The Canadian Opera Company unveils its 2012-13 season of free concerts at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre

COC Ensemble Studio member Adrian Kramer sang his farewell concert at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre with accompanist Christopher Mokrzewski last May.

The most significant concert presenter in this city outside the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is Nina Draganic, the unheralded doyenne of the Canadian Opera Company’s annual 10-months of free concerts at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre.

The new season kicks off at lunchtime on Sept. 18, with a concert by the COC’s Ensemble Studio and will run its combination of classical, jazz, world and new music, dance and lecture concerts through to the end of June. Continue reading

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An all-Bach weekend in Stratford for Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra

Canada’s Daniel Taylor sings with Tafelmusik in Stratford on Sunday afternoon.

This year’s expanded Stratford Summer Music festival includes the local début of Toronto’s Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra on Saturday and Sunday at St Andrew’s Church. Continue reading

Interview: Pianist David Jalbert grasps for the unreachable in Bach’s Goldberg Variations

“Bringing out one voice is not enough. It doesn’t pay homage to everything there is in the music,” says David Jalbert of the Goldberg Variations (Chris Mukula photo for the Ottawa Citizen).

Ottawa-based pianist David Jalbert earlier this year released an impressive new album of J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations album on the ATMA Classique label.

He performsthe masterpiece at at Stratford Summer Music recital tomorrow (Aug. 15) afternoon at St Andrew’s Church. Concert details here.

This performance promises to be well worth the drive. It is followed at 4 p.m. by the launch of Colin Eatock’s new book, Remembering Glenn Gould: Twenty Interviews With People Who Knew Him, at Stratford City Hall. Continue reading

Bach’s eternal challenge: There are two forests for every set of trees

Once in a while, stating the obvious can turn on a little lightbulb.

The Pacific Standard (formerly Miller-McCune) reported yesterday that a Dutch psychologist and a team of researchers have concluded that people who see the big picture (specifically in visual art and poetry) make better critics. Continue reading

Interview: Simone Dinnerstein has more in common with Glenn Gould than we might think

New York pianist Simone Dinnerstein performs an all-Bach recital at Stratford Summer Music on the afternoon of Aug. 1 (Lisa-Marie Mazzucco photo).

Last weekend, following a recital in Leipzig, Germany, pianist Simone Dinnerstein was taking a walk around the Thomaskirche, the church forever associated with Johann Sebastian Bach.

“I was standing outside at night, thinking about Bach and being around this square full of modern buildings,” Dinnerstein recalls. “There were a lot of drunken tourists, this kind of nightlife. In the middle, here is Bach’s church and I was thinking about how there’s something extremely funny about the fact that people nowadays obsess about how Bach would have played his own music when you just need to stand in this place and see that absolutely everything has changed. Continue reading

Summer music festivals: Highlights for the week of July 30

The Cecilia String Quartet presents a Toronto Summer Music recital on Wednesday.

The final week of this year’s Toronto Summer Music Festival continues its pan-European chamber music journey. Three concerts in particular promise some exceptional musicmaking. Continue reading

Weekend listening: Canadian Opera Company’s Nixon in China, Les Violons du Roy in London, great pianists in Switzerland

Robert Orth and Maria Kanyova as Richard and Pat Nixon in the Canadian Opera Company’s 2010 production of John Adams’s Nixon in China (Michael Cooper photo).

CBC Radio 2’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera today broadcasts the Canadian Opera Company’s 2010-11 season production of John Adams’ Nixon in China, starting at 1 p.m. Eastern. Continue reading