Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Royal Conservatory of Music Toronto: Concerts for December 2012

From a media release:

Chick Corea returns with Gary Burton
Christmas Concerts with Collegium Vocale Gent, Quartetto Gelato, John McDermott, and the Canadian Brass
Notable Koerner Hall debuts by Horacio Gutiérrez, La Bottine Souriante, and Javier Limón

TORONTO - The Royal Conservatory gets into the Christmas spirit this holiday season with four very different concerts. The first, on December 14, features Johann Sebastian Bach's Christmas Oratorio (Parts 1, 2, 3, and 6) performed by Collegium Vocale Gent, led by Maestro Philippe Herreweghe. Specialists in historically authentic performances of vocal Renaissance and Baroque music, the group's performances have been described 'breathtaking as one could wish.' (The Independent). Quartetto Gelato brings an exotic blend of musical ingenuity and especially-curated Christmas program (including Pietro Yon's Gesù bambino, Irving Berlin's White Christmas, Leroy Anderson's Sleigh Ride, Mel Torme's Christmas Song, and Pyotr Iliyich Tchaikovsky's Dance of a Sugar Plum Fairy) to Koerner Hall on December 15. For this special concert they are joined by guest vocalist Alejandra Ribera who impressed the Koerner Hall audience as part of the Art of Time's Abbey Road project. Canadian tenor John McDermott celebrates the holidays on December 16 with an all-star line-up of special guests, including Guido Basso (trumpet & flugelhorn), Erica Goodman (harp), The Mistletones, and Michael Peter Smith (guitar). Canadian Brass comes home for the holidays on December 23. The group has invited Toronto's young star brass students from The Glenn Gould School and University of Toronto to join them for the Christmas Vespers by Monteverdi and all of their other holiday favourites.

The Montréal á Toronto concert series continues with La Bottine Souriante on December 8 and the ¡Qué Rica Cuba! Series, with Horacio Gutiérrez on December 9. For La Bottine Souriante, music, celebration, pulsating rhythm, and exuberant spirit have been inseparable for over 25 years. During that time they have released 13 albums, four of which are certified gold and three platinum, won dozens of awards, and headlined festivals around the world. Also part of the Invesco Piano Concerts series, Horacio Gutiérrez's concert will feature Franz Joseph Haydn's Piano Sonata No. 60; Robert Schumann's Fantasie in C Major, Op. 17; Ernesto Lecuona's Danza negra, Ante el Escorial, and Danza lucumi; and Fryderyk Chopin's 24 Preludes, Op. 28. Best known for his interpretations of the Romantic repertoire and considered by many piano connoisseurs to be one of the great pianists of the second half of the 20th century, the Cuban-American virtuoso returns to Toronto for the first time in over a decade.

The remainder of the Koerner Hall concerts include Amanda Martinez with special guest Javier Limón on December 1 and Chick Corea & Gary Burton with the Harlem Quartet on December 5. Canadian-Latin singer-songwriter Amanda Martinez is currently collaborating with multiple Grammy Award-winning Spanish producer Javier Limón on this concert, which will mark Limón's Canadian debut, as well as on her next album, scheduled for release in spring 2013. Martinez's first two albums, Amor and Sola, have garnered numerous accolades including rising to No. 1 on the iTunes World Music charts, and Limón's many composition and production credits include major albums by renowned artists such as Paco de Luca, Bebo Valdes, Diego El Cigala, Enrique Morente, Wynton Marsalis, Anoushka Shankar, Yasmin Levy, and the acclaimed Spanish singer Buika (who will be performing in Koerner Hall on January 25). Described by the Los Angeles Times as 'one of jazz's most celebrated collaborations,' Chick Corea and Gary Burton perform material from their new album Hot House, which explores their unique take on standards by composers from Kurt Weill and Antonio Carlos Jobim to Thelonious Monk and Lennon & McCartney. The multiple Grammy-winning duo also adds the Harlem Quartet, expanding their legendary chamber-jazz repertoire on Chick's composition Mozart Goes Dancing and classic Chick & Gary tunes.

