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Royal Conservatory Concerts for April & May 2011

From a media release

THE royal conservatory’s 2010.11 season FINALE
multigenre arists harry manx and david lindley, and the johnny clegg band
the last aspects of oscar concert with surprise special guest

Mervon Mehta, Executive Director, RCM Performing Arts, has programmed a number of engaging concerts for the finale of the 2010.11 season at The Royal Conservatory, with many performances to suit every musical taste: from world music through classical, jazz, new music, as well as a fun and frightening evening with Daniel Handler narrating HK Gruber’s Frankenstein!!

Multi-instrumentalists Harry Manx and David Lindley come to Koerner Hall on April 1. From India through the Middle East, the two gentlemen masterfully blend the poetic music of the East and traditional blues of the West, playing instruments such as slide guitar, harmonica, six-string banjo, Mohan Veena, the Ellis stomp box, mandolin, hardingfele, bazouki, cittern, bağlama, gumbus, charango, cümbüs, oud, and zither. A postlude performance takes place in the Leslie and Anna Dan Gallerias following the mainstage concert. As part of his 30th anniversary tour, Johnny Clegg brings his band to Toronto on April 13. The singer, songwriter, dancer, anthropologist, and musical activist whose crossover music – a vibrant blend of Western pop and African Zulu rhythms – has sold over five million albums worldwide, celebrates the release of his new CD, The World is Calling, on this tour. This concert has already sold out. (pictured: Adrianne Pieczonka)

The last concert of the immensely successful Aspects of Oscar series, Oscar’s Blues, takes place on April 2. This performance features one of the most versatile jazz musicians today, Roy Hargrove, on trumpet and flugelhorn, joined by Ralph Moore on tenor saxophone. Both gentlemen were highly regarded by Oscar Peterson, who recorded a disc with them in 1996, titled Oscar Peterson meets Roy Hargrove and Ralph Moore. Other performers include Roberta Gambarini (vocals), Jonathan Batiste (piano), Willie Jones III (drums), and one of the most sought after bassists in the business, Christian McBride. The tribute to Oscar Peterson ends with this forward-looking ensemble of the next generation of artists carrying his torch, and will include a very special “appearance” at the end of the evening, care of Zenph Re-Performances. The mainstage show is followed by a postlude performance with the Alex Fournier Trio in the Leslie and Anna Dan Gallerias, and Mervon Mehta, conducts a post-intermission chat with Oscar Peterson’s widow, Kelly Peterson.

Hilarity and horror combine in a delicious brew of ghoulish stories and music performed by best-selling author Daniel Handler (allegedly Lemony Snicket), conductor Edwin Outwater, and the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony on May 6. The evening includes funny music, scary words, and vice versa, plus Daniel Handler playing the accordion and telling stories set to the original music from the movie House of Frankenstein, and finally narrating HK Gruber's classic cabaret piece, Frankenstein!!

The remaining classical music concerts of the season include two exemplary pianists who are part of the Invesco Trimark Piano Series: Leon Fleisher on April 3 and Pierre-Laurent Aimard on May 1. The legendary Mr. Fleisher, who has been conducting master classes at The Glenn Gould School since its inception, plays Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Sheep May Safely Graze” from Cantata No. 208; Capriccio in B-flat Major, BWV 992 “On the Departure of a Most Beloved Brother”; Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 903; and Chaconne for the Left Hand from the Violin Partita No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1004; plus Franz Schubert’s Piano Sonata in B-flat Major, D.960. Well known for his dedication to contemporary music, on this occasion Aimard presents Wagner’s Albumblatt in E-flat Major, Berg’s Piano Sonata in B Minor, Op. 1, Scriabin’s Piano Sonata No. 9 in F Major, Op. 68 “Black Mass,” and Liszt’s Piano Sonata in B Minor, S.178.

Two groups closely tied to The Royal Conservatory appear in Koerner Hall in April. On April 15, Uri Mayer conducts the Royal Conservatory Orchestra in a program of Rossini’s Overture to William Tell, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major, K.467, Paul Hindemith’s Symphony in B-flat Major for Concert Band, and Ravel’s Boléro. The second group is the three time Grammy Award-nominated ARC Ensemble (Artists of The Royal Conservatory - pictured right), freshly back from their tour of Israel, joined by the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio on April 26. The two ensembles share the stage in Brahms’s Trio in A Minor for Piano, Clarinet, and Cello, Op. 114; Korngold’s Suite for Two Violins, Cello, and Piano Left Hand, Op. 23; and Schumann’s Piano Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 47.

Reigning Canadian soprano and Juno Award winner Adrianne Pieczonka makes her Koerner Hall debut on May 7, while she is in Toronto appearing in the Canadian Opera Company’s production of Ariadne auf Naxos. Praised for the sheer beauty of her voice, as well as for her deeply compelling stage presence, she is joined by pianist Brian Zeger in Richard Wagner’s Wesendonk Lieder and songs by Richard Strauss and Franz Schubert.

