▼ upcoming performances
Ukrainian Art Song Project presents
Contrasts in a Theme
Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 7 pm
$35; $20 Students (Cash only at the door)
Purchase tickets at www.ukrainianartsong.ca
Andrea Ludwig, mezzo-soprano
Olesia Verzole, soprano
Taras Chmil, tenor
Robert Kortgaard, piano
"A good number of poems, Ukrainian and German, have proved to be favourites among Ukrainian composers, particularly Oleksandr Oles', Taras Shevchenko, Ivan Franko, Lesia Ukrainka and Heinrich Heine. However, it's striking how each composer envisages the words. It's fascinating to hear the same text to radically contrasting music. Herein lies the wealth of classical art song; many ways to compose, many ways to interpret what appears to be the same thought. But, is it the same?.. Come and decide for yourselves."
Pavlo Hunka, Artistic Director
The Art of the Piano: James Giles
Waltzes Op. 39 - Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Nos. 1-4, 12-15
Sonata in B flat major D. 960 - Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Scherzo: Allegro vivace con delicatezza - Trio
Allegro, ma non troppo - Presto
Alt-Wien - Leopold Godowsky (1870-1938)
The Enchanted Nymph - Mischa Levitski (1898-1941)
Papillons - Moriz Rosenthal (1862-1946)
Prelude Op. 61 No. 1 - Ignaz Friedman (1882-1948)
Minuet in G major Op. 14 No. 1 -Ignacy Paderewski (1860-1941)
El Albaicin from Iberia - Isaac Albeniz (1860-1909)
Navarra (completion by William Bolcom)
James Giles regularly performs in important musical centers in America, Europe, and Asia. In 2019 he tours Denmark, Taiwan, and China and performs recitals in Toronto, Paris, Naples, Budapest, and Manchester, England. US dates include recitals in Atlanta, Dallas, Tampa, Des Moines, Bloomington, IN, and Chicago. As a chamber musician he appears at the Tucson Chamber Music Festival and with the Rembrandt Chamber Players and the Dempster Street Promusica in Chicago.
In an eclectic repertoire encompassing the solo and chamber music literatures, Giles is equally at home in the standard repertoire as in the music of our time. He has commissioned and premiered works by William Bolcom, C. Curtis-Smith, Stephen Hough, Lowell Liebermann, Ned Rorem, Augusta Read Thomas, Earl Wild, and James Wintle. Most of these new works are featured on Giles’s Albany Records release entitled “American Virtuoso.” His recording of solo works by Schumann and Prokofiev is available on England’s Master Musicians label. He recorded John Harbison’s Horn Trio with the Chicago Chamber Musicians and recently released a recording with the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic.
His Paris recital at the Salle Cortot in was hailed as “a true revelation, due equally to the pianist’s artistry as to his choice of program.” After a recital at the Sibelius Academy, the critic for Helsinki’s main newspaper wrote that “Giles is a technically polished, elegant pianist.” And a London critic called his Wigmore Hall recital “one of the most sheerly inspired piano recitals I can remember hearing for some time” and added that “with a riveting intelligence given to everything he played, it was the kind of recital you never really forget.”
He has performed with New York’s Jupiter Symphony (Alkan and Czerny); the London Soloists Chamber Orchestra in Queen Elizabeth Hall (Mozart and Beethoven); the Kharkiv Philharmonic in Ukraine (Prokofiev and Rachmaninoff); and with the Opera Orchestra of New York in Alice Tully Hall (Chopin). After his Tully Hall solo recital debut, critic Harris Goldsmith wrote: “Giles has a truly distinctive interpretive persona. This was beautiful pianism – direct and unmannered.” Other tours have included concerts in the Shanghai International Piano Festival; St. Petersburg’s White Nights New Music Festival, Warsaw’s Chopin Academy of Music; Chicago’s Dame Myra Hess Series, Salt Lake City’s Assembly Hall Concert Series, and in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Musikhalle in Hamburg, and the Purcell Room at London’s South Bank Centre. He has given live recitals over the public radio stations of New York, Boston, Chicago, and Indianapolis. As a chamber musician he has collaborated with members of the National and Chicago Symphonies and with members of the Escher, Pacifica, Cassatt, Chicago, Ying, Chester, St. Lawrence, Essex, Lincoln, and Miami Quartets, as well as singers Aprile Millo and Anthony Dean Griffey.
