Westwood marks inaugural season with Big Band Tributes


“I was surprised at how much we enjoyed playing and the audience was highly appreciative. So I decided to do a concert of this great music from the twenties to the forties with a classical twist.” ~ Michael Westwood

Get your advance tickets ($20) at BeMused Network!

The debut season of the Westwood Concerts series will be concluding this Thursday, July 10th at Heliconian Hall with a tribute to the 1920s-1940s era of swing and big band music. The concert will feature pieces by such familiar names as George Gershwin and Duke Ellington. New arrangements featuring the clarinet will be performed by artistic director Michael Westwood. He came back to music after a long journey away, armed with a desire to share a vision of classical music performance that’s accessible, engaging, and fun. Read on…

Reverb Brass breaks onto new classical music scene


“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…

Songs of Languor and Longing at Heliconian Hall


The music is not something I prepare and bring for people to look at, it’s an exchange of energy in the space.” ~ Melanie Conly

General ($20) / Student ($15) at BeMused Network

This Sunday (date changed from Thursday) evening at the Heliconian Hall, soprano Melanie Conly and pianist Kathryn Tremills will be presenting a program of Samuel Barber, Hector Berlioz, Henry Purcell, George Gershwin, and Kurt Weill in her aptly titled recital, “Summer Nights: Languor and Longing”.

Conly has chosen songs with compelling stories about the composers and writers, in the hopes that audiences will be able to make their own connections with the pieces in an intimate setting, where acrylic paintings on wood by Laleh St. Pierre will also be on display.

We had a chat over coffee about the deep connections she has developed with these works over the years, connections that she hopes audiences will also be able to make. Read on…

Les Petits Nouveaux brings Gypsy Jazz to Toronto


“We were playing so much, people kept asking us for CDs, so we decided, we should really record one.” ~ Aline Homzy

General ($15) / Student, Artist ($10) at BeMused Network

This Saturday at 8pm, the gypsy jazz trio Les Petits Nouveaux will be celebrating the launch of their first (self-titled) CD. Come to 80 Gladstone and join this unusual group for a taste of well-loved jazz tradition with a contemporary edge.

But what exactly is gypsy jazz, anyway? The style begins with Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grapelli, the founders of the Quintette du Hot Club de France, says Les Petits Noveaux violinist Aline Homzy. Read on…

Music Premieres On The Edge


“I’m glad the idea that as a performer you can be a part of things that are happening and new and coming out was instilled in me.” ~ Ilana Waniuk

General ($18) / Student, Senior, Artist ($13) at BeMused Network

The beginning of Thin Edge New Music Collective was the simple desire of co-artistic directors Cheryl Duvall and Ilana Waniuk to play contemporary chamber music as a duo, a passion that was sparked during their time as students at Wilfrid Laurier University and then rekindled when they reconnected, years after graduation.

Before they knew it, Cheryl and Ilana had an ensemble of like-minded performers who played violin, percussion, piano and oboe: a strange combination for which there was no repertoire, but one that opened up wonderful new possibilities for composers.

TENMC was born following the receipt of a commissioning grant in 2011 towards the group’s first “Premieres” concert. Three years later, this unusual ensemble is celebrating the conclusion of their third season with a “Premieres III” concert on June 13 at Array Space (155 Walnut Avenue), featuring a program of original performer-composer collaborations that inspired the collective in the first place. Read on…

Illumination of New Beginnings


“You hear the saying ‘if you love something, let it go,’ and this is what we’re doing in the hopes it can grow. With other people coming in and taking over the reins, it can happen.” ~ Victor Cheng

General ($20) / Student, Child ($15) at BeMused Network

Illumination is the newest Sneak Peek Orchestra concert, taking place at 4pm on June 1st at the St. Gabriel Passionist Parish. The group’s final show with co-founder, co-artistic director, and composer Kevin Lau, this concert will highlight the orchestra’s accomplishments and mission, including a work by the orchestra’s youngest ever member – and Kevin’s student – 13-year-old Ian Chan.

Read on…

junctQín’s FIVE will not be your typical piano concert

junctQin_event_May30_header3“It’s not like saying good bye and starting something new. What we do is called contemporary classical, and it’s just that; classical music, but being composed now.” – Joseph Ferretti

General ($20) / Artist, Student, Senior ($15) at BeMused Network

On May 30, 8pm at Gallery 345, founding members Joseph Ferretti, Elaine Lau and Stephanie Chua of junctQín keyboard collective will be celebrating 5 years of contemporary keyboard music performance with a concert that will be anything but your typical piano recital.

The program, an eclectic and fun collection of works inspired by video games and Disney films, will also feature a number of keyboard changes throughout the evening. Above all, it will be a celebration of artistry at the keyboard, and the composers who are pushing the art form in new directions. 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…

Toronto’s group of 27 reimagines the orchestra with DIY Symphony concert


“We have an opportunity here, let’s try something different.” ~ Eric Paetkau

Pay-What-You-Can at Group of 27 Orchestra

This Friday at Trinity-St-Paul’s Centre (427 Bloor Street West), artistic director Eric Paetkau and the group of twenty-seven orchestra round out their first official season with “DIY Symphony”, a pay-what-you-can evening of spontaneity where audiences can mix and match movements from a “playlist” of symphonies that will be sight-read by seasoned and young musicians on the spot.

While this group has a deep reverence for the traditions of classical and orchestral music, g27 is re-imagining the symphonic experience. The members perform regularly with the likes of Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company and other major ensembles. However, when they are with the g27, they get to try out new ideas for audience engagement, and play some of their favourite orchestral music that audiences rarely get to hear in performance. Read on…

Seeing Sound: FAWN Opera’s Synesthesia III


“I’ve had people come up to us at the last Synesthesia, elated, saying they had no idea classical music could sound like this.” ~ Amanda Smith

$20 (General) / $15 (Under 30) at FAWN Opera

Synesthesia is a condition where one kind of stimulus produces both the expected response — hearing a trumpet or smelling an orange, for instance — but also an unrelated experience: Synesthetes can “hear” smells and “see” sounds.

Synesthesia is also the upcoming performance by FAWN Opera, taking place at 8pm tonight (Saturday, May 3), at the Brockton Collective Studio (442 Dufferin Street Studio M). The aim of the performance? To bring contemporary short films and new classical music together.

In collaboration with an online cinema magazine, The Seventh Art, Synesthesia III will pair eight short films by Canadian filmmakers—Sofia Bohdanowicz, Stephen Broomer, Dan Browne, Liam Crockard, Christine Lucy Latimer, Eva Kolcze, Blake Williams—with eight classical pieces, composed especially for each film by Canadian composers Patrick Arteaga, Massimo Guida, Trevor Hewer, James Lowrie, Amanda Lowry, Chris Thornborrow and Patrick Murray, who also happens to be FAWN’s music director.

Read on…

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