Ladies’ Morning Musical Club – Playing it Positive in 2021–22


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Ten concerts: This we know for sure. Almost certainly starting on Sept. 12 with violinist Blake Pouliot, who, as a Canadian, cannot be stopped at the border or otherwise prevented from playing in Pollack Hall at the immemorial time of 3:30 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.

As for the U.K.-based Doric String Quartet, they can be called probables for Oct. 3, given the general downward trajectory of COVID numbers in the middle of the pandemic’s second summer. “If the borders aren’t open, we’ll have to find something else,” says Constance Pathy, president of the venerable Ladies’ Morning Musical Club.

Pathy views such vicissitudes with a certain stoicism, having booked a full 2020-21 season that morphed into a trio of concerts by Canadian residents performed before socially distanced crowds as small as 119 in a facility that normally accommodates 600.

Since LMMC subscribers are given preference, no single tickets were offered for sale. Nor are any available for the 130th season. So far. “I figure that by the second half we’ll be more or less back to normal,” Pathy says. “For the first half of the season I’m not taking anything for granted.”

In some respects the process of concert presentation is simplified this season. Loyal to its artists, the LMMC has pledged to reschedule 2020 and 2021 events cancelled because of the pandemic. The roster of such concerts includes Pouliot, a LMMC debutant, and pianists Stewart Goodyear (Dec. 5), Lise de la Salle (Feb. 6) and Pavel Kolesnikov (debut, April 10). Further COVID-cancelled artists will be heard in 2022-23 or 2023-24.

Other performances in 2021-22 are by the Quartetto di Cremona (debut, Nov. 14), the Goldmund Quartett (debut, Feb. 27), the Fauré Quartett (a piano quartet, March 20) and the Han-Setzer-Finckel Trio (a piano trio, May 1). An interesting case on Oct. 24 is Matt Haimovitz, the McGill University cellist who performed as a Canada-based stand-in on April 11, 2021. Meagan Milatz will again be the pianist. “His concert was very successful,” Pathy explained. “We had a cancellation for the 2021-22 season. Since the people who were there were very enthusiastic, we brought him back – unusually quickly, I would have to concede.”

LMMC patrons include a healthy quota of seniors. Might some be reluctant to return to regular concert-going? “There is a hard core that is calling all the time and saying ‘we’re ready to come back’,” Pathy says. “But I think a lot of people – since we have a mature audience – are nervous. We’ll have to see whether they come back right away.”

Either way, do not expect to see any cameras on the stage of Pollack Hall. Nor should you waste any time looking for LMMC webcasts. “We are THE organization of live music,” Pathy says. “It’s a totally different ball game. There is interaction between performers and the audience. You can’t replace that.”

This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)


About Author

Arthur Kaptainis has been a classical music critic since 1986. His articles have appeared in Classical Voice North America and La Scena Musicale as well as Musical Toronto. Arthur holds an MA in musicology from the University of Toronto. Since 2019, Arthur is co-editor of La Scena Musicale.

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