The Chamber Experience in Toronto

BLOG_header_chamber_music_2014a(Photo: Ton Beau String Quartet at Banff)

The magic of chamber music comes from experiencing breath-taking musical moments up close and personal, as if you were a part of it.

To appropriate the byline of I FURIOSI, chamber ensembles are like the rock bands of classical music, and the best of them are certainly admired the way rock stars are, just in genre-appropriate ways.

What is described as “chamber” today is not limited to music performed in a private household (often in a “room” of varying sizes), but refers generally to a small ensemble that performs music requiring an intense connection and synergies between the artists. Read on…

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…

Cooking up a storm with Symphronica

If it’s been a little quiet around here, it’s because we’ve been taking a break from our usual blog activities. Of course, we can’t wait to get back to doing it all bigger and better.

What we have been doing is teaming up with Ron Davis on Symphronica, happening at Lula Lounge three Sundays in a row on October 27, November 3 and November 10.

The concept of blending jazz, pop and classical music reflects our belief that the boundaries between musical genres, not to mention arts disciplines, should be bridged more often. Ron Davis, a Canadian performer and composer, also shares our passion for supporting local and independent artists and building these bridges.

While busy with grassroots outreach associated with Symphronica, we are also gearing up for BeMused Network’s launch and showcase as part of Canadian Film Centre’s ideaboost program, which we have been involved in since May. If you are not on our mailing list and want to be among the first to beta test our service, click here to sign up!

Check out Symphronica below!

SYMPHRONICA Sizzle Reel from RonDavisMusic on Vimeo.

Q & A with Cellist and Educator Judith Manger

There is an emphasis on natural ability in the arts, and I think access to opportunity is often overlooked. … What fosters a successful musician is much greater and more complex than just natural talent. A young person needs the opportunity to develop his or her talent, focus and dedication, and a support network.

Cellist Judith Manger founded Axis Music, a free music program for children and youth in a Scarborough community, as a way to help promote equal access to music education and opportunities. Read about her thoughts on the importance of such access to the success of future musicians. Read on…

Q & A with Pianist & Composer Adam Sherkin

The audiences’ primary challenge is distilling what’s good and what’s not and understanding what’s available to them, which really becomes a question of access. They have to discover their niche and their aesthetic, while appreciating the commitment the performers are putting into their performance, and form their own identity as an audience member.

Adam Sherkin is an active composer and classical pianist in Toronto with a newly released CD and a series of solo performances. He is also the founder of the Toronto Composers’ Collective. In this Q & A, Adam shares his thoughts on the challenges confronting both performers as well as audiences. Read on…

Q & A with Violinist Edwin Huizinga

I think it’s important to use all of these incredible online social media networking tools to help create real-time live musical events in all kinds of small communities around the world—not retreat into the online world and shy away from the real world, but use it to create more opportunities within the community!

Profile picture of Edwin Huizinga

Edwin Huizinga, classical/rock/indie musician and founding member of Classical Revolution

Violinist Edwin Huizinga takes a collaborative, community-centred approach to planning concert events. Read about his forays in different musical genres and his grassroots attitude toward the performing arts. Read on…

Q & A with Composer Monica Pearce

I am seeing a lot of collaborative love and respect happening between ensembles, both locally and nationally. I think this is exactly the right direction for new music, and I support it wholeheartedly.

For Monica Pearce, composer and founder of the Toy Piano Composers, collaboration is the ticket.  So is time management. Find out about some of the many collaborative projects she is currently involved in. Read on…

Q & A with Composer Kevin Lau

The performing arts allow us to get in touch with the deeper parts of existence, of what it means to live and be human. … And there is no rational method of persuasion when it comes to justifying this kind of value. All we can do is put on a good show and hope that people are emotionally moved to experience it again.

Kevin Lau, affiliate composer of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Sneak Peek Orchestra‘s co-founder and artistic director, strongly believes in the inherent value of the performing arts. Read on for more of his thoughts on the challenges faced by concert performers and presenters.
Read on…

Q & A with BeMused’s Tim Crouch

From time to time, we will be interviewing performers, presenters and marketers of the performing arts to get their stories about the challenges that they face and how they have successfully marketed themselves or their shows.

We also hope to have avid audience members (we know you’re out there!) weigh in with their perspectives on the performing arts. So … want to have your say? Don’t be shy. Drop us a line (info@bemusednetwork.com). Easy as pie.

Check out the first of these Q & A sessions with BeMused’s very own marketing expert, Tim Crouch.

Read on…

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