LSM Newswire

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Toronto Summer Music Announces 2011 Festival Lineup




“…a virtual oasis in the musical desert of the Toronto summer” —The Globe and Mail

Beethoven —the iconic Romantic figure whose music and persona inspired generations of artists—is the cornerstone of the sixth annual TORONTO SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVAL(TSMF) July 19 to August 13, which celebrates the best of classical music in the city, in the summer. 2011 marks a turning point in the Festival’s history as Douglas McNabneyinaugurates his tenure as Artistic Director. Today he unveiled plans for the four-week festival, which takes place in Koerner Hall and Walter Hall in downtown Toronto. Festival passes are on sale at the Royal Conservatory Box Office starting April 12, and single tickets for individual concerts will be available starting May 1.

13 mainstage concerts featuring an array of renowned Canadian and international artists provide the framework for TSMF 2011, which launches with a gala recital by Gilmore Prize-winning pianist Kirill Gerstein at Koerner Hall on July 19. Other Koerner Hall concerts include a vocal recital by Sir Thomas Allen on July 26; the return of legendary pianistMenahem Pressler with the Leipzig Quartet on July 28; a concert by the Nash Ensembleon August 2; and a performance by the National Youth Orchestra of Canada on August 9. With the exception of the new Mentors & Fellows concerts on Wednesdays and Fridays, all TSMF performances begin at 7:30 pm.

TSMF highlights at Walter Hall include Beethoven’s complete Piano Trios performed by the 2011 JUNO Award-winning Gryphon Trio on August 10 and 11; a performance by theVienna Piano Trio on July 21; a vocal recital by Christine Brewer with pianist Roger Vignoles on August 4; and the festival finale featuring André Laplante on August 13. A series of four Saturday evening concerts at Walter Hall featuring Resident Artists rounds out the Festival offerings. These concerts feature Festival Artists and Resident Artists such as the Zebra Trio; pianists Anton Kuerti and Michael McMahon; violinists Jonathan Crow, Mark Fewer, Mayumi Seiler and Ian Swensen; violist Teng Li; cellistsChristopher Costanza and Antonio Lysy; and soprano Nathalie Paulin.

NEW for 2011: The Friday (Late) Night Experiment on July 29 at 10 PM. Douglas McNabney invites concert-goers to discover something outside their comfort zone with unusual combinations of artists, genres and repertoire in an off-beat venue. A cash bar is included in this cabaret-style evening.

“Toronto Summer Music has become one of the city’s most eagerly-awaited summer cultural events, and I am thrilled to welcome audiences to a four-week happening where we create and foster connections between great artists and great music. For my first season as Artistic Director, I have chosen none other than Beethoven as our point of departure. The Festival explores the heroes of Romanticism including Liszt, Brahms, Schumann, and Mendelssohn, and traces the roots of this movement back to its precursors, Mozart and Haydn,” says Douglas McNabney.

Toronto Summer Music Festival at a Glance

The Royal Conservatory of Music, TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning at 7:30 pm

July 19

Kirill Gerstein, piano

The extraordinary Gilmore Award-winning pianist Kirill Gerstein launches the 2011 edition of the Festival with a gala concert followed by a champagne reception for the audience in the lobby. This 32-year old talent, lauded as much for his technical prowess as for his refinement and intelligence,

lends a fresh perspective to two monuments of the Romantic piano literature: Beethoven’s

boundary-breaking last sonata and Liszt’s iconic B minor sonata.

July 26

Romantic Poets — Sir Thomas Allen, baritone and Joseph Middleton, piano

6:15 pm: pre-concert talk with Stephen Ralls

Esteemed baritone Sir Thomas Allen brings the familiar story of unrequited love to the splendid acoustics of Koerner Hall. “Allen makes you hang on his every word and, indeed, gesture. His confidence is supremely impressive.” Schumann’s song cycle Dichterliebe (A Poet’s Love) is the centrepiece of this concert. Other gems from the German Lied repertoire by Beethoven and Schubert, along with a sampling of English songs, round out the program.

