Tag Archives: Schubert

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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Steven Osborne

We start the month of March with a piano concert! Steven Osborne returns to our stage on March 1, 2016. He made his Toronto debut with us in 2007. Born in Scotland in 1971, Osborne studied at St. Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh and at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.

In 1998, he released his first recording with Hyperion. He was signed shortly after winning first prize in the 1997 Naumburg International Competition in New York City. Since then he has recorded exclusively with them, releasing 22 recordings to date.

His career has taken him all over the world to perform with major orchestras and in recitals. Osborne performs frequently with major orchestras in the UK and has performed at the Proms a dozen times. He is the recipient of several awards including The Royal Philharmonic Society Instrumentalist of the Year in 2013 and two Gramophone Awards.  You can find out more about Steven Osborne on his website http://www.stevenosborne.co.uk/

On March 1, 2016, we will be treated to Osborne performing Schubert (Impromptus D. 935, Nos. 1 & 4), Debussy (Masques; Images, Book 2; L’ile joyeuse) and Rachmaninoff (Etudes tableaux – various selections from Op. 33 and Op. 39). Join us! http://music-toronto.com/

Steven Osborne’s performances up and down the country have confirmed his pre-eminence among British pianists. His un-showy brilliance, integrity, and very wide repertoire have long marked him out, but what now emerges most strongly is the unique magic of his sound combined with a profound musical intelligenceRPS Instrumentalist of the Year May 2013

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Gryphon Trio – February 26, 2015 concert

By guest contributor Julie Berridge

On February 26 the Gryphon Trio brings us music from a prolific composer of music’s classical period – Haydn, born in 1732; Franz Peter Schubert born in 1797; some very young composers from the Claude Watson program at Earl Haig Secondary School, and Dinuk Wijeratne, a Sri Lankan born, Dubai raised, Canadian based composer, conductor and pianist.

Haydn and Schubert lived in somewhat different worlds in the same country. Haydn spent much of his career as a court musician for the wealthy Esterházy family at their remote estates far from Vienna. Being far away from Vienna, Haydn did not often get to enjoy Vienna’s vibrant entertainment scene. The following excerpt is taken from a letter he wrote to his friend Maria Anna von Genzinger dated February 9, 1790

Well here I sit in my wilderness; forsaken, like some poor orphan, almost without human society; melancholy, dwelling on the memory of past glorious days. Yes; past, alas! And who can tell when these happy hours may return? Those charming meetings? Where the whole circle have but one heart and one soul–all those delightful musical evenings, which can only be remembered, and not described. Where are all those inspired moments? All gone–and gone for long.

In contrast, Schubert’s working life was filled with gaiety. He would compose in the morning, go to coffee shops in the afternoon and then to sing-alongs at the homes of friends in the evening. The delightful musical evenings that Haydn longed for were a regular feature of Schubert’s life.

Dinuk Wijeratne was born in Sri Lanka grew up in Dubai, and acquired his musical education in the UK, and in the US at the Juilliard school of music. He is now based in Canada where for the 9th season he is Director of the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra.

So what do these composers and artistes have in common? Three words come immediately to mind: adventure, invention and evolution.

Of Haydn, American musicologist Barbara Russano Hanning has noted, “His compositions had broad appeal because they combined the familiar with the unexpected”.

Of Wijeratne, The New York Times says he can “transform his instrument [the piano] into a drum, a zither and a scampering melodic partner”. The Halifax Chronicle Herald states that “Dinuk Wijeratne’s boundary-crossing work sees him equally at home in collaborations with symphony orchestras and string quartets, tabla players and DJs…”

Schubert’s work has been cited as the source of the modern pop song. The Emmy award winning British composer Howard Goodall in drawing links between the songs of British pop singer Adele and Schubert, has said, “Strip away the cultural differences, the clothes and anything that dates them, and there is a strong connection”.

The Young Composer Project at the Claude Watson Arts program at Earl Haig Secondary School will bring to us the music of young high school composers. Again: adventure, invention and evolution.

The evening promises a musical exploration of all of these concepts. Not to mention, delight.

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Belcea Quartet

The Belcea Quartet comes to our stage on October 23, 2014. Celebrating 20 years, this quartet has a background in traditional and contemporary repertoire. Corina Belcea (violin), Axel Schacher (violin), Krzysztof Chorzelski (viola), Antoine Lederlin (cello) form the quartet. They are the Quartet in Residence at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, England and share a residence with the Artemis at the Vienna Konzerthaus.

In addition to recording and performing, the quartet give back to the classical music community with the Belcea Quartet Trust. Created by the artists, this trust offers support to young string quartets with coaching sessions and commissions new works for performance by the quartet.

We look forward to hearing them on our stage on October 23, 2014 with some Beethoven, Brahms, and Schubert! To read more about the quartet, visit their website at http://belceaquartet.com/

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Schubert’s parents

Continuing on with a look at parental figures of some of the great composers of old, today we look at Schubert’s ancestors.  Franz Peter Schubert was born to Franz Theodor Florian Schubert and Maria Elisabeth Katharina Vietz.

