John Pizzarelli, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and More Announced for April Concerts At The Royal Conservatory Of Music

April concerts include sold out apperances from Laurie Anderson and The Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and more.

By: Feb. 27, 2024
John Pizzarelli, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and More Announced for April Concerts At The Royal Conservatory Of Music
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April concerts at The Royal Conservatory Of Music include sold out apperances from Laurie Anderson and The Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and more!

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Quiet Please, There's a Lady on Stage

Lauded vocalist Lizz Wright performs new music from her recently released album, Shadow, on April 27. Wright is a steward of American music, bringing brilliant colour and vibrancy to singular original works and compositions by some of the greatest songwriters of our time. Through an inimitable voice that The New York Times touts as “a smooth, dark alto possessed of qualities you might associate with barrel-aged bourbon or butter-soft leather,” she sings with a soaring reflection of the cultural fabric of America. Wright shares the evening with Juno Award nominated Lebanese-Canadian drummer, composer, educator, and producer Sanah Kadoura, whose music traverses the modern jazz idiom with hints of neo-soul and a strong musical influence from her motherland of Lebanon. “Kadoura is a dexterous improviser, with a light, elastic approach that evokes Tony Williams, a major influence,” proclaimed JazzTimes.

TD Jazz Concerts

World-renowned guitarist and vocalist John Pizzarelli has been hailed by The Boston Globe for “reinvigorating the Great American Songbook.” He returns to Koerner Hall with a new album that showcases his versatility and virtuosity in exploring the timeless songs of Broadway and Hollywood. Stage & Screen features a stunning selection of songs from musicals and movies spanning almost a century and marks the 40th anniversary of Pizzarelli's debut album, I'm Hip (Please Don't Tell My Father), which launched his illustrious career as one of the most acclaimed interpreters and innovators of the standards songbook. Hear songs by legendary composers like Richard Rodgers, Leonard Bernstein, Sammy Cahn, and Jule Styne, as well as songs that have become synonymous with iconic films like Casablanca. Pizzarelli is joined by his new trio, featuring bassist Mike Karn and pianist Isaiah J. Thompson, two brilliant musicians who share his passion and chemistry for making music. He shares the evening of April 19 with Caity Gyorgy, a two-time Juno Award-winning Canadian vocalist known for singing bebop and swing music. She has performed at popular clubs and jazz festivals across Canada and the USA, and has worked and recorded with incredible musicians and groups including Christine Jensen, Pat LaBarbera, Jocelyn Gould, Ira Coleman, Allison Au, Bryn Roberts, and Postmodern Jukebox. In addition to performing, Caity is also an avid writer and composes songs in the style of the Great American Songbook. Her compositions have been sung by other vocalists around the world, and she has released several albums of original and standard music.

Music Mix

April 26 will see a double bill of soul, jazz, and Latin pop sounds, featuring two dazzling singer-songwriters and instrumentalists – troubadour Raul Midón from Miami and Alex Cuba, the Cuban songsmith from Smithers, BC. Midón is a Grammy Award nominated contemporary singer/songwriter whose impassioned acoustic guitar playing - which traverses pop, jazz, soul, urban, cumbia, and flamenco – has garnered as much attention as his smooth singing and sophisticated writing. He has worked with countless legends in the industry, including Bill Withers, Herbie Hancock, Sting, Terence Blanchard, and Dianne Reeves. Cuba is a singer-songwriter whose songs are compelling exchanges that effortlessly groove through soul, funk, jazz, and pop styles. A forward-thinking, indie-minded artist, his sugarcane-sweet melodies, pop-soul hooks, and powerful guitar riffs have garnered him over 20 awards and nominations, including four Latin Grammys, two Junos Awards, three Grammy nominations, and one Grammy win.

Global Music

The Grammy Award-winning South African ensemble Ladysmith Black Mambazo makes their fourth appearance in Koerner Hall on April 6. Founded in the early 1960s by the late Joseph Shabalala, they catapulted to global fame through their collaboration with Paul Simon on his album Graceland. In addition to their work with Simon, the group has recorded with Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton, Sarah McLachlan, Josh Groban, Emmylou Harris, Melissa Etheridge, and many others. According to The Chicago Tribune, “They are musical uniters and global boundary crossers and, especially now ... as the rest of the world has grown less connected, their warm-centered presence and harmonics both soothe and offer hope for a more empathetic world.”

Grammy and UNESCO Award-winning vocalist Oumou Sangaré's music is defiantly uplifting, full of buoyant West African grooves, hypnotic melodicism, and her joyful, soulful voice. Over her acclaimed career, “The Songbird of Wassoulou” has worked with pioneering Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen, sung on Herbie Hancock's Imagine project, released 11 solo albums, and been cited as an inspiration by the likes of Alicia Keys, Aya Nakamura, and Beyoncé. Women's rights remain a key focus of her work, both in song and on the ground in her native Mali, where she campaigns fearlessly against an oppressive patriarchal system. She makes her Koerner Hall debut on April 20, presented in association with Small World Music.

21C Music Festival

Laurie Anderson is one of America's most renowned – and daring – creative pioneers. Known primarily for her multimedia presentations, she has cast herself in roles as varied as visual artist, composer, poet, photographer, filmmaker, electronics whiz, vocalist, and instrumentalist. The Grammy Award-winning NYC artist, filmmaker, violinist, writer, composer, and cultural icon returns to Koerner Hall for another magical, sold out night on April 5.