July 28

Romantic Heroes — Menahem Pressler, piano and Leipzig String Quartet

6:15 pm: pre-concert talk with Rick Phillips

Revered pianist Menahem Pressler – who toured the world for more than 50 years as a member of the illustrious Beaux Arts Trio – returns to Toronto Summer Music for a concert with the Leipzig String Quartet. Beethoven’s final String Quartet in F Major Op. 135 is at the heart of this program, which includes Mendelssohn’s final quartet, the String Quartet in f minor Op. 80 and Schumann’s

Piano Quartet in E-flat Major Op. 47.

August 2

Vienna – At the Heart of Romanticism — Nash Ensemble

6:15 pm: pre-concert talk with Tom Allen

The London-based Nash Ensemble is the resident chamber group at Wigmore Hall, and is considered to be "the best champion that any composer could hope to have." (The Times of London). They perform a program that traces the earliest seeds of Romanticism from the refined String Quartet Op. 76 no. 4, ‘Sunrise’, by Haydn through to Beethoven’s Piano Quartet in E-flat Major Op. 16. Korngold’s Piano Quintet, composed in 1921 when he was just 24 years old, completes the program.

August 9

Romantic Heroes — National Youth Orchestra of Canada, Jonathan Darlington, conductor
6:15 pm: pre-concert talk with Tom Allen

The next generation of Canadian orchestral musicians led by Jonathan Darlington, Music Director of the Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra and Vancouver Opera, will energize Koerner Hall with two late Romantic masterworks. The Suite from Der Rosenkavalier by Strauss is performed alongside Mahler’s glorious Fifth Symphony.


July 21
Romantic Origins — Vienna Piano Trio

6:15 pm: pre-concert talk with Rick Phillips

Hailed by the New York Times for its “energy”, the “clarity” of its Mozart and its “electrifying” take on Schubert, The Vienna Piano Trio returns to Toronto Summer Music. They present a program that traces the trio’s origins in works by Haydn and Mozart, through to its expansion in Schubert’s lyrical B-flat trio.

August 4
Romantic Heroes — Christine Brewer, soprano
and Roger Vignoles, piano

6:15 pm: pre-concert talk with Tom Allen

Grammy Award-winning American soprano Christine Brewer “brings a soaring opulence” to the music of Strauss and Wagner, “the tone sumptuous and rounded, the top notes gleaming and full.” (The Sunday Times). With Roger Vignoles, one of the world’s most distinguished piano accompanists, Brewer performs Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder, set to poems by his mistress Mathilde. Music by Strauss and a sampling of English songs complete the program.

August 10 and 11

Beethoven — the Romantic IconThe Gryphon Trio

The Gryphon Trio, one of Canada’s most accomplished and admired chamber ensembles, performs all six of Beethoven’s trios on two consecutive evenings. TSMF audiences will experience Beethoven’s evolving style, from his first published works, Op. 1, to the haunting “Ghost” trio inspired by Macbeth, and culminating with the masterful “Archduke” trio. The Gryphon Trio’s recordings of Beethoven’s works have been received with unanimous acclaim, including a 2011 JUNO Award and a five-star rating from BBC Music Magazine.


July 23

Forgotten Romantics — Vienna Piano Trio and Christopher Costanza, cello, Mark Fewer, violin and viola, Mayumi Seiler, violin and guests

6:15 pm: pre-concert talk with Dr. Robin Elliott

The celebrated Vienna Piano Trio joins forces with some of Canada’s leading chamber musicians to present a concert of music by three “forgotten” Romantic composers. The Suite by Moszkowski for two violins is a ‘tour de force’ for strings. The sextet by the German composer Louis Spohr was a reaction to the momentous 1848 revolution, and the Piano Quintet in B-flat Major Op. 30 by Karl Goldmark, a Brahms contemporary, rounds out this program.

July 30

The Twilight of Romanticism — Anton Kuerti, piano; Colin Fox, narrator; Zebra Trio and, Christopher Costanza, cello, Mark Fewer, violin

6:15 pm: pre-concert talk with Dean Don McLean

Canada’s renowned Beethoven interpreter, Anton Kuerti, and an international group of illustrious string players present an evening of late Romantic music. Strauss’s rarely performed melodrama for piano and narrator is based on Tennyson’s poem “Enoch Arden”. Schoenberg’s love poem Verklaerte Nacht (Transfigured Night) for string sextet is paired with Webern’s Langsamer Satz.

