Tag Archives: Ravel

Philip Chiu

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 bring pianist Philip Chiu to our stage.  While Chiu has performed in Toronto many times, this will be his Toronto solo recital debut.  The evening will include Ravel – Ma mère l’Oye (Mother Goose Suite), John Burge – Studies in Poetry No. 4: Loop (2009), Rachmaninoff – Preludes (Five Selections from Op. 23, Op. 32), Schubert/Liszt – Fantasy in C Major, “Der Wanderer”, D. 760, and Liszt – Legends, S.175.

Current residing in Montreal, Chiu was born in Hong Kong and raised in Toronto and London, ON.  In Montreal, he can be found working at McGill University as an accompanist and coach, at the Conservatoire de musique de Montreal as an invited professor and accompanist, and at l’Universite de Montreal as an accompanist.

He frequently tours as an accompanist for competitions, and does a lot of chamber music and collaborative playing. In 2015, he was the inaugural recipient of the Prix Goyer (Extreme Emerging Artist Award). The $125,000 prize is one of the largest in the world for a collaborative emerging artist.

This recent Q&A in WholeNote magazine will give you some insight into Chiu


You can find out more about him on his own website www.philipchiu.ca and here him live at our concert on November 28thhttp://music-toronto.com/piano/Chiu.html



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Benjamin Grosvenor

Tuesday, November 7, 2017 will be opening night for our 2017-2018 piano series and we are bringing back Benjamin Grosvenor for his third visit to us since 2014.

For a bit of background on him, check out our initial blog about him, https://mtochambermusic.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/benjamin-grosvenor/, or visit his website at https://www.benjamingrosvenor.co.uk/

The young pianist continues to delight and impress audiences around the world.  Grosvenor continues to tour and play both with orchestras and in recital. He made his LA debut in May of 2017 receiving this great review – http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/la-et-cm-benjamin-grosvenor-review-20170501-story.html

Since he was here last, he has released another album on the Decca Classics label.  Homages was released in 2016, making it the fourth CD he has released since signing on in 2011 as their youngest British artist.


His program for our Toronto concert is:

Mozart   Sonata in B-flat Major, K.333, “Linz

Brahms   Four Pieces, Op. 119

Brett Dean   Hommage à Brahms (played as interludes between the Brahms pieces above)


Debussy   L’après midi d’un faune (arr. Leonard Borwick/George Copeland)

Berg   Sonata, Op. 1

Ravel   Gaspard de la nuit


If you haven’t heard him live yet, you will want to join us on November 7th!

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Cuarteto Casals

This award-winning Spanish quartet formed in 1997. Abel Thomàs (violin), Vera Martinez (violin), and Arnau Tomàs (cello) are all founding members, with Jonathan Brown (viola) joining them in 2002. They are the first internationally recognized string quartet from Spain and have even accompanied the King of Spain on diplomatic visits. They have also performed with the set of decorated Stradivarius instruments that reside in the Royal Palace in Madrid.

The members of the quartet all teach at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya in Barcelona in addition to their touring and recording schedules for each season. A few mini facts about the quartet members:

Vera is the Professor of Chamber Music and Violin at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya.

Jonathan was born in Chicago and has been involved with music since he was 4. He went on to receive a Masters from Juilliard.

Abel was only sixteen when the Cuarteto Casals was founded.

Brothers Arnau and Abel are also founding members of the Ludwig Trio. They perform and record with pianist Hyo-Sun Lim.

To find out more about the quartet, visit their website at http://cuartetocasals.com/

You can hear them in person for their Toronto debut at 8pm on Thursday October 22, 2015. The performance will feature Mozart’s Quartet in G Major, K. 387; 12 Microludes, Op. 13, Hommage à Andras Mihaly by Kurtag; and Ravel’s Quartet in F Major.

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Benjamin Grosvenor 2015

It has been 11 years since Benjamin Grosvenor won the Keyboard Final of the 2004 BBC Young Musician Competition. He was 11 years old at the time. Since then he has continued on the path of an extremely successful and talented pianist. Decorated with many awards over the years, Grosvenor maintains a busy performance schedule, traveling all over the world for performances. He recently took part in the Last Night of the Proms, with amazing reviews once again! He has an exclusive recording deal with Decca and has released 3 CDs with them, including Dances, his latest recording released in August 2014.

We had the pleasure of hearing him in February of 2014 for his Toronto debut on our stage. You can check out our blog from back then for a bit of information about him – https://mtochambermusic.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/benjamin-grosvenor/  Or visit his website at http://www.benjamingrosvenor.co.uk/

He returns to our stage in just a few short weeks to perform Mendelssohn, Bach-Busoni, Franck, Ravel and Liszt. Join us on Tuesday October 13, 2015 for our concert with Benjamin Grosvenor and the opening night of our 44th season!


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Dénes Várjon

by guest contributor Julie Berridge

Dénes Várjon opens with Beethoven’s Sonata in G Major, Op. 14, No. 2 composed in 1798 and 1799. It’s a lyrical, lively and often humorous Sonata.

Schumann’s Fantasiestucke, Op. 12 is a set of eight pieces, the title of which was inspired by E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Fantasiestücke in Callots Manie. The composition was also inspired by fictional lives that Schumann created based on the real lives of his friends and enemies. For years Schumman developed these fictional characters in his diaries and letters to friends. He then began using these characters in his work as a music critic. In 1837, these characters became the inspiration for Fantasiestucke, Op. 12.

The composition is both passionate and dreamy. It begins with “Des Abends” (In the Evening). It is a “gentle picture of dusk” followed by followed by a parley between passion and dreams. It ends with what Schumann described as the combining of wedding and funeral bells. In a letter to his wife Clara he wrote, “At the time, I thought: well in the end it all resolves itself into a jolly wedding. But at the close, my painful anxiety about you returned”.

Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit is Surreal and hallucinatory. It is based on a poem by Aloysius Bertrand which features a mermaid a monster and a corpse.
Gaspard de la Nuit is comprised of 3 movements. The first movement Odine, is the tale of a mermaid who is trying to seduce a man by singing to him about her magical and fantastic would. The man tells Odin that he is married and he rejects her. Odin’s reaction is at first stormy, followed by quiet acceptance and then laughter. All of this is delightfully conveyed by Ravel.

In the second movement Le Gibet, Ravel paints a musical picture of a solitary corpse. The sounding of a B flat throughout the movement sustains the lonely and desolate musical landscape of this piece.

The third movement Scarbo conveys grandeur as much as it conveys horror. In the poem, Scarbo is an evil dwarf who makes frenzied appearances at night, sometimes hiding – waiting to pounce and scare. Ravel captures all of this.

Bartok’s Out of Doors is a set of five pieces, each of which are a depiction of Hungarian peasant life. In these five pieces we hear rocking melodies, drumbeats, and the nocturnal sounds of crickets and frogs.

Bartok fell in love with folk songs when he heard a peasant girl singing a Transylvanian tune in 1904. After hearing the girl, he said to his sister, “I now have a plan. I will collect the most beautiful Hungarian folksongs and raise them to the level of art songs”.

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