By Joseph So on February 17, 2020
Critic’s Picks (February 17 – 23)
Ludwig van Toronto’s weekly Critic’s Picks are a curated list of some of the best concerts happening now through the end of the week. For a look at the full breadth of what’s available in and around Toronto, check out our curated concert listings here.
Music Toronto | Francesco Piemontesi. 8 p.m. Jane Mallett Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front St. E. $47.50-$52.00/$10(st)
Italian pianist Francesco Piemontesi, a former student of Arie Vardi, is the winner of major competitions including the 2007 Queen Elisabeth Competition. He presents a program of works by Schubert, Debussy and Liszt. | Details
Canadian Opera Company | Hansel and Gretel. 7:30 p.m. Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. W. $45-$350. Repeats Feb. 21 7:30 p.m.
Last two performances of Hansel and Gretel, in a new production directed by Joel Ivany set in modern day Toronto. Emily Fons, mezzo (Hansel); Simone Osborne, soprano (Gretel); Russell Braun, baritone (Peter); Krisztina Szabó, mezzo (Gertrude); Michael Colvin, tenor (Hexe); Anna-Sophie Neher, soprano (Sandman/Dew Fairy); Johannes Debus, conductor. | Details
Toronto Symphony Orchestra | Beethoven Pastoral with OSM. 8 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. $41-$154.
The Orchestre symphonique de Montreal is back in town, with conductor Kent Nagano in his final Toronto appearance as Music Director of the OSM. On the program is Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 “Pastoral;” Berlioz: “Royal Hunt and Storm” from Les Troyens; and Pascal Dusapin: Waves, Duo for Organ and Orchestra with organist Olivier Latry (an OSM Commission). | Details
Tapestry Opera | Jacqueline. 8 p.m. Betty Oliphant Theatre, 404 Jarvis St., Toronto. $50-$95. Repeats, Feb. 20, 21, 22 at 8 p.m., Feb. 23 at 4 p.m.
The legendary cellist Jacqueline du Pré immortalized in new opera Jacqueline, with music by Luna Pearl Woolf and libretto by Royce Vavrek. “Written specifically for and performed by American soprano Marnie Breckenridge and cellist Matt Haimovitz, who was the final protégé of du Pré.” An intriguing show for anyone interested in the art and life of Jacqueline du Pré. | Details
Toronto Symphony Orchestra | Majestic Bruckner. 8 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. $41-$141. Repeats Feb. 22.
Scottish conductor Donald Runnicles, Music Director of Deutsche Oper Berlin, makes a welcome return to the TSO to conduct a program of Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll and Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7. The Feb. 20 performance has a big bonus – at 6:45 pm, a pre-concert recital of the Wesendonck Lieder with mezzo Krisztina Szabo, the TSO Chamber Soloists, and the Maestro at the piano! | Details
Art of Time Ensemble | Take This Waltz. 8 p.m. Harbourfront Centre Theatre, 235 Queens Quay W. $64/$43/$25 Repeats Feb. 21, 22.
“Follow the path in 3/4 time as it winds from it’s origins in 19th-century Europe to the concert halls and nightclubs of the world….Maurice Ravel, Johann Strauss Jr., Bill Evans, and Frederic Chopin, plus songs by Tom Waits, Randy Newman, Leonard Cohen, and Jacques Brel.” Sarah Slean, singer; Erika Raum, violin; Rob Piltch, guitar; Juan Gabriel Olivares, clarinet; Rachel Mercer, cello; Andrew Burashko, piano; and others. | Details
Royal Conservatory of Music | Daniil Trifonov. 8 p.m. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W. Sold Out, but do call the box office for possible returns.
Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov, who made his Koerner Hall debut in 2013, makes a welcome return to play a program of Scriabin, Beethoven, Borodin and Prokofiev. | Details
Toronto Symphony Orchestra | Relaxed Performance: The Composer Is Dead. 11 a.m. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. $23 Repeats March 1 (2 & 4 p.m.)
This performance is designed for people living with autism spectrum disorders, sensory and communication disorders, or learning disabilities, or anyone who wants a more casual concert experience. Simon Rivard conducts the TSO in Lalo Schifrin: Theme from Mission: Impossible; Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No. 1 – First Movement (Eugene Ye, cello); Mancini/arr. H. Cable: Main Theme from The Pink Panther; and Nathaniel Stookey: The Composer Is Dead. | Details
Echo Chamber Toronto | Zingara. 7:30 p.m. Enoch Turner Schoolhouse, 106 Trinity St. $30-$40. Repeats Feb. 23.
Echo Chamber Toronto intertwines music and dance in new choreographed works. I attended Transfigured Night last year featuring Beethoven, Hindemith and Schönberg and thoroughly enjoyed it. Zingara features Corigliano ‘The Red Violin Caprices;’ Kodaly; Serenade for Two Violins and Viola, op.12; and Enescu; String Octet, op. 7. Dancers: Naoya Ebe, Hannah Galway, Donald Thom, Kelly Shaw and Ryan Lee; musicians: Sheila Jaffe, Aaron Schwebel, Jamie Kruspe, Emily Kruspe, Csaba Koczó, Catherine Gray, Leana Rutt and Carmen Bruno. | Details
Sinfonia Toronto | Komitas @ 150. 8 p.m. Meridian Arts Centre (formerly Toronto Centre for the Arts), 5040 Yonge St., North York. $42/$35(wr)/$15(st)
To mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Armenian composer Soghomon Soghomonian, known as Komitas, Sinfonia Toronto performs works by Chobanian, Incirci, Sharafyan, Mirzoyan, Skalkottas, Bartok and Komitas. Nune Melik, violin; Beste Kalender, mezzo; Nurham Arman, conductor. | Details
Royal Conservatory of Music | Takács Quartet. 3 p.m. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W.
Takács Quartet (Edward Dusinberre and Harumi Rhodes, violin; Geraldine Walther, viola; and András Fejér, cello) performs works by Fanny Mendelssohn, Bartok and Beethoven. | Details
Orchestra Toronto | Telling a Tale with Tom Allen. 3 p.m. George Weston Recital Hall, Meridian Arts Centre (formerly Toronto Centre for the Arts), 5040 Yonge St. $25-$45.
Orchestra Toronto and conductor Michael Newnham perform Elizabeth Raum: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (as told by Tom Allen); Antonin Dvořák: Noonday Witch; and Sergei Prokofiev: Selections from Romeo and Juliet (Suites 1, 2 and 3). | Details