The Royal Conservatory Of Music's 2020-21 Concert Season Announced
Dr. Peter Simon, Michael and Sonja Koerner President & CEO of The Royal Conservatory of Music, Mervon Mehta, Executive Director of Performing Arts, and James Anagnoson, Dean of The Glenn Gould School, today revealed details of the diverse concerts that will make up the 12th concert season at The Royal Conservatory of Music.
"Music has been uniting us through these unprecedented times and, should the government directives on social distancing be lifted, we eagerly anticipate when we can gather once again to enjoy music collectively," says Dr. Peter Simon. "The celebrated artists in our upcoming season reconfirm Koerner Hall's reputation as one of the great concert halls of the world. We look forward to welcoming those who have already graced our stage and those who have not yet experienced the Hall's acoustical excellence."
Mervon Mehta said: "Nothing compares to the power of live music and the collective experience of sharing it together - music is enormously important to well-being and strengthening our spirits. Therefore, we are cautiously and optimistically moving forward with plans for the 2020-21 concert season in a way that is safe and responsible. Our artists are eager to return to play for you and we are planning various scenarios to bring us all back together again (details of some of our current mitigation plans are listed under ticketing information). Over the course of our 12th season, we will present 110 concerts and events. Artists from 43 countries, including those from Indonesia, Iraq, Iceland, Cameroon, and Zimbabwe, will bring their music to us and 83 Canadian artists or ensembles will headline concerts."
"As always, but especially now during these unprecedented times, we are enormously grateful to our season sponsor, BMO Financial Group, along with all our series and individual concerts sponsors and donors for the 2020-21 season, including Michael and Sonja Koerner. We also send out heartfelt thanks to our season media sponsor, the Toronto Star and to our government funders: The Department of Canadian Heritage, the Ontario Arts Council, the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, and the Toronto Arts Council," added Mehta.
Starring Chilina Kennedy, Eric McCormack, Cynthia Dale, and Thom Allison with Mary Lou Fallis, Denise Fergusson, Lorraine Foreman, Ben Heppner, Sheila McCarthy, Louise Pitre, Jackie Richardson, and Avery Saltzman
Book by James Goldman
Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Designer Nick Blais / Choreographer Robin Calvert / Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick
Produced originally on Broadway by Harold Prince
An all-star cast of Canadian theatre, opera and television icons and orchestra perform the legendary masterpiece considered by many to be the greatest musical ever created. Surreal, sophisticated, compelling, heart wrenching, and epic in scope, including hit songs "Losing My Mind," "I'm Still Here," and "Broadway Baby." This star-studded event in support of The Fund for Koerner Hall celebrates Sondheim's 90th birthday. Director Richard Ouzounian remarked: "I can think of no better way to celebrate Stephen Sondheim's 90th birthday than with this all-star concert presentation of his landmark musical, Follies. Koerner Hall will resound with Paul Sportelli conducting a 24-piece orchestra playing Jonathan Tunick's glorious original orchestrations, while a cast featuring a galaxy of Canadian stars brings all the hilarity and heartbreak of this brilliant work to life."
Gala dinner and concert packages are available by calling 416.408.2824 x 447.
As the COVID-19 lockdown in Ontario began in March, we had to postpone several concerts and most have been
re-scheduled: SongBird North to September 26; Canadian multicultural group Ladom Ensemble to September 27; the sold out recital by one of the world's leading pianists, Angela Hewitt, to October 18; Chicago trumpeter, composer, and bandleader Orbert Davis's "Soul Migration" featuring members of Chicago Jazz Philharmonic to October 23; our own KUNÉ - Canada's Global Orchestra along with Moskitto Bar to November 14; Beethoven specialist John O'Conor to November 29; violinist Pamela Frank with pianist Emanuel Ax to December 2; Portuguese fado sensation Mariza to February 4; Songmasters - To the Distant Beloved to March 21; Zimbabwean band Mokoomba and Montreal-based Haitian musician Wesli to April 14; the sold out Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain to April 27, with an added second date of April 28; and the spectacular crowd-surfing tragicomedienne, Meow Meow, to May 1.
