News & Notes

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.

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Pavel Kolesknikov with the TSO

Pavel Kolesnikov made a brief appearance in Toronto last weekend.  You can hear him perform a full recital at the final concert of the 118th season of Music in the Afternoon on May 5, 2016, with a program of C.P.E. Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin.


Pavel Kolesnikov (piano), Earl Lee (conductor), Saturday, Feb. 20.

It was a banquet of blurry fingers at Roy Thomson Hall Saturday night, as pianist Pavel Kolesnikov stopped by to lend his musical finesse to Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini”.

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Trio Arkel concert Feb. 19

Trio Arkel concert Feb. 19

The concert is called String Tapestry and it weaves the traditional with the new – Beethoven, Gubaidulina, Kodaly – it’s presented by Trio Arkel and guests at Trinity St. Paul’s on Feb. 19 at 7 pm.
Trio Arkel is composed of three women at the top of the Canadian classical music scene: Marie Berard, concertmaster of the Canadian Opera Company orchestra, Teng Li, principal violist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra,

Read more Trio Arkel concert Feb. 19

Singing Valentines from La Scena Musicale

La Scena Musicale presents Singing Valentines 2016.

Trained singers will telephone your amour (friend, husband, wife, parents, sister, brother or children) on February