▼ upcoming performances
Spring Salon - 20th Century Ukrainian Art Songs
Thursday May 24, 2018 at 7 pm
$30; $20 Students (Cash only at the door)
Tickets available at eventbrite.ca
Andrea Ludwig, mezzo-soprano
Laura McAlpine, mezzo-soprano
Andrew Skitko, tenor
Robert Kortgaard, Piano
"From the Roots of Ukrainian Art Song to a Galician Experience"
Born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan, Juno-nominated mezzo soprano Andrea Ludwig is an artist of tremendous depth, musicality and scope. Her charm, warmth and easy sense of humour are perfect for the stage and her vibrant musicality makes her a favourite to all her audiences. Her versatility and ability to interpret many styles are impeccable.
Hailed by Halifax Chronicle Herald critic Stephen Pedersen as having “tones of silver and gold,” Andrea has appeared with the Canadian Opera Company in numerous roles including Nireno in Handel’s Julius Ceasar, the Second Niece in Britten’s Peter Grimes, Flora in The Turn of the Screw, Moira in Paul Ruder’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and Liesgen in Bach’s Coffee Cantata.
Very much in demand for contemporary opera, Andrea has been involved in many of Tapestry New Opera’s projects including their LibLab and Opera Briefs, as well as the world premiere of Juliet Palmer’s Shelter at Edmonton Opera in 2012 and Toronto in June 2014. Andrea was Nada in the multi Dora-nominated Queen of Puddings’ production of Ana Sokolovic’s Svadba (The Wedding) that had it’s world premiere in Toronto in June 2011. She reprised the role of Nada in France, Serbia and Ireland in 2012; at Edmonton Opera and Philadelphia Opera in 2013; and at the prestigious Festival D’Aix en Provence in 2015.
Ms. Ludwig’s commitment to concert performance remains a strong focus. She made her debut with Symphony Nova Scotia in 2011 in R. Murray Schafer’s “Adieu, Robert Schumann” and made a return in 2013 for a tribute concert to Peter Lieberson in which she sang his “Neruda Songs.” More recently, Andrea performed eight orchestrated Schubert lieder with Symphony Nova Scotia, including one newly-arranged by Canada’s own Brian Current. A recording of this concert is currently in production.
This past May, she performed a sumptuous program of Kurt Weil, John Plant and Toronto composer, Monica Pearce with The Talisker Players. Andrea has also performed Gustav Mahler’s “Das Lied von der Erde” with Kindred Spirits Orchestra; Handel’s Messiah with Symphony New Brunswick and Toronto’s Against the Grain Theatre; Mozart’s Mass in C Minor with The Amadeus Choir of Toronto and the Regina Philharmonic Chorus; Mozart’s Requiem with the Thunder Bay Orchestra; and Beethoven’s 9th with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
Andrea is proud to announce her recent Juno nomination for a recording of Canadian composer Peter Togni’s Responsio in collaboration with Jeff Reilly, Suzie LeBlanc, Charles Daniels and John Potter.
Pianist Robert Kortgaard was born in Regina, Saskatchewan and grew up in Calgary, Alberta. He completed his Bachelor and Master’s degrees at the Juilliard School in New York City. As a recipient of arts awards from the Canada Council, he furthered his musical studies in Italy and England. Mr. Kortgaard has performed as a soloist with major Canadian orchestras and has given recitals throughout Canada and the United States, as well as in England, Finland, Portugal, Italy, Indonesia, the Czech Republic, China and Japan.
He is a favourite collaborator of many of Canada’s finest instrumental soloists, vocalists and chamber groups. His performances are frequently heard on CBC Radio, and he has recorded for the Centrediscs, Marquis Classics/EMI, CBC Records, Teldec and ATMA Classique labels.
Mr. Kortgaard is Artistic Director of the Indian River Festival on Prince Edward Island (has been nominated “Event of the Year” by the East Coast Music Awards), and the Leith Summer Music Festival in Ontario. He was musician-in- residence at the University of New Brunswick from l993-l998 and has given piano masterclasses at Universities and festivals in Canada, Indonesia and China and served as an adjudicator at many national music competitions. Mr. Kortgaard has performed with sopranos Isabel Bayrakdarian, Sumi Jo, Jane Archibald, Adrianne Pieczonka and Erin Wall, mezzo soprano Susan Platts, violinist Joshua Bell, and with prima ballerina Veronica Tennant on a production entitled “Invitation to the Dance”. He has recorded French and German Cabaret programmes with mezzo-soprano Jean Stilwell for CBC Records.