The popular concert series, inspired by Australian songwriter Peter Allen's song, "Quiet Please, There's a Lady on Stage," which he wrote for his mother-in-law, Judy Garland, returns for the sixth season to celebrate extraordinary female voices. The five-concert series features award-winning Afro-Cuban jazz singer from Havana, Daymé Arocena, described by The New Yorker as "one of the world's fastest rising jazz vocalists," sharing an evening with Nella, the new voice from the Venezuelan island of Margarita and a winner of the 2019 Latin Grammy Award for Best New Artist; Artemis, an international all-star group which includes Canadians Renee Rosnes (piano) and Ingrid Jensen (trumpet), plus Anat Cohen (clarinet), Melissa Aldana (tenor sax), Noriko Ueda (bass), and Allison Miller (drums); A Tribute to Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul featuring Damien Sneed, who toured with Franklin, and Grammy Award-winning gospel music legend Karen Clark Sheard; five-time Grammy Award-winning vocalist Dianne Reeves with her latest project, Beleza Brazil, which explores that country's sensuous rhythms and the beauty of Brazil; and beloved American singer-songwriter and author, Rosanne Cash.
The Music Mix concert series consists of a variety of artists of different genres, just because we like to mix things up. Multiple Grammy Award-winning musician, renowned producer, and ambient pioneer Daniel Lanois and Heavy
Sun open the series, followed by Brubeck Brothers Quartet Celebrates Dave Brubeck's Centennial. This multimedia show with stories, video, and music takes the audience on a journey along the timeline of Brubeck's extraordinary life and career. Musician and storyteller Ashley MacIsaac brings together Canada's queen of R&B soul, Jully Black, and singing-songwriting duo, Madison Violet, for a powerful evening of Canadian roots music. Drawing on all genres, and demonstrating matchless improvisational skills and an ability to create new vocabularies on the fly, American jazz vocalist Bobby McFerrin makes his Koerner Hall debut. Skratch Bastid, a world-renowned DJ, producer, and three-time winner of the coveted Scribble Jam DJ Battle, brings DJ QBert, whose long career of innovating DJ culture has influenced a worldwide generation of DJs who are now regarded as musicians and not just DJs, to Koerner Hall. The series also includes three SongBird North concerts, in which top Canadian songwriters come together with host Blair Packham to perform their music and tell us about the inspiration, the songwriting process, and the stories behind the songs.
In addition to the abundance of International Artists that appear in other concert series throughout the season,
The Royal Conservatory welcomes musicians from Portugal, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Haiti, USA, and Peru, in music ranging from fado to vocal styles of isicathamiya and mbube, Afro-fusion and traditional Tonga rhythms, a mishmash of punk, hip-hop, beat music, cumbia, and rock. Two Toronto-based ensembles comprised of musicians from various parts of the world, KUNÉ - Canada's Global Orchestra and Moskitto Bar open the series. KUNÉ, which means "together" in Esperanto, was created by The Royal Conservatory in 2017 to celebrate Canada's Sesquicentennial and has been going strong ever since and Moskitto Bar is a musical journey across the world from Brittany to Bagdad. Heiress to Amália Rodrigues, Portuguese fado sensation Mariza, returns after her previous sold-out Koerner Hall concert for another unforgettable evening. Also returning is Ladysmith Black Mambazo, called "musical uniters and global boundary-crossers by The Chicago Tribune. Re-scheduled from the 2019-20 concert season, Zimbabwean a capella band Mokoomba shares an evening with Montreal-based Haitian musician Wesli, who won the 2019 Juno Award for Best World Music Album. Las Cafeteras, a Chicano band from East Los Angeles that fuses spoken word and folk music with traditional son jarocho, Afro-Mexican music, and zapateado dancing, and award-winning Peruvian-Canadian singer-songwriter and actor, Patricia Cano, close out the series.
