The Conservatory also celebrates two iconic Italian singers, Frank Sinatra and Paolo Conte on a single evening, as singer and guitarist John Pizzarelli pays homage to Frank Sinatra, and one of Toronto's hippest singers, Daniela Nardi, sings the Paolo Conte songbook. The platinum-selling, worldwide chart-topping jazz-pop vocal quartet Manhattan Transfer returns to Koerner Hall after their immensely successful Conservatory debut in December of 2010. Manhattan Transfer has been around for 40 years, and with over 20 albums to their credit, they have delivered their share of masterpieces, from the vibrant Pastiche (1978) and the zoot-sharp Swing (1997), to the landmark Hendricks tribute Vocalese (1990), and their ingenious release The Chick Corea Songbook (2009).
Chamber Music Concerts
Pianist and a founding member of the Beaux Arts Trio, Menahem Pressler, celebrates his 90th birthday joined by the New Orford String Quartet (featuring the Concertmasters of the Toronto and Montreal Symphonies Jonathan Crow and Andrew Wan on violins, Eric Nowlin, Associate PrincipAl Viola with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and Brian Manker, Principal Cellist of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra). The program includes Ludwig van Beethoven's String Quartet No. 6 in B-flat Major, Op. 18, No. 6; R. Murray Schafer's String Quartet No. 1; and Johannes Brahms's Piano Quintet in F Minor, Op. 34. The Beatles's Sgt. Pepper album is re-imagined and re-invented through newly commissioned arrangements from pop, jazz, and classical composers by the Art of Time Ensemble, led by Artistic Director and pianist Andrew Burashko, and featuring Canadian pop icons Steven Page (formerly of the Barenaked Ladies), John Mann (Spirit of the West), Andy Maize (Skydiggers), and Craig Northey (The Odds). Leading Italian violinist and conductor Fabio Biondi makes his Koerner Hall debut with his acclaimed ensemble Europa Galante, in a program called The Windy Seasons, assembled from pieces by Antonio Vivaldi. Biondi writes: "The Windy Seasons is a suite inspired by The Four Seasons and includes titled concerti for violin, recorder, bassoon, and oboe. These are some of Vivaldi's best-known pieces and they present a wide range of colours and tonality."
Invesco Piano Concerts
Sunday matinée Invesco Piano Concerts welcome five pianists to Koerner Hall. Chinese pianist Yuja Wang, widely recognized for playing that combines the spontaneity and fearless imagination of youth with the discipline and precision of a mature artist, explores new repertoire when she plays works by Isaac Albéniz, Enrique Granados, and Franz Liszt. As stated by The New York Times: "A passionate performer, Ms. Wang meshes an impeccable technique and insightful artistry." One of the most prominent proponents of the keyboard works of Johann Sebastian Bach, András Schiff, received the 2012 International Classical Music Award in the Solo Instrumental Recording of the Year category, the Order pour le mérite for Sciences and Arts, and was also made a Member of Honour of Vienna Konzerthaus. In this marathon concert, he plays Bach's Goldberg Variations followed by Ludwig van Beethoven's "Diabelli Variations." Masterful technique, discerning intelligence, and musical curiosity have led Kirill Gerstein to explore repertoire spanning centuries and many different styles. In his recital, he plays the music of Franz Joseph Haydn, Modest Mussorgsky, Brad Mehldau, György Ligeti, and George Gershwin. Named by The Economist as one of 20 Living Polymaths, Stephen Hough is a rare Renaissance man of our time. Also excelling as a writer and composer, he will play his own Piano Sonata No. 2 "notturno luminoso," as well as works by Arnold Schönberg, Johannes Brahms, and Fryderyk Chopin. Khatia Buniatishvili has given critically acclaimed solo recitals and chamber music concerts at venues such as London's Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, the Musikverein in Vienna, and Carnegie Hall. In her Koerner Hall appearance she presents a program of Franz Liszt, Fryderyk Chopin, and Igor Stravinsky.
