Tag Archives: tso.ca

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/

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/

Holiday Stocking Stuffer: Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s ‘Messiah’ (Sunday December 18 – Friday December 23, 2016)

‘Handel’s Messiah is one of the great traditions of the season. Somehow, this time of year makes traditions seem even more significant. It is a turning point in the year—by the calendar, it is the time when the days cease to grow darker and begin to grow lighter with the promise of spring a few months away, and this great work is a perfect way to celebrate. Messiah was written to celebrate faith, but it is first and foremost a work of music, not of philosophy or religion. Great melodies transcend any divisiveness among people, making us one, voices united. Handel has achieved something remarkable in this wondrous music: it overcomes time and language, and links the past and the future. Simultaneously pious and joyous, it is music that is both old and still new, still able to communicate to contemporary audiences. Nicholas McGegan returns to the TSO with this wonderful celebration, and he is joined by four outstanding soloists and the ever popular Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.’

Peter Oundjian

Music Director

https://www.tso.ca/concert/messiah-0

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/

Holiday Stocking Stuffer: The Twelve Days of Christmas with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra – December 9 & 11, 2016

The malls maybe busy and we maybe run off our feet on our weekends – what better time is it to carve out some much needed early family and friends time before the holiday rush kicks in?

I encourage you to pick up tickets to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’. It is truly an event for the whole family.

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…a festive family concert! Sing along with your favourite carols and songs as part of The Twelve Days of Christmas—a hilarious live-action pageant, narrated by Canadian actor and improv comedian Colin Mochrie, that will have you rolling on the floor with laughter. If it isn’t already, the TSO’s annual family Christmas concert is sure to become your new holiday tradition!

These concerts feature the Toronto Symphony Orchestra under the direction of conductor Earl Lee, with the Highland Creek Pipe Band, Resonance Youth Choir and Tha Spot Holiday Dancers.

Program:

JAMES STEPHENSON: Holiday Overture

MOZART/arr. Aubrey Winter: Allegro from Toy Symphony in C major

STEVEN REINEKE: “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”

LUCAS RICHMAN: Hannukah Festival Overture

KRISTEN ANDERSON-LOPEZ: Music from Frozen

JOHN RUTTER: Candlelight Carol

TRADITIONAL/arr. Mitch Clarke: Frosty the Snowman

TCHAIKOVSKY: “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” from The Nutcracker

TCHAIKOVSKY: Trépak from The Nutcracker

ANDERSON: Sleigh Ride

DELVYN CASE: Rocket Sleigh

RICHARD HAYMAN: The Twelve Days of Christmas

FINNEGAN, PLOYHAR, LUCK: Rudolph’s Christmas Medley

Tickets can still be purchased and they are reasonably priced at $26! True stocking stuffer pricing that will keep your wallet happy as well as you and your loved ones.

https://www.tso.ca/concert/twelve-days-christmas

Review: Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in Concert’

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Original Score composed by Howard Shore Composer Howard Shore brings J.R.R. Tolkien’s literary imagination to vivid life with his Academy® and GRAMMY® Award–winning score to The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.  By the way, Howard Shore is Canadian!

Shore’s music expresses Peter Jackson’s film as an immense symphonic work—a uniquely developed vision drawn from centuries of stylistic tendencies. The music of The Lord of the Rings is counted among film music’s most complex and comprehensive works. This unique performance sets the score to the film, but allows the music to bear the narrative weight, creating a wholly new and dramatic live concert experience.

Shore’s score not only captures Fellowship’s sweeping emotion, thrilling vistas, and grand journeys, but also echoes the very construction of Tolkien’s Middle-earth.    Styles, instruments, and performers collected from around the world provide each of Tolkien’s cultures with a unique musical imprint. The rural and simple hobbits are rooted in a dulcet weave of Celtic tones.  The mystical Elves merit ethereal Eastern colours.

The Dwarves, Tolkien’s abrasive stonecutters, receive columns of parallel harmonies and a rough, guttural male chorus. The industrialized hordes of Orcs claim Shore’s most violent and percussive sounds, including Japanese taiko drums, metal bell plates and chains beaten upon piano wires, while the world of Men, flawed yet noble heirs of Middle-earth, is introduced with stern and searching brass figures. In operatic fashion, these musical worlds commingle, sometimes combining forces for a culminated power, other times violently clashing…and always bending to the will of the One Ring and its own ominous family of themes.

The music’s vast scope calls for symphony orchestra, mixed chorus, children’s chorus, and instrumental and vocal soloists singing in the Tolkien-crafted languages Quenya, Sindarin, Khuzdul, Adûnaic, Black Speech, as well as English. Original folk songs stand alongside diatonic hymns, knots of polyphony, complex tone clusters, and seething, dissonant aleatoric passages. It is purposeful, knowing writing, as contained in execution as it is far-reaching in influence; for within this broad framework resides a remarkably concise musical vision.