A native of North Carolina, Dr. Giles studied with Byron Janis at the Manhattan School of Music, Jerome Lowenthal at the Juilliard School, Nelita True at the Eastman School of Music, and Robert Shannon at Oberlin College. He received early career assistance from the Clarisse B. Kampel Foundation and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Italy with the legendary pianist Lazar Berman.
The pianist was the recipient of a fellowship grant and the Christel Award from the American Pianists Association. He won first prizes at the New Orleans International Piano Competition, the Joanna Hodges International Piano Competition, and the Music Teachers National Association Competition. As a student he was awarded the prestigious William Petschek Scholarship at the Juilliard School and the Arthur Dann Award at the Oberlin College Conservatory. He wrote for Piano and Keyboard magazine and has presented lecture-recitals at the national conventions of the Music Teachers National Association, the College Music Society, and Pi Kappa Lambda. He regularly serves on competition jury panels and has been conference artist for many state music teachers associations.
Dr. Giles is coordinator of the piano program and director of music performance graduate studies at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music and during the summers is director of the piano program at the Amalfi Coast Music Festival. He gives master classes and lectures at schools nationwide, including Juilliard, Manhattan, Eastman, Oberlin, Indiana, Yale, New England and has taught during the summers at the Gijon Piano Festival, Eastern Music Festival, Bowdoin, Brevard, Art of the Piano, Colburn, Interlochen, ARIA, Pianofest in the Hamptons, and the Schlern Festival in Italy. His classes internationally have occurred throughout China as well as at Seoul National University, the Royal Danish Academy of Music (Copenhagen), the Sibelius Academy (Helsinki), the Chopin Academy (Warsaw), the Royal Northern College of Music (Manchester) and the Royal College of Music (London).
Coffee House 345 (Revisited)
A benefit concert for New Music Concerts
Thursday May 30, 2019 at 8 pm (Doors open at 7:30 pm)
Tickets: $60 ($100 for two)
Reserve tickets at 416 961 9594
A charitable receipt will be issued for the CRA allowable portion.
A fond farewell to New Music Concerts from David Olds who is retiring after 20 years as general manager of the organisation.
In addition to several original compositions, David will sing a selection of songs from the following singer/songwriters: Willie P. Bennett; Tim Buckley; Leonard Cohen; Bob Dylan; Allan Fraser and Daisy DeBolt; Gordon Lightfoot; Van Morrison; Fred Neil; Paul Simon; James Taylor; Loudon Wainwright III; David Wiffen.
David will be joined by musical friends Sy Potma, Sheryl Keith, David Perlman, Robert Aitken and perhaps a few surprise(d) guests.
David Olds is known across Canada as a broadcaster, annotator and administrator specializing in contemporary music and its dissemination. In 1993, as a result of his work as producer and host of “Transfigured Night” at CKLN-FM, he was awarded the first Canadian League of Composers Award (now the Friends of Canadian Music Award) for his “exceptional commitment to Canadian Composers.” From 1994 until 1998 David was a classical music programmer at CJRT-FM and in 1999 he produced “Canadian Currents” for the Canadian Music Centre, a series of 52 radio programs that aired on CJRT. In addition to his duties as general manager of New Music Concerts, he is the editor of DISCoveries, WholeNote magazine’s CD review section. David was the original convener of the Toronto Coalition of New Music Presenters (now the Toronto New Music Alliance), is a founding member of the Canadian Electroacoustic Community and the Canadian New Music Network, has been a voting member of both the Canadian Music Centre and the Music Gallery and has served on the Toronto Arts Council’s Music Committee.
