Arts & Life:

Set­tle in for the clas­si­cal sea­son

Edmonton Journal - - FOOD - Tom Mur­ray

There’s no lack of high­qual­ity con­certs com­ing up over the next year for clas­si­cal mu­sic afi­ciona­dos in the Ed­mon­ton area.

The Ed­mon­ton Sym­phony Orches­tra boasts a num­ber of the mar­quee names, from Joshua Bell to Ben Folds, but there are other im­pres­sive artists vis­it­ing town, such as Anne So­phie Duprels, who will be repris­ing her crit­i­cally ac­claimed role as Cio-CioSan in Madama But­ter­fly for Ed­mon­ton Opera in April.

Revered com­poser R. Mur­ray Schafer will be here in March for three days dur­ing the New Mu­sic Ed­mon­ton fes­ti­val, and vi­o­lin­ist James Ehnes will be at McDougall United Church in April.

It’s easy to get caught up in the celebri­ties com­ing to town, but Ed­mon­ton’s choral groups, from Da Cam­era Singers to I Coristi Cham­ber Choir, con­tinue to shine with in­no­va­tive and ex­cit­ing con­certs that are equally worth­while. Al­berta Baroque En­sem­ble, Ed­mon­ton Recital Se­ries and Early Mu­sic Al­berta con­sis­tently have qual­ity pro­grams, and the Clas­si­cal Gui­tar So­ci­ety never fails to im­press with an in­ter­na­tional lineup of fan­tas­tic play­ers. That’s just the tip of the ice­berg. The list be­low is a sam­pling of just some of the ex­cel­lent con­certs there are to check out: ❚ Dou­ble­bassist Edgar Meyer, vir­tu­oso vi­o­lin­ist Joshua Bell and pop star Chan­tal Kre­vi­azuk are among the heavy­weight mu­si­cians play­ing with the ESO in 2013 and 2014. Bell makes his Win­spear ap­pear­ance on Sept. 24, with a per­for­mance of Saint-Saens’ Rondo capric­cioso and Tchaikovsky’s Vi­olin Con­certo. Oct. 10 sees an evening of Operetta Magic with so­prano Amy Wal­lis, while film buffs will want to check out the screen­ing of si­lent film classic Nos­fer­atu on Oct. 31, with ris­ing young or­gan star Mathias Re­hfeldt pro­vid­ing the spooky mu­sic. Novem­ber is packed full of mu­si­cal gems, in­clud­ing two nights of Mozart (Nov. 1-2), Broad­way clas­sics (Nov. 8-9), Edgar Meyer on Nov. 15-16 and a sym­phony for the kids with Twins and the Mon­ster on Nov. 23. Han­del’s Mes­siah is per­formed on Dec. 6-7, Kre­vi­azuk makes an ap­pear­ance on Dec. 10, and the usual Christ­mas pro­gram­ming runs be­tween Dec. 19 and 22. Jan­uary sees pi­anist Jean-Phillippe Col­lard brought in for a pro­gram of Brahms and Beethoven on Jan. 10-11, while Ravel is given his due on Jan. 24-25. Mu­sic from Chicago, cabaret and other Broad­way favourites are show­cased on Feb. 7-8, and there’s a pro­gram of Warner’s car­toon mu­sic on Feb. 15. March boasts an ap­pear­ance by vi­o­lin­ist

Elena Urioste for El­gar’s Vi­olin Con­certo on March 8, plus A Celtic Jour­ney on March 21-22 with fid­dler

