Royal Conservatory of Music announces 2020-21 season

Advertisement / Publicité

Live concerts begin on Sept. 26
Reduced capacity and distancing measures in effect

TORONTO – Dr. Peter Simon, CEO of the Royal Conservatory of Music, Mervon Mehta, executive director of performing arts, and James Anagnoson, dean of the Glenn Gould School, today revealed details of the diverse concerts that will make up the 12th concert season at the Royal Conservatory of Music.

“Music has been uniting us through these unprecedented times and, should the government directives on social distancing be lifted, we eagerly anticipate when we can gather once again to enjoy music collectively,” says Dr. Peter Simon. “The celebrated artists in our upcoming season reconfirm Koerner Hall’s reputation as one of the great concert halls of the world. We look forward to welcoming those who have already graced our stage and those who have not yet experienced the Hall’s acoustical excellence.”

Advertisement / Publicité

Mervon Mehta said: “Nothing compares to the power of live music and the collective experience of sharing it together – music is enormously important to well-being and strengthening our spirits. Therefore, we are cautiously and optimistically moving forward with plans for the 2020-21 concert season in a way that is safe and responsible.

“Our artists are eager to return to play for you and we are planning various scenarios to bring us all back together again (details of some of our current mitigation plans are listed under ticketing information). Over the course of our 12th season, we will present 110 concerts and events. Artists from 43 countries, including those from Indonesia, Iraq, Iceland, Cameroon, and Zimbabwe, will bring their music to us and 83 Canadian artists or ensembles will headline concerts.”

Reduced Capacity and Special Ticketing Structure

  • We have reduced the number of seats available to ensure safe physical distancing at all our concerts.
  • Maximum seating is 400 for Koerner Hall, 100 for Mazzoleni Hall and 50 for Temerty Theatre.
  • Tickets are now purchased by section, rather than for specific seats.
  • On the day of the concert, the Conservatory will help ticket purchasers to access seat(s) within the section they have purchased, to ensure physical distancing protocols are followed.
  • People can choose print-at-home tickets or bring their e-tickets on their devices on the day of the performance. Tickets are not currently being sent by mail.
  • Ticket purchasers will be provided with more information and special instructions prior to each concert date.
  • The public can contact our box office with any questions they may have.


Highlights of the 2020-21 season include:


FOLLIES in concert in honour of Stephen Sondheim’s 90th birthday
starring Eric McCormack, Chilina Kennedy, Cynthia Dale, and Thom Allison


The Royal Conservatory’s Beethoven 250 Festival, co-curated with Mervon Mehta and Canadian violinist James Ehnes, brings a range of musical perspectives and interpretations of Beethoven’s music, including solo, chamber, orchestral, jazz, and operatic works from a cavalcade of artists in 17 different concerts.

Ehnes himself, Stewart Goodyear, Adrianne Pieczonka, jazz pianist Marcus Roberts, the Gryphon Trio, and the Galilee Chamber Orchestra direct from Nazareth, participate in a LvB Festival like no other from November 13 to December 13, 2020.


with a spotlight on the Kronos Quartet and appearances by the ARC Ensemble (Artists of The Royal Conservatory), violinist Angèle Dubeau & La Pietà, pianists Morgan-Paige Melbourne and Eve Egoyan, the Glenn Gould School New Music Ensemble with FLIPBOOK: Music and Images program, and Festival partner Soundstreams with Choral Splendour: The Music of Pärt and Frehner.

Jazz From Around the World concert series includes

Miles from India – A Celebration of the Music of Miles Davis: India
Richard Bona & Alfredo Rodríguez Band and Pedrito Martínez Group: Cameroon & Cuba
Makoto Ozone Trio and Youn Sun Nah: Japan & South Korea
Tigran Hamasyan and Guy Mintus Trio: Armenia & Israel
Ivan Lins Quintet and Supergenerous featuring Cyro Baptista and Kevin Breit: Brazil
Joey Alexander Quartet and Selcuk Suna Quartet: Indonesia & Turkey

All-Beethoven programs by

James Ehnes and Andrew Armstrong, Anne-Marie McDermott with Rolston String Quartet, Gryphon Trio with Jon Kimura Parker, ARC Ensemble (Artists of The Royal Conservatory), John O’Conor, Joaquin Valdepeñas Conducts, and Taylor Academy Showcase Concert

All-Bach programs by

Angela Hewitt (Art of the Fugue) and Cameron Carpenter (The Goldberg Variations)

World, Canadian, and Ontario premieres by

Eve Egoyan, Paul Frehner, Jake Heggie, Stewart Goodyear, Afarin Mansouri, and John Oswald;Fatimah Al-Zaelaeyah, Dan Becker, Dur-Dur Band, Stacy Garrop, Marc Neikrug, Steve Reich, Zachary James Watkins, and Antonio Haskell

Quiet Please, There’s a Lady on Stage series includes

A Tribute to Aretha Franklin featuring Damien Sneed and Karen Clark Sheard, the all-female all-star group Artemis, Nella and Daymé Arocena, Dianne Reeves with her latest project, Beleza Brazil, and Rosanne Cash

Performances by

Daniel Lanois and Heavy Sun, Brubeck Brothers Quartet celebrating Dave Brubeck’s centennial, Ashley MacIsaac with Jully Black and Madison Violet, Skratch Bastid and DJ QBert,and a special night with Bobby McFerrin in his Koerner Hall debut

World music concerts with

KUNÉ – Canada’s Global Orchestra and Moskitto Bar, Mariza, Ladysmith Black Mambazo,Mokoomba & Wesli, and Las Cafeteras & Patricia Cano

String concerts include

James Ehnes with Andrew Armstrong performing all 10 Beethoven violin sonatas, the Ehnes Quartet with the New Orford String Quartet, Maisky Trio, Beatrice Rana with Renaud Capuçon, Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica in a program titled Last Words, and The Distant Voices program care of Jordi Savall

Chamber music concerts by

Dover Quartet with baritone Davóne Tines, Stewart Goodyear and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Anne-Marie McDermott with Rolston String Quartet, Galilee Chamber Orchestra with Jon Kimura Parker conducted by Saleem Abboud Ashkar, Gryphon Trio with Jon Kimura Parker, and Jeremy Denk with Les Violons du Roy

Power Corporation of Canada Vocal Concerts include

Adrianne Pieczonka and Michael Schade with the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra conducted by Johannes Debus, Angelika Kirchschlager with Julius Drake, The King’s Singers, Anne Sofie von Otter with Kristian Bezuidenhout, and Joshua Hopkins with the world premiere of the piano version of Jake Heggie’s Songs for Murdered Sisters with text by Margaret Atwood

Invesco Piano Concerts welcome back

Cameron Carpenter, Marc-André Hamelin, Nicholas Angelich, and Seong-Jin Cho;
Víkingur Ólafsson and Jean-Yves Thibaudet make their Koerner Hall debuts

The Royal Conservatory Orchestra conducted by

Trevor Pinnock, Peter Oundjian, Johannes Debus, and Gábor Takács-Nagy

Free Sunday Interlude Series featuring

Anwar Khurshid, Ladom Ensemble, Fern Lindzon, Morgan-Paige Melbourne, Glenn Gould School All Stars, and ARC Ensemble (Artists of The Royal Conservatory)

Music on Film returns for the eighth consecutive year

For more information visit


About Author

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.