Less well known are David’s activities as a musician in his own right. Since receiving his first guitar at age 11 he has gone on to build a repertoire of more than 500 songs drawn from the folk, pop, rock, blues, R&B and alternative traditions. He is also an accomplished amateur cellist and plays in piano trios and string quartets with friends with repertoire spanning Mozart to Shostakovich. In recent years he has added 12-string and high-string guitars, mandolin and mandola to his collection of instruments, and looking forward to retirement activities, has acquired a 5-string banjo, an Appalachian dulcimer and a tiny accordion with the intension to stay busy in the coming years.
Robi Botos: The Art of the Piano | Toronto
2019 JUNO Award-winner Robi Botos returns to Gallery 345 on Friday, May 31st! Don't miss what is sure to be an unforgettable evening of solo piano in one of the most beautiful and intimate listening rooms in Toronto. Special thanks to Yamaha Canada, who will be providing a beautiful C7x especially for this evening.
ROBI BOTOS has been hailed as one of the most diverse multi-instrumentalists of this generation. From the hard-bop style of Bill Evans and Herbie Hancock, to the swing of Oscar Peterson and the heartfelt melodic expression of Mulgrew Miller and Cedar Walton, Robi has managed to master the technique of his idols, all while showcasing his musical expressions in a voice that is purely his own. While Robi is known for being a strong player in the traditional jazz and funk fields, he always incorporates an element of the music he grew up listening to into his playing. Says organist, trumpeter and pianist Joey Defrancesco: “Robi is one of the most swingin’, soulful, funky, world class players I’ve ever heard, and he has a technique like you can’t believe. Definitely one of my very favorite players!!!”
Born of Romani descent in Hungary, Robi taught himself first to play drums as a young child, and got his first taste of being a professional musician working throughout Budapest. Robi was first introduced to the piano when he was 7 years old, and never looked back. He continued to perform throughout Hungary and when he turned 20, decided to move his wife and children to Canada, to further pursue the career he was born for. Now 20 years later, Robi has solidified himself as one of the most sought-after pianists in the country.
Immediately after coming to Canada, Robi immersed himself into both the Canadian and international jazz scene. In 2004, he traveled to Montreux to compete in the Montreux Jazz Festival’s solo piano competition, where he placed first. His prize? Returning the following year to open for one of the headlining artists. That artists happened to be one of Robi’s idols - Oscar Peterson. Unknowingly to Robi, Peterson sat in the wings as Robi performed and upon their return to Canada, the two would form a friendship that resulted in Robi being one of OP’s final mentees. Over the next few years, Robi would continue to participate in and win global prizes and awards including the International “Jazz Hoeilaart” band competition in Belgium, the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) award in California, and the “Martial Solal Piano Competition” in Paris. In 2006, Robi would receive his first JUNO Award nomination for his participation in the ALMA Records release, “One Take.”
Since moving to Canada, Robi has been given the chance to work with many of the greats in his industry including Al Jarreau, Branford Marsalis, Christian McBride, Terri Lyne Carrington, Joey Defrancesco, Steve Gadd and Chaka Khan and has participated in projects with Michel Legrand, Chick Corea, Bill Charlap, Benny Green, and Kenny Barron. Robi wasted no time laying down roots in Toronto. He has been the pianist of choice for Officer of the Order of Canada, Molly Johnson, for close to 15 years and has worked extensively with some of Canada’s most celebrated players including Dave Young, Phil Dwyer, Archie Alleyne, Oliver Jones, Renee Rosnes, Sophie Milman, Paul Novotny, Carol Welsman and more.