His CD with soprano Wendy Nielsen was nominated for both Juno and East Coast Music Awards. Mr. Kortgaard tours with flutist Susan Hoeppner, cabaret artist Patricia O’Callaghan. baritone Brett Polegato, mezzo soprano Julie Nesrallah, renowned music theatre actress/singer Rebecca Caine and with piano duo partner Peter Tiefenbach. A CD of the music of Olivier Messiaen, recorded with soprano Suzie LeBlanc, was released on the ATMA Classiques label and has received an Opus Award for best recording of 20th century music.
Winnipeg born mezzo soprano, Laura McAlpine has been acclaimed for her “mellifluous singing and flashes of wit” (Opera Canada), an “impressive voice that jumps off the stage” (Classical 96.3 FM), an “expressive voice with fine artistic sensibility” (Whole Note Magazine), and praises like, “the stand out was Laura McAlpine’s Jenny; varying style and technique appropriately.” (Opera Ramblings).
Chamber and concert performances include, North American premiere of Krystof Maratka’s VABENI, at TSO’s New Creations Festival, with conductor Peter Oundjian, and world premiere of Christopher Mayo’s Under Dark Water, at the 21C Music Festival with Esprit Orchestra, and Alex Pauk. Laura sang with Victoria Symphony Orchestra, with conductor Alain Trudel, was the alto soloist in Messiah, with the Elmer Iseler Singers, Amadeus Choir, and Lydia Adams, and most recently the alto soloist for The Cellar Singers concerts of Handel’s Messiah, and Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle with conductor Mitchell Pady.
Chamber works include, Spirit Dreaming (Maurice Ravel’s Chanson madécasses, Peter Sculthorpe’s Island Dreaming , and Tanu by John Beckwith), with Talisker Players, and music of Cole Porter and Irving Berlin, in remounts of Laura Jones/Talisker Players shows, Anything Goes and Puttin’ on the Ritz. Laura self-produced A Poet’s Love, a two-act staged recital, and recording of the Dichterliebe song cycles by Robert Schumann, and Ukrainian composer Mykola Lysenko, with pianist David Eliakis, available on iTunes.
In opera, Laura’s roles include Sesto in La clemenza di Tito, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutté, Madame Flora in The Medium, Charlotte in Werther, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Dryade in Ariadne auf Naxos, Orlovsky in Die Fledermaus, Siebel in Faust. New opera roles include Sarinder in Factory Theatre’s production of Savitri and Sam, Aunt Luce Gertrude for Opera in Concert’s premiere chamber version of Charles Wilson’s Kamouraska, and created the role of Caterpillar/Butterfly for Opera NUOVA in the premiere performance of Isaiah Bell’s children’s opera, The Lives of Lesser Things.
Laura is also a member of the Elmer Iseler Singers, and the Canadian Opera Company Chorus.
Andrew Skitko, tenor, earned his B.M. and M.M. at Westminster Choir College. Through Westminster, he performed with the world’s leading orchestras at venues such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Andrew sings with the Opera Philadelphia Chorus, The Philadelphia Symphonic Choir, The Philadelphia Voices, and The Same Stream choir. He participated in The Oxford University Choral Institute with The Williamson Voices and sang on Williamson’s Grammy-nominated album Annelies: The Anne Frank Oratorio. Andrew has also performed in Les Misérables with the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival. He is the artistic director of Theoria Chamber Choir, which performs Slavic choral repertoire.
Payadora Tango Ensemble
Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 2 pm
This is a free event sponsored by Jewish Music Week in Toronto
Be seduced as the Payadora Tango Ensemble presents tango as you’ve never heard it! With traditional modern tango, Yiddish tango, and Argentinian folk music, you will love this musical exploration of tango’s Jewish roots and the Jewish contribution to tango throughout its history. Featuring Rebekah Wolkstein (violin), Drew Jurecka (bandoneon), Robert Horvath (piano), Atilla Darvas (bass).
Founded in 2013, Payadora Tango Ensemble has quickly become one of Toronto’s most vibrant and sought-after acts. Drawing from eclectic backgrounds in Classical, Jazz, Latin, Eastern European folk music, and improvisation, Payadora’s performances exude technical virtuosity, playful spontaneity, and rhythmic vitality. Their just-released second album, Volando, features the traditional, as well as original compositions by Payadora members Wolkstein, Horvath and Jurecka. www.payadora.com
Sponsored by Jewish Music Week in Toronto
A la Vie, al Amour
Friday June 1, 2018 at 7:30 pm
Admission by Donation
Angela Maria Sanchez & Melanie Taverna, sopranos
Alvaro Vasquez-Robles, tenor
Jennifer Tung, piano
An evening celebrating life and love through French and Spanish sounds.