Recent Grammy Award winners for Best Small Ensemble Performance, Hespèrion XXI – led by conductor, composer, and one of the most celebrated viol (viola da gamba) players Jordi Savall – make a welcome return to Toronto on May 8 in a program titled “The Route of the New World: Spain – Mexico.” Savall conducts Hespèrion XXI and two other groups, Tembembe Ensamble Continuo and La Capella Reial de Catalunya, as well as his wife and singer, Montserrat Figueras, in a musical dialogue featuring extraordinary works by the foremost Baroque music composers from the Old Spain, the Mexican Baroque, and the living Huasteca and Jarocho traditions.

Presented in partnership with the Songwriters Association of Canada, Bluebird North, the musical showcase that brings together some of Canada's most inspiring songwriters to share their songs and stories round-robin style, comes to The Conservatory twice to close our season: on April 9, in the Conservatory Theatre, Blair Packham hosts an informal evening perfect for drinks, stories, and music with a line-up that includes Jeffery Straker, Rob Lutes, and Dean McTaggart. As a special treat, the last of the Bluebird North concerts, the Bluebird North All-Star Concert, takes place in Koerner Hall on May 14, featuring Marc Jordan, Ann Vriend, Melanie Doane, and Dan Hill, with more special guests to be added soon.

Concerts in Mazzoleni Concert Hall, located in the historic Ihnatowycz Hall, continue with The Glenn Gould School’s New Music Ensemble on April 8, for which conductor Brian Current curates a special program of contemporary music. Musicians from Marlboro, the touring ensemble from the prestigious Marlboro Music Festival, once again return to Mazzoleni Hall on April 9. This return engagement features Festival alumnus Scott St. John, in a program of Janáček’s String Quartet No. 1 “Kreutzer Sonata, ” Mozart’s String Quintet No. 6 in E-flat Major, K.614, and Mendelssohn’s String Octet in E-flat Major, Op. 20. On April 17, Atis Bankas and the Gould String Quartet perform a program of solo and chamber repertoire, with special guest pianist Robert McDonald, who appeared with Midori in Koerner Hall in the fall of 2009. A free event by the Academy Symphony Orchestra on April 30 brings together the rising star senior string students from the Young Artists Performance Academy to perform the second one of two symphonic concerts this season. The last concert of the season takes place on May 24 with Hungarian pianist and a Royal Conservatory alumnus Tamás Érdi performing works by Chopin and Liszt.

April and May events at The Royal Conservatory:

• Harry Manx and David Lindley (Pop): Friday, April 1, 2011 at 8:00pm (KH); $30-$50 *
• Aspects of Oscar: Oscar’s Blues (Jazz): Saturday, April 2, 2011 at 8:00pm (KH); $20-$65 *
• Leon Fleisher (Piano): Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 3:00pm (KH); $20-$65
• The Glenn Gould School’s New Music Ensemble (Discovery): Friday, April 8, 2011 at 7:30pm (MH); $10
• Musicians from Marlboro (Mazzoleni Masters): Saturday, April 9, 2011 at 7:30pm (MH); $25
• Bluebird North – Where Songwriters Sing and Tell (Pop): Saturday, April 9, 2011 at 8:00pm (CT); $20
• The Johnny Clegg Band (World & Pop): Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at 8:00pm (KH); SOLD OUT
• Royal Conservatory Orchestra conducted by Uri Mayer (Orchestra): Friday, April 15, 2011 at 8:00pm (KH); $20-$40
• Atis Bankas, Robert MacDonald, and the Gould String Quartet (Mazzoleni Masters): Sunday, April 17, 2011 at 2:00pm (MH); $25
• Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio and ARC Ensemble (Chamber): Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 8:00pm (KH); $20-$65
• Academy Symphony Orchestra (Discovery): Saturday, April 30, 2011 at 7:30pm (MH); FREE
• Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Piano): Sunday, May 1, 2011 at 3:00pm (KH); $20-$65
• Frankenstein!! (Words & Music): Friday, May 6, 2011 at 8:00pm (KH); $20-$65
• Adrianne Pieczonka (Vocal): Saturday, May 7, 2011 at 8:00pm (KH); $20-$65 *
• Jordi Savall and Hespèrion XXI (Chamber): Sunday, May 8, 2011 at 3:00pm (KH); $40-$75
• Bluebird North All-Stars Concert (Pop): Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 8:00pm (KH); $20-$40
• Tamás Érdi (Mazzoleni Masters): Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 8:00pm (MH); $25
(KH) – Koerner Hall; (MH) – Mazzoleni Concert Hall; (CT) – Conservatory Theatre; * indicates a postlude performance

Tickets are available online at, by calling 416.408.0208,
or in person at the Weston Family Box Office
• Select any 4-6 concerts and save 10%; Select any 7+ concerts and save 15%; premium tickets available upon request.
• A limited number of $10 rush tickets are available 90 minutes before all performances presented by The Royal Conservatory


  1. Great lineup of shows there guys. Looks to be an interesting 2 months.


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