Volume 6 Issue 5 - February 2001

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1. Over View

by Allan Pulker

DISTINGUISHED VISITORS

Keeping in mind the tongue-in-cheek definition

of an expert -- "someone from out of town

wearing a suit and carrying a briefcase" let me

make clear that the )Jig attraction of visiting

musicians is not that they are necessarily better

but that, by definition, they bring. a different

perspective.

Some of the distinguished musicians

visiting Toronto in February and early March

include pianist Murray Perahia with the TSO

Feb 1, the Tokyo String Quartet Feb 15,·

Wayne Riddell, founder of the Tudor Singers

of Montreal, conducting the Exultate Chamber

Singers Feb 23, Arnold Steinhardt (founding

and, I believe, still, first violinist with the

Guarneri String Quartet) with Amici on March

2, American composer and teacher, Charles

Wuorinen with New Music Concerts March

. 4, and violinist-composer Mark O'Connor, on

March 5 and 6. ·

O'Connor comes courtesy of the

keen eye of Trevor Moat of "Innermusica"

who brought us II Giardino Armonico in '

January. Equally at home as a bluegrass and

country music fiddler and as a classical

violinist, O'Connor is a musical poet capable

of meeting the most extreme technical

demands. As a composer of concert music

based on American folk/popular music, he

carries on where Gershwin and Aaron Copland

left off. O'Connor learned fiddle from Texas

fiddler, Benny Thomasson and toured for a

time with Stephane Grappelli: he is a regular

with such august institutions as Tanglewood,'

Aspen, Berklee and Eastman. As a country &

western musician he has made about a dozen

CDs, and has made 5 CDs, including two with

Edgar Meyer and Yo Yo Ma, on Sony

Classical as a. classical artist.

I first heard him on the car radio,

months before hearing about his Toronto

performances, and was utterly amazed. He

plays March 5 at the Toronto Waldorf School

in Richmond Hill and at Trinity-St. Paul's ori

March 6. Once word gets around, tickets will

go fast!

SINGERS

I counted nineteen vocal recitals in the listings:

Some of Canada's finest singers will perform

here this month, including Paul Grindlay,

Mark DuBois, Suzanne Kompass, Jean

Stilwell, Patricia O'Callaghan, Russell Braun,

Valdine Anderson, Nathalie Paulin, Catherine

Robbin, Brett Polegato, Mark Pedrotti and

Edi\h Wiens. In addition, CBC OnStage Series

is bringing in Austrian baritone, Wolfgang

Holzmair and German tenor, Christoph

Pregardien, both of whom will be well worth

hearing.

PIANISTS

Watch out for Murray Perahia on Feb 1 with

CONCERT Nous

the TSO, Eve Egoyan, a truly gifted artist, and

Louis Lortie (with the Takacs String Quartet

Feb 2 and w'ith a quartet of distinguished

singers March 6). Arthur-Ozolins will give a

recital Feb 6, and Dang Thai Son is at Walter

Hall Feb 8 and in Hamilton Feb 9. Also on

Feb 9 in Walter Hall , Canadian pianist Jane

Coop gives .a solo recital under the auspices of

the Faculty of Music; and Alexander Madzar,

like Murray Perahia a winner of the Leeds

Piano Competition, will be one of Mayumi

Seiler's "Via Salzburg" guests. Jon Kimura

Parker performs with the TSO Feb 14, 15 and

17, as does Andrew Burashko Feb 28 and

March 1 & 4. On February 18 the Torontobased

duo pianists, Jim Anagnoson and Leslie

Kinton will perform, apparently in honour of

Kinton's birthday!

In the realm of other keyboards,

Lawrence Park Community Church and Deer

Park United Church are both offering evening

organ recitals on February 23 and March 3

respectively. And, in case anyone has

forgotten, there are three noon-hour organ

recitals a week, at three downtown Toronto

churches, welcome interludes in the middle of

the working day.

DAYTIME

Speaking of noon-hour concerts, the CBC's

"Music Around Us" is another opportunity to

hear good mid-day music. Cellist Roberta

Janzen, who plays the March 1 concert is

really worth going out of your way to hear. (I

heard her play at a house concert "dress

rehearsal" for the Associates of the TSO

"Four Cellists" concert on January 8).

Another opportunity to hear her will be the

Feb 16 Rothko Trio concert at St. George the

Martyr Church.

STRING QUARTETS

Music Toronto's sterling season offers three

string quartets this issue: the Amernet Feb 1,

the famous Tokyo Quartet Feb 15 and the

Mir6 Quartet March 1.

Formed in 1995 at the Oberlin

Conservatory, the Mir6 has won a string of

first prizes in chamber music

competitions.They were appointed to the

quartet apprenticeship at the Cleveland

Institute of Music in 1997 and are now the

teaching assistants to the Juilliard Quartet in

New York. In addition to quartets by Mozart

and Beethoven the String Quartet #3 by Chan

Ka Nin will be on their program. ·

The Penderecki String Quartet will

perform at the St. Jacob's Schoolhouse

Theatre Feb 9 and the Weiner Quartet (from

Toronto) presents a program in honour of

distinguished Toronto violinist Lorand

Fenyves on Feb 20.

ORIENTAL CONNECTION

Skimming the listings, I was struck by a

number of concerts with an oriental connection.

One is the Canadian Sinfonietta, Feb. 2,

which presents music composed by two

Chinese-born composers, and includes a

8 wholenote f.EBRUARY 1, 2001 - MARCH-:7;--,-::;2-;::0~0-:1-----------------_:_----'-----=-=-=--

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