As we approach Mother’s Day here in Canada, here is a link to some of our previous posts about Mothers of Composers!
On February 16, 2017 we announced our 46th season!
Season subscription for our 2017-2018 season are now on sale. Existing subscribers – you should have received your renewal information in late February. You have until May 31st to renew and keep your existing seats. Contact the box office at 416-366-7723 if you have not received your renewal information.
Quatuor Mosaïques open our season and our string series on October 19th with their Toronto debut. Celebrating their 30th season, they will perform Mozart and Haydn on their period instruments.
November 7th will be the opening of our piano series with Benjamin Grosvenor. This will be Grosvenor’s 3rd recital for us and we look forward to his return.
Another Toronto debut! The Škampa Quartet perform on November 16th. This outstanding Czech string quartet has released 15 award-winning recordings and now is your chance to hear them live in Toronto.
Montreal pianist Philip Chiu makes his Toronto recital debut with us on November 28th.
Our annual Gryphon Trio concert will finish out the 2017 calendar year for us on December 7th.
We start 2018 with the Brentano Quartet and soprano Dawn Upshaw performing together on January 11th.
Stephen Hough returns to our stage on January 23rd for our first piano recital of 2018. He will be playing a number of pieces by Debussy in honour of the 100th year anniversary of Debussy’s death.
The exuberant St. Lawrence Quartet return for their annual visit on February 1st.
Esteemed pianist, Alexei Lubimov will make his Toronto recital debut, at the age of 74, with our February 6th concert.
The Apollon Musagète Quartet return on February 22nd
The Penderecki Quartet join us on March 15th. This 31 year old quartet has been the Quartet-in-Residence down the road in Waterloo at Wilfrid Laurier University for the past 20 years.
Hungarian pianist Dénes Várjon closes our Piano Series for the 2017-2018 season on March 27th.
And the final concert of our 46th season will be the Toronto debut of the award-winning Schumann Quartet on April 12th.
We look forward to having you join us! For more information on the individual concerts, please visit our website here http://music-toronto.com/season.htm
Once again we have the great pleasure of presenting Marc-André Hamelin on our stage! He will join us on Thursday, March 23rd for an evening of sonatas including the great Beethoven “Appassionata” and Chopin’s Sonata No 2 in B-flat minor, Op 35.
The entire evening looks like this:
Haydn – Sonata in C major, Hob. XVI: 48
Samuel Feinberg – Sonata No 2 in A minor, Op 2
Samuel Feinberg – Sonata No 1 in A major, Op 1
Beethoven – Sonata in F minor, Op 57, “Appassionata”
Scriabin – Sonata No 7, Op 64, “White Mass”
Chopin – Sonata No 2 in B-flat minor, Op 35
With a busy performance schedule and over 70 recordings already released, somehow Hamelin still finds time to record even more with Hyperion! In June 2015, he was inducted into the Gramophone Hall of Fame, recognizing this amazing work. Since he was last on our stage in 2015, Hyperion released a recording of the Franck Piano Quintet in F Minor with Hamelin and the Takacs Quartet (May 2016). And you can pre-order Hamelin’s next album on iTunes which will include Medtner’s Piano Concerto 2 and Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto 3 https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/medtner-rachmaninoff-piano/id1184264860?app=iTunes
To learn more about Marc-André Hamelin, visit his website at http://www.marcandrehamelin.com/index.php, or search our blog site for previous posts!
Antonín Leopold Dvořák was born in 1841 to František and Anna Dvořák. František was an innkeeper, butcher, and professional zither player. Antonín was their eldest child and showed an aptitude for music at a young age. At the age of six, he was learning to play the violin. He went on to study the organ and piano as well as music theory.
In his late teens, Dvořák lived in Prague and studied at the Organ School. After graduating second in his class, he applied for an organist position but was unsuccessful in securing the job. He remained in Prague and performed with the orchestras there during his twenties. At this time, he also started composing and was teaching on the side to supplement his income.
He married Anna Čermáková in 1873. Shortly after his marriage, Dvořák became the organist at St. Vojtěch Church in Prague.
In 1874, he won the Austrian State Prize for composition. This prize was intended to give some additional financial support to composers in need. Dvořák applied again in 1877 and was once again awarded the prize. Brahms was on both juries that awarded the prize and he was much impressed by the talent and volume of Dvořák compositions. So much so that Brahms recommended Dvořák to his own publisher, Simrock. After the successful publication of Dvořák’s Moravian Duets, Simrock commissioned him for a series of dance pieces, published as the Slavonic Dances. This helped launch his international career.
Tonight the Prazak Quartet will bring us one of Dvořák’s better known chamber music pieces. Join us to hear Quartet in F Major, Op. 96, “American”. http://music-toronto.com/quartets/prazak.htm
March 16, 2017 will be the 8th concert that the Philharmonia Quartett Berlin has played for us over the years. Daniel Stabrawa (violin), Christian Stadelmann (violin), and Neithard Resa (viola) are all original members of the 32 year old quartet. Dietmar Schwalke (cello) joined them in 2009 after the sudden passing of Jan Diesselhorst.
All four members of the quartet are part of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Daniel is the 1st Concertmaster and occasionally conducts the orchestra. Christian is the Leader of the 2nd Violins. Of the four, Neithard is the longest-serving member of the orchestra, originally becoming a member in 1978. He served as Principal Violist until 2010. Joining the orchestra in 1994, Dietmar is the ‘newest’ of the four. In addition to the Quartet, he is involved in a number of chamber groups associated with the orchestra such as the 12 Cellist of the Berlin Philharmonic and the Berlin Philharmonic Capriccio.