This specially curated series celebrates jazz's journey from its roots in New Orleans melding European, Afro-Cuban and Acadian music to its adoption by musicians from every corner of the world including India, Cuba, Cameroon, Japan, South Korea, Armenia, Israel, Brazil, Indonesia and Turkey. The series opens with Miles from India - A Celebration of the Music of Miles Davis. As All Music Guide declared, the "beauty of Miles from India is how the players from different cultures and backgrounds meet on Miles' turf with their individual voices completely intact." Grammy Award-winning Cameroonian bassist Richard Bona and Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodríguez met through Quincy Jones and, after years of friendship, added Cuban percussionist and vocalist, Pedrito Martínez, to create a powerhouse group. The three musicians headline the concert, while Martínez also opens the show with his own band. Japanese jazz and classical pianist, Makoto Ozone, has performed with Chick Corea, Branford Marsalis, and was a favourite of Oscar Peterson. He is joined by Seoul-born singer Youn Sun Nah, whom Le Monde called "a UFO touching the universe of music with a magnificent voice and passionate originality." Armenian pianist/composer Tigran Hamasyan, who merges ancient sacred music with jazz piano, shares the evening with Israeli pianist Guy Mintus, whom Ottawa Citizen called a "talented young musical emissary who expertly blends the folkloric sounds of his homeland with the improvising aesthetic of jazz." Ivan Lins is a Latin Grammy Award-winning songwriter, vocalist, and pianist, whose songs have been performed by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Sting, and Diana Krall. On the same evening, Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista and Toronto guitarist Kevin Breit team up to create Supergenerous, which Billboard magazine called "pure aural pleasure." The series closes when Turkish-Canadian clarinetist and saxophonist Selcuk Suna, a member of KUNÉ and the Istanbul Trio, open for jazz pianist Joey Alexander, who became the first Indonesian musician to chart on Billboard 200 with his album, My Favorite Things, released when he was 11 years old - in 2015.
The Royal Conservatory is pleased to present the fifth season of Sunday afternoon concerts that bring a mix of jazz, cabaret, world, and classical music, all for free. Each concert is 75 minutes long with no intermission. The first concert features sitarist and KUNÉ member, Anwar Khurshid, whose music has been featured in the Oscar Award-winning film, Life of Pi, and Kama Sutra. Re-scheduled from last season, Ladom Ensemble is known for passionate, sophisticated, and wild acoustic chamber world music with inspiration from Argentine tango, Serbian folk and dance, Persian classical repertoire, and progressive rock. Pianist Fern Lindzon returns to the series as she delves into Duke Ellington and his suites. Pianist and Royal Conservatory alumna, Morgan-Paige Melbourne, presents a concert of new works that is also part of the 21C Music Festival. Glenn Gould School All Stars bring Brahm's Piano Quintet in F Minor and chamber music magic as pianist Robert McDonald, pianist and Dean of The Glenn Gould School James Anagnoson, Alexandra Koerner Yeo Chair in Cello Andrés Díaz, Associate Dean Barry Shiffman, and friends unite for one afternoon only. Three-time Grammy Award nominated ARC Ensemble (Artists of The Royal Conservatory) perform music of two little-known Jewish composers: the Sephardic works of Alberto Hemsi and the classical compositions of Vittorio Rieti in a concert titled Ottoman Treasures.
The eighth edition of the 21C Music Festival will include eight concerts and one film screening over two weeks from Friday, January 15, 2021 to Friday, January 29, 2021. The festival starts with FLIPBOOK: Music and Images, curated and conducted by Brian Current. Featuring the Glenn Gould School New Music Ensemble, it brings the audience to the movies with compositions by Martin Matalon and Kotoka Suzuki, as well as the Ontario premiere of Nicole Lizée's 8-Bit Urbex, for 15 players, soundtrack, and film, as well as the North American premiere of Pierre Jodlowski's Respire, for 11 players, video, and electronics.
The Canadian premiere of Marc Neikrug's A Song by Mahler, a one-act drama that follows a celebrated concert singer, famous for a particular Mahler love song, who develops an early onset of Alzheimer's (mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano) and her pianist husband (baritone Kelly Markgraf), as they confront their new reality with a new, elevated understanding of their love. The performance features the ARC Ensemble (Artists of the Royal Conservatory).
Violinist Angèle Dubeau and her superb string ensemble, La Pietà, return to Koerner Hall to perform works by Craig Armstrong, Abel Korzeniowski, Ludovico Einaudi, Peter Gregson, Jean-Michel Blais, Ólafur Arnalds, Max Richter, Johann Johannsson and more.
Pianist and Royal Conservatory alumna, Morgan-Paige Melbourne, will perform works by Dawn Davi, Nauroz Tanya, Kathryn Knowles, Tom MacCammon, Nikolai Kapustin, and Brian Current, in a concert which is also part of the Sunday Interludes concert series.
