Royal Conservatory of Music to present world premiere of Gould’s Wall

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The Royal Conservatory of Music is pleased to announce an addition to the ninth 21C Music Festival, taking place in January and February of 2022. Presented in collaboration with Tapestry Opera and Manac Star, the world premiere of Gould’s Wall will open the festival on Wednesday, January 12, 2022 at 8pm, with additional performances on January 13, 14, 15, and 16.

Gould’s Wall is a re-imagining of the life of Canadian icon and classical pianist Glenn Gould and features singers climbing along the interior wall of The Royal Conservatory’s atrium. This daring new opera echoes Gould’s constant striving for artistic perfection and the inherent climb and fall in the artist’s journey. Composed and conducted by the award-winning Brian Current, with libretto by Dora Award-winning actor, director, and writer Liza Balkan, this production will be directed by the multiple Dora Award-winning Philip Akin. For this site-specific work, audiences will watch from the RCM’s café area. The orchestra will feature The Glenn Gould School’s New Music Ensemble.

The rest of the festival, which has been postponed from January 2021, consists of a spotlight on San Francisco’s Grammy Award-winning Kronos Quartet, which will be featured in multi-media event Kronos Quartet on Film: A Thousand Thoughts (presented in partnership with the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema); Kronos Quartet with students from The Glenn Gould School: Fifty Forward, built around Kronos’s Fifty for the Future initiative; and Kronos Quartet – Music for Change, a celebration of the 1960s, a time of radical social turmoil and free-wheeling energy in America that led to the formation of Kronos in 1973. The concert includes Canadian and Ontario premieres from Steve Reich, Dan Becker, Antonio Haskell, Stacy Garrop, Dur-Dur Band, Fatimah Al-Zaelaeyah, Aftab Darvishi, John Coltrane, and Zachary James Watkins.

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The festival also includes the Canadian premiere of Marc Neikrug’s A Song by Mahler, featuring the ARC Ensemble (Artists of the Royal Conservatory); pianist and Royal Conservatory alumna, Morgan-Paige Melbourne, performing the world premieres of her own pieces as well as Nauroz Tanya’s The Mosaic Portrait and Kathryn Knowless’s Phases & Elements; Eve Egoyan performing the world premiere of her own Seven Studies for Augmented Piano, in which she tests (teases) the edges of the piano’s natural sound, ultimately pushing it beyond the familiar, through the impossible, and into the extraordinary; and the festival closes with Canadian violinist Angèle Dubeau & La Pietà in works by Craig Armstrong, Abel Korzeniowski, Ludovico Einaudi, Peter Gregson, Jean-Michel Blais, Olafur Arnalds, Max Richter, and more.

Additional 21C Music Festival concerts will be announced later in the summer.

Tickets for previously announced concerts are available online at or by telephone at 416.408.0208.




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