Somehow with all of the demands on their schedules for performances and teaching, they have still managed to release a number of recordings over the years. Their most recent ones are from 2014 (Beethoven) and 2015 (Brahms).
Join us on March 16th to hear Haydn’s Quartet in G major, Op. 64, No. 4, Beethoven’s Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 18, No. 6 and Schumann’s Quartet in A Minor, Op. 41, No. 1. http://www.music-toronto.com/quartets/berlin.htm
March 23, 2017 brings Marc-André Hamelin to our stage once again. He will be playing a selection of piano sonatas including works by Beethoven, Haydn, Scriabin, and Chopin. The evening will also include two sonatas by Samuel Feinberg.
Feinberg was a Russian composer and pianist. Born in 1890, he was raised in Moscow and studied at the Moscow Conservatory. He graduated in 1911 and started performing as a solo pianist. However, WWI was soon upon us and he was sent to fight for Russia. He became ill, was discharged, and spent a long period of time recovering in Moscow.
He became a faculty member at the Moscow Conservatory in 1922. With his piano career revived, he performed in Russia and toured parts of Europe in the 1920s. However, by the 1930s, under Stalin’s rule, Feinberg, a Jew, was no longer allowed to leave the country with the exception of two brief trips (1936 and 1938) to be a competition jury member. This time period also meant a return to a more conservative composition style for Feinberg. He felt it unwise to publish some of his progressive works written in the 1920s. For example, his Seventh Sonata was written in 1924/25 but not in print until the 1970s.
In 1951, he became ill and by 1956 he had stopped performing in public. He continued to compose and to play up until his death and made a number of recordings, especially when he could no longer perform in public. Feinberg was a respected member of the faculty at the Moscow Conservatory until his death in 1962 at the age of 72.
Marc-André Hamelin will perform Feinberg’s Sonata No. 2 in A minor, Op. 2 and Sonata No. 1 in A major, Op. 1 at his Toronto recital on March 23rd. http://music-toronto.com/piano/Hamelin.htm
The quartet was originally formed in 1972. The current quartet members are Jana Vonášková (violin), Vlastimil Holek, (violin), Josef Kluson, (viola), Michal Kanka, (cello). The quartet was formed by its original members when they were still students at the Prague Conservatory. Kluson is the only remaining founding member.
The most recent addition to the quartet is violinist Jana Vonášková, previously a member of the Smetana Piano Trio. Born in 1979 in the Czech Republic, she studied at the Prague Conservatory, gaining a scholarship to continue her studies at the Royal College of Music in London. After graduating in 2005, she returned to Prague to study at the Academy of Performing Arts.
The quartet has released over 60 recordings in the past 40 plus years including 30 award-winning ones with Praga/Harmonia Mundi.
Read more about the quartet on their website – http://prazakquartet.com/en/
Join us on March 2nd to hear the Prazak Quartet play Haydn, Bruckner, and Dvorak. http://music-toronto.com/quartets/prazak.htm
The Eybler Quartet performed for us a couple of years ago at one of our outreach events. We are excited to have them on our main stage this season. Formed in 2004, the quartet currently includes Aisslinn Nosky (violin), Julia Wedman (violin), Patrick G. Jordan (viola), and Margaret Gay (cello).
Their primary focus is on works of the first century of the string quartet and they like to bring attention to lesser known early composers. They are named for one such composer – Joseph Leopold Edler von Eybler. Eybler was a contemporary of Mozart.
The quartet perform period music on instruments appropriate to the time period. Nosky, Wedman, and Jordan are all part of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra.
You can read more about the individual performers on their website – http://eyblerquartet.com/
Join us on Thursday February 16th and hear the Eybler Quartet perform live in Toronto. They will play pieces by Vanhal, Haydn, Asplmayr, and Beethoven http://music-toronto.com/quartets/eybler.htm
Franz Asplmayr was born in 1728 and lived to be 58 years old. Born in Linz, Austria, he studied violin with his father initially and was mainly self-taught in composition. He was a prolific composer of ballets, symphonies, chamber music. Influenced by composers of the Mannheim School, Asplmayer combined techniques with the developing Viennese style. During his life time he met both Haydn (in 1760) and Mozart (in the 1780s).
He moved to Vienna in the late 1740s. In 1759 he started serving in the Imperial court. He started as a secretary and violinist and eventually took over the duties of Christoph Willibald Gluck, the ballet composer for the Kärntnertortheater. When this position finished, Asplmayr composed for Jean Georges Noverre’s ballet troupe.
We will be treated to one of his quartets with the Eybler Quartet on February 16, 2017 in Toronto. Join us to hear Quartet in D Major, Op.2 No.2 by Franz Asplmayr.
Ilya Poletaev is no stranger to Toronto. He has performed on our stage in the past and has played with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
At the age of six, he started studying in Moscow. He moved to Israel and eventually came to Canada when he was 14. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto and then went on to complete his Masters and Doctorate at Yale. He is an accomplished and award-winning pianist and harpsichordist.
He was part of the faculty at Yale between 2005 and 2010 as a lecturer in Early Music. In 2011, he became the Assistant Professor of Piano at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montréal, a position he still holds today.
Join us on February 7, 2017 when Ilya Poletaev takes to our stage to play Bach, Enescu, and Schumann. http://music-toronto.com/piano/poletaev.htm