Tuesday, July 19, 2011

6th Toronto Summer Music Festival, July 19-August 13

The 6th annual Toronto Summer Music Festival opens tonight at the Royal Conservatory of Music's Koerner Hall. The festival's theme this season is Beethoven and the Romantics.

Tonight's concert is a piano recital by Kirill Gerstein which features two great piano sonatas, the last one Beethoven in C minor and the only one by Franz Liszt in this his bicentennial year. The pairing is very apt since Liszt is perhaps the Romantic composer who best understood Beethoven. This is reflected in his sonata's complex structure which recalls the multi-form technique used by Beethoven in works such as the Ninth Symphony.

The impressive lineup features many fine pianists. Menahem Pressler of the renowned Beaux Arts Trio will play with the Leipzig Quartet. Toronto's own piano great Anton Kuerti will perform late Romantic pieces with Colin Fox and Zebra Trio with Christopher Costanza and Mark Fewer. André Laplante will perform with the quartet of Ian Swensen, Jonathan Crow, Teng Li and Antonio Lysy, and additional guests.

The festival also hosts masterclasses with visiting performers instructing some of the brightest young talents.

The Toronto Summer Music Festival runs until August 13 at the Royal Conservatory's Koerner Hall and the University of Toronto's Faculty of Music, Walter Hall.



“…a virtual oasis in the musical desert of the Toronto summer”

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 McNabney inaugurates 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 pianist Menahem Pressler with the Leipzig
Quartet on July 28; a concert by the Nash Ensemble on 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 the Vienna 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;
cellists Christopher 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

“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 Icon — The 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.


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 Pleasures — Nash 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.


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 at www.torontosummermusic.com.


Kirill Gerstein
Vienna Piano Trio
Vienna Piano Trio, Mark Fewer, Mayumi Seiler, Chris Costanza
Sir Thomas Allen & Joseph Middelton
Menahem Pressler & Leipzig Quartet
Friday (Late) Night Experiment
Anton Kuerti, Colin Fox, Zebra Trio, Mark Fewer, Chris Costanza
Nash Ensemble

August 4
August 6
August 9
August 10, 11
August 13

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 torontosummermusic.com; 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.

Christine Brewer & Roger Vignoles
Nash Ensemble, Michael McMahon, Nathalie Paulin
National Youth Orchestra of Canada
Gryphon Trio
André Laplante, Jonathan Crow, Ian Swensen, Teng Li, Antonio Lysy


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