The Royal Conservatory of Music to Launch 2017-18 Season with Starry Gala

The Royal Conservatory of Music to Launch 2017-18 Season with Starry GalaAs The Royal Conservatory of Music's 2017-18 concert season is set to begin, five of the upcoming Koerner Hall concerts are already sold out, including the Season Gala concert with Hollywood star Bill Murray and his friends Jan Vogler (cello), Mira Wang (violin), and Vanessa Perez (piano).

The other sold out concerts include recitals by violinist Joshua Bell (November 4), and pianists Angela Hewitt (November 12), Daniil Trifonov (February 1), and Yuja Wang (May 13), for which The Conservatory will be adding limited stage seating - these tickets will go on sale on Tuesday, September 5, at 10am.

Special Events

This year's Season Gala concert, Bill Murray, Jan Vogler, and Friends: New Worlds, will take place on Friday, October 13. The one-and-only Bill Murray will read such authors as Hemingway, Whitman, and Mark Twain, dance a tango, and sing Gershwin and Bernstein, while an ensemble led by his friend, cellist Jan Vogler, will perform works by Bach, Piazzolla, Ravel, and others, in this evening where music and literature meet. While the concert is sold out, a limited number of BMO Rush Tickets will be available 90 minutes before curtain, but patrons are encouraged to check with the box office first and come as early as they can to line up.

Nearly 40 years after he began one of South African music's most remarkable careers, Johnny Clegg is embarking on his final world tour, titled The Final Journey World Tour, with a stop in Koerner Hall on October 18. Clegg was diagnosed with cancer in 2015 and underwent chemotherapy treatment. 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. This concert is sold out, but BMO Rush Tickets will be available at 6:30pm on concert day.

TD Jazz: The Roots of Jazz

Since the inaugural season of concerts in Koerner Hall, Mervon Mehta, Executive Director of Performing Arts, has curated jazz concerts around a particular theme, and this season is devoted to exploring the roots of jazz. This six-concert gumbo will be cooked with some of the tasty ingredients of jazz - African and Latin rhythms, the blues, the Great American Songbook, swing, and bebop.

Starting with jazz fusion, the Miles Electric Band comes to Koerner Hall on October 14. Led by Grammy Award-winning drummer, former bandmate, and nephew of MiLes Davis, Vincent Wilburn, Jr., he has breathed new life into the music of Davis's electric period (1969-75) when he released the albums Bitches Brew, On The Corner, and Jack Johnson. Contemporaries of Davis who played with him, plus a whole new generation of musicians who continue to push the cultural envelope forward with an eclectic fusion of jazz, rock, hip hop, and world music, are proving that the music of Miles will always transcend space and time. Principal band members include two-time Grammy nominee Robert Irving on piano, legendary P-funk guitarist Blackbyrd McKnight, acclaimed percussionist Munyungo Jackson, saxophonist Antoine Roney (Lenny Kravitz, Elvin Jones), The Rolling Stones bassist Darryl Jones, programmer/re-mixer DJ Logic, and sitting in for Miles on trumpet is the Grammy Award nominated ChristIan Scott.

More jazz

Mazzoleni Masters concert series starts on October 22 with Adi Braun: Moderne Frau. Jazz vocalist Braun, and her ensemble, present a program celebrating the spirit of the new and independent women that emerged during the Weimar Republic, which defined a new culture in Berlin. This is a CD launch concert of Ms. Braun's newest disc, Adi Braun - Moderne Frau.

World Music

Created by 10-time Latin Grammy winner Javier Limón, Flamenco Legends by Javier Limón: The Paco de Lucía Project reassembles original band members that toured with the legendary flamenco guitarist for the last 10 years of his career. The cast on October 21 includes de Lucía's nephew, Antonio Sánchez, on guitar and dancer Farru. In a related event, the documentary film, Flight of the Guitar: Dreaming of Paco de Lucía, will be screened at the Hot Docs TEd Rogers Cinema on October 24 at 6:30pm. Following the screening, Toronto guitarist Kevin Laliberté and Mervon Mehta will discuss the legacy of de Lucía.

Renowned Chilean band Inti-Illimani recorded a new album in Havana to celebrate their 50th anniversary. Their songs, performed on more than 30 wind, string, and percussion instruments, are a treasure for the human spirit, weaving sacred places, people's carnivals, daily lives, loves, and pains together. Presented in association with Small World Music, on October 27 they will share the evening with Chilean singer-songwriter, poet, and multi-instrumentalist, Nano Stern, whose songs are outspoken, passionate, and experimental. Championed by the great Joan Baez, his love of traditional and revolutionary music is brilliantly layered with Indigenous, African, and European elements.

Classical Music

Critics have praised the Armenian Khachaturian Trio's virtuoso performances, subtle sense of style, warm sound, and deep musicality. Named after Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian, the trio, comprised of Armine Grigorian (piano), Karen Shahgaldian (violin), and Karen Kocharian (cello), makes its Canadian debut on October 20. Their program includes works by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, A?no Babajanian, and, of course, Khachaturian.

Founder of the legendary Takács Quartet, Hungarian Maestro Gábor Takács-Nagy has been the music director of the Weinberger Kammerorchestra, Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra, MAV Symphony Orchestra Budapest, and Principal Artistic Partner of the Irish Chamber Orchestra. On October 6, he returns to conduct the Royal Conservatory Orchestra, widely regarded as an outstanding ensemble and one of the best training orchestras in North America, which consists of instrumental students in the Performance Diploma Program and Artist Diploma Program of The Glenn Gould School. The program will consist of works by Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky, as well as Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1 performed by León Bernsdorf. The concert will also include a Prelude Recital at 6:45pm and a Pre-concert Talk at 7:15pm.

As part of the Discovery Series, Toronto Symphony Orchestra Principal Clarinet and Royal Conservatory Orchestra Resident Conductor, Joaquin Valdepeñas, conducts Glenn Gould School students on October 27 in a program of chamber works, including a Mozart serenade and Arnold Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony No. 1.

The first Songmasters concert, A Song for All Seasons, on October 15, features Canadian soprano Erin Wall. Acclaimed for her musicality and versatility, she is known internationally for her extensive opera, oratorio, and concert performances. Exploring all four seasons in a program of songs in a myriad of languages, Wall shares the afternoon with Glenn Gould School alumnus, tenor Asitha Tennekoon, known for "his silky, emotional presence on stage - both vocally and dramatically" (The Globe and Mail).

Free Concerts

Ensemble Made In Canada with Scott St. John starts off the Sunday Interludes concert series on October 1, with a concert that will be part of the national Culture Days celebration. This piano quartet, known for their "dramatic, nuanced, and, where appropriate, playful performances," (The WholeNote) includes pianist Angela Park, violinist Elissa Lee, violist Sharon Wei, and cellist Rachel Mercer. They are joined by violin/violist Scott St. John in a program of Mahler, Suk, and Dvo?ák.

Taylor Academy Showcase Concert on October 28, presented by The Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists, offers a unique opportunity to hear the leading young classical musicians in Canada who currently study at The Royal Conservatory.

Tickets and subscriptions are available online at www.performance.rcmusic.ca, by calling 416.408.0208, or in person at the Weston Family Box Office. Become a Royal Subscriber: select any 4-6 concerts and save 10%; select any 7+ concerts and save 15%; both levels receive special subscriber benefits. A limited number of $15 BMO Rush Tickets are available starting 90 minutes before all performances presented by The Royal Conservatory. All concerts take place at The Royal Conservatory of Music, TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto.

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