LSM Newswire

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pianist Jan Lisiecki Releases Debut Album with Deutsche Grammophon



Dr. Peter Simon, President of The Royal Conservatory, and James Anagnoson, Dean of The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory, congratulate celebrated pianist and Conservatory student Jan Lisiecki on the release of his debut album with prestigious classical label Deutsche Grammophon, launched internationally today.

“This recording represents a major step forward in Jan’s already extraordinary career,” says Mr. Anagnoson. “It also underscores the level of Canadian musical talent that is part of today's Glenn Gould School.”

In this recording, Mr. Lisiecki performs Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor and Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under renowned conductor Christian Zacharias. Toronto music critic John Terauds hailed the album as “a triumph” and proclaimed Lisiecki as “Canada’s next great contribution to the world of classical piano.”

"I feel very privileged that Deutsche Grammophon is entrusting me to record the Mozart Concertos K.466 and 467,” says Mr. Lisiecki. “I am very thankful to my teachers at The Glenn Gould School for their help in preparing me for this recording, and to the audiences which make me believe it is important to keep this music alive in the modern world."

Mr. Lisiecki joined The Glenn Gould School, The Royal Conservatory's internationally recognized training program for talented young musicians, in September 2011, after a successful year in The Conservatory’s Young Artists Academy. He studies with Marc Durand, one of the world’s most respected piano pedagogues. At just 17 years old, he has already shared the stage with such renowned artists as Yo-Yo Ma, Pinchas Zukerman, and Emanuel Ax.

On March 3, 2013, Lisiecki will perform a solo recital in Koerner Hall as part of The Royal Conservatory's 2012.13 concert season, announced earlier today. He will present the signature repertoire of his young career – Chopin's 12 Études, Op. 10 and 25 – and record these pieces in Koerner Hall for his next Deutsche Grammophon release.

Now in its 125th anniversary year, The Royal Conservatory is one of the largest and most respected music education institutions in the world. Providing the definitive standard of excellence in music education through its curriculum, assessment, performance, and teacher education programs, The Conservatory has had a substantial impact on the lives of millions of people globally. In addition, the organization has helped to train a number of internationally celebrated artists including Glenn Gould, Oscar Peterson, David Foster, Sarah McLachlan, Angela Hewitt, and Diana Krall. Motivated by its powerful mission to develop human potential through music and the arts, The Royal Conservatory has emerged over the last two decades as a leader in the development of arts-based programs that address a wide range of social issues. For more information, please visit

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Toronto Dance Theatre Presents Christopher House's Rivers

Toronto Dance Theatre presents Rivers,

a major new work by Christopher House

set to the beloved piano music of Ann Southam

March 19, 2012—Toronto Dance Theatre is pleased to announce the world premiere performances of Rivers, a major new work by Artistic DirectorChristopher House set to the celebrated piano music of the same name by the late Ann Southam. Rivers will be played live by renowned virtuosa Christina Petrowska Quilico, one of the foremost interpreters of Southam’s music. With set design by Michael Levine and lighting by Simon Rossiter, Rivers marks an exciting confluence of leading Canadian artists.

Rivers will be presented at the Fleck Dance Theatre from April 25-28, 2012 (8pm) and April 28 (2pm) as part of Harbourfront Centre’s NextSteps series.

The music, composed from 1979-81, is an epic cycle of minimalist works:

Built on intricately and unpredictably interlocking melodic patterns, the pieces carry the listener into shimmering, at times ecstatic, realms.” - Tamara Bernstein, National Post

Christopher House, a choreographer of rare musicality, is working with ten dancers to create a fluid and unpredictable counterpoint to this music, reflecting its rushing cascades, luxuriant eddies and attentive stillnesses.

Rivers will be House’s first new work inspired by an existing score in over a dozen years. He has had the privilege of creating work with Ann Southam’s music several times in the past, most notably with her Glass Houses No. 5, the score for his internationally acclaimed Glass Houses (1983).

In advance of this production, TDT will host The Process Revealed: Rivers on April 16, 2012, 7pm (FREE), at the Winchester Street Theatre, 80 Winchester Street. Audiences will have the opportunity to preview sections from this new work and participate in a dialogue with the artistic team about the creative process.

