Volume 26 Issue 2 - October 2020


Following the Goldberg trail from Gould to Lang Lang; Measha Brueggergosman and Edwin Huizinga on face to face collaboration in strange times; diggings into dance as FFDN keeps live alive; "Classical unicorn?" - Luke Welch reflects on life as a Black classical pianist; Debashis Sinha's adventures in sound art; choral lessons from Skagit Valley; and the 21st annual WholeNote Blue Pages (part 1 of 3) in print and online. Here now. And, yes, still in print, with distribution starting Thursday October 1.






● Tallis Choir of Toronto

Under the leadership of artistic director Peter

Mahon, The Tallis Choir is a mixed-voice chamber

choir of 36 voices that has been performing

together since 1977. The choir presents an annual

subscription series of four concerts between

October and May each year in the magnificent

acoustic of St. Patrick’s Church in downtown

Toronto. Known for innovative programming

and polished performances of repertoire covering

more than five centuries, the Tallis Choir

is an extremely versatile ensemble. They specialize

in performances of rarely-heard sacred

masterpieces of the Italian, Spanish and English

Renaissance that form the cornerstone of their

concert series. While they frequently feature a

capella polyphonic works, the Choir often works

with guest artists performing on period string

and wind instruments to add further authenticity

to the experience. Additionally, the Choir can

be heard in performances around the GTA and

southern Ontario, having appeared in the Colours

of Music Festival, Luminato Festival, and in multiple

performances at the Sony Centre.

David Martin




● Toronto Chamber Choir

Building on more than 50 years of concert performances,

the Toronto Chamber Choir of around 40

skilled singers under artistic director Lucas Harris

has held a prominent place in Canada’s early music

scene since 1968. It specializes in Renaissance and

Baroque repertoire, collaborating regularly with

Toronto’s rich pool of period instrumentalists, but

also with forays into other periods. Currently on

pandemic hiatus but meeting virtually until it’s safe

to resume, the choir generally presents four concerts

per season - two Saturday evening concerts

and two Sunday afternoon “Kaffeemusik” presentations

- that explore the cultural context of our

repertoire through narration, often with a special

guest expert. Rehearsals are Wednesday evenings

with occasional Saturday “retreats.” Auditions

for new volunteer members are held anytime by

arrangement with the director, while auditions for

our Toronto Chamber Consort section lead program

are held in May or June. Choir blog and

other information is available on the website.

Lucas Harris






Soundstreams’ Two Odysseys: Pimooteewin/Gállábártnit

● Toronto Children’s Chorus

The award-winning Toronto Children’s Chorus

is currently marking its 43rd season and its 14th

year under the baton of artistic director Elise

Bradley, MNZM. The Chorus comprises a family of

choirs: KinderNotes for children within the Junior

and Senior Kindergarten age range (no audition

required), four Training Choir levels, Main

Choir (six ensembles) and Toronto Youth Choir

(aged 16 to 30). Each year, more than 400 choristers

develop their skills in vocal technique, sightsinging

and music theory, and perform an array

of season concerts and guest performances.

The Chamber Choir also performs nationally

and internationally, most recently representing

Canada at choral festivals in New Zealand

and Australia.

Carol Stairs






● Toronto Classical Singers

For 29 years, Toronto Classical Singers has been

known for its unique musical point of view and

its high-quality performances, often presenting

the lesser-known and rarely performed vocal/

orchestral repertoire as well as the standard

works. With its exuberant approach, the group

celebrates the choral tradition with its complex

sonority of large choir with professional


Over 28 seasons in Toronto, it took a full-blown

pandemic for the group to cancel a performance

and like all arts groups we are greatly impacted

by the situation. However, we are optimistic that

founding conductor Jurgen Petrenko will lead

the choir, the Talisker Players and soloists for a

concert on May 2, 2021 featuring an all Vaughan

Williams programme. As vast as the ocean, his

Sea Symphony will be performed with Five Mystical

Songs, creating a concert of atmospheric

awe and wonder.

We look forward to resuming our full schedule

in 2021/22, as we celebrate 30 years of contributing

to the fabric of musical life in Toronto. Our

concerts are presented at Christ Church Deer

Park, 1570 Yonge Street. Please visit our website

for more information.

Kathleen Payne







● The Toronto Consort

The Toronto Consort is Canada’s leading ensemble,

specializing in the music of the Middle Ages,

Renaissance and early Baroque. Led by a collective

of artistic associates, ten of Canada’s leading

early music specialists, the Consort presents a

main stage concert series at the beautiful Trinity-

St. Paul’s Centre, located in the Annex. The Consort

has toured extensively and has recorded

music for film and television, including the hit television

series The Tudors and The Borgias, and is

releasing its 15th CD recording in Autumn 2019:

Frescobaldi and the Glories of Rome.

Michelle Knight





● Toronto Mendelssohn Choir

Canada’s world-renowned large vocal ensemble

plans to continue to bring great choral music to

the community throughout the pandemic. For the


theWholeNote 2020/21 PRESENTER PROFILES | 41

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