Shore’s writing assumes an earthy, grounded tone built on sturdy orchestral structures and a sense of line that is at once fluid yet stripped of frivolous ornamentation.

Says Howard Shore, “This is the first time that the complete score to The Fellowship of the Ring will be performed live to projection in Toronto. My first score for The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring, was the beginning of my journey into the world of Tolkien and I will always hold a special fondness for the music and the experience.”

—Doug Adams is a Chicago-based musician and writer. He is the author of the book The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films.

Review:

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

It was pretty fitting that we took in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in Concert’ last night as the end of the year creeps towards us. The 3 night sold out performance captured Howard Shore Academy Award ®– Winning Score at its essence and perfectly ‘lit’ the Roy Thomson Hall space with a musical respite from the damp weather outside.

There was a definite excited energy in the air as we took our seats above Roy Thomson Hall. We had a perfect view.  The space was filled and there were a few die heard fans in full Arwen gear in front of us.  We made sure to pick up our cocktails and popcorn prior to the performance.   It’s great that the Toronto Symphony Orchestra encourages guests to indulge on treats from the concession stand for evening performances.  It is a truly cultural experience watching a film and having the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s musical wares wash over you.

The nuances that Conductor, Ludwig Wicki, brought to the table last night amplified every note that may have gotten lost as we watched ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring’ on the big screen in the past.  From the lovely Kaitlyn Lusk’s soprano solos and the Canadian Children Opera Company’s subtle but eloquent odes to the landscapes and intimate scenes between characters – the emotion was at its height last night.  There were tears, laughter, sighs of relief and ‘yes!’ in unison but the audience members.   We were in union last night.  Alastair Thorburn-Vitols the boy soprano was gentle in his intent with his performance but he was sure to provide the goose bump texture for the evening.   The evening was rich, diverse and beautifully curated.

The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir’s deep bass made us cringe at numerous points throughout the performance. In those moments we constantly were made aware that the collective group of musicians, conductor and singers are true athletes.  A three hour performance with one intermission – we felt emotionally and physically raw.  Sure, these musicians are professionals – but how do they do it?  Not only were they able to evoke, provoke and keep up with a consistent momentum and still ‘slay’ us – they did it with joy, verve and it was gobsmackingly good.  The audience repaid the musicians with an epic prolonged standing ovation which was well deserved.

Music from the soundtrack that we visited in our travels together with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in the Shire and abroad included of:

PART I

Prologue: One Ring To Rule Them All

The Shire

Bag End

Very Old Friends

Farewell Dear Bilbo

Keep It Secret, Keep It Safe

A Conspiracy Unmasked

Three is Company

Saruman the White

A Shortcut to Mushrooms

Strider

The Nazgûl

Weathertop

The Caverns of Isengard

Give Up the Halfling

Orthanc

Rivendell

The Sword That Was Broken

The Council of Elrond Assembles

The Great Eye

Intermission

PART II

The Pass of Caradhras

The Doors of Durin

Moria

Gollum

Balin’s Tomb

Khazad-dûm

Caras Galadhon

The Mirror of Galadriel

The Fighting Uruk-hai

Parth Galen

The Departure of Boromir

The Road Goes Ever On…

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra is definitely on to something here.   Last night was an excellent example of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra not only illuminating the beauty of Howard Shore’s score but also raising the bar on entertainment in the city of Toronto.  The audience lay in awe as we left Roy Thomson Hall last night and brimming with gratitude for an art that is hardly fading thanks to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s efforts and gracious talent.

https://www.tso.ca/

Ticket Giveaway! Welcome in the holidays with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s “The Twelve Days of Christmas”

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…a festive family concert! Sing along with your favourite carols and songs as part of The Twelve Days of Christmas—a hilarious live-action pageant, narrated by Canadian actor and improv comedian Colin Mochrie, that will have you rolling on the floor with laughter. If it isn’t already, the TSO’s annual family Christmas concert is sure to become your new holiday tradition!

These concerts feature the Toronto Symphony Orchestra with the Highland Creek Pipe Band, Resonance Youth Choir and Tha Spot Holiday Dancers. About the TSO: Founded in 1922, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is one of Canada’s most important cultural institutions, recognized internationally. Music Director Peter Oundjian leads the TSO with a commitment to innovative programming and audience development through a broad range of performances that showcase the exceptional talents of the Orchestra along with a roster of distinguished guest artists and conductors. The TSO also serves the larger community with TSOUNDCHECK, the original under-35 ticket program; the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra; and music-education programs that reach tens of thousands of students each year.

Thank you to the generous folks at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra who have gifted Thirty Four Flavours with a pair of tickets to their ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’! Send me an email, tweet, or inbox me about what you are looking forward to during the holidays. Contest closes on Monday December 5, 2016.

Good Luck!

