Browsing: Strings

Left: Soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian opens the TSO season in Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony. Photo: Dario AcostaWhile it is sad that the memorably sizzling summer is all but a distant memory, Torontonians can console themselves with the start of an equally hot fall music season. Several major music presenters start their season this week, chief among them the Toronto Symphony Orchestra on Thursday September 23 8 pm at Roy Thomson Hall with Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection”. Soloists are soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian and mezzo Susan Platts, two of the brightest lights in the Canadian musical firmament. Supporting them is the Toronto Mendelssohn…

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By Crystal ChanFounding cellist Rebecca Wenham announced her resignation from the Cecilia String Quartet on September 10, 2010. Wenham cites her plan to move to California as the cause.She will be replaced by cellist Rachel Desoer. Desoer will make her first appearance with Cecilia at the group’s season opener: a performance as soloists with the Royal Conservatory Orchestra on Nuit Blanche (October 2, 8 p.m., Koerner Hall).Desoer attended The Juilliard School, McGill University, and received her Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin College. Past awards include at the 5th Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition.Just days ago on September 5,…

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by Paul E. RobinsonSUMMER MUSIC FESTIVALS 2010Aspen Music Festival and School After a few days in Vail enjoying the music-making of Jaap van Zweden and the Dallas Symphony at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, Marita and I drove over to Aspen, about 100 miles away through the mountains. What we found there was a much older community and a festival and school operating on an equally high artistic plane but with a more varied range of goals and activities. True, Aspen has been in the news lately for its administrative infighting which saw music director and conductor David Zinman…

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Violinist James Ehnes at the Glenn Gould Studio(Photo: Benjamin Ealovega)Canadian violinist James Ehnes is giving a joint recital with pianist Jamie Parker at the Glenn Gould Studio on Tuesday, May 18th at 7 pm. This is a fund-raising event for Jeunesses Musicales Ontario. On the program are works by Beethoven, Bach, Schumann and Brahms. Any chance to hear these two fine Canadian artists individually is not to be missed, and this recital represents the first time for them making music together. The Flying Dutchman, the first of three productions that makes up the COC spring season, closes this week after…

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Soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian as Ilia in COC’s Idomeneo(Photo: Michael Cooper)The vocal scene this week continues with all three COC productions appearing on the stage of the Four Seasons Centre. I have now seen all three, and can truthfully report that they are all hits. Yesterday I attended the opening of Idomeneo. One of my most memorable evenings at the opera was a production of this Mozart opera at the O’Keefe Centre back in 1987, with sets and costumes designed by Michael Levine. To me, that show marked a sea change of production values at the COC, from very traditional and…

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By L.H. Tiffany HsiehViolinist Stefan Jackiw didn’t draw a full house at Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall Wednesday night (May 5, 2010). That’s too bad. He is a rare find.The newly 25-year-old American, who looks like 15, made his gentle Toronto debut with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3 in G major, K.216. With his eyes closed, Jackiw swayed and turned. There was no fanfare, just pure and simple. His bowings were long and then short, quick and then slow, creating sweet poetic cadences the way Mozart had intended. By the time the catchy rondo ended softly in thin…

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By L.H. Tiffany HsiehIt was hot at Markham Theatre on Wednesday night, when violinist Sarah Chang and pianist Andrew von Oeyen fed a full house of hungry audience with something temperamental, something serene, and something romantic.The instrumental duo’s evident chemistry was a powerhouse in Brahms’s Sonatensatz and Sonata No. 3 in D minor. Chang, at times aggressive but never forceful, was sensitive to the expressive details. Along with von Oeyen’s vibrant and solid playing, the pair produced urgency and drama through the stormy passages.Opening the second half of the program was American composer Christopher Theofanidis’ Fantasy for violin and piano.…

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