne aria for “Queen of the Night” as sung by Ambur Braid. It is an athletic feat and beautifully curated.  Think puncture holes through the heart and mesmerizing all in one shot.  The aria’s provided a rocking rhythm throughout the production and emulated a cradle of sorrow for the audience to breathe in in small bursts.

Elena Tsallagova as Pamina, Goran Jurić as Sarastro and Andrew Haji as Tamino created a safe place for the audience to lean into and learn about Mozart’s art. Their performances also allowed one to reflect quietly on the intent behind their deliveries.

“The Magic Flute” leaves the audience with the ideals of “reason, wisdom and light” as a take away. Perhaps easy ideas to read on paper, but difficult after a production that has opened up a dialogue that touches upon themes that are au courant in today’s current political climate.  That said, “The Magic Flute” is an opera to be reckoned with.  Emanate a grateful nod to the Canadian Opera Company for providing food for thought and a deep breath as we commence 2017 together.

http://www.coc.ca/

Ticket Giveaway: The Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s ‘Canadian Mosaic’: Canadian Legacy (Saturday January 21, 2017 7:30 p.m.)

‘Welcome to Canada Mosaic, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s celebration of Canada 150! I have always been inspired by the cultural fabric of this country. The generosity of vision, spirit of identity, and strength of our inclusion makes the national mosaic concept an inspiration for our programming. As a Signature Project of the Government of Canada, our programming stretches far and wide, collaborating with over 40 communities in all of our provinces and most of our territories, as well as a diverse group of notable artists.

Throughout 2017, we are celebrating the legacy left to us by our past composers, upholding the fresh insight brought to us through vigorous commissioning of our composers of today, and looking to the future by recording all Canada Mosaic works digitally so they can be enjoyed for years to come.

In 2017, you will notice the word “Sesquie” at the top of many concerts. We asked orchestras across the nation to choose a composer with whom they felt an affinity, either through locality, personal relationship, or history. This short, fanfare-inspired orchestral work will be performed by the partner orchestra and the TSO in their respective cities, confirming not only two performances in two different communities, but the celebration of our orchestra friends on our stage.

I am especially proud of the work we are doing digitally. Our live Canada Mosaic performances are recorded and will be available at TSO.CA/CanadaMosaic. This website also includes a dynamic e-learning system for students of all ages, where TSO’s innovative digital player will allow viewers to choose, in real time, between 20 camera angles. You will have the best seat in the house to delve deeper into our growing Canadian repertoire.

Here’s to another 150!’

Peter Oundjian

Music Director

Alain Trudel

Birth: Sesquie for Canada’s 150th

(WORLD PREMIÈRE/TSO CO-COMMISSION)

Godfrey Ridout

Fall Fair

Pierre Mercure

Kaléidoscope

André Mathieu/arr. Gilles Bellemare

Rhapsodie romantique

Jean Coulthard

Introduction and Three Folks Songs

from Canada Mosaic

  1. Introduction: Lullaby for a Snowy Night
  2. Mam’zelle québecoise

III. The Contented House

  1. Billowing Fields of Golden Wheat

John Weinzweig

Suite from Red Ear of Corn

  1. Tribal Dance
  2. Ceremonial Dance

Birth is a modest tribute to the people, of all cultures and origins, who make up this great country in which we all have the privilege of living.

The exciting and tuneful Fall Fair is one of the most frequently performed Canadian orchestral works; in fact, it is a prime candidate for the title of “Great Canadian Overture”.  It was commissioned through the CBC for a United Nations Day concert at the General Assembly Building in New York. Sir Ernest MacMillan conducted the première. It portrays the hustle and bustle of an autumn carnival, the type of event that Ridout remembered attending frequently in Lakefield, Ontario, during the 1920s.  A nostalgic melody introduced by English horn provides lyrical contrast.

The score of the Rhapsodie romantique (Romantic Rhapsody) came to Lefèvre in a mysterious manner. It simply showed up at his home, accompanied only by a message stating, “I can’t tell you whom I am; I can only say that…you are the only person who should have this score.” Lefèvre commissioned Gilles Bellemare to revise the orchestration, then he and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal gave the much-belated première on April 4, 2006. The Rhapsodie is cast in a single, multi-sectioned movement. Effusively emotional, exciting and playful in the style of one of Mathieu’s idols, Rachmaninoff, it makes a welcome.

The Red Ear of Corn suite consists of a strongly rhythmic Tribal Dance, a slow, atmospheric Ceremonial Dance, and a lively, high-stepping Barn Dance to which the residents of a Quebec village celebrate with a corn-husking bee. The Toronto Symphony Orchestra performed the Barn Dance on its 1987 tour of Northern Canada, with Sir Andrew Davis conducting.

Alain Lefèvre: piano

Hailed as a “hero” (Los Angeles Times), a “spectacular pianist” (Fanfare), a “smashing” performer (Washington Post), and an “artistic winner” (Music Week, London), JUNO Award–winner Alain Lefèvre has also been acclaimed as “a pianist who breaks the mold” (International Piano, London) and “who stands out from the typical trends and artifices offered on the international scene” (Classica). He has revived and championed the music of the forgotten prodigy, composer, and pianist André Mathieu, and collaborated on the motion picture on Mathieu’s life, L’Enfant prodige (The Child Prodigy) in 2010, as music director, pianist, and composer.

