October 4, 2018 — Poulenc Trio
James Austin Smith, oboe; Bryan Young, bassoon; Irina Kaplan Lande, piano
Alfred Schnittke – Suite in the Old Style
Viet Cuong – Trains of Thought
Dmitri Shostakovich – Two Pieces
Francis Poulenc – Trio
André Previn – Trio
The Poulenc Trio is the most active touring piano-wind chamber music ensemble in the world. Since its founding 15 years ago, the trio has performed in 45 U.S. states and at music festivals around the world, from Italy, to Mexico, and Russia. The Trio has a strong commitment to commissioning, performing and recording new works from living composers, and has greatly expanded the repertoire available for the oboe, bassoon and piano. The Trio has garnered high praise for its technique and expressive range and is recognised for intriguing programming and sheer beauty of playing.
November 8, 2018 — Thomas Oliemans, baritone; Malcolm Martineau piano
Robert Schumann – Liederkreis, Op. 39
Johannes Brahms – Die schöne Magelone
Well known for his fine sense of physical comedy and communicative singing style, Dutch baritone Thomas Oliemans is an outstanding recitalist. He and pianist Malcolm Martineau, one of the world’s best-known piano accompanists, regularly collaborate on the world’s stages. Recognised for innovative programming, these remarkable artists interweave two song cycles: one by the bold young Brahms and the other by his often more pensive mentor, Schumann. In so doing they invite us into the world of these two giants of musical poetry. Through Brahms and Schumann, Oliemans and Martineau conjure up a magical world of old forests, crumbling castles, missed loved ones, brave knights, and consoling birds, all bound by love and song.
February 28, 2019 — Joel Quarrington, double bass, and friends
Giovanni Bottesini – Elegy for double bass and piano in D major
Erich Wolfgang Korngold – Garden Scene from Much Ado about Nothing
Franz Schubert – Sonata for piano and arpeggione in A minor, D. 821
Franz Anton Hoffmeister – Quartet No. 3 for double bass, violin, viola, and cello in D major
Gioacchino Rossini – Duo for cello and double bass in D major
Bramwell Tovey – New Work for double bass and string quartet, WMCT Commission
Domenico Dragonetti – Quintet for double bass, violin, 2 violas, and cello in G minor
Joel Quarrington has been Principal Bassist with the Canadian Opera Company, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra and London Symphony Orchestra, UK. A Toronto native, he graduated from the University of Toronto, with the ‘Eaton Scholarship’ as the school’s most outstanding graduate. Joel is a winner of the Geneva International Competition and the CBC Talent Competition, and has made solo appearances across Canada, the United States, Europe and China. He brings some of his favorite musicians to present a fascinating program of works written originally for the bass, as well as arranged for it. This event is further notable for the premiere of a new work for String Quintet with Bass, commissioned by the WMCT from musical luminary Bramwell Tovey.
April 4, 2019 — Mariam Batsashvili, piano
Johann Sebastian Bach – Chaconne from Partita No. 2 for violin, BWV 1004 (arr. for piano by Ferruccio Busoni)
Franz Schubert – Impromptu No. 1 in F minor, D.935
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Rondo in A minor, K.511
Franz Liszt – Hungarian Rhapsody No. 12
Ludwig van Beethoven – Sonata No. 29 in B♭ major, Op. 106, “Hammerklavier”
Now in her mid-20s, Georgian pianist Mariam Batsashvili already ranks among the most promising of young artists. She gained international recognition at the 10th Franz Liszt Piano Competition in Utrecht, where she won First Prize as well as the Junior Jury Award and the Press Prize. This success led to her first performances with leading symphony orchestras and to an extensive program of recitals in more than 30 countries. Ms. Batsashvili has been announced as a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist and is performing at major festivals and concert venues across the UK as part of that award.
May 2, 2019 — Rolston String Quartet
Luri Lee, violin; Jeffrey Dyrda, violin; Hezekiah Leung, viola; Jonathan Lo, cello
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Quartet No. 19 in C major, K.465
Murray Schafer – Quartet No. 2, “Waves”
Ludwig van Beethoven – Quartet No. 13 in B♭ major, Op. 130
First Prize laureate of the 12th Banff International String Quartet Competition, the Rolston String Quartet was named among the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s 2016 “30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30.” A winner of Astral’s 2016 National Auditions, this extraordinary quartet won the Grand Prize of the 31st Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition, as well as prizes at the inaugural M-Prize competition and the Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition. On the heels of their Banff win, the Rolston immediately embarked upon the Competition’s tour taking them to Germany, Italy, Austria, Canada, the United States and Israel. Currently the Yale School of Music’s fellowship quartet-in-residence, the Rolston String Quartet takes its name from Canadian violinist Thomas Rolston, founder and long-time director of the Music and Sound Programs at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.
Music in the Afternoon is a five-concert series of classical chamber music featuring a dynamic combination of Canadian musicians and international artists, established performers and those on the threshold of international recognition. Well into its second century, the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto presents concerts of exceptional quality, encompassing a wide range of voices and instruments, in repertoire from the Baroque and Classical periods to the 21st century.