The Royal Conservatory of Music Announces Jam-Packed 2017-18 Concert Season

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, revealed today the details of the ninth concert season since the opening of Koerner Hall in 2009.

"This richly diverse, genre-crossing concert season demonstrates the commitment of The Royal Conservatory to promoting the finest talent from Canada and the world and inspiring people through music," says Dr. Peter Simon. "It is gratifying that Canada's Koerner Hall is acknowledged by the world's leading artists as one of the finest in the world today and an important point of distinction for our city."

Mervon Mehta said: "In our ninth season of concerts in Koerner Hall, we welcome artists from over 30 countries; our piano series is an all-female affair; some of our closest friends - Johnny Clegg, Yuja Wang, and Max Raabe - return while over 40 artists make their debuts with us. Our philosophy remains the same as it did when we began on September 25, 2009: to present the finest artists from around the world and from across Canada in one of the world's great concert halls. We are thrilled that Koerner Hall has become home to a wide range of music that can include local Juno Award winners Okavango on one night, violin superstar Joshua Bell on another, and South African legend Hugh Masekela on a third. Of course, none of this would be possible without our curious and adventurous audience who fill the hall night after night. To them we offer our sincerest thanks."

Two concerts in the upcoming season are already sold out - the Season Gala with beloved film star Bill Murray accompanied by cellist Jan Vogler and friends and the re-scheduled appearance of pianist Daniil Trifonov.

Much-loved South African musician Johnny Clegg, who has sold out Koerner Hall on three previous occasions, will appear at The Conservatory one last time in October. Diagnosed with cancer in 2015, he has decided to embark on his last tour, stopping at his favorite places and venues, which include Toronto and Koerner Hall.

TD Jazz: The Roots of Jazz series features a six-concert gumbo of some of the 'ingredients' of jazz, such as African and Latin rhythms, the blues, the Great American Songbook, swing, and bebop. The performers include the Miles Electric Band, Latin pianists Alfredo Rodri?guez and Danilo Pe?rez, powerful vocalist Dianne Reeves, iconic South African jazz instrumentalists Hugh Masekela and Abdullah Ibrahim in their reunion after almost 60 years, American pianist Gerald Clayton who made a memorable Koerner Hall debut in the unforgettable Oscar @ 90 concert in 2015, as well as the return of The Hot Sardines and the debut by Flavia Nascimento.

The Glenn Gould School, The Royal Conservatory of Music's internationally recognized centre for professional training in music performance at the post-secondary and post-bachelor levels, celebrates 20 years during the 2017-18 concert season with a unique performance of the complete Rachmaninov Preludes in the Glenn Gould School Piano Showcase in April. Additionally, The Conservatory has launched Resounding! The Campaign for The Glenn Gould School, through which it will engage the community in reflecting on the incredible successes of the past 20 years and seek support for the next 20 years and beyond. The four Royal Conservatory Orchestra performances will be conducted by friends Gabor Takacs-Nagy, Tania Miller, Ihnatowycz Chair in Piano Leon Fleisher, and Johannes Debus.

The Conservatory presents two all-female concert series: Invesco Piano Concerts, featuring Canadian Angela Hewitt, French sisters Katia and Marielle Labeque, Georgian Khatia Buniatishvili, Italian Beatrice Rana, and Chinese Yuja Wang, and the third edition of Quiet Please, There's A Lady On Stage with the returns of Lisa Fischer, Angelique Kidjo, and Fatoumata Diawara (with special guest, Juno Award-winning Okavango), and the debuts of Calypso Rose (accompanied by Toronto's Kobo Town), and Canadian chanteuse Emilie-Claire Barlow.

Sibling duo pianists Katia and Marielle Labe?que will present the original version of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, as well as recent works by Bryce Dessner (from The National) and Philip Glass.

Stellar vocalists include Canadians Barbara Hannigan in her long-awaited Koerner Hall debut and Gerald Finley in his long-awaited return to the Hall, as well as a special Valentine's Day recital featuring British tenor Ian Bostridge. Both Finley and Bostridge will be accompanied by one of the finest instrumentalists in his field, Julius Drake.

Cellists Gautier Capuc?on, Nicolas Altstaedt, and Clemens Hagen make their Koerner Hall debuts accompanied by equally formidable pianists Je?ro?me Ducros, Fazil Say, and Kirill Gerstein, respectively.

Anniversary celebrations include the 30th anniversary of Amici Chamber Ensemble with Isabel Bayrakdarian playing some of the Ensemble's favourite pieces from their impressive career, and Bernstein @ 100 celebrated by SebastIan Knauer, Bernestein's daughter Jamie Bernstein, Conservatory alumna Wallis Giunta, and The Conservatory's very own ARC Ensemble (Artists of The Royal Conservatory).

Spanish viol master Jordi Savall returns to Koerner Hall with his ensemble, Hespe?rion XXI, as well as the Galician bagpiper Carlos Nu?n?ez, in a special program titled "Celtic Universe" - a musical dialogue between ancient, historical, and modern traditions of north and south Europe: Ireland, Scotland, the French Brittany, Galicia, and the Basque Country.

