Tuesday, November 19, 2019 – The seventh edition of the 21C Music Festival will include eight concerts over three weekends, from Saturday, January 11 to Saturday, January 25, 2020. Two additional events celebrate Grammy Award-winning composer and one of America’s most renowned creative pioneers, Laurie Anderson. Anderson’s presentation of The Art of Falling in Koerner Hall is already sold out, but audiences can experience her work performed by students of The Glenn Gould School in Temerty Theatre, at the Royal Ontario Museum’s virtual reality installation, To the Moon, and in a film screening of her documentary, Heart of a Dog at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema.
The 21C Music Festival will include 5 world premieres by four Canadian composers (Allison Au, Barbara Croall, Ryan Davis, and Bekah Simms) and one American (John Patitucci), 1 North American premiere (Miguel Azguime), and 4 Canadian premieres (Alice Ping Yee Ho, Zakir Hussain, Danilo Pérez, and Kaija Saariaho).
Canadian violinist Véronique Mathieu performs a 21C Afterhours concert with a program titled True North, featuring a Canadian premiere (Alice Ping Yee Ho’s 4 Seasons Suite) as well as the world premiere of a piece by Odawa First Nations composer, Barbara Croall, commissioned by The Royal Conservatory; 21C Cinq à Sept includes a world premiere by violist Ryan Davis for viola, voice and live electronics, Laurie Anderson’s Shutter Island and the Canadian premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s Laconisme de l’aile; The Glenn Gould School New Music Ensemble has dedicated its concert to the late American-Canadian composer Michael Colgrass and features his piece Hammer and Bow, alongside the North American premiere of Miguel Azguime’s Aguas Marinhas and the world premiere of Bekah Simms’s Bestiary I & II; a special Royal Conservatory Orchestra concert conducted by Zane Dalal will consist of an improvisation with Zakir Hussain, John Patitucci, Danilo Peréz, and Brian Blade, the Canadian premiere of Hussain’s tabla concerto Peshkar, and the world premiere of Patitucci’s Hypocrisy for jazz trio and orchestra; the final concert of the Festival, Danilo Pérez’s Global Messengers and Allison Au Quartet, will include the world premiere of Allison Au’s Migrations (commissioned by The Royal Conservatory) and the Canadian premiere of Danilo Pérez’s Fronteras (co-commissioned by The Royal Conservatory).
Two theatrical events take place during the Festival: Against the Grain Theatre (AtG) explores Argentine composer Osvaldo Golijov’s Mariel, K’vakarat, and Tenebrae, and the evening culminates with Ayre, starring Canadian soprano Miriam Khalil and staged by AtG’s Joel Ivany; and Philippe Sly & Le Chimera Project present a fully staged version of Schubert’s song cycle Winterreise, newly arranged for klezmer ensemble.
Mervon Mehta, Executive Director of Performing Arts at The Royal Conservatory, said: “After seven years, the 21C Music Festival has become widely respected and innovative composers and artists making new music are eager to perform for us in Toronto. We are thrilled to be premiering so many works new to Toronto, including world premieres in jazz, classical, and world music genres. Join us as we traverse creative minds from Laurie Anderson to Zakir Hussain with stops along the way by Osvaldo Golijov, Danilo Pérez, Barbara Croall, and even Franz Schubert. Our heartfelt thanks to our champions, Michael and Sonja Koerner, for their steadfast support of this festival since its inception. Thanks also to our programming partners, The Royal Ontario Museum and the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema.”
Against the Grain Theatre’s Ayre and other works by Osvaldo Golijov
Saturday, January 11, 2020 at 8pm | Artist Talk at 7pm | Koerner Hall
Osvaldo Golijov has been awarded Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellowships, has won two Grammy Awards for composition, and was Musical America’s Composer of the Year in 2006. 21C goes deep into his catalogue with Ayre, a thrill to experience with its lush fusion of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean folk melodies. Starring Canadian soprano Miriam Khalil and staged by AtG’s Joel Ivany, Juno-nominated Ayre is presented along with other works such as Mariel, K’vakarat, and Tenebrae. An all-star roster of musicians includes Jamey Haddad (percussion), Barry Shiffman (violin and viola), Michael Ward-Bergman (accordion), Juan Gabriel Olivares (clarinet) Beverley Johnston (percussion), Jeremy Flower (laptop and electronics), Roberto Occhipinti (bass), and Cantor Alex Stein.
21C Afterhours: Véronique Mathieu
Saturday, January 11, 2020 at 10:30pm | Temerty Theatre
Violinist Véronique Mathieu and pianist Stephanie Chua perform a program titled True North, featuring the Canadian premiere of 4 Seasons by Alice Ping Yee Ho alongside works by Derek Johnson and Canadian composer Adam Scime. The evening also includes the world premiere of a piece by Odawa First Nations composer, Barbara Croall, co-commissioned by The Royal Conservatory.