Eileen Ivers. April 25-26 con­duc­tor Steve Reineke plus vo­cal­ists Ryan Sil­ver­man and Nikki Re­nee Daniels will evoke the era of Mad Men with The Cock­tail Hour, while May 2-3 the Richard Ea­ton Singers team up with the ESO for the Mirac­u­lous Man­darin, Bar­tok’s pan­tomime bal­let. Two or­ches­tras play the Rus­sian mas­ters on May 13, Ben Folds re­turns to rock the town on May 21, May 30-31 are de­voted to the Golden Age of Film Mu­sic, with pieces from Lawrence of Ara­bia, The Mag­nif­i­cent Seven and much more. The sea­son ends on June 7 with Wil­liam Ed­dins con­duct­ing the orches­tra on pieces by Co­p­land, Bar­ber and Bern­stein. All per­for­mances take place at the Win­spear Cen­tre. For com­plete list­ings, check the Win­spear web­site at win­ ❚ Other clas­si­cal mu­sic or­ga­ni­za­tions in town have great sea­sons to look for­ward to as well. Richard Strauss’s Salome kicks off Ed­mon­ton Opera’s 50th sea­son, tak­ing place Oct. 26, 29-31, with Waut Koeken di­rect­ing, DavidStern con­duct­ing and a cast that in­cludes Maida Hun­del­ing as Salome. Next up, Ali­son Grant di­rects Die Fledermaus on Feb 1, 4 and 6, with help from con­duc­tor Peter Dala, and the sea­son ends with Puc­cini’s Madama But­ter­fly, with a cast that in­cludes Anne So­phie Dupreis as Cio-Cio San and Lu­ciano Ganci as Pinker­ton. Check the web­site for in­for­ma­tion on pre-Opera brunches be­fore each pro­duc­tion. The Ed­mon­ton Opera Cho­rus will be cel­e­brat­ing five decades with Salute to 50 at McDougall United Church on Nov. 23. All main­stage op­eras take place at the Ju­bilee Au­di­to­rium. ❚ Al­berta Baroque En­sem­ble starts its sea­son on Oct. 6 with a con­cert of the Bran­den­burg Con­certo No. 4. The pop­u­lar Baroque Cham­ber Mu­sic Trea­sures se­ries continues on Nov. 10, while Mu­sic For a Fes­tive Sea­son is sched­uled for Dec. 8. The group kicks off 2014 with Con­cer­tos in a Grand Tra­di­tion on Feb. 9, fol­lows that up with 18th Cen­tury Mu­sic from Cen­tral Europe on March 16, and ends the sea­son with Ital­ian Mas­ters on April 27. All con­certs take place at Robert­son-Wes­ley United Church, 10209 123rd St.

Da Cam­era Singers get back in the sad­dle with Kings and Shep­herds, a sea­sonal of­fer­ing of car­ols old and new on Dec. 14 at All Saints’ Angli­can Cathe­dral, and take the sting out of March with Songs of the Soul at Holy Trin­ity Angli­can Church on March 2. The group fin­ishes up for the year at First Bap­tist Church with Psalms and Songs of Cel­e­bra­tion on May 4, with RJ Cham­bers con­duct­ing.

The open­ing con­cert for Pro Coro is com­ing up fast, and it’s free; they’ll be pre­mièring The Twi­light Cities by Cana­dian com­poser Kristo­pher Ful­ton on Sept. 29 at the Win­spear Cen­tre as part of a re­peat of last year’s suc­cess­ful mul­ti­cul­tural choral pro­gram. Nov. 3 sees the group at All Saints’ Angli­can Cathe­dral with works by Ja­son No­ble, Frank Martin and Ugis Praulins, af­ter which they’re back at the Win­spear on Dec. 15 for A Pro Coro Christ­mas. They col­lab­o­rate with the Elmer Iseler Singers of Toronto on Feb. 9 at All Saints’, and again at the cathe­dral on March 23 for a pro­gram of Grim and Glacial. There’s the tra­di­tional Good Fri­day at the Win­spear on April 18, fol­lowed by their fi­nal con­cert on June 1 at All Saints’.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion for­merly known as RCCO Sun­days at 3, now re­named Or­ganic, Or­gan in Con­cert have al­ready started their year with a per­for­mance by South Africa’s Ger­ritt Jor­daan. Next up is Que­bec’s Rachel Lau­rin at the Win­spear on Oct. 6, fol­lowed by Italy’s Mas­simo Nosetti at First Pres­by­te­rian Church on May 2.