August 6

Romantic PleasuresNash Ensemble with Michael McMahon, piano & Nathalie Paulin, soprano

6:15 pm: pre-concert talk with Tom Allen

London’s Nash Ensemble teams up with Canadians Michael McMahon and Nathalie Paulin to perform exquisite music for voice and chamber ensemble. Included on the program are Liszt’s song settings of poems by Victor Hugo, Fauré’s songs on texts by Paul Verlaine, Chausson’s Chanson perpétuelle Op. 37, for soprano and piano quintet , Schubert’s Quartettsatz in c minor D. 703, and Mendelssohn’s Piano trio in d minor Op. 49.

August 13

Romantic Heroes — André Laplante, piano, Ian Swensen, violin, Jonathan Crow, violin, Teng Li, viola, Antonio Lysy, cello, plus guests

6:15 pm: pre-concert talk with Dr. Ryan McClelland

The 2011 Festival grand finale features acclaimed master pianist André Laplante with a cast of internationally renowned string players in a performance of one of the pinnacles of Brahms’s chamber music, the Piano quintet in f minor Op. 34 and Mendelssohn’s Octet in E-flat Major, Op. 20.


Rewarding behind-the-scenes experiences, masterclasses offer insight into the development of exceptional musicians. Observers may attend and listen as top artists pass along their musical expertise to artists in the Toronto Summer Music Academy. $20 per masterclass.

Sir Thomas Allen: Wednesday, July 27, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Menahem Pressler: Friday, July 29, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Roger Vignoles: Wednesday, August 3, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Christine Brewer: Friday August 5, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm


The Festival runs parallel to the Toronto Summer Music Academy which houses two complementary programs designed for professional-level young artists: The Chamber Music Institute (July 17 to August 14) and The Art of Song (July 24 to August 7). NEW FOR 2011: Public offerings at the TSM Academy include Mentor and Fellow concerts with such esteemed artists as the Vienna Piano Trio, the Nash Ensemble, Anton Kuerti , André Laplante and Menahem Pressler performing alongside young artists selected for the TSM Fellowship program. The Mentor and Fellow concerts start at 6:30 pm on Wednesday and Friday nights and are performed without intermission. Concerts take place on Wednesday July 20, Friday July 22, Wednesday July 27, Friday July 29, Wednesday August 3, Friday August 5, and Friday August 12. Full details are available in the TSMF brochure or


July 19 Kirill Gerstein

July 21 Vienna Piano Trio

July 23 Vienna Piano Trio, Mark Fewer, Mayumi Seiler, Chris Costanza

July 26 Sir Thomas Allen & Joseph Middelton

July 28 Menahem Pressler & Leipzig Quartet

July 29 Friday (Late) Night Experiment

July 30 Anton Kuerti, Colin Fox, Zebra Trio, Mark Fewer, Chris Costanza

August 2 Nash Ensemble

August 4 Christine Brewer & Roger Vignoles

August 6 Nash Ensemble, Michael McMahon, Nathalie Paulin

August 9 National Youth Orchestra of Canada

August 10, 11 Gryphon Trio

August 13 André Laplante, Jonathan Crow, Ian Swensen, Teng Li, Antonio Lysy

Festival passes, including Flex Passes ($100 - $400) are on sale starting April 12. Single tickets ($20 - $60) are on sale starting May 1: Online at; by phone at 416-408-0208; in person at The Royal Conservatory Box Office, 273 Bloor St W; at the door from 4:30 pm on the day of the performance at Edward Johnson Building, University of Toronto, Faculty of Music, 80 Queen’s Park Crescent.

Venues: Walter Hall, Edward Johnson Building, Faculty of Music, U of T, 80 Queen’s Park Crescent. Koerner Hall, Conservatory Theatre, Telus Centre for Performance & Learning, The Royal Conservatory, 273 Bloor Street West.



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