French-Canadian soprano Melanie Taverna is a versatile artist residing in Toronto, Ontario. She holds a Bachelor of Music from The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music (The GGS) where she studied with soprano Monica Whicher. Last season, Melanie was seen performing the roles of Sister Genovieffa (cover) and Seconda Sorella Cercatrice in Puccini’s Suor Angelica with the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival under the baton of Maestro Thomas Bagwell from The Metropolitan Opera, as well as directed by Grammy Award winning mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell. Other performance credits include: Il Destino in Cavalli’s La Calisto for Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, Pamina in Mozart’s The Magic Flute for Summer Opera Lyric Theatre and Grasshopper in Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen with The GGS. Melanie also appeared in the choruses of The GGS’s productions of Offenbach’s La Belle Hélène and Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
Ms Taverna can be seen performing in a variety of private events and fundraiser concerts. More recently, she featured in the title role of France Levasseur-Ouimet’s grand suite Elles s’appelaient Marie, with the Choeur Classique de l’Outaouais and the Chorale De La Salle in Ottawa, Ontario. This season, Melanie looks forward to performing in numerous collaborative recitals throughout the city and continuing her studies with teacher Jennifer Tung.
Toronto-based soprano Angela Maria Sanchez has been an active performer in the Toronto classical music community since 2005. At age 15 she performed the role of Third spirit in the Canadian Opera Company’s ensemble production under the baton of Richard Bradshaw of Mozart’s Magic flute and soloist in the opening inaugural concert of the Four Season’s Centre of the Performing Arts. She recently made her opera debut of the role of Antonia in The Tales of Hoffmann with Summer Opera Lyric Theatre, and Mistress of Novices in Suor Angelica in Hawaii Performing Arts Festival.
Miss Sanchez was a featured soloist in the 2014/15 season at the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra performances of G.F Handel Messiah and Viva Italia. Later returning the following 2015/16 season performing Love at the Opera all under the baton of maestro Denis Mastromonaco.
Recent accomplishments include, placing first overall in post-graduate women category in the National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition as well as Provincial finalist and scholarship recipient at the Toronto Kiwanis festival.
Miss Sanchez has a Bachelor of Music from The Glenn Gould School of Royal Conservatory of Music and is currently under the tutelage of Ms Jennifer Tung.
Alvaro Vazquez-Robles, tenor
Mexican tenor Alvaro Vazquez-Robles graduated from The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, obtaining a Voice Performance Diploma. He sang Schubert’s Mass in G-Major with Barrie’s Lyrica Choir, performed the role of Bill in Samuel Barber’s A hand of bridge with Soup Can Theatre and was a tenor soloist in concerts with St John’s Anglican Church.
Alvaro performed the role of Ajax II from the opera La Belle Hélène for the school’s annual spring opera, conducted by Uri Mayer in Koerner Hall. He was cast as The Miller, the title role in El gato con botas by Xavier Montsalvage for The Glenn Gould School Fall Opera, conducted by Peter Tiefenbach.
Most recently, he made his debut with the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra and Opera York singing the role of El Remendado in Bizet’s Carmen, conducted by Denis Mastromonaco. Alvaro is currently under the tutelage of Jennifer Tung.
Introducing James Hill
Thursday June 7, 2018 at 8 pm
Tickets: $15/$10 Student (Cash only at the door)
Reserve tickets at email@example.com
Toronto-bred jazz pianist and composer James Hill is an award-winning, internationally known musician and collaborator who has explored multiple genres with notables such as BADBADNOTGOOD, Rich Brown, Daniel Caesar, Ben Stevenson, Roberto Occhipinti and Autobahn. James is now pooling together his experiences through travel, culture and music and bringing them to the stage in this solo piano debut performance of original music at Gallery 345.
James’ music has been described as highly imaginative, melodically informed by the jazz idiom, reminiscent of Chopin’s playful harmonic sensibility and Keith Jarrett’s raw improvisational energy. Above all, James is a forward thinking musician who mindfully attempts to free himself of the potentially constrictive boundaries of genre and trend.
Rich Brown mentions James as being: “one of the most inventive and expressive young pianists in the country.”
The Art of the Piano: Robi Botos
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 is released on A440 Entertainment/Universal Music Canada on February 2nd, 2018.