Canadian Eve Egoyan will launch a new kind of piano, imagined by the pianist herself and designed by a team
of programmers. This 21C Cinq à Sept late afternoon concert will feature the world premieres of works for this newly imagined piano.
Soundstreams returns to the Festival with Choral Splendour: The Music of Pärt and Frehner. Arvo Pärt's long-time collaborator, Tõnu Kaljuste, conducts Pärt's austere yet passionate Stabat Mater, coupled with Paul Frehner's LEX, a monumental world premiere that sets to music religious, poetic, and even scientific text - including Newton's laws of gravity!
A spotlight on San Francisco's Grammy Award-winning Kronos Quartet during the second week of the festival begins with Kronos Quartet on Film: A Thousand Thoughts, which will be presented in partnership with the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema. This multimedia performance piece blends live music by Kronos and narration as well as archival footage and filmed interviews with artists like Philip Glass, Tanya Tagaq (with whom Kronos appeared in Koerner Hall during the 21C Music Festival in 2016), Steve Reich, Wu Man, and Terry Riley.
Built around Kronos's Fifty for the Future initiative (a free library of 50 contemporary works designed to guide string quartets in developing and honing the skills required for the performance of 21st-century repertoire) four quartets from The Glenn Gould School will participate in a two-day mentorship with Kronos, culminating in a joint concert called Fifty Forward.
The festival closes with Kronos Quartet - Music for Change. To honour our heroes and highlight a few of our culture's musical triumphs, while also keeping a vigilant eye on our problems that continue to morph and fester, Kronos created a concert unlike any other they have ever played. In this program of imaginative leaps and unexpected connections, Kronos celebrates the 1960s, a time of radical social turmoil and free-wheeling energy in America that led to the formation of Kronos in 1973; and it also incorporates elements of the quartet's response to Trump's Muslim Ban of 2017. The concert includes Canadian and Ontario premiers from Steve Reich, Dan Becker, Antonio Haskell, Stacy Garrop, Dur-Dur Band, Fatimah Al-Zaelaeyah, Aftab Darvishi, John Coltrane, and Zachary James Watkins.
Ludwig van Beethoven: disruptor, innovator, genius. The Royal Conservatory's Beethoven 250 Festival, co-curated by Mervon Mehta and Canadian violinist James Ehnes, brings a range of musical perspectives and interpretations of Beethoven's music, including solo, chamber, orchestral, jazz, and operatic works from a cavalcade of artists in 17 different concerts. Ehnes himself, Stewart Goodyear, Adrianne Pieczonka, Marcus Roberts, the Gryphon Trio, and the Galilee Chamber Orchestra direct from Nazareth, participate in an LvB Festival like no other from November 13 to December 13, 2020.
Pianist Marc-André Hamelin, known worldwide for his blend of consummate musicianship and brilliant technique in the great works of the established repertoire, pairs Beethoven (Piano Sonatas Nos. 3 and 23 ["Appassionata"] with a fellow (but living) disruptor, Canadian composer John Oswald, whom he has commissioned to write a new piece for solo piano. Beethoven specialist John O'Conor performs the final three piano sonatas (Nos. 30-32) by Beethoven, considered the pinnacle of his works.
