Newswire | Music Toronto Presents A Celebration of Small Ensembles

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TORONTO (March 8, 2023) – Music TORONTO presents the inaugural Celebration of Small Ensembles (COSE), a discovery series that creates space for new artists and invites audiences to experience a broad range of musical styles in the context of a social gathering.  Three concert events, each featuring three musical sets presented by three distinct ensembles, will take place on Saturday afternoons May 6, 20 and June 3, 2023, in the Aperture Room, on the top floor of Toronto’s historic and beautifully preserved Thornton-Smith building, just a few blocks north of Yonge-Dundas square.

Celebration of Small Ensembles (COSE) brings together a diverse mix of vocalists and musicians presenting uniquely curated small ensemble programs with music ranging from Renaissance period songs to contemporary classical, to jazz, to folk inspired instrumentals from Africa and China. See and hear duos, trios, quartets, piano, lute, Chinese pipa, African kora, and electric viola.

“Over the course of the last 50 years Music TORONTO has treated enthusiastic audiences to extraordinary performances by many of the world’s finest chamber ensembles and artists. In launching the COSE series we embrace and amplify the spirit of Music TORONTO’s long-running Discovery Series, expand the organization’s capacity to engage and support a more diverse range of small ensembles and artists, and create space for presenting new programming ideas and directions,” said Roman Borys, Music TORONTO’s Artistic Director Designate.

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Expanding beyond the musical parameters of the western classical tradition, Celebration of Small Ensembles (COSE) events will bring together musical curations that juxtapose old music and new, classical with jazz, and music improvised with amplified.

Celebration of Small Ensembles

Saturday, May 6, 2023 at 5 pm
Program Details:

Sounds of Conflict    Classical
Daniel Dastoor, violin/Brian Woods, Piano

Featuring works for violin and piano by Poulenc, Suk, Ravel, and Janáček, Sounds of Conflict celebrates the resilience of the human spirit, and the power of creativity to transcend the trauma and upheaval brought on by change, chaos and war.

Madame Speaker – the Phonating Pianist  Contemporary Classical
Madeline Hildebrand, piano and voice

In this spirited and dynamic performance, Madeline Hildebrand explores the cutting edge canon of music for speaking and singing pianist.

Classics, Swing, and the American Songbook    Jazz
Jurecka, Farrugia, Johnston Trio-Drew Jurecka, violin/Adrean Farrugia, piano/Clark Johnston, bass

Expressive, dynamic and improvisatory, small ensemble jazz is at its best in an intimate setting featuring a set list of classics from the American Songbook and the Swing era.

Saturday, May 20, 2023 at 5 pm
Program Details:

The Earth Has Its Music      Ancient melodies for plucked strings
Lute Legends Collective – Lucas Harris, lute/Diely Mori Tounkara, kora/ Wen Zhao, pipa

Featuring music depicting the natural world from three ancient traditions of plucked string music, the program includes works for West Africa’s kora, the European lute, and the Chinese pipa.

Music From Everyday Life  Contemporary Classical Music for Percussion
Köng Duo – Bevis Ng, percussion/Hoi Tong Keung, percussion

Köng Duo explores the infinite musical possibilities, often overlooked, from our daily lives and reimagines everyday activities through a musical lens.

Sonder: A String Quartet Act Contemporary Classical
Dior Quartet – Noa Sarid, Toby Elser, violin/ Caleb Georges, viola/Joanne Yesol Choi, cello

The Dior Quartet takes a musical dive into the inner worlds of passing souls throughout history – memories of an ancient Korean kisaeng, ploys of mischievous thieves in France, and intimate letters of a passionate admirer.

Saturday, June 3, 2023 at 5 pm
Program Details:

Far From Triumphing Court   Renaissance and Contemporary Songs Centred in Indigenous Storytelling
duo nistwayr – Jonathon Adams, baritone/Jesse Plessis, piano/with Lucas Harris, lute

Featuring music by Dowland, Purcell, Crumb and Plessis, this program brings together poems centering the land and water, sounds invoking the violence of love and obsession, and silence.

Unspoken Poetry      Classical
Interro Quartet – Steve Sang Koh, Eric Kim-Fujita, violins/ Maxime Despax, viola/Sebastian Ostertag, cello

A trademark of Interro Quartet’s programming is the “Compound Quartet” in which movements from four different composers are combined to make one composite quartet. “Unspoken Poetry” features works by Fanny Mendelssohn, Grażyna Bacewicz, Hildegard von Bingen, and Rebecca Clarke, whose artistries were rarely celebrated due to the social barriers common to women composers in their respective time periods.

Colour You Like  Contemporary Electric Viola and Classical
Radia with the Gryphon Trio – Ryan Davis, viola/Annalee Patipatanakoon, violin/Roman Borys, cello/Jamie Parker, piano

Violist Ryan Davis aka Radia joins the Gryphon Trio to present a luminous musical experience, harnessing live looping and electronics that intertwine the sound worlds of classical, folk, electronic and hip-hop traditions. The program will feature Radia’s original compositions as well as excerpts from celebrated works for piano quartet.

All concerts are presented in the Aperture Room at The Thornton-Smith Building, 340 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON, M5B 1R8 .

A 3-concert pass is $90, single tickets are $40 and Student/Arts worker tickets are $20, plus HST. For tickets and more information visit

Music TORONTO gratefully acknowledges support from Laishley Reed LLP, WholeNote Media Inc, Canadian Heritage, Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council.


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