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Music in the Afternoon  –  119th Season

2016-17 Artists                                                    View the 2016-2017 Brochure


October 6, 2016 — Issachah Savage, tenor*
A big new voice, in our long-established tradition of significant discoveries
November 24, 2016 — James Sommerville, French horn, with Scott St. John, violin, Peter Longworth, piano
A senior Canadian performing artist, with a WMCT-commissioned work from Vivian Fung
March 9, 2017
Trio Shaham Erez Wallfisch*
A mini-history of the piano trio from our international guests
April 6, 2017 — Aizuri Quartet*
An exciting young ensemble performs youthful works by composers of the 19th, 20th and 21st century
May 4, 2017 — Charles Richard-Hamelin, piano
Our Career Development Award Winner returns

*Toronto Recital Debut
All concerts in Walter Hall, 80 Queen’s Park


October 6, 2016 | 1.30 PM
Issachah Savage, tenor
piano TBA

Robert Schumann — Dichterliebe
Ludwig van Beethoven — An die ferne Geliebte
Songs by Richard Strauss and Roger Quilter

If you witnessed dramatic tenor Issachah Savage’s debut on February 7, 2015, as cover for the role of Siegmund in “Die Walküre” at the Canadian Opera Company, you will know how fortunate we are to open our season with this extraordinary artist. Mr. Savage excels on the concert stage and is garnering acclaim as a heldentenor par excellence, a voice with both dramatic and lyrical qualities. Praised for his trumpet-like, clear, open-throated, powerful singing (San Francisco Examiner) and impressive natural instrument (Opera News), Mr. Savage won the 2014 Seattle International Wagner Competition, earning not only the main prize, but the audience favourite prize and orchestra favourite prize. Mr. Savage made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2015 as Don Riccardo in Verdi’s “Ernani” under James Levine.

From his opening notes – impeccably shaded and coiled with repressed fury – to the opera’s final explosion of grief and shame, Savage sang with a combination of power and finesse that is rare to observe.

November 24, 2016 | 1.30 PM
James Sommerville, French horn with Scott St. John,violin, Peter Longworth, piano

20th Century French recital works for Horn and Piano
Vivian Fung — WMCT Commission for Horn, Violin and Piano
Johannes Brahms — Horn Trio in E-flat major, Op.40

James Sommerville is Principal Horn of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, a position he has held since 1998. He is also Music Director of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. The winner of the highest prizes at the Munich, Toulon, and CBC competitions, Mr. Sommerville has pursued a solo career that has spanned 25 years, and has brought critically acclaimed appearances with major orchestras throughout North America and Europe. His disc of the Mozart Horn Concertos with the CBC Vancouver Orchestra won the JUNO Award for Best Classical Recording in Canada.

Violinist Scott St. John, a member of the St. Lawrence String Quartet from 2006-2013, continues an intense touring schedule. Maintaining an ongoing relationship with the Marlboro Music Festival, Scott plays an enormous variety of concerts across North America, including solo appearances with orchestras, recitals and chamber music.

Pianist Peter Longworth performs as soloist and chamber musician in major venues around the world and with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Fairbanks Symphony, and the Vancouver Symphony. Peter is a founding member of the Duke Piano Trio and regularly collaborates with many of today’s finest instrumentalists.
March 9, 2017 | 1.30 PM
Trio Shaham Erez Wallfisch

Sergei Rachmaninov — Trio Élégiaque in G minor
Robert Schumann — Piano Trio no.1 in D minor, Op. 63
Dmitrii Shostakovich – Piano Trio no. 2 in E minor, Op. 67

Trio Shaham Erez Wallfisch was founded in 2009 and comprises three of the finest international instrumentalists performing today. Playing chamber music together at the Pablo Casals Prades Festival, Hagai Shaham and Raphael Wallfisch recognised an immediate musical synergy. Arnon Erez joined them for trio concerts in Lucerne and the Netherlands later that year and the Trio Shaham Erez Wallfisch was established. Since then the Trio has performed, broadcast and recorded widely throughout Europe and Israel. For the 2016 season, the trio will perform at Wigmore Hall as well as in Belgium, Holland, Germany, Poland and Canada. Trio Shaham Erez Wallfisch enjoys a longstanding relationship with Nimbus Records with whom to date they have recorded the Mendelssohn piano trios, a disc of French repertoire and a disc of Russian repertoire. In 2016 they will release an all-Brahms disc including the piano trios and the Double Concerto.

… utterly moving.

April 6, 2017 | 1.30 PM
Aizuri Quartet

Ludwig van Beethoven — String Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 18 No. 6
Caroline Shaw — Blueprint, a new work by the 2013 Pulitzer Prize winner
Anton Webern — Langsamer Satz
Felix Mendelssohn — String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 13

Praised by the Philadelphia Inquirer as being in full possession of that most elusive of string quartet qualities: the balance between individual charisma and collective cohesion, the Aizuri Quartet was a top prizewinner in the 2015 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition in London. Currently Quartet-in-Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music, the Aizuri Quartet performs throughout Europe and the Americas. The Quartet is passionate about creating diverse points of entry for audiences into the string quartet repertoire and through its engaging and thought-provoking programs; the Aizuri Quartet has garnered critical acclaim for its explosive combination of depth, refinement and vigour.

Graduates of the Juilliard School and Curtis Institute of Music, the Aizuri Quartet draws its name from “aizuri-e,” a style of predominantly blue Japanese woodblock printing that is noted for its vibrancy and incredible detail. Members of the Quartet have appeared worldwide with a diverse range of ensembles including Musicians from Marlboro, Musicians from Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, A Far Cry, The Knights, IRIS Orchestra, and the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.

May 4, 2017 | 1.30 PM
Charles Richard-Hamelin, piano

Franz Schubert — Sonata no. 7 in E-flat major, D. 568
Fryderyk Chopin — Impromptus
Alexander Scriabin — Prelude and Nocturne for the Left Hand, Op. 9
Scriabin — 2 Études Op. 8

Pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin was awarded the prestigious Career Development Award offered by the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto in April 2015. Also Silver Medalist, and laureate of the Krystian Zimerman award for the best sonata, at the International Chopin Piano Competition in 2015, M. Richard-Hamelin is rapidly becoming one of the most important pianists of his generation. Previously M. Richard-Hamelin was a prizewinner at the Montreal International Musical Competition and at the Seoul International Music Competition in South Korea, where he also received the special award for the performance of a Beethoven sonata.

M. Richard-Hamelin has performed as a soloist with orchestras including the Warsaw Philharmonic, Montreal Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Poznan Philharmonic, Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal and the Korean Symphony. His first solo CD, which features late works by Chopin, was recently released on the Analekta label.

The man is every inch an artist, an extraordinarily mature musician who focuses on the beauty of Chopin’s works. He is one of the few who can find a wise balance between the spirit of Chopin and his own individuality.