The Dover Quartet, which catapulted to international stardom following a stunning sweep of the 2013 Banff International String Quartet, at which they won every prize, plays Beethoven's String Quartets Nos. 2 and 13, and is joined by baritone Davóne Tines for Samuel Barber's "Dover Beach" and Caroline Shaw's By and By. Proclaimed "a phenomenon" by the Los Angeles Times, Royal Conservatory alumnus Stewart Goodyear presents the world premiere of his piano quintet based on themes from Beethoven, joined by the Penderecki String Quartet. He then tackles the composer's final monumental work (Symphony No. 9) by paring it down to solo piano and voices (Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, soprano Marta Woolner, mezzo-soprano Beste Kalender, tenor Zachary Rioux, and baritone Korin Thomas-Smith, all current or recent students of the RCM). Hailed by Strings magazine as "an important new force in the chamber music arena," the Ehnes Quartet shares an evening with the New Orford String Quartet in which each ensemble plays a favourite Beethoven quartet (Nos. 3 and 10) and then join forces for the Enescu Octet. All-Beethoven programs are performed by American pianist Anne-Marie McDermott with Rolston String Quartet (chamber version of the composer's "Emperor" concerto alongside two of his biggest hits - Piano Sonata No. 14 ["Moonlight"] and String Quartet No. 7 ["Razumovsky" 1]), Gryphon Trio and pianist Jon Kimura Parker (Piano Trio in E flat Major, op. 1, no.1; Quintet for Piano, Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, and Bassoon in
E flat Major, op. 16; and Piano Trio in B flat Major, op. 97 ["Archduke"]), and the ARC Ensemble (Artists of The Royal Conservatory) (Piano Trio in D Major [arrangement of Symphony No. 2, op. 36, by composer], String Quintet in C Major, op. 29, and folk song arrangements for voice and piano trio with soprano Monica Whicher). And finally, festival partner Amici Chamber Ensemble presents In Beethoven's Shadow, a program that includes works by Beethoven, Erzherzog Rudolf von Österreich, and Ferdinand Ries.
Two of Canada's biggest names in opera, soprano Adrianne Pieczonka and tenor Michael Schade, join the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra and their Music Director, Johannes Debus, for a special evening of Beethoven's opera Fidelio (excerpts) and Symphony No. 2, as well as works by von Weber, Schubert, and Wagner. Conducted by Saleem Abboud Ashkar, the 35-musician Galilee Chamber Orchestra broke ground as the first professional orchestra in Israel comprised of equal Israeli and Palestinian members. The program for this concert, which marks their first appearance in Canada, consists of Beethoven's Symphony No. 1 and Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 1 played by Canadian pianist Jon Kimura Parker.
Peter Oundjian conducts the Royal Conservatory Orchestra in a program that includes Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 ("Eroica"); Taylor Academy Showcase Concert presents an all-Beethoven program with Romances for Violin, and selections from sonatas for piano, cello and piano, and violin and piano; Toronto Symphony Orchestra Principal Clarinet and Royal Conservatory Orchestra Resident Conductor, Joaquin Valdepeñas, conducts Glenn Gould School students in Beethoven's Symphony No. 5.
In a rare and remarkable way of thinking about and hearing two disruptors and innovators of their time - Marcus Roberts and his 12-piece Modern Jazz Generation Band offer jazz improvisations on Beethoven's "Moonlight" and "Waldstein" sonatas alongside variations on Bernstein's West Side Story and On the Town.
"One of the rare musicians who changes the game of his instrument" according to the Los Angeles Times, Cameron Carpenter returns with his revolutionary International Touring Organ to perform Bach's iconic Goldberg Variations. In a concert that is also part of the Beethoven 250 Festival, Marc-André Hamelin pairs Beethoven Piano Sonatas Nos. 3 and 23 ("Appassionata") with Canadian composer John Oswald, whom he has commissioned to write a new piece for solo piano. Program also includes works by Bach and Haydn. The Royal Conservatory welcomes the return of the pianist who thrilled Koerner Hall audiences in 2019 under the baton on Yannick Nézét-Séguin, Nicholas Angelich. Known for "spellbinding, rapt playing" (Bachtrack), he performs Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 12, Prokofiev's Visions fugitives, Bach's Wachet auf! ruft uns die Stimme, and Brahms's Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, op. 24. Víkingur Ólafsson, who has been called "Iceland's Glenn Gould" by The New York Times, makes his Koerner Hall debut with a program titled Pour le piano, consisting of works by Jean-Philippe Rameau and Debussy, as well as Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. Korean pianist Seong-Jin Cho, who was brought to the world's attention in 2015 when he won the First Prize at the Chopin International Competition in Warsaw, presents a program of Schumann, Szymanowski, and Chopin's Four Scherzos, Nos. 1-4. Jean-Yves Thibaudet, "a musician with fearless, flawless fingers" according to The West Australian, makes his Koerner Hall debut with the complete Debussy Préludes.