French coloratura soprano and great singing actress, Natalie Dessay, is joined by French musical composer, arranger, conductor, and pianist with more than 200 film and television scores to his credit, Michel Legrand, in a program that includes some of Legrand's most famous songs, his Christmas Pastoral, and a selections of new songs by Legrand and Marilyn & Alan Bergman. Quebec City's Les Violons du Roy return to Koerner Hall to accompany our two special guests for two performances in December 2013. The series also includes the above mentioned concert with Audra McDonald and one more vocal recital will be added at a later date.
Cello virtuoso Mischa Maisky is joined by his daughter, pianist Lily Maisky, in a program of works by Rachmaninov and Schubert. As a young cellist, Maisky studied with Mstislav Rostropovich and now enjoys an extensive recording career with regular collaborators such as Gidon Kremer and Martha Argerich. "Maisky's playing is marked by razor-sharpness and biting humour, studded with moments of deep longing ... the audience went wild with appreciation," stated the Hamburger Abendblatt. Violinist Midori has established a record of achievement that sets her apart as a master musician, innovator, and champion of the developmental potential of children. In this concert she is joined by Turkish-American pianist Özgür Aydin for a program of sonatas by Paul Hindemith, César Franck, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Richard Strauss. Audiences will be able to hear all 10 of Ludwig van Beethoven's violin sonatas over the course of the season. Violinist Isabelle Faust and pianist Alexander Melnikov perform Violin Sonatas Nos. 4, 3, 9, and 10; and violinist Leonidas Kavakos and pianist Enrico Pace offer Violin Sonatas Nos. 1, 5, and 7. To complete the Beethoven cycle, Luri Lee, a Rebanks Fellow of The Glenn Gould School, plays Sonatas Nos. 2 and 8 as part of her Mazzoleni Concert Hall concert.
Royal Conservatory Orchestra presents four concerts during the 2013-14 season, conducted by Maestros Julian Kuerti, recently appointed Principal Conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Concepción in Chile; Johannes Debus, Music Director of the Canadian Opera Company; Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Toronto Philharmonic, Uri Mayer; and Israeli conductor Lior Shambadal, who is the Chief Conductor of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Orchestre Filarmonica de Bogota, Principal Guest Conductor of the Liepaja Symphony Orchestra in Latvia, as well as Principal Guest Conductor of the Chengdu Symphony Orchestra of the Central Music Conservatory in the Sichuan province of China. As in previous seasons, the Royal Conservatory Orchestra performances are all preceded by Prelude Recitals and ticket holders are encouraged to come to Koerner Hall early to hear a performance of solo and chamber works by students and faculty of The Glenn Gould School. The Prelude Recitals begin at 6:45pm. Frequent Koerner Hall guests, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony with their Music Director Edwin Outwater, return to the Conservatory with a program called "Fantasia on Themes by Rush." This progressive, rock-inspired performance features a new "Rush-ian" composition by the Canadian Nicole Lizée [2012: Triple Concerto for Power Trio and Orchestra (Fantasia on Themes by Rush)] and other works that bridge the gap between old and new; acoustic and electric; and classical and rock, such as pieces by Edvard Grieg and Erik Satie, Matthew Hindson's Homage to Metallica, and Paul Stanhope's Throbbing.
The Royal Conservatory
The Royal Conservatory is one of the largest and most respected music and arts education institutions in the world. Providing the definitive standard of excellence in music education through its curriculum, assessment, performance, and teacher education programs, The Conservatory has had a substantial impact on the lives of millions of people globally. In addition, the organization has helped to train a number of internationally celebrated artists including Glenn Gould, Oscar Peterson, David Foster, Sarah McLachlan, Angela Hewitt, and Diana Krall. Motivated by its powerful mission to develop human potential through music and the arts, The Royal Conservatory has emerged over the last two decades as a leader in the development of arts-based programs that address a wide range of social issues. For more information, please visit www.rcmusic.ca.