World Music concerts feature Ukrainian "ethnic chaos" band DakhaBrakha, the 50th anniversary of legendary Chilean band Inti-Illimani with fellow Chilean singer-songwriter Nano Stern, Crosscurrents with tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain and jazz bassist Dave Holland, the New Canadian Global Music Orchestra in their second appearance in Koerner Hall, the returns of flamenco guitarist Diego El Cigala and Israeli-Spanish singer-songwriter Yasmin Levy. Additionally, Javier Limo?n's Paco de Luci?a Project brings together the original band members that toured with the legendary flamenco guitarist for the last 10 years of his career.

Music Mix concerts include the dashing, dapper, and debonair Max Raabe with his Palast Orchester in their fourth appearance in Koerner Hall. Canada's own turntable champion and crowd favourite Skratch Bastid, who last appeared at The Conservatory with the Afiara String Quartet during the 21C Music Festival in 2015, brings his friend DJ Jazzy Jeff for an evening of turntable madness. Other highlights of the series are the debuts of Canadian jazz singer Holly Cole and Aboriginal Australian and Torres Strait Islander music theatre organisation, Black Arm Band. Finally, after the success of Piaf! The Show, which sold out Koerner Hall in 2015, the same ensemble brings the charm of Paris to Koerner Hall again with a brand new program titled PARIS! Le Spectacle.

Over the past three seasons, several concerts have been livestreamed as part of "Live at Koerner Hall" online concerts. In its ninth season, Koerner Hall will continue streaming select performances, ensuring that Canadians from coast-to-coast have access to the finest 'live' concert experience.

For the fifth consecutive season, the Music On Film series takes place at the Hot Docs TEd Rogers Cinema as Hot Docs and The Royal Conservatory together showcase inspiring music documentaries that explore different musical genres, followed by post-screening discussions and performances with film makers and accomplished musicians led by Mervon Mehta, Executive Director of Performing Arts at The Royal Conservatory. The films are screened on select Tuesdays in October, November, January, February, March, and April.

21C Music Festival will return for its fifth installment in May 2018. It will consist of eight concerts and run May 23-27, 2018. Details of the Festival will be announced in February 2018.

SPECIAL EVENTS:

Season Gala: Bill Murray, Jan Vogler, and Friends: New Worlds
Friday, October 13, 2017 at 8pm | Koerner Hall; PERFORMANCE SOLD OUT
For more information about GALA DINNER packages, call 416.408.2824 x536.

The one-and-only Bill Murray will read Hemingway, Whitman, and Mark Twain, dance a tango, and sing on the Koerner Hall stage. An ensemble led by his friend, cellist Jan Vogler, will perform works by Bach, Piazzolla, Ravel, and Bernstein, in this evening where music and literature meet. While the concert is sold out, some gala dinner packages are still available by calling 416.408.2824 x536. These include a three-course dinner, premium seating in Koerner Hall for the performance, and a champagne and dessert reception with the artists.

Season Gala Presenting Sponsor: BMO

Daniil Trifonov
Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 8pm | Koerner Hall; SOLD OUT The Glenn Gould School Piano Showcase
Saturday, April 7, 2018 at 7:30pm | Mazzoleni Concert Hall; $15 Subscriptions go on sale on Friday, June 16, 2017 at 10:00 am

"Mr. Trifonov has scintillating technique and a virtuosic flair." (The New York Times) The pianist will perform works by Chopin and variations on his compositions. This concert, which was rescheduled from March 2017, is sold out and tickets purchased for the original date are valid for this concert.

Sponsored by Invesco
Supported by an anonymous donor Media partner: Classical 96.3 FM

Johnny Clegg - The Final Journey World Tour
Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 8pm | Koerner Hall; $55-$105

Nearly 40 years after he began one of music's most remarkable careers, Johnny Clegg is embarking on his final world tour, titled The Final Journey. Clegg was diagnosed with cancer in 2015 and underwent chemotherapy treatment and, as he is in remission, he has decided to use this opportunity to perform a final set of concerts to thank his fans for their support. The tour will be built around Clegg's unparalleled repertoire of songs which began with the release of Juluka's Universal Men in 1979 and continued through the Savuka years and his more recent solo work.

The Glenn Gould School celebrates 20 years!

The Glenn Gould School (GGS) was created in 1997 with a vision to become the only music school in Canada focused on performance training for the most gifted young musicians. In 20 years, the accomplishments of GGS graduates have been extraordinary: they are performing in the greatest concert halls around the world, winning chairs in major orchestras in Canada and abroad, and repeatedly distinguishing themselves in international competitions. In this celebratory year, the GGS wants to share all of the accomplished musicians in action in special student and faculty concerts throughout the season and, in honour of this occasion, GGS piano students will present a unique performance of the complete Rachmaninov Preludes in the Glenn Gould School Piano Showcase in April. Additionally, The Conservatory has launched Resounding! The Campaign for The Glenn Gould School, through which it will engage the community in reflecting on the incredible successes of the past 20 years and seeking support for the next 20 years and beyond.

Tickets & subscriptions are on sale starting Friday, June 23, 2017 at 10:00 am. All advertised prices include service charge and 13% HST.



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