The Royal Conservatory closes out the 2012-13 season with concerts from stirring jazz to orchestral performances, explosive dance to impressive vocal fireworks, as well as solo and orchestral string showpieces.
The TD Jazz Series: Devoted to Dizzy concludes with the Danilo Pérez Trio and the Cecilia String Quartet on May 4. Pérez first captured the spotlight as the youngest member of Dizzy Gillespie's United Nation Orchestra. He now he brings his trio, featuring John Patitucci on bass and Brian Blade on drums, to share their love of Dizzy and his music. A highlight of this special performance is the world premiere of Pérez's piano quintet, titled Camino de Cruces, commissioned by The Banff Centre, and performed by Pérez and the award-winning Cecilia String Quartet, comprised of Conservatory alumni.
The last orchestral concert of the season, care of the Swedish Chamber Orchestra on April 28, is conducted by frequent Toronto visitor Thomas Dausgaard. They perform an all-Beethoven program that includes the Coriolan Overture, Op. 62 and Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 55, "Eroica." The orchestra is joined by is joined by American pianist Garrick Ohlsson for Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58. Cellist Alisa Weilerstein makes her Koerner Hall debut on April 21. MacArthur 'genius' Grant recipient, Weilerstein's "warm, inviting sound and flawless intonation," (The New York Times) combined with undeniable passion, commitment, and flawless technique, make her one of today's most exciting artists. She is joined by Tel Aviv pianist Inon Barnatan in a program of Ludwig van Beethoven's 7 Variations on "Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen," WoO 46; Benjamin Britten's Cello Sonata in C Major, Op. 65; Dmitri Shostakovich's 24 Preludes, Op. 34; and Sergei Rachmaninov's Cello Sonata in G Minor, Op. 19.
The remainder of concerts in Koerner Hall include Tony Award-winning hoofer Savion Glover, who returns after his sold-out performance of SoLo iN TiME in 2011. On April 20, he brings his SoLe Sanctuary, in which his reverence for the art of tap is put to the stage literally in the form of a living altar where he can pay his respects to the craft that he has perfected. One of the pre-eminent jazz vocalists in the world today, Dianne Reeves, is joined by New York-based vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter Raul Midón on May 3. Seattle Times raved: "[Reeves's] three-plus, pellucid octaves, diva-like delivery, and intimate sense of a song have long made her one of the most compelling vocalists in jazz."
The Conservatory Theatre is the place to be for the last concerts of both the Montréal à Toronto and Bluebird North concert series in April. On April 19, CHANSONGS, the bilingual songwriters rendezvous, brings together Montreal-basEd Martin Léon and Toronto's Lily Frost, two artists who instill their music with a sense of wonder, leavened in equal parts by humor and sensuality. Curated and hosted by Dominique Denis of Alliance Française de Toronto, CHANSONGS evenings offer a blend of music, stories, language, and culture, with song craft at the core. Bluebird North, in which 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, ends on April 27 with special guests Kevin Kane (The Grapes of Wrath) along with Dave Diamond and Mr. Zero of legendary rockers The Kings.
The Discovery Series concerts, which take place in Mazzoleni Concert Hall located in historic Ihnatowycz Hall, conclude with a free concert on May 4 by the Academy Chamber Orchestra. The orchestra is comprised of string students from the Young Artists Academy of The Royal Conservatory.