His mother, Elisabeth, was born in 1756 in Silesia.  Her father was Franz Johann Vietz from Zuckmantel, Northeastern Silesia.  He was a locksmith and gunmaker.  He did advance within that profession over the years and held a respected position in his field.  He even held the office of sheriff at one point.  He moved his family to Vienna shortly before he died in 1770, when Elisabeth would have been about 14.  Elisabeth served as a housemaid for a family in Vienna before marrying into the Schubert family at the age of 29.

Franz Theodor was born in 1763 in Moravia.  His parents, Karl Schubert and Susanna Mück, were farmers.  Franz Theodor moved to Vienna around 1783.  In 1784, he worked as a teacher at his brother’s school.  He and Elisabeth married in 1785 and 1786 saw him become Schoolmaster at Himmelpfortgrund, a school his son would eventually attend.  Franz Theodor was not a formally trained musician but he was able to pass along some basics to his son at an early age and started his outside musical training at the age of seven.  The family did have their own quartet in which Franz Theodor played the cello, brothers Ferdinand and Ignaz played the violins, and Franz Peter played the viola.  As a school teacher, Franz Theodor was well known and he ran a well attended school.  He had wanted his son to follow in his footsteps and become a teacher at his school.  Indeed Franz Peter did start to train as a teacher and worked in his father’s school for a time until his compositions started to gain notice and he secured a position with Count Johann Karl Esterházy.  Franz Theodor passed away in 1830, two years after the death of his now famous son.

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Benjamin Grosvenor

On February 11th, Benjamin Grosvenor takes to our stage for his Toronto debut! His program includes Andante & Rondo capriccioso, Op.14 by Mendelssohn; Impromptu in G-flat Major, Op.90, No.3 by Schubert; Humoreske, Op.20 by Schumann; Paisajas by Mompou; 2 Fairy Tales by Medtner; Valses nobles et sentimentales by Ravel; Valse de Faust by Gounod/Liszt.

Born in 1992, this young pianist started playing at the age of 6, taking lessons initially from his mother, a professional piano teacher. Since then he has taken lessons with several pianists including Stephen Hough and Arnaldo Cohen, both well-known on our stage and to our audiences. He has devoted many hours to his art over the years and the results can be seen in the many awards (winner of the Keyboard Final of the 2004 BBC Young Musician Competition, Gramophone’s ‘Young Artist of the Year and ‘Instrumental Award’ to name just a few), the many international performances as a soloist and with respected orchestras (such as London Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Tokyo Symphony), and an exclusive record deal with Decca signed in 2011 (the youngest British musician to sign to the label and the first British pianist in close to 60 years). For more information on Grosvenor, you can visit his website at http://www.benjamingrosvenor.co.uk/

Come and join us for this exciting evening! https://www.facebook.com/events/1455951134624985/?ref=5


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Marc-André Hamelin

No stranger to our stage, Marc-André Hamelin will be back on Tuesday, January 21st! He first performed for Music Toronto during our 1986/87 season and has played a total of 8 concerts for our patrons.

He is known for his brilliance in playing the standard classical repertoire as well as being a champion of works by amazing but not as well-known composers. We will have a chance to hear both in the upcoming concert as he will play a piece by Nikolai Medtner (Sonata in E Minor, Op. 25, No. 2, Night Wind) and a piece by Schubert (4 Impromptus, D935). Hamelin also composes and this season we will again be treated to one of his own pieces – Barcarolle (2012). It is sure to be an amazing evening!

Hamelin is French Canadian, born in Montreal, where he initially studied. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a Chevalier de l’Ordre national du Québec (National Order of Quebec). He currently lives in Boston and has toured and played world-wide. His distinguished award-winning career has included many solo recitals along with being a soloist with the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Montréal Symphony, the Boston Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, the London Philharmonic, and the San Francisco Symphony to name a few. He has recorded over 50 CDs with Hyperion Records, including his Alkan Concerto for Solo Piano which won the 2008 Juno for Classical Album of the Year: Solo or Chamber Ensemble.

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Musings on Schubert

It is hard to imagine that such a short lived life produced so many amazing and varied works of music! Franz Schubert only lived from January of 1797 to November of 1828 – not quite 32 when he died. His music instruction started early in his life as he came from a musically inclined family. His father was a school teacher who also played the cello. His brothers played piano and strings. Schubert played viola in, and composed pieces for, the family string quartet.

Despite his obvious talent, his father wished for him to follow in his footsteps and become a school teacher. At the age of 16, started his teacher training and soon after started teaching at his father’s school. For the following few years he taught but continued to compose as well. By 1818, his music was being noticed more and more and receiving good reviews. That summer he gained a position with Count Johann Karl Esterházy, teaching music to the Count’s daughters and gave up regular school teaching for his father.

It is interesting to wonder if his number of compositions would have increased had he been able to pursue his talent completely from the beginning. Or did the stress of the day to day reality of needing to earn a living give him the drive to put his continued creativity down on paper? What do you think?

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