Collaborator Biographies

Christopher House was born and raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Resident Choreographer since 1981 and Artistic Director since 1994, he has contributed over sixty works to the Toronto Dance Theatre repertoire. His most recent works include Dis/(sol/ve)r (2009) and Pteros Tactics (2010). Christopher House has also created choreographies for Lisbon’s Ballet Gulbenkian, the National Ballet of Canada, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and Ballet British Columbia, among others, directed two collaborations with Joel Gibb and The Hidden Cameras and pursued an interest in dance film and video. He is currently creating a solo for Claudia Moore. He has received many awards for his work, including three Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Outstanding New Choreography. He received the Muriel Sherrin Award for International Achievement in Dance in October 2009, and was made an Honorary Doctor of Letters by Memorial University in 2010.

As a performer, Christopher House has appeared in his own works and in those of Sarah Chase, Peter Chin, David Earle, Deborah Hay, James Kudelka, Mark Morris and Peter Randazzo. Most recently, he performed his solo adaptation of Deborah Hay’s At Once in London and Brighton, UK, in December, 2011. He is Artistic Advisor of the Professional Training Program of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre and has taught technique and creative process across Canada and at such international institutions as the Juilliard School, Rotterdam Dansacademie and Jacob’s Pillow. He is an Associate Dance Artist of Canada’s National Arts Centre.

One of Canada’s foremost pianists, Christina Petrowska Quilico is widely recognized as an innovative and adventurous artist and a leading champion of the music of our time. She has made her mark as a brilliant interpreter of contemporary classical music. The New York Times hails her as a “promethean talent”, with “an extraordinary talent with phenomenal ability… dazzling virtuosity.” Over the course of her career, Petrowska Quilico has collaborated with a long list of eminent international and Canadian composers, including Violet Archer, Pierre Boulez, Glenn Buhr, John Cage, Christos Hatzis, Lowell Liebermann, György Ligeti, Alexina Louie, R. Murray Schafer, Krzysztof Penderecki, Luis de Pablo, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Claude Vivier and John Weinzweig. She has performed with most new music groups and chamber ensembles in Canada. Her concert tours, both as a soloist and with her late husband, the legendary Metropolitan Opera baritone Louis Quilico, have taken her across four continents. On the recital stage, her appearances include such prestigious New York City venues as Carnegie Hall, LincolnCenter’s Alice Tully Hall, and Merkin Concert Hall.

Ann Southam was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1937 but lived most of her life in Toronto. After completing musical studies at the University of Toronto and the Royal Conservatory of Music in the early 1960's, Ann Southam began a teaching and composing career which has included a long and productive association with modern dance. As well as creating music for some of Canada's major modern dance companies and choreographers including, Toronto Dance Theatre, Danny Grossman, Dancemakers, Patricia Beatty, Christopher House and Rachel Browne, she was an instructor in electronic music at the Royal Conservatory of Music and also participated in many "composer-in-the-classroom" programs in elementary and high schools. She composed concert music for a variety of acoustic instruments and instrumental ensembles, working with such artists and ensembles as Eve Egoyan, Christina Petrowska Quilico and Arraymusic. She was a member of the Canadian Music Centre, the Canadian League of Composers and a founding member of the Association of Canadian Women Composers. Ann Southam passed away November 25, 2010.

Michael Levine is Canadian. He has worked internationally as a set and costume designer for the past 30 years. He studied stage design at The Central School of Art and Design in London. He has designed for La Scala Milan, The Paris Opera, The Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State Opera, English National Opera, Opera Nomori Tokyo, The Netherlands Opera, Flanders Opera, Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Geneva Opera, The San Fransisco Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Houston Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Royal National Theatre of Great Britain, The Royal Shakespeare Co., Old Vic Theatre, Glasgow Citizen’s Theatre and for London’s West End and Broadway. In Canada he has worked for The Shaw Festival, Canadian Stage, Tarragon Theatre, SoulpepperTheatre, National Ballet of Canada and Dancemakers. His work has been honoured with a Gemini Award, Paris Critics Prize, The Edinburgh Festival Drama and Music Award, Two Dora Awards and a Toronto Arts Award. Michael is a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres.