The New Or­ford String Quar­tet per­forms at Mut­tart Hall in Al­berta Col­lege to start the eighth sea­son of the Ed­mon­ton Recital So­ci­ety on Oct. 8. Sonic Es­cape is next up with a con­cert at the Yel­low­head Brew­ery on Oct. 16, while the duo of Lawler and Fadoul are back at Mut­tart Hall at Al­berta Col­lege on Nov. 27. The ERS Emerg­ing Artist se­ries be­gins Jan. 5 with pi­anist Alexan­dra Munn and so­prano Nola Shantz at Holy Trin­ity Angli­can Church, and there’s a gala per­for­mance by pi­anist Sara Davis Buech­ner on Jan. 21 at the Win­spear. Tenor Ben­jamin But­ter­field and pi­anist Peter Dala per­form at Mut­tart Hall on Feb. 12, the duo of Mercer-Park is at the same venue on March 26, and the sea­son ends at Holy Trin­ity Angli­can Church on May 18, with ESO all-star Al­lene Hackleman on horn and Sarah Ho on pi­ano.

The Lon­don Han­del Play­ers are first up for the Ed­mon­ton Cham­ber Mu­sic So­ci­ety on Oct. 4 at Con­vo­ca­tion Hall. The se­ries switches to McDougall United Church on Oct. 25 with so­prano Is­abel Bayrak­dar­ian, to West End Chris­tian Re­formed Church on Nov. 9 with a cap­pella quar­tet Anony­mous 4, and back to Con­vo­ca­tion Hall at the U of A with Trio Jean Paul on Jan. 31. Vi­huela and baroque gui­tarist Jose Miguel Moreno is at Con­vo­ca­tion Hall on March 22, and ac­claimed vi­o­lin­ist James Ehnes fin­ishes the sea­son off at McDougall United Church on April 2.

The Ed­mon­ton Clas­si­cal Gui­tar So­ci­ety has an ex­cel­lent sea­son in store, start­ing with Chilean gui­tarist Car­los Perez on Oct. 4. The com­bined Cana­dian and Salzburg gui­tar quar­tets show up as G8 on Nov. 9, Paul O’Dette makes an ap­pear­ance on Jan. 24, and fi­nally the bril­liant young Rus­sian gui­tarist Rovshan Mamed­kuliev is slot­ted for March 7. All con­certs are at Mut­tart Hall in Al­berta Col­lege.

The Green­wood Singers con­tinue a long­time sea­sonal tra­di­tion with Hymns and Read­ings for Ad­vent and Christ­mas on Dec. 8 at St. Joseph’s Basil­ica, and at First Pres­by­te­rian Church with The Many Moods of Christ­mas on Dec. 9. They reap­pear again in the spring with Mu­sic For the Soul III, a pro­gram of choral mu­sic from Re­nais­sance to Broad­way, on April 11 at All Saints’ Angli­can Church.

Don’s Pi­ano Show­room in St. Al­bert hosts the St. Al­bert Cham­ber Mu­sic Recital Se­ries, with flutist Peter Dund­jer­ski and pi­anist Sarah Ho open­ing the sea­son on Oct. 5. Early Mu­sic Al­berta ( Josephine van Lier, Jo­laine Ker­ley, Judy Loewen) are next up on Nov. 23, the Vaughan String Quar­tet on Feb. 1 and Ed­mon­ton Gui­tar Trio

on March 15. Pi­anist Pa­tri­cia Tao and vi­o­lin­ist Yue Deng fin­ish things off with a con­cert on May 10. Early Mu­sic Al­berta is host­ing its an­nual Early Mu­sic Fes­ti­val on May 2, 3 and 4 of next year.