Sunday June 10, 2018 at 2 pm
Tickets: $25/$10 Student (Cash only at the door)
Reserve tickets at firstname.lastname@example.org
César Franck - 'Sonata for violin and piano' in A major
I. Allegretto ben moderato
III. Recitativo - Fantasia
IV. Allegretto poco mosso
Maurice Ravel - 'Alborada del Gracioso', from Miroirs
(Anna Shalaykevych - piano )
Béla Bartók - 'Six Romanian folk dances':
I. Dance with Sticks
II. Waistband Dance
III. Stamping Dance
IV. Hornpipe Dance
V. Romanian Polka
VI. Quick Dance
Myroslav Skoryk - 'Spanish Dance'
Oleksandra Fedyshyn - ‘Elegy
Astor Piazzolla - 'Le Grand Tango'
Oleksandra Fedyshyn is a violinist and composer. She holds Master's degree in Violin Performance and additional Composition Education from Lviv National Music Academy M. Lysenko (Lviv Conservatory, Ukraine). Oleksandra performed as a member of symphony orchestras and chamber ensembles with concert tours in Europe, including performances with Al Di Meola (Leopolis Orchestra) and with Sir James Galway (INSO Lviv Orchestra) . She also performs as a member of different music projects, bands, orchestras and as a solo performer.
As a composer, Oleksandra was awarded as a laureate of The First International Pianists and Composers Competition "Farbotony" and Young Composers International Competition "Gradus ad Parnassum". Her compositions were performed at Lviv Internaional Contemporary Music Festival "Contrasts", The eights International Youth Music Forum (Kyiv, Ukraine), Youth Music Festival "Music of Millennium", participation in master classes for composers (the 21st IMCM Summer Course for Young Composers, Warsaw, Poland), etc. Her scores could be seen at the library of The Gaudeamus Foundation (the Netherlands). Besides that , Oleksandra composing music for movies and has experience in songwriting (“The Boat” album). Along with active performing career Oleksandra works as a music teacher.
Born in a family of acclaimed Ukrainian singers, Anna Shalaykevych grew up surrounded by music. She fell in love with classical music after she was introduced to piano at the age of six. Anna gave her first performance with Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of nine, an experience which solidified the importance of piano in her life.
After graduating from Lysenko Music Academy in Lviv ( Ukraine) with a Master Degree in Piano Performance, Anna continued her studies at Anton Rubinstein Academy in Dusseldorf, Germany where she obtained her Artist Diploma in Piano Performance.
She leads rich concert activity both in Canada and abroad , appearing in solo and chamber performances and cooperating with a number of ensembles and musicians, including world-famous quartet "group MoCarta” in Wawer Music Festival (Warsaw, 2011), and one of the world's leading dramatic mezzo-soprano Malgorzata Walewska in Piano Forum (Bieszczady without Borders) in Sank, Poland. Anna is a prize-winner of many International Competitions and has been selected for Special Award from The Frederic Chopin Society to perform a Recital in Sanniki (Poland). As collaborative pianist she provided piano accompaniment for vocalists, instrumentalists and choirs in a wide variety of genres and multiple settings such as concerts, recitals, competitions, auditions and worship services. Anna’s passion to music does not stop at performing. Most recently Anna enjoyed sharing her knowledge with young students by working as a piano pedagogue.
Payadora Tango Ensemble
Payadora Tango Ensemble
Rebekah Wolkstein, violin
Drew Jurecka, bandoneon
Robert Horvath, piano
Joseph Phillips, double bass
Elbio Fernandez, guest vocalist
Originals. Argentinean folk music. Modern. Traditional tango
Founded in 2013, Payadora Tango Ensemble has quickly become one of Toronto’s most vibrant and sought-after acts. Payadora performs an expansive repertoire that draws from the height of Buenos Aires’ Tango tradition, including compositions and arrangements by De Caro, Pugliese, Troilo, and Salgan, to the masterful, contemporary sounds of Astor Piazzolla and beyond.
Drawing from eclectic backgrounds in Classical, Jazz, Latin, Eastern European folk music, and improvisation, Payadora’s performances exude technical virtuosity, playful spontaneity, and rhythmic vitality.
Highlights from Payadora’s past performances include sold-out shows at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, Harbourfront Centre, Toronto Music Festival at Heliconion Hall, the Lula Lounge, the Jazz Bistro, the Rex Hotel Jazz and Blues Bar, the TD Toronto Jazz Festival, The Toronto Botanical Gardens Concert Series, the Kingston Road Village Concert Series, the Knox United Church concert Series, the Group of 27 Concert Series at Heliconion Hall, and for the Canadian Opera Company's World Music Series at the Four Seasons Centre.
"Each musician is a star soloist in their own right. Playing together has allowed them to develop and mature turning Payadora into a superstar group."
— From CD review by Tiina Kiik for the Whole Note Magazine February 2018.
“With influences from Argentina to Eastern Europe to the great Astor Piazzolla, Payadora plays the tango like it’s meant to be: sultry, steamy, but with grace and precision. You will be entertained!”
— Howard Druckman, Editor, Words + Music magazine
More Performances coming soon.
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