December also includes five performances in Mazzoleni Concert Hall, located in historic Ihnatowycz Hall. The all-Canadian Afiara String Quartet celebrates their new position as The Glenn Gould School Fellowship Quartet on December 4 with a program of Brett Brett Abigaña's String Quartet No. 2, and Ludwig van Beethoven's String Quartet No. 5 in A Major, Op. 18, No. 5 and String Quartet No. 9 in C Major, Op. 59, No. 3. Anagnoson & Kinton, Canada's foremost piano team consisting of James Anagnoson (Dean of The Glenn Gould School) and duo partner Leslie Kinton, celebrate Beethoven's birthday on December 16 by performing his complete 4-hand repertoire, including Piano Sonata in D Major for Piano 4-hands, Op. 6, 3 Marches for Piano, 4-hands, Op. 45, 8 Variations on a Theme by Count Waldstein in C Major, for Piano 4-hands WoO 67, 6 Variations on Ich denke dein in D Major, WoO 74, and Grosse Fuge in B-flat Major, (Op. 133), Op. 134. Discovery Series concerts consist of two free events: Academy Chamber Orchestra, comprised of string students from the Young Artists Academy of The Royal Conservatory, performing on December 8 and The Glenn Gould School Concerto Competition Finals, where the talented solo performers of The Glenn Gould School compete for the opportunity to perform a concerto with the Royal Conservatory Orchestra during the 2013-14 season, on December 13. The third concert takes place on December 6 with conductor and award-winning composer Brian Current leading The Glenn Gould School New Music Ensemble. As part of a city-wide celebration of Korean music, the Ensemble presents works by composers Sukhi Kang and Unsuk Chin. Mr. Kang, a widely influential figure in Korean music, will be in the audience to hear his work Mosaicum Visio for chamber orchestra, as well as Unsuk Chin's Acrostic Wordplay, which features soprano Lucy Fitz Gibbon. Other works performed are the piano concerto Trame IV by Martin Matalon (performed by Ryan McEvoy McCullough) and Canadian composer Chris Paul Harman's playful reconstruction of the Bach Chorale Der Tag mit seinem Licht.

The Conservatory Theatre will once again be the setting for the popular Bluebird North series, starting on December 22. During these entertaining evenings, top Canadian songwriters come together with host Blair Packham to perform their music and tell us about the inspiration, the songwriting process, and the stories behind the songs. The artists for this concert will be announced soon. Bluebird North is presented in partnership with the Songwriters Association of Canada (S.A.C.). The S.A.C. gratefully acknowledges the support of The SOCAN Foundation and the Government of Canada through the Creators' Assistance Component of the Canada Music Fund.

With the Christmas season approaching, The Royal Conservatory Gift Cards and concert tickets are a great gift idea. The gift cards are available for purchase in any denomination and can be redeemed for concert or event tickets at The Royal Conservatory in person or by phone. They are also reloadable in any denomination.

•  Gift Cards can be purchased in person at the Weston Family Box Office, by phone at 416.408.0208, or by visiting

December Performances at The Royal Conservatory
Amanda Martinez with Javier Limón (World Music, Pop): Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 8pm (KH); starting at $30
Afiara String Quartet (Mazzoleni Masters): Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 7:30pm (MCH); $32
Chick Corea & Gary Burton with the Harlem String Quartet (Music Mix): Wed., Dec. 5, 2012 at 8:00pm (KH); starting at $45
The Glenn Gould School New Music Ensemble (Discovery Series): Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 7:30pm (MCH); $15
Academy Chamber Orchestra (Discovery Series): Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 7:30pm (MCH) *
La Bottine Souriante (Montréal á Toronto , Folk, Pop): Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 8pm (KH); starting at $30
Horacio Gutiérrez (¡Qué Rica Cuba!, Invesco Piano Series): Sunday, December 9, 2012 at 3pm (KH): starting at $40
The Glenn Gould School Concerto Competition Finals (Discovery Series): Thurs., December 13, 2012 at 10am (KH) *
Bach Christmas Oratorio - Collegium Vocale Gent (Vocal): Friday, December 14, 2012 at 8pm (KH); starting at $45
Quartetto Gelato (Music Mix, Classical): Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 8pm (KH): starting at $35
Anagnoson & Kinton (Mazzoleni Masters): Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 2pm (MCH); $32
John McDermott & Friends (Music Mix, Pop, Folk): Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 8pm (KH); starting at $35
Bluebird North (Music Mix, Pop, Folk): Saturday, December 22, 2012 at 8pm (CT); $25
Canadian Brass Christmas (Music Mix, Classical): Sunday, December 23, 2012 at 3pm (KH); starting at $45
KH: Koerner Hall; MCH: Mazzoelni Concert Hall; CT: Conservatory Theatre

• Tickets are available online at, by calling 416.408.0208, or in person at the Weston Family Box Office
• A limited number of $10 BMO Rush Tickets are available starting 90 minutes before all performances presented by The Royal Conservatory.

All concerts take place at The Royal Conservatory
TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto

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