La Belle Époque, a se­lec­tion of French melodies with pi­anist Jac­ques De­spres and vo­cal­ists El­iz­a­beth Turn­bull and Cather­ine Abele, kicks off The Univer­sity of Al­berta Mu­sic at Con­vo­ca­tion Hall on Sept. 20. Trio Voce per­form Mozart, Ravel and Dvo­rak on Sept. 28, while Charles Stolte, Wil­liam H Street and Roger Ad­mi­ral have a pro­gram of Mu­sic of the 21st Cen­tury for sax­o­phone, elec­tron­ics and pi­ano on Oct. 6. There are Opera Fan­tasies to be found on Oct. 18, the Madri­gal Singers and a few friends cel­e­brate the cen­te­nary of Ben­jamin Brit­ten’s birth on Nov. 17 at the Win­spear, and the mu­si­cal world around Bach is ex­plored on Jan. 19 with or­gan­ist Marnie Gies­brecht and nar­ra­tor Joseph H. Pa­trouch. Pi­anist Jac­ques De­spres re­turns on Jan. 24 with vi­o­lin­ist An­drew Wan for an evening of Beethoven, some of the prov­ince’s most tal­ented band stu­dents per­form with the U of A’s Sym­phonic Wind En­sem­ble on Feb. 9 at the Win­spear, and Brass Fire­works are cel­e­brated on Feb. 12. The action moves back to the Win­spear on March 16 for Per­cus­sive Winds with the Sym­phonic Wind En­sem­ble and soloist Matthew Co­ley, while the Univer­sity Sym­phony Orches­tra tack­les Mozart and Tchaikovsky on March 23, also at the Win­spear. The fi­nal con­cert also takes place at the Win­spear with an April 4 pre­sen­ta­tion of the In­dian and West African Mu­sic En­sem­bles.

All per­for­mances are at Con­vo­ca­tion Hall on the U of A cam­pus, un­less oth­er­wise noted.

Mu­sic di­rec­tor Rob Cur­tis leads I Coristi Cham­ber Choir through a three-con­cert se­ries that starts with Lives, with mu­sic by Esta­cio, Lukaszewski and Whitacre, on Nov. 16. Works by Tormis, Brahms and Somers are fea­tured in Voices on Feb. 22, while Pri­mav­era cel­e­brates spring with Men­delssohn, Dove, Mor­ley and O’Re­gan; it takes place on May 24. All con­certs at Holy Trin­ity Angli­can Church.

New Mu­sic Ed­mon­ton continues to sur­prise with an eclec­tic se­ries of con­certs. There’s Pi­geon Breed­ers and Nate Woo­ley at C103 (for­merly the Cat­a­lyst The­atre) on Oct. 12, the Quasar Sax­o­phone Quar­tet at Mut­tart Hall on Nov. 14, and a trio fea­tur­ing so­prano Sta­cie Dun­lop, also at Mut­tart Hall, on Jan. 17. En­sem­ble Trans­mis­sion are at Mut­tart Hall on Feb. 21. Next year the or­ga­ni­za­tion will step things up with the NME Fes­ti­val of New Mu­sic, fea­tur­ing R. Mur­ray Schafer, on March 2023 at Holy Trin­ity Angli­can Church. Holy Trin­ity will also host the col­lec­tive thingNY on April 26, while NME is still look­ing for a venue for a pro­gram of con­tem­po­rary mu­sic cu­rated by mez­zoso­prano Michelle Milenkovic. It takes place on May 17. The fi­nal con­cert of the year takes place at Mut­tart Hall, with the Bozini Quar­tet on June 7.

In ad­di­tion to work­ing with the ESO on the Mes­siah (Dec. 6-7) and The Mirac­u­lous Man­darin (May 2-3), the Richard Ea­ton Singers start their sea­son on Nov. 11 with a Win­spear Re­mem­brance Day con­cert fea­tur­ing the Fauré Re­quiem and a va­ri­ety of shorter works on the Re­mem­brance Day theme. They team up on March 9 with Al­berta Baroque En­sem­ble for the Bach Mass in B Mi­nor at the Win­spear, with help from soloists Jo­laine Ker­ley, Jen­nifer Enns-Modolo, Derek Ch­ester and Michael Kurschat.

Other or­ga­ni­za­tions to check out in­clude Kanata Winds, Can­tilon Choirs, Ed­mon­ton Chi­nese Phil­har­monic, Ed­mon­ton Metropoli­tan Cho­rus, EsQuire Al­berta Men’s Cho­rus, Fes­ti­val City Winds and Kokopelli.


Edgar Meyer plays with the ESO in Novem­ber.

Luke Ra­tray

Eileen Ivers takes part in A Celtic Jour­ney in March.


The Green­wood Singers: Christ­mas con­certs Dec. 8 and 9


Pi­anist Sara Davis Buech­ner will per­form Jan. 21 at the Win­spear as part of the Ed­mon­ton Recital So­ci­ety’s sea­son.

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