Along with being a first-call pianist for some of the top artists around the world, as well as leading his own groups in sold-out shows nationwide, Robi is also a highly sought-after composer. In 2013, Robi composed the score for a film that was deeply personal to him. Aaron Yeger’s “A People Uncounted” tells the story of the rich culture and history of the Romani people (commonly refered to as ‘Gypsies’) in Europe. The film specifically focuses on the mistreatment and devastation of the Romani people during the Holocaust. This moving project was nominated for a Producer’s Guild Award in 2014. Since then, Robi’s music can also be heard on Stella Meghie’s 2016 film “Jean of the Joneses,” which received 2 nominations at the Canadian Screen Awards. Robi also contributed to the soundtrack of the 2013 Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon film “Arbitrage”.
In 2015, Robi released his highly anticipated sophomore album for A440 Entertainment, “Movin’ Forward”, which brought him a 2016 JUNO Award win for Solo Jazz Album of the Year. This would be Robi’s 5th nomination and 2nd win for Canada’s highest award in music. “Movin’ Forward” featured Seamus Blake on tenor saxophone, Robert Hurst on bass, and Jeff “Tain” Watts on drums. After rave reviews and countless sold-out shows in support of this record, Robi went back into the studio in summer, 2016 to record his next album.
In 2018, Robi is back with a brand-new record that pays homage to his Hungarian upbringing, the early days of his career, and the music that he has dedicated his life to. “OLD SOUL” sees Robi not only venturing into a number of different genres (jazz, funk, soul, gospel and more!), but he also plays on a number of different instruments including the Harpejji, which he was inspired to learn and incorporate into his sound by Stevie Wonder. Robi is joined by some familiar faces such as longtime collaborators Mike Downes on bass and Larnell Lewis on drums, as well as Seamus Blake on saxophone. Also joining them for the first time is Cory Henry (Snarky Puppy, Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Garrett) on the Hammond B3, Ingrid Jensen (Clark Terry, Maria Schneider, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Billy Taylor) on trumpet, and Lionel Loueke (Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Roy Hargrove, Wayne Shorter) on guitar. Robi’s ability as a composer is once again highlighted on this record, with a majority of the tracks being his original material. “Old Soul” pays tribute to his homeland as he takes you down memory lane with visions of his childhood neighbourhood and through some of his favourite spots in his hometown. This record makes you feel like you have a personal connection with one of the most diverse and eclectic artists of our time. "Old Soul" was awarded the 2019 JUNO Award for 'Jazz Album of the Year: Solo'.
The Art of the Piano: Ben Cruchley
Francois Couperin: Selections from "Pieces de Clavecin"
Maurice Ravel: “Le Tombeau de Couperin”:
J.S. Bach Partita #3 in a minor
L.v. Beethoven Sonata #31 in A-flat major, op. 110
Acclaimed by the press for his “charismatic”, “very individual” and “always gripping” playing, Toronto-born pianist Ben Cruchley was awarded 2nd Prize at the International Telekom Beethoven Competition in Bonn, Germany (2015) and 3rd Prize and the prize for the Best Interpretation of a Major Work of Grieg at the International Grieg Competition in Bergen, Norway (2016). He has appeared in such notable venues as the Konzerthaus in Berlin, the Musikverein in Vienna (Brahms-Saal), Roy Thompson Hall and the Richard Bradshaw Ampitheatre in Toronto, and the Troldsalen in Norway. Recent orchestral appearances include the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, the Narva Symphony Orchestra in Estonia, and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. He studied in Toronto with Marc Durand and Shoko Inoue, in Montreal with Dang Thai Son, and with Benedetto Lupo in Rome.
Ben is distinguished for the breadth of his musical experience. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with members of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, the orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and the Canadian Opera Company. He has considerable experience as an interpreter of contemporary music, notably as long-term member of the Ensemble Novecento in Rome. In addition to engagements as an improviser and orchestral arranger, he worked on many occasions as assistant conductor and repetiteur at Toronto's Opera Atelier. He attained proficiency on the cello, and, many years ago, even had a fine soprano voice.