Classical Music

International Orchestras

Founded in 1900, The Philadelphia Orchestra has distinguished itself as one of the leading orchestras in the world through a century of acclaimed performances, historic international tours, and best-selling recordings. Renowned for its luscious string tone, the ensemble is on a path to create an expansive future for classical music. Montreal Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin is now in his 12th season as Music and Artistic Director of the Orchestra and his engagement has been extended through 2030! He joins a remarkable list of music directors such as Fritz Scheel, Carl Pohlig, Leopold Stokowski, Eugene Ormandy, Riccardo Muti, Wolfgang Sawallisch, and Christoph Eschenbach. He also serves as Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera and Montréal's Orchestre Métropolitain, which has performed in Koerner Hall on two occasions. As The New York Times stated, “Mr. Nézet-Séguin drew such intensity from the music that it seemed almost expressionistic.” On April 17 they perform a sold out concert with a program of Florence Price's Symphony No. 4 and Rachmaninov's Symphony No. 2.

Dinner and concert packages (very limited availability) are the only option to obtain premium seats for this performance. Proceeds from the dinner will support future programming in Koerner Hall.

Piano Recitals

Pianist Richard Goode has been hailed for music making of tremendous emotional power, depth, and expressiveness, and has been acknowledged worldwide as one of today's leading interpreters of Classical and Romantic music. Gramophone magazine recently captured the essence of what makes Richard Goode such an original and compelling artist: “Every time we hear him, he impresses us as better than we remembered, surprising us, surpassing our expectations and communicating perceptions that stay in the mind.” His numerous prizes over the years include the Young Concert Artists Award, First Prize in the Clara Haskil Competition, the Avery Fisher Prize, and a Grammy Award for his recording of the Brahms Sonatas with clarinetist Richard Stoltzman. Goode will also give a series of public master classes while at the RCM. 

For his third performance in Koerner Hall on April 21, he will present an all-Ludwig van Beethoven program.

Chamber and String Concerts

“The most exciting British string player since Jacqueline du Pré” (The Observer), Koerner Hall favourite Daniel Hope returns with his ensemble to explore the rich world of Irish music on April 24 in a concert titled Irish Roots. Hope has toured the world as a virtuoso soloist for 25 years and is celebrated for his musical versatility as well as his dedication to humanitarian causes. Winner of the 2015 European Cultural Prize for Music, he appears as soloist with the world's major orchestras and conductors. In addition, he gives a dizzying array of solo recitals, chamber concerts, and directs many ensembles from the violin. He succeeded Roger Norrington as Music Director of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra in 2016 and is also Music Director of San Francisco's New Century Chamber Orchestra since 2018.

The phenomenal Dover Quartet is joined by Norway's foremost pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, who gave a masterful recital in Koerner Hall last season, on April 28. Named one of the greatest string quartets of the last 100 years by BBC Music Magazine, the Grammy Award nominated Dover Quartet's rise from up-and-coming young ensemble who swept all the prizes at the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition to occupying a spot at the top of their field has been “practically meteoric” (Strings). With its burnished warmth, incisive rhythms, and natural phrasing, the Quartet's distinctive sound has helped confirm its status as “the young American string quartet of the moment” according to The New Yorker. Internationally acclaimed pianist and chamber musician Leif Ove Andsnes has been nominated for 11 Grammy Awards and awarded many international prizes, including six Gramophone Awards. The New York Times calls him “a pianist of magisterial elegance, power, and insight.” Their program together features works by Brahms, Dohnányi, and Turina.

Mazzoleni Masters

Comprised of the senior faculty of The Royal Conservatory's Glenn Gould School, with special guests drawn from the organization's most accomplished students and alumni, the three-time Grammy Award nominated ARC Ensemble (Artists of The Royal Conservatory) is among Canada's most distinguished cultural ambassadors. Performing a wide range of music, its focus remains the research and recovery of works that were suppressed and marginalized under the 20th century's repressive regimes. On April 7, the ensemble is joined by students of The Glenn Gould School to perform an evening titled The Viennese in Los Angeles, including Erich Wolfgang Korngold's extravagantly lush Piano Quintet, and works for string quartet and clarinet by his Viennese contemporary Ernest Kanitz. Both composers settled in Los Angeles where Korngold became the most celebrated film composer of the day and Kanitz joined the University of Southern California's music faculty. Presented in partnership with Koffler Arts and The Royal Ontario Museum, a pre-concert talk will feature Simon Wynberg, the ARC Ensemble's Artistic Director, and Alexander Brose, The Royal Conservatory's President & CEO Designate. There will also be a special screening of The Adventures of Robin Hood, which earned Korngold an Oscar, at The ROM's Eaton Theatre.

Discovery Series

The students of The Ihnatowycz Piano Program at The Glenn Gould School are featured in an evening of dazzling works for two pianos by composers such as Rachmaninov, Chopin, Ravel, Saint-Saëns, and Arenski in The Glenn Gould School Piano Showcase on April 27.

Free events

Prepare to be immersed in a diverse sonic landscape that pushes the boundaries of musical expression on April 23! As part of the Discovery Series, experience a captivating contemporary music concert, including Samy Moussa's dynamic Kammerkonzert for a large ensemble, Iannis Xenakis's mesmerizing Phlegra for 11 instruments, and Linda Catlin Smith's Cut Flowers for large ensemble and soprano performed by the GGS New Music Ensemble and conducted by the award-winning Brian Current.

Tickets and subscriptions are available online at www.rcmusic.com/performance, by calling 416.408.0208, or in person at the Weston Family Box Office




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