Thank you to our friends at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for gifting Thirty Four Flavours with a pair of tickets to The Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s ‘Canadian Mosaic’: Canadian Legacy for their  Saturday January 21, 2017 7:30 p.m. performance!

What are the rules when entering the Thirty Four Flavours and Toronto Symphony Orchestra Ticket Giveaway?

Simple! Please sign up to Thirty Four Flavours Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thirtyfourflavours, Twitter https://twitter.com/34flavours, or email subscription to enter the draw. When you have signed up please send me a Facebook message, a tweet or email (thirtyfourflavours@gmail.com) telling me you why you want to win the Symphony tickets.

Deadline for the Thirty Four Flavours and The Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s ‘Canadian Mosaic’: Canadian Legacy Ticket Giveaway is Wednesday January 18, 2017 at 9 a.m..

https://www.tso.ca/

Review: Toronto Symphony Orchestra: ‘A Jann Arden Christmas’

‘The holiday season is such a wonderful time for music—we hear everywhere during this period of the year some of the finest classical music written for the occasion as well as inspiring traditional carols and tuneful popular classics. The brilliant, multi-talented Canadian artist Jann Arden recently recorded her take on the season’s most beloved songs and I’m thrilled to have her perform them in her début with your Toronto Symphony Orchestra! The beautiful voices of the Etobicoke School of the Arts Holiday Chorus also join us for this performance, and you, too, will have the chance to contribute to this Christmas soundscape in our annual sing-along. May this concert of holiday music warm your hearts and get you in the holiday spirit!’

Steven Reineke

Principal Pops Conductor

Review:

Elegant, sexy and savvy. The Toronto Symphony was in top form last night.  We were ready to be ‘sleighed’ with holiday anthems.  Add the likes of the Etobicoke School of the Arts Holiday Chorus and the incomparable Jann Arden, whom brought the house down within seconds of taking the stage.

The evening was robust with songs like ‘The Best Christmas of All’, ‘Winter Wonderland’ and ‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.’ The audience caroled using carol sheets in their TSO Program book, the air was filled with warmth and fairy lights and the mood was festive and jovial.

When Arden took the stage with her cheeky humour on show and her voice in all its abundance ready to tear the walls down in Roy Thomson Hall, the audience was warmed up and ready for her.   She gifted the audience with songs from her song catalogue including of ‘Insensitive’ and ‘Waiting for Canada’.  The Canadian flag’s poppy red colour was emblazoned on Arden’s gorgeous chiffon dress and bejeweled gown.  We were on the same page.

After the intermission the Toronto Symphony gave us ‘Carol of the Bells’ from Mykola Leontovych/arr. David Hamilton and ‘“We Need A Little Christmas” from Mame’ from Jerry Herman/arr. Robert Wendel. Perhaps not all that well known but beautifully positioned in the evening.  TSO did a wonderful job playing the audience old standards, blues, folk and pop songs.  It was an evening for everyone.  The audience was satiated, ready to learn, have a giggle and most importantly have a great time.

Arden had many intimate moments with the audience last night. She spoke of road stories, her writing process, sweet comments to orchestra members and a rawness only she can pull off in a space as prestigious as Roy Thomson Hall.

She created a gorgeous space between her and her fans last night when she spoke of her collaboration with Bob Foster on ‘Good Mother’. Arden spoke of scribbling notes in the lining of a cigarette liner and how she wanted to create an ode to her parents.  The moment felt like she was whispering her narrative to every member of the audience singularly.  Intimate, emotional, generous and fraught with pain.  As the Toronto Symphony Orchestra started to play the opening bars of ‘Good Mother’ the audience sighed a sigh full of anticipation, Kleenex were at the ready, men sat up straighter in their seats and other’s leaned forward.  The Toronto Symphony Orchestra illumined ‘Good Mother’.  It took the audience to another level of loving Arden’s music and winning us over with TSO’s gorgeous arrangement.  People wept, some stood up and cheered.  The festive love embraced us as the song concluded.

The night could not be complete without an appearance by Jolly Saint Nick who ‘ho, ho ho’d’ down the aisles and then helped in leading the audience with a ‘The Jingle, Jangle Sing-along’. It was upbeat and fun.  What better way to warm up our voices by busting them out into the holiday season with the professional help of TSO?

The Etobicoke School of the Arts Chorus is comprised of the Grades 11 and 12 music theatre classes at the Etobicoke School of the Arts (ESA). The music theatre department, headed by Paul Aikins, is one of six majors offered at ESA, which is the oldest free-standing arts-focused high school in Canada. Their contribution was boisterous, electric and punctuated the evening’s program with a lightness that can only be captured by the talented voices of these youngsters.

As Arden said last night, ‘Music is the fabric of life’. It’s true.  The evening delivered was joyous, a true respite from work drama and encouraging in the colours of red, green and gold of the holiday season into the fabric of our lives in the present.  Music as performed by the likes of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Jann Arden is to be inhaled and exhaled and perhaps even channelled into 2017 as we move ahead into the next year of our collective lives.

https://www.tso.ca/