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…

Q & A with Sarah Thorpe and Pratik Gandhi of Soup Can Theatre

As any independent artist knows, it takes a lot of time, effort, discipline, and sacrifice to live this kind of life. But I keep at it because when a project comes together beautifully and successfully, it’s worth everything I’ve gone through to make it happen.

Sarah Thorpe, artistic director of Soup Can Theatre

Toronto-based Soup Can Theatre provides reinterpretations of older theatrical works as a way to explore contemporary issues for a contemporary audience. In the company’s upcoming double feature of one-act pieces, Samuel Barber’s A Hand of Bridge and Jean-Paul Sartre’s No Exit, characters in dysfunctional, even hellish relationships are trapped in the same space for the span of a game of bridge and for all eternity, respectively.

It’s a thought-provoking theme, and fortunately one that is not reflected in the theatre company’s mutually supportive environment. Quite the opposite in fact, as artistic director Sarah Thorpe and music director Pratik Gandhi can attest. Check out this Q & A double-bill as the two team up to share their experiences, perspectives, and advice.  And be sure to catch their Valentine’s themed cabaret fundraiser on February 12!

Read on…

Q & A with Ballet Creole’s Natassia Parson

It is so important to remain humble and grounded and to understand that you are an artist in a craft, and the world for which you are creating this craft is ever-changing and shifting. Be open-minded and willing to make mistakes as you explore and grow as an artist.

Picture of several dancers in action, their dresses flaring

Dancers in a Ballet Creole production

In this Q&A, Natassia Parson, general manager of Ballet Creole, tells us about the dance company’s upcoming production of Tounkande, presented in honour of Black History Month in February and will be touring in major venues as well as schools. Fusing Afro-Carribean dance aesthetics with European dance traditions, you can experience their performances as part of the free concert series at the Canadian Opera Company on March 5, 2013. Don’t miss it if you are in the area! Read on…

Win 2 tickets to experience the Classical Revolution

If you have an image of classical music concerts being stuffy, Classical Revolution is a movement that strives to change that perception. Violinist Edwin Huizinga —founding member and fellow Canadian—is giving away two tickets to his show “Time Stands Still” this Saturday. His cross-genre experience in the indie, jazz and rock music scene is surely going to infuse this concert with a certain je ne sais quoi. Click here for contest details!

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 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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