Simon Rossiter is a freelance lighting designer based in Toronto, Ontario. He has had the pleasure of working on more than eighty productions with a variety of artipsts companies; including, adelheid dance projects, the Alumnae Theatre Company, the Classical Theatre Project, the Crazyfish Collective, D.A. Hoskins and the dietrich group, Dancemakers, Darryl Tracy, Diasporic Genius, Hart House Theatre, JD Dance, Lacey Smith, Montgomery Theatre, Oakridge Musical Theatre, Peggy Baker Dance Projects, ProArteDanza, Ruth Cansfield Dance Company, The School of TDT, Théâtre Français de Toronto, Toronto Youth Theatre, urban ink and Yvonne Ng.

Toronto Dance Theatre presents Rivers

A new work by Christopher House set to Ann Southam’s Rivers,

played live by pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico.

April 25-28, 2012 (8pm), April 28 (2pm)

Fleck Dance Theatre, Harbourfront Centre, 207 Queens Quay West

Tickets $15-40 (discounts for students, seniors, and CADA members).

For more info and to purchase tickets call the Harbourfront Centre Box Office at 416-973-4000

or visit

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Talisker Players Presents Muse of Fire featuring Norine Burgess

Muse of Fire
A celebration of the great Bard of Avon
Featuring mezzo soprano NORINE BURGESS

Tuesday April 17, 2012
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Trinity St. Paul's Centre

For Immediate Release - Toronto, March 27, 2012: Toronto's Talisker Players conclude their season theatrically with Muse of Fire, a celebration of the Great Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare, in words and music. This production features the public premiere of The Breath of Kings, a collaboration with the newly-founded Groundling Theatre Company.

The evening also features musical settings of songs from the plays of Shakespeare, by composers as diverse as Igor Stravinsky and the popular British composer Howard Blake (The Snowman). Muse of Fire stars mezzo-soprano Norine Burgess, acclaimed for both drama and lyricism in her singing, along with members of the Groundling Theatre Company, led by Artistic Director Graham Abbey. They will be joined by the strings, winds and percussion of the Talisker Players ensemble. Performances take place on April 17 and 18 (8PM) at Trinity St. Paul's Centre.

The Breath of Kings is a 40-minute concert piece for six actors and four musicians, which traces the story of Shakespeare's so-called Henriad - the history of Prince Hal, who became Henry V of England, told in the plays Richard II, Henry IV parts 1 and 2, and Henry V. The piece is built from a series of scenes - Richard's monologue from prison, a tavern scene with Falstaff, the famous St. Crispin's Day speech, and Hal's delightful wooing of Katherine of France - interwoven with music adapted from Vivaldi's Four Seasons. The music links the scenes, and also acts as commentary and underscoring, the arc of the seasons matching the arc of Hal's life, from youth to mature man.

The piece is paired with a selection of songs from Shakespeare's plays, including "Under the greenwood tree", "Full fathom five my father lies", "Come away death" and "It was a lover and his lass". The settings include Three Songs from William Shakespeare by Igor Stravinsky, for voice with flute, clarinet and viola; Shakespeare's Aviary by Alexander Rapoport (Talisker Players Composer in Residence), for voice with clarinet, viola and piano; and Shakespeare Songs by Howard Blake, for voice and string quartet. The programme is rounded out with two sonnets - No. 73, "That time of year", set by Toronto composer Mark Richards for voice with flute, cello and piano, and No. 91, "Some glory in their birth" by Jean Coulthard for voice and string quartet.

Norine Burgess's compelling stage presence and beauty of tone have brought her renown in opera houses and on concert stages around the world. She has appeared in opera productions in Canada and abroad. Equally acclaimed on the concert stage, the Canadian singer performs regularly with The Aldeburgh
Connection and with leading orchestras such as the Montreal Symphony, the Toronto Symphony, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and many other ensembles across Canada, the U.S. and in Europe.