Two of Canada's biggest names in opera, soprano Adrianne Pieczonka and tenor Michael Schade, join the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra and their Music Director, Johannes Debus, for a special evening of Beethoven's opera Fidelio (excerpts) and Symphony No. 2, as well as works by von Weber, Schubert, and Wagner. This concert is also part of the Beethoven 250 Festival. Austrian mezzo-soprano Angelika Kirchschlager's recitals "have demonstrated her ... ability to span the theatrical and meditative extremes ... with polish and beauty of tone," according to the Opera News. In her Koerner Hall debut, she is accompanied by pianist Julius Drake in Franz Schubert's popular Winterreise. The King's Singers, who have become one of the most frequent guests in Koerner Hall's 12 seasons and whose concerts always sell out, return for an afternoon of iconic anthems of struggle and revolution through history, titled Finding Harmony. Opera Now states Swedish mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie Von Otter "possesses one of the most flexible and natural vocal instruments of any living artist." In her return to Koerner Hall with works by Fanny Mendelssohn, Clara Schumann, Robert Schumann, Franz Schubert, and Adolf Lindblad, she is accompanied by South African keyboard artist Kristian Bezuidenhout. Chosen by Opera News as one of 25 artists poised to break out and become a major force in the coming decade, Canadian baritone Joshua Hopkins brings a very special program of songs, titled Love and Loss. The evening culminates with the world premiere of the piano version of Jake Heggie's Songs for Murdered Sisters with text by Margaret Atwood.
Three concerts that are part of the Beethoven 250 Festival are also part of this series: two performances that see James Ehnes with Andrew Armstrong playing the complete Beethoven Violin Sonatas and the Enhes Quartet with the New Orford String Quartet. Acclaimed Latvian cellist Mischa Maisky is joined by his son Sascha, a violinist, and his daughter Lily, a pianist, to perform works by Schubert, Rachmaninov, Scriabin, and Mendelssohn (co-presented with Show One Productions). Italian pianist Beatrice Rana, who performs with "all the virtuosic flair that you'd expect, but never for its own sake" according to The New York Times, is accompanied by French violinist Renaud Capuçon, who plays with "thrilling depth of tone" (Telegraph). Their program consists of Violin Sonatas by Schumann and Prokofiev as well as Clara Schumann's Three Romances for Violin and Piano. Koerner Hall favourites, Gidon Kremer and his Kremerata Baltica, interweave movements from Haydn's Seven Last Words of Christ and Shostakovich's final string quartet with texts by contemporary authors such as Primo Levi, Stephen Hawking, Rose Ausländer, Jorge Luis Borges, Harold Pinter, and Steve Jobs, read by Mr. Kremer in a program titled Last Words. A special concert, called The Distant Voices, features music from Afghanistan, Armenia, Istanbul, Sarajevo, Persia, and Italy, which Jordi Savall performs on viella and rebab, accompanied by Hakan Güngor on kanun, and Dimitri Psonis on oud, santur, saz, and percussion.
This concert series consists of five concerts that are also part of the Beethoven 250 Festival (Dover Quartet with Davóne Tines, Stewart Goodyear with the Penderecki String Quartet and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Anne-Marie McDermott with Rolston String Quartet, Galilee Chamber Orchestra with Jon Kimura Parker conducted by Saleem Abboud Ashkar, Gryphon Trio with Jon Kimura Parker) and Canada's premier chamber ensemble, Les Violons du Roy, led on this tour by the charismatic, award-winning pianist Jeremy Denk, performing Renaissance and Baroque works culminating with J.S. Bach's Keyboard Concerti in E Major and D Minor.
James Anagnoson, Dean of The Royal Conservatory's Glenn Gould School, is proud to present another season of concerts in Koerner Hall, Mazzoleni Concert Hall, and Temerty Theatre.
Said Anagnoson: "The Glenn Gould School will once again present an array of talent in Royal Conservatory Orchestra and Opera, Songmasters, the Discovery Series, The Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists, and the Rebanks Family Fellowship Concert Series - which feature the faculty, students, and friends of The Glenn Gould School."
The Royal Conservatory Orchestra (RCO), part of the Temerty Orchestral Program, is widely regarded as an outstanding ensemble and one of the best training orchestras in North America. It consists of instrumental students in the Bachelor of Music, Performance (Honours) and Artist Diploma programs of The Glenn Gould School. Alumni of the RCO have joined the ranks of the greatest orchestras in the world, including: the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the BBC Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Quebec Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic, Tafelmusik, the Hallé Orchestra of Manchester, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and the Leipzig Gewandhaus.
