118th Season

New Directions for the Afiara Quartet

The Afiara Quartet appearance last fall in the first concert of the Music in the Afternoon 118th season, turns out to have been one of its last.  An article in Musical Toronto says the quartet members are going separate ways this summer.  In a review of that concert for the WMCT, Robin Elliott wrote “The Afiara String Quartet is celebrated for its performances of the Beethoven quartets, and so it is no surprise that on this occasion the players turned in a nuanced and beautifully realized interpretation….providing the richest musical experience right at the beginning” of the program.

The article describes the young ensemble’s view of the challenges and opportunities in the current musical environment which have led to their changes in direction.

Dannthology to the next generation


The Danns: Robin, Steven, Alana Zarankin, baby Zarankin Dann, Lucas and Nico.  Zosha di Castri holds her WMCT commissioned score Near Brute Force. (Someone else was holding her baby).

SCRUTINY | Steven Dann Presents A Charming All In The Family Program At Walter Hall

By on April 8, 2016, MUSICAL TORONTO

“Dannthology” was the title of a recital by the Toronto violist Steven Dann, together with family members (sons Nico and Lucas, daughter Robin, and daughter-in-law Ilana Zarankin, who is married to Nico) and friends (bassist Joel Quarrington and pianist James Parker), for the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto on Thursday afternoon, April 7 in Walter Hall. For only the second time in its 118-year history, the members of the WMCT arrived to find a drum set on the stage (the first time was for trumpet player Jens Lindemann’s recital last season). The drum set, along with timpani and sundry other smaller percussion instruments, was played with much expertise by Nico in two works on the programme. The other three family members appeared only in a new work by Zosha di Castri, about which more anon. …

April 7 Tuning Your Mind Speaker

April 7 12:15 pm : Tuning Your Mind Speaker

Katharine Rapoport, violist.

Mysteries of the alto clef revealed!

Read more about Katharine Rapoport

1:30 pm – Dannthology

Steven Dann, viola, with: Nico Dann, percussion; Robin Dann, voice; Lucas Dann, piano; Ilana Zarankin, soprano; Joel Quarrington, double bass; James Parker, piano

Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber – Passacaglia in C Minor
Zosha Di Castri – Near Mute Force — WMCT Commission: World Première
Peter Lieberson – Rumble
Robert Schumann – Märchenbilder, Op.113
Johannes Brahms – Viola Sonata in E-flat Major, Op.120, No. 2

Impressions de France

“A sultry concert of French music” reads the billing for a mid-winter concert at Alliance Française with harpist Caroline Léonardelli and mezzo-soprano Julie Nesrallah. Music from the late 19th/20th century features pieces by Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Marcel Tournier and Reynaldo Hahn. “Ah! The Symbolists and late Romantics knew how to spin a tune!”

Caroline Léonardelli, along with the Afiara String Quartet, opened this season’s Music in the Afternoon concert season and Julie Nasrallah was MC for the Career Development Award competition last April. They performed this “sultry” concert at Carnegie Hall almost a year ago.

It’s in the Spadina Theatre, 24 Spadina Road, February 27 at 8 pm. Tickets are $15 and $10 for seniors and students.

More info here;