Graham Abbey is best known for his role as Gray Jackson on the TV series Border. He is also acclaimed on the theatre stage. Over ten seasons with the Stratford Festival, he distinguished himself in numerous roles, including Prince Hal and Henry V, and he has appeared at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, the Manitoba Theatre Centre, the Royal Alexandra Theatre and Tarragon Theatre. He received two Dora nominations for outstanding achievement in Canadian Theatre, and won the 2002 award for featured male actor.

Groundling Theatre Co. is a new Toronto-based theatre company lead by Artistic Director Graham Abbey, which is committed to producing imaginative, original and accessible productions of Shakespeare's plays as well as works inspired by Shakespeare. Groundling Theatre's first production is scheduled for early 2013.

Pre-concert chats, free with the price of admission, will be offered on both evenings by composer Alexander Rapoport. Always an engaging, entertaining
and informative speaker, he will talk about his own piece as well as the others on the programme, and about how the text of each relates to the music.

Muse of Fire
Tuesday, April 17 & Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at 8 PM
Pre-concert chats at 7:15 pm

A celebration of the Great Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare
Trinity St. Paul's Centre, 427 Bloor Street West
Norine Burgess, mezzo soprano; members of Groundling Theatre Company
The Talisker Players

Howard Blake: Shakespeare Songs, for mezzo soprano and string quartet
Jean Coulthard: Sonnet 91, for mezzo soprano and string quartet
Alexander Rapoport: Shakespeare's Aviary, for mezzo soprano, clarinet, viola
and piano
Mark Richards: That Time of Year, for mezzo soprano, flute, cello and piano
Igor Stravinsky: Three Songs from William Shakespeare, for mezzo soprano,
flute, clarinet and viola
The Breath of Kings, a concert piece for six actors and four musicians, with
words by William Shakespeare and music adapted from Antonio Vivaldi


Individual tickets: $30 / $20 (seniors) / $10 (students)
Tel: 416-978-8849
General information: 416-466-1800

Talisker Players Chamber Music offers one of the most imaginative and exciting concert series in Toronto. In collaboration with some of Canada's finest young singers, Talisker Players present the rarely-heard repertoire for voice and chamber ensemble. Their unique programming includes readings that illuminate the music and delight audiences with a stimulating, theatrical concert experience. The music, engaging and varied, includes both celebrated works and unknown gems from all styles and periods, with a strong presence of Canadian compositions.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Toronto Consort presents The Original Carmina Burana

Description: Consort logo grey small

For its 2011-12 season finale, The Toronto Consort presents The Original Carmina Burana not to be confused with the work by the 20th century composer Carl Orff. The original, rarely performed medieval music and poetry has inspired Orff and many other composers over the centuries. The concerts take place at 8 PM on April 27 and 28, and at 3:30 PM on April 29 at Trinity-St. Paul's Centre. For tickets and information call the box office at (416) 964-6337, or visit

Discovered in a monastery in Austria in the 19th century, the original Carmina Burana is one of the most beautiful — and the largest — collections of medieval lyrics dating from the 13th and 14th centuries. The poems in this anthology are attributed to the wandering scholars of the day and the wide-ranging subjects include love, libations, the seasons, and spirituality.

According to medieval scholar and musician Benjamin Bagby, the Carmina Burana consisted of “112 parchment leaves containing Latin (and some German) poetry which fascinated scholars and was later baptized ‘Songs from Benediktbeuren’ — Carmina Burana. These poems, with their varied — and sometimes scandalous — texts, were immediately noticed, and, during the 19th and 20th centuries German philologists published several editions, translations and commentaries, as well as popular editions.”

For this program, Toronto Consort Artistic Director David Fallis has selected pieces from the 50 or so poems which include the original music. With voices, hurdy-gurdy, fiddle, recorder, lute and harp, The Toronto Consort brings this golden era of poetry and song to life.

The Original Carmina Burana is supported by The McLean Foundation.

Carmina Burana
8:00 pm, April 27 & 28, 2012
3:30 pm, April 29, 2012
Trinity St. Paul's Centre,
427 Bloor St. W. (west of Spadina)
$22 to $52 Regular
$18 to $45 for 65+
Club Consort tickets: $10 for 30 & under with valid photo ID.

Box Office: (416) 964-6337
Online tickets and information:
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Friday, April 6, 2012

Esprit Orchestra Fundraising Gala Stars Isabel Bayrakdarian


the award-winning

You are invited to Esprit Orchestra's BeneFête Three - a benefit in support of Canada's only orchestra at the leading edge of new orchestral music.


ISABEL BAYRAKDARIAN, soprano and Serouj Kradjian, piano

MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012 8:00 pm
winner of the Governor General's Medal in Architecture
see more pictures here
194 Roxborough Drive, Toronto, ON M4W 1X8

Cocktail Attire (or Dress like a Diva)

Regular Ticket: $150; Patron Ticket: $250
Maximum allowable tax receipts
ONLINE: (via PayPal)
OVER THE PHONE: 416-815-7887 (with your VISA)
BY MAIL OR E-MAIL: with your personal cheque (address below)

If you are unable to attend the fundraiser, please consider supporting Esprit with a charitable donation. THANK YOU!

PHOTO CREDITS: Isabel Bayrakdarian photo by Bo Huang;
Integral House photographs by Edward Burtynsky
Esprit Orchestra I 511-174 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, ON M5T 2C2
P: 416.815.7887 I E:


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Pianist Ricker Choi Plays Recital at Glenn Gould Studio June 23, 2012

Pianist Ricker Choi at the Berlin Philharmonie in 2010

Ricker Choi: Prize Winning Amateur Pianist at Glenn Gould Studio on June 23, 2012 - 7:30 pm. Net proceeds donated to United Way
TORONTO, ON, June 23, 2012 (SAT) - 7:30 pm - Ricker Choi (, 2nd prize winner of the Berlin International Amateur Piano Competition and 3rd prize winner of Paris International Competition for Outstanding Piano Amateurs, will be performing at Glenn Gould Studio on June 23, 2012 (SAT), 7:30 pm. Program includes piano works by Liszt, Brahms and Bartok. Joining Ricker Choi on stage will be winners of 2012 North York Music Festival grand prize winners.
Venue: Glenn Gould Studio (250 Front St. West, Toronto)
Tickets: $20 adult / $10 student (all net proceeds will be donated to United Way)
Contact:;; 416-889-9461
Ricker Choi is both a pianist and full-time financial risk consultant. He came from Hong Kong to Canada at the age of 13 when he began his formal studies of piano. Studying with Boris Zarankin, who became his long-time piano teacher, he received his A.R.C.T, Piano Performance Diploma in just five years.

Ricker’s piano career took a twelve-year hiatus, when in 1993, he enrolled in York University’s Schulich School of Business, earning an M.B.A. He also holds FRM , CFA and PMP designations. In 2005 Ricker returned to piano studies with Boris Zarankin. In 2010, he also started coaching with Michael Esch, concurrent with his studies under Boris Zarankin.
Ricker has won grand prizes from North York Music Festival, Markham Music Festival and CCC Music Festival. In 2010 he won second prize at the Berlin International Amateur Piano Competition, performing with the Berlin Sibelius Orchestra in the Berlin Philharmonic’s 2500 seat Großer Saal. In 2012 he won third prize at the Paris International Competition for Outstanding Piano Amateurs, performing at Paris' 1200 seat Salle Gaveau. His performances had been heard on 96.3 FM classical radio (Toronto) and Radio Classique (Paris).
Ricker has been featured in the Toronto Summer Music Academy and Festival’s “Emerging Artists in Concert” at Walter Hall and has performed in the Off Centre Music Salon at Glenn Gould Studio. On November 22, 2011, he gave a solo recital at the Four Season’s Centre for the Performing Arts.
Ricker has participated in master classes with pianists Andre LaPlante, Olga Kern, Anton Kuerti, Marietta Orlov, and Joseph Banowetz. Ricker founded Music Heals! in 2006, a series of fund-raising concerts for charity organizations such as Oxfam Canada.
(Visit for Ricker’s concert appearances.)