LSM Newswire

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Koerner Hall's 5th Seasons begins September 28 with Broadway Star Audra McDonald


Season Opening Gala with Audra McDonald

Two Specially Curated Series: La Dolce Musica and TD Jazz: Celebrating Dinah & Sarah

As the 5th anniversary season begins at The Royal Conservatory’s Koerner Hall on Saturday, September 28, at 7 pm, Executive Director of Performing Arts, Mervon Mehta, welcomes the debut of Broadway star Audra McDonald. Ms. McDonald has five Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards, a long list of other accolades to her name, and she is the new host of Live From Lincoln Center. Blessed with a luminous soprano and an incomparable gift for drama, she is equally at home on Broadway and concert stages as in roles on film and television. This special gala performance will include McDonald’s trademark mix of show tunes, classic songs from movies, and pieces written specially for her by leading contemporary composers, including those from her new CD, Going Home. The concert is sold out, but a few “Broadway on Bloor” gala concert & dinner tickets are still available by calling 416.408.2824 x428.

La Dolce Musica concert series, dedicated to celebrating the music of la bella Italia, opens onSeptember 29 with the ARC Ensemble (Artists of The Royal Conservatory) in a free concert that is part of Culture Days. In this concert the Grammy Award nominated ARC, ensemble-in-residence at The Conservatory and among Canada’s pre-eminent cultural ambassadors, presents Igor Stravinsky’sSuite italienne, Giacomo Puccini’s Chrysanthemums, Hugo Wolf’s Italian Serenade, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Piano Quintet No. 1, and is joined by Canadian baritone Peter Barrett for Ottorino Respighi’s The Sunset for voice and string quartet.

The Royal Conservatory pays homage to Dinah Washington and Sarah Vaughan on their 90thbirthdays in five specially curated concerts as part of the TD Jazz: Celebrating Dinah & Sarahconcert series. The first concert, on October 19, features jazz pianist and JAZZ.FM91 radio host, Joe Sealy, and new arrangements of songs made popular by both ladies. Sealy is joined by three of Canada’s finest vocalists Jackie Richardson, Arlene Duncan, and Ranee Lee, as well as an all-star band including Don Thompson (vibes), Reg Schwager (guitar), Kelly Jefferson (sax), Paul Novotny (bass), and Mark McLean (drums).

Classical concerts, in addition to the above mentioned ARC Ensemble, include Royal Conservatory Orchestra conducted by Julian Kuerti on October 4Kuerti, who made a name for himself with his confident style, artistic integrity, and passion for musical collaboration, returns to The Conservatory withRichard Strauss’s “Dance of the Seven Veils” from Salome, Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, and is joined by violinist Luri Lee, a Rebanks Fellow of The Glenn Gould School, in Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35. Making a highly anticipated Koerner Hall debut isRussian cello virtuoso Mischa Maisky on October 10. Accompanied on the piano by his daughter,Lily Maisky, he will present Franz Schubert’s Cello Sonata in A Minor, D. 821, “Arpeggione;” Manuel de Falla’s Suite populaire espagnoleDmitri Shostakovich’s Cello Sonata in D Minor, Op. 40; and Sergei Rachmaninov’s Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14 and Elégie in E-flat Minor, Op. 3, No. 1. This concert is co-presented by Show One Productions. The Invesco Piano Concerts begin on October 27 with the return of Chinese pianist Yuja Wang, who is widely recognized for playing that combines the spontaneity and fearless imagination of youth with the discipline and precision of a mature artist. In this concert, she explores Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Sonata No. 3 in A Minor, Op. 28; Nikolai Kapustin’s Variations for Piano, Op. 41; and Fryderyk Chopin’s Piano Sonata No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 58, Nocturne No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 48, and Ballade No. 3 in A-flat Major, Op. 47. Mazzoleni Masters series, which takes place in the intimate Mazzoleni Concert Hall, located in historic Ihnatowycz Hall, begin with distinguished artist and international piano pedagogue John Perry on September 22, featuring Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 17 in B-flat Major, K. 570; Claude Debussy’Estampes, L. 100; Fryderyk Chopin’s Three Mazurkas, Op. 59; and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 31 in A-flat Major, Op. 110.