Generously supported by Kris Vikmanis & Denny Creighton
Philippe Sly & Le Chimera Project: Winterreise 2020
Friday, January 17, 2020 at 8pm | Post-concert Talk | Koerner Hall
This fresh 21st century theatrical take on Schubert’s final masterpiece blurs the line between concert and theatre. The fully staged song cycle (24 songs based on poems by Wilhelm Müller) is newly arranged for violin, clarinet, trombone, and accordion, and features Canadian bass-baritone Philippe Sly.
Generously sponsored by Power Corporation of Canada and generously supported by an anonymous donor
21C Cinq à Sept
Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 5pm | Temerty Theatre
Musicians from The Glenn Gould School perform Christos Hatzis’s “The Mega4 Meta4” from Earthrise, the Canadian premieres of Laurie Anderson’s Shutter Island and Kaija Saariaho’s Laconisme de l’aile, as well as the world premiere of Ryan Davis’s new composition for viola, voice, and live electronics.
Laurie Anderson: The Art of Falling
Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 8pm | Koerner Hall | SOLD OUT
NYC composer, Laurie Anderson, is one of America’s most renowned – and daring – creative pioneers, known for her multimedia presentations. In this concert, she will perform the Canadian premiere of solo works and collaborations with her long time musical partner, cellist Rubin Kodheli. As Anderson puts it: “The Art of Falling is an extended improvisation for viola, cello, and electronics. Hypnotic stories, politics, and dreams weave in and out of the music. My ambition with The Art of Falling is to make a piece that is one long sentence.”
The Glenn Gould School New Music Ensemble: For Michael Colgrass
Sunday, January 19, 2020 at 1pm | Mazzoleni Concert Hall
Curated and conducted by Brian Current, the students of The Glenn Gould School perform Hammer and Bow by the late Michael Colgrass in honour of his passing; a world premiere of Bestiary I & II by Bekah Simms for soprano, ensemble, and electronics; Gabriel Dharmoo’s the fog in our poise; and the North American premiere of Aguas Marinhas by celebrated Portuguese composer, Miguel Azguime.
Generously supported by Dorothy Cohen Shoichet
Zane Dalal conducts the Royal Conservatory Orchestra with Zakir Hussain, John Patitucci, Danilo Pérez, and Brian Blade
Friday, January 24, 2020 at 8pm | Artist Talk at 7pm | Koerner Hall
Legendary tabla master, Zakir Hussain, and jazz trailblazer/bassist, John Patitucci, bring an extraordinary program conducted by Zane Dalal, Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra of India. The program will include the Canadian premiere of Hussain’s tabla concerto, Peshkar, and the world premiere of Patitucci’s Hypocrisy for orchestra and jazz trio, featuring Danilo Pérez on piano, Brian Blade on drums, and Patitucci on bass. The concert will open with an improvisation by Hussain and the trio.
Part of the Temerty Orchestral Program. Generously sponsored by TELUS, RBC Foundation, and Next Pathway Inc.
Danilo Pérez’s Global Messengers and Allison Au Quartet
Saturday, January 25, 2020 at 8pm | Koerner Hall | Postlude: Andrew McAnsh Quartet
Panamanian jazz pianist and composer, Danilo Pérez, serves as a UNESCO Artist for Peace, Cultural Ambassador to the Republic of Panama, Founder and Artistic Director of the Panama Jazz Festival, as well as Founder and Artistic Director of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute in Boston’s Berklee College of Music. In this concert, he leads musicians from Palestine, Greece, Jordan, and Panama, with varied musical traditions and instrumentation to match. Juno Award-winning saxophonist Allison Au opens the evening with her quartet and special guest vocalist Laila Biali. The Royal Conservatory has commissioned both Pérez and Au to write new pieces, with Pérez’s work, titled Fronteras (Borders), receiving its Canadian premiere and Au’s, called Migrations, a world premiere.
Generously sponsored by TD Bank Group
Allison Au commission generously supported by Nance Gelber & Dan Bjarnason
Additional Laurie Anderson Events
Laurie Anderson: To The Moon
January 11-25, 2020; Tickets & information: rom.on.ca; 100 Queen’s Park
This 15-minute immersive virtual reality installation at the Royal Ontario Museum, developed with Taiwanese artist Hsin-chien Huang, transports viewers onto the surface of the moon in an otherworldly experience.
Music on Film: Heart of a Dog
Laurie Anderson takes us on a magical journey through the nature of love, loss, and absence. Centered on her beloved dog Lolabelle, who died in 2011, and dedicated to her late husband, Lou Reed, Heart of a Dog seamlessly weaves together childhood memories, video diaries, and philosophical musings on the meaning of life. This sweeping and heartfelt personal essay continues her trailblazing career of imbuing the everyday with a sense of dreamlike wonder.
D: Laurie Anderson | 75 min | 2015 | USA |
Tune in to 21C Music Festival livestreams from anywhere in the world and watch select concerts from past editions of the Festival!
Select 21C Music Festival concerts will be web streamed from the “Live at Koerner Hall” livestream page at www.rcmusic.com/livestream