[email protected] celebrations in January is now an annual event at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Kicking off this year’s offering is Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 K. 551, the “Jupiter.” The return of Quebec conductor Bernard Labadie after his long battle with T-cell lymphoma is a cause for celebration in itself. His life-threatening illness was reported in Norman Lebrecht’s Slipped Disc (blog) http://slippedisc.com/2015/11/happy-news-maestro-returns-from-year-long-bout-with-cancer/
The program opens with the Overture to Don Giovanni, K. 527. Pianist Alexandre Tharaud is the soloist in Piano Concerto No. 9 K. 271.
Two marvelous Canadian singers, tenor Frederic Antoun and bass-baritone Philippe Sly are singing one Mozart aria each – Sly sings Leporello’s “Catalogue Aria” and Antoun sings Don Ottavio’s “Dalla sua pace.” Not very much, so hopefully there might be an encore? Performance on Saturday Jan. 16 8 pm at Roy Thomson Hall is repeated the following day at 3 pm, at the George Weston Recital Hall in North York. http://tso.ca/en-ca/concerts-and-tickets/2015-2016-Season/EventDetails/Mozart-Jupiter-Symphony.aspx
The TSO’s What Makes It Great? series is presenting a performance of one of Mozart’s most familiar works, his Symphony No. 40. Conductor Rob Kapilow speaks about this piece, followed by a performance. It is on Friday Jan. 15 7:30 pm at Roy Thomson Hall. This series is designed for newcomers to classical music who wants to learn more about the pillars of the standard repertoire, or for experienced concert goers who want a refresher. http://tso.ca/en-ca/concerts-and-tickets/2015-2016-Season/EventDetails/What-Makes-It-Great-Mozart-Symphony-40.aspx
An interesting event this week is the first Tafelmusik Vocal Competition to take place on Saturday Jan. 16th at 1 pm. Nine singers – alto, tenor and bass, and curiously no sopranos! – are the finalists chosen from over 65 contestants. They will sing baroque arias accompanied by Christopher Bagan on harpsichord and organ. Finalists are mezzo-sopranos Johanna Bronk and Kim Leeds; countertenor Andrew Rader; tenors Jacques-Olivier Chartier, Zach Finkelstein and Brian Giebler; and baritones Jonathan Woody, Jeremy Ludwig and David Rugger. Members of the jury are Mary Morrison, Catherine Robbin, Jeanne Lamon and Ivars Taurins. Three winners will be chosen plus the Audience Choice. The winners will be soloists in the final concert of the Tafelmusik season, performing Zelenka’s Missa omnium sanctorum.