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Classical Music

Reverb Brass breaks onto new classical music scene

Reverb_Brass_blog

“I like that attitude of we’re all in it together. All these different arts organizations and disciplines, we’re all trying to do similar things.” ~ Luise Heyerhoff

Reverb Brass performs on Wednesday June 25, 2014 (7:30pm) at Array Space (155 Walnut Avenue)


Pioneers have a great responsibility as they forge new paths for others to follow. There is no guarantee of success, but the reward at the end can be great. One such pioneer is Reverb Brass, a quintet that is breaking onto the new music scene and opening up great new possibilities for composers and performers. Read on…

Pocket Concerts a Musical Gift to Treasure

It Must Be BeMused Poster

“The way we are presenting this wonderful art to people has to be a way they really connect with. That is our challenge. I don’t think there’s any doubt that classical music is here to stay.” – Rory McLeod

General ($40) / Student ($25) / Child ($10) at BeMused Network


This Saturday, at the home of Jan and Breda Matejcek (Avenue Rd. and Eglington Ave. W.), artistic director and violist Rory McLeod will mark the end of the inaugural season of Pocket Concerts in Toronto.

Pocket Concert launched their season back in August with a mission to dramatically reduce the distance between artists and audiences in the concert hall, without compromising one iota of the artistic excellence that Toronto has to offer. The seventh and last concert—It Must Be (Beethoven Gets the Last Word)—will feature violinists Csaba Koczo (founding member of the Tokai String Quartet) and Aaron Schwebel, cellist Bryan Holt, and McLeod himself on viola. Read on…

Ticket Contest for Music In The Barns’ Outside the Box concert!

While Music In The Barns has been preparing for their upcoming concert this Thursday, we had a chance last week to talk to their violinist, Mary-Elizabeth Brown. The program consist of 20th century composers of classical music with an unforgettable concert experience at the Artscape Wychwood Barns. If you’ve never heard of composers like Philip Glass, Elliot Carter, or Paul Hindemith (and even if you have), there is no better way to experience their works in a live performance.

Tickets are already over half sold but you have a chance to win two tickets through our contest! The rules are simple. To enter, retweet the contest, like it on facebook, and our favourite, share your stories about the the most unusual venue you’ve experienced performing arts in the comment section below.

Contest closes this Wednesday at 5pm so get your entries in!

Q & A with violinist Mary-Elizabeth Brown

When people really believe in what they’re playing and in the art they’re making, it really comes across to an audience. As an audience member myself, when I hear performances from people who are really engaged in their art with every fibre of their being, it really has an impact on me as a human being.

Classical Music Outside the Box PosterBack in late February (2013), we featured a Q & A with Carol Gimbel, founder and artistic director of classical music ensemble Music in the Barns. For this Q & A, Margaret had the privilege to speak with violinist and music teacher Mary-Elizabeth Brown, who described the amazing synergy that led her to become part of the ensemble. Read about her thoughts on why they’ve been able to attract all kinds of audiences to their concerts.

And be sure to check back here for a chance to win tickets to see Mary perform in “Classical Music Outside the Box,” a Music in the Barns’ concert that takes place a week from today on August 1!

Read on…

Q & A with Against the Grain Theatre’s Joel Ivany

There is something about telling stories that is timeless.  Whether it’s a play, a musical or an opera, we are sharing in the telling of a great story.  We (hopefully) slip away from all the things pressing on our minds and enter into something new and different, which then (again, hopefully) stirs something in us afterwards and makes us think.

In the second part of our two-part Q & A with Against the Grain Theatre, founder and artistic director Joel Ivany shares with us his passion for storytelling through theatre and for making opera accessible, as well as some particular challenges of the art form.

If you haven’t checked out their work yet, may we suggest catching an hour-long sneak preview of the theatre’s upcoming production, Figaro’s Wedding, taking place today (May 16) at 12 p.m. at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts? It’s part of the Canadian Opera Company’s Free Concert Series, featuring our friends Edwin Huizinga and Carol Gimbel of Music in the Barns. And yes, it’s free!

In the meantime, this promotional video captures the spirit of their production in off-the-cuff, reality TV style as the camera follows Figaro on his way to propose to his beloved.

Read part 2 of the Q & A.

Q & A with Against the Grain Theatre’s Nancy Hitzig

Emerging companies are an essential part of the arts ecosystem and we need to produce innovative work to inspire and support the work of our bigger compatriots.

Ad-hoc performing arts collectives, such as Against the Grain Theatre (AtG), often don’t qualify for operating funds. For these collectives, the scramble for resources is an ever-present challenge. Yet it’s amazing how often the most unique and creative works, even when they’re reinventions of oft-produced classics, come out of such collectives when every production can make or break them.

One such production is AtG’s upcoming adaptation of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, titled Figaro’s Wedding (May 29-June 2, 2013, Burroughes Building, 6th Floor), which takes place in contemporary Toronto and is intended to make audiences feel as if they were attendees of a wedding rather than an opera performance. The unconventional setting and new English libretto offers a new way of connecting with an old classic, and we’re pleased to be doing a two-part feature on the team behind the scene!

In the first of the two-part Q & A with Against the Grain Theatre, general manager Nancy Hitzig gives us a glimpse of the kinds of challenges faced by ad-hoc theatre collectives.

Read part 1 of this Q & A.

Q&A with Carol Gimbel, Artistic Director of Music In The Barns

Want to win a pair tickets to their concert this Friday? Look for contest details at the end of this post!

When was the last time you were walking by your neighborhood centre and saw a violist practicing, or a string quartet rehearsing, or a child learning the violin? Day in and day out Music in the Barns’ presence remains, as the community watches our comings and goings, getting a true behind the scenes feeling for what classical music is about.

In this Q&A, we showcase both the work of Carol Gimbel and her Music in the Barns storefront-studio and chamber ensemble, as well as the historic Wychwood Barns at St. Clair and Christie where they are based.

What will strike you most is the variety of inspiration and experiences that Carol draws on not only as an artist and teacher, but also as a community builder. Check out their upcoming concert this Friday at The Academy of Lions (a hybrid space that is a crosstraining studio and a storefront), or drop by their studio at Wychwood that is always opened to curious onlookers in the budding and active community hub “at the barn”.

Read on…

Q&A with Daniel Morphy of TorQ Percussion Quartet

There are a lot of amazing performers out there doing incredible projects, but I find I never hear about them in time or at all. You can’t just expect that people will show up. I think these issues are fairly obvious, but are also easily forgotten when so much preparation is being put into actually practicing the music.

Don’t miss our ticket giveaway to the TorQ concert on Thursday, February 7th, 2013. Details here.

TorQ Percussion Quartet is a classical music ensemble that is full of personality and fun-loving spirit. Founded in 2005, they represent a new generation of performers that no longer take the audience for granted. This is their first year presenting a season of concerts, while also maintaining a busy schedule doing school performances and workshops, guest appearances, and recently completing their debut tour in Atlantic Canada. In this Q&A with founding member Daniel Morphy (appearing third from the left in the photo above), it’s clear that the life of a professional artists never gets slower, as the passion for the art burns brighter.

Check out the video of TorQ in action in this post!

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