Twitter: @TorontoSymphony

Facebook: facebook.com/torontosymphonyorchestra

YouTube: youtube.com/torontosymphony

Instagram: instagram.com/torontosymphony

https://www.tso.ca/

Review – Toronto Symphony Orchestra: ‘Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton’

Featuring music from BATMAN, EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, TIM BURTON’S THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, ALICE IN WONDERLAND, and others.

“For all the costumed spectacle and fun, this event was a substantive, rich and revealing concert. Mr. Elfman’s music and Mr. Burton’s cinematic images are intricately enmeshed… Mr. Elfman took a more creative approach in creating this program. He devised suites for orchestra and chorus, fashioning his scores into sections of a two-part, evening-length composition with its own musical integrity…At one point, a slinky, sad waltz melody wafts from the strings [“Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985)”]. Gradually, accents are nudged by dissonant chords, and the music morphs into a hard-bitten dance. Imagine Prokofiev in Hollywood.” —New York Times

“It was an inspiring example of how to do a film music concert that should be forever imitated – a thoughtfully curated and varied program honoring the important marriage the music has to images while also letting the music breathe and come to life on its own.” —LA Weekly

“As imaginative and inspiring as Tim Burton himself, this exquisite performance of Danny Elfman’s genius at the Royal Albert Hall is dramatic storytelling in its purest form…Utterly evocative from the outset – chilling, rousing, innocent and epic – Elfman has the incredible ability to bring Tim Burton’s pictures to unique and individual life through music.” —The Upcoming

DANNY ELFMAN’S MUSIC FROM THE FILMS OF TIM BURTON explores the collaborative relationship between music and storytelling, and its importance in the filmmaking process. Composer Danny Elfman and visionary Hollywood filmmaker Tim Burton have created a unique concert experience, blending music and visuals to celebrate the three decades long partnership of two of Hollywood’s top creators. This live concert features Danny Elfman’s celebrated film scores brought to life on stage by orchestra and choir, enhanced by the stunning visuals of Tim Burton’s original sketches, drawings, story boards, and film clips rendered in exquisite detail on the big screen.

Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton has sold out performances around the world in cities like Tokyo, Los Angeles, London, New York, Lucerne, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Mexico City, Prague, Atlanta and Paris. In July 2015, it opened the Lincoln Center Festival with seven critically acclaimed performances.

Review:

Halloween is indeed full of creative fun, frivolity and spooky cheekiness for the kids. But for us adults, changing up the usual party scene and getting civilized with a pint and your spookiest outfit at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is now the ‘cool’ way to get down with the holiday.

Last year, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra made us welp with their orchestral accompaniment to Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’. This past weekend they upped their game with ‘Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton’.

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra did a smashing job of curating a detailed synopsis of ‘Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton’. The Toronto Symphony Orchestra stitched in Burton’s best films scores along with film clips, art work and moments long forgotten. For an Elfman and Burton fan, this evening was for them.

Elfman and Burton have melded their talents into creating tangible emotional triggers that not only amplifies their storytelling but teaches us about the humanity that lies deep within its characters. These characters are like you and I – warts and all.

Without touching film scores created by Elfman’s special touch we would be hard pressed not to shed a tear and still be talking about memorable characters like Edward Scissorhands, Jack, the Queen of Hearts and William Bloom.

In ‘Beetlejuice’ we are introduced to Elfman’s “danse macabre”. Elfman’s emo jitterbug was perfectly executed alongside Burton’s dark humour and costuming as seen through the likes of characters played by Catherine O’Hara, Michael Keaton and Winona Ryder.

Elfman’s and Burton’s collaboration on ‘Batman’ captures the Caped Crusader in a shadowy world, halfway between a film noir and an animated graphic novel. The film required a major symphonic score, and Elfman’s was a sensation – quirky and unpredictable, yet also so muscular and violently stark that it instantly helped define the comic book genre.

‘Sleepy Hollow’ was Burton’s love poem to the British Hammer horror movies he loved as a child, and Elfman responded with a richly atmospheric and gothic score. As a viewer, we may have only read about ‘Sleepy Hollow’ as a child or seen it in animated shows around Halloween.  Taking in a realistic film with a score that made us cringe in our seats was already successful in its horrific intent.

‘Big Fish’ mixed Burton-esque fantasy with a more serious personal drama, as a resentful son tries to come to terms with his father’s predilection for tall tales – loss, as the son sees them. For his touching Americana score to ‘Big Fish’, Elfman received his first Oscar nomination earned by one of his collaborations with Tim Burton.

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra did a tremendous job in providing a meditative Halloween journey through the use of Danny Elfman’s music alongside the Orpheus Choir of Toronto who added a pop up experience to the night. The two boy sopranos took us over the edge in reminding us of the innocent storytelling in front of the grandiose quirky imagery derived from Tim Burton’s unique imagination.

Be sure to check out the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s website for more unique programming in the week’s ahead.

https://www.tso.ca/