During the 2020-21 season, the orchestra will be led by Trevor Pinnock, one of the pioneers of the modern revival of early music performance, founding The English Concert in 1972 and the European Brandenburg Ensemble in 2006; Peter Oundjian, Conductor Emeritus of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra; Johannes Debus, Music Director of the Canadian Opera Company; and Gábor Takács-Nagy, Music Director of Manchester Camerata, Principal Guest Conductor of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, and Principal Artistic Partner of the Irish Chamber Orchestra. Each concert features one of the winners of the 2020 Glenn Gould School Concerto Competition: pianist Sae Yoon Chon playing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 ("Emperor"), pianist Jean-Luc Therrien performing Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 2, violinist Ji Soo Choi in Brahms's Violin Concerto in D Major, and finally pianist Thomas Torok with
In November, students from The Glenn Gould School's vocal program perform two one-act operas led by Music Director Peter Tiefenbach. Kurt Weill's The Seven Deadly Sins is the satirical story of two sisters, Anna I, a practical and cynical singer, and Anna II, an emotional and impulsive but mysterious dancer. Lucrezia, a chamber opera composed by William Bolcom, is a zarzuela riff on Machiavelli's La Mandragola, where the comedy's heroine Lucrezia, an intelligent seductress, takes charge of her own destiny. In March, the annual staged opera in Koerner Hall will be Benjamin Britten's The Rape of Lucretia. Etruscan prince Tarquinius, who is leading Rome in a war against the Greeks, is tired of hearing his general Collatinus speak of his virtuous wife Lucretia and decides to test her. He comes to her house in Rome, demands shelter, and reassures her that Collatinus is well. That night, he enters her bedroom and rapes her, with disastrous consequences.
The Glenn Gould School's esteemed vocal faculty members, soprano Monica Whicher and pianist Rachel Andrist, together with their musical friends, present art songs, mélodie, lieder, and other great vocal works, each eloquently programmed around a special theme. Grammy Award-winning baritone Elliot Madore has been praised for his "exquisite vocal beauty" by Opera News and his "movie star good looks" by Merkur. He performs works by Benjamin Britten, John Musto, Jennifer Higdon, and John Adams in a program titled Troubled Times. In the Words of Women, a program inspired by the words of women poets, features cellist David Hetherington playing the John Taverner songs of Anna Akhmatova. The two vocal soloists are soprano Jacqueline Woodley, who "sings with a touch of eroticism as well as seductive simplicity ... [she] will take your breath away" (Now) and mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó, whose voice has a "rich, creamy tone" (The Morning Call). Acclaimed soprano, Alexandra Smither, joins baritone Russell Braun and pianist Carolyn Maule to perform Beethoven's An die ferne Geliebte and a world premiere piece by award-winning Iranian- Canadian composer, Afarin Mansouri, commissioned by Canadian Art Song Project, in a program titled To the Distant Beloved.
Toronto Symphony Orchestra Principal Clarinet and Royal Conservatory Orchestra Resident Conductor, Joaquin Valdepeñas, conducts Glenn Gould School students in Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 in a concert that is also part of the Beethoven 250 Festival. The series also includes The Glenn Gould School Vocal Showcase in which GGS voice students present an evening of art songs and opera excerpts, and The Glenn Gould School Piano Showcase, with an all French program including the complete 1st Book of Debussy Preludes and various works for two pianos and one piano four hands.
There are three free concerts in the Discovery Series: The Glenn Gould School Concerto Competition Finals, The Glenn Gould School Chamber Competition Finals, and The Glenn Gould School New Music Ensemble: Sometimes the Devil Plays Fate. Curated and conducted by Brian Current, the students of The Glenn Gould School perform the world premiere of Paul Frehner's Sometimes the Devil Plays Fate, for mezzo-soprano and chamber orchestra, and works by visiting composer, Sandeep Bhagwati.
In addition, four Taylor Academy Showcase Concerts and two Academy Chamber Orchestra concerts will be presented as part of The Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists series, and two Rebanks Family Fellowship Concerts that are part of the Rebanks Family Fellowship Concert Series, generously supported by the Rebanks Family and The W. Garfield Weston Foundation.