The World Music series kicks off with a double bill of David Broza and Yemen Blues on October 26, followed by “World Blues” featuring Taj Mahal Trio, Vusi Mahlasela, and Fredericks Brown featuring Deva Mahal on October 30. Often referred to as the “Israeli Springsteen,” multi-platinum singer, songwriter, and guitarist David Broza creates magic with his soulful voice and beautiful acoustic guitar work in songs that range from blues to flamenco. Led by the charismatic Ravid Kahalani, Yemen Blues invokes the spiritual and musical heritage rooted in Yemenite tradition, but within a groove and funk that is familiar and infectious. “World Blues” is a celebration of American blues music’s global influence, as seen from three very diverse points of view and three international points of origin. Anchored by iconic folk-blues legend Taj Mahal, the evening also features the soulful South African blues of guitarist/vocalist Vusi Mahlasela and the more modern rock and roll perspective of Fredericks Brown, a band featuring Taj’s daughter, Deva Mahal.

Two additional concerts round out the beginning of Koerner Hall’s 5th anniversary: Mary Chapin Carpenter and Shawn Colvin on October 17 and Chris Thile on October 25. Acclaimed songwriters and long-time friends, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Shawn Colvin (who returns to Koerner Hall after making her debut in February of 2011) share the stage as an intimate duo, performing material spanning their vast catalogues as well as some of their favourite songs. Widely regarded as one of the most interesting and inventive musicians of his generation, mandolin playerChris Thile’s lyrical fusion of traditional bluegrass with elements from a range of other musical traditions is giving rise to a new genre of contemporary music. He has elevated the mandolin to the sophistication and brilliance of the finest jazz improvisation and classical performance, and in his Koerner Hall debut he will draw from his new Bach recording, while also exploring his own compositions and contemporary music.

In additional news, The Royal Conservatory regrets to announce that Ana Moura, currently one of the most prestigious fadistas in Portugal, has had to postpone her May 2, 2014 concert at The Conservatory’s Koerner Hall until Friday, October 17, 2014. Ticket holders are advised to keep their tickets, which will remain valid for the new date. 

The Royal Conservatory’s 2013-14 concert season is made possible through the generous support of:
Major Sponsors: BMO, Invesco, Michael and Sonja Koerner, RBC Foundation, TD Bank
Concert Sponsors: Georgian Capital, Canada-Israel Cultural Foundation, R. S. Williams and Sons Co., Rebanks Family, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation
Wine & Beverage Sponsors: Amsterdam Brewery, Baron Philippe de Rothschild, ESKA Natural Spring Water, Inniskillin
Government Supporters: Canada Arts Presentation Fund-Canadian Heritage, Ontario Arts Council
Media Sponsors: Classical 96.3 FM, JAZZ.FM91, NOW,, ATN

September and October Concerts at The Royal Conservatory
John Perry (Mazzoleni Masters):
Sunday, September 22 at 2 pm | MCH; $32
Audra McDonald (Vocal Concerts):
Saturday, September 28 at 7 pm | KH; $50-$200
ARC Ensemble with Peter Barrett (Chamber Music; La Dolce Musica):
Sunday, September 29 at 3 pm | KH; FREE
Royal Conservatory Orchestra conducted by Julian Kuerti with Luri Lee (Orchestra Concerts): 
Friday, October 4 at 8 pm | KH; $25-$55
Mischa Maisky with Lily Maisky (String Concerts):
Thursday, October 10 at 8 pm | KH; $35-$90
Mary Chapin Carpenter and Shawn Colvin (Music Mix):
Thursday, October 17 at 8 pm | KH; $35-85
Joe Sealy with Jackie Richardson, Arlene Duncan, and Ranee Lee (TD Jazz: Celebrating Dinah & Sarah):
Saturday, October 19 at 8 pm | KH; $40-80
Chris Thile (Music Mix):
Friday, October 25 at 8 pm | KH; $30-$65
David Broza and Yemen Blues (World Music):
Saturday, October 26 at 8 pm | KH; $35-$80
Yuja Wang (Invesco Piano Concerts):
Sunday, October 27 at 3 pm | KH; $35-$90
World Blues featuring Taj Mahal Trio, Vusi Mahlasela, and Fredericks Brown featuring Deva Mahal
(A Celebration of African Music): Wednesday, October 30 at 8 pm | KH; $45-$85

Venue Legend: KH Koerner HallMCH Mazzoleni Concert Hall in historic Ihnatowycz Hall

Tickets are available online at, by calling 416.408.0208,
or in person at the Weston Family Box Office

Create your own package: select any 4-6 concerts and save 10%; select any 7+ concerts and save 15%
A limited number of $10 BMO Rush Tickets are available starting 90 minutes before all performances presented by The Royal Conservatory.

All concerts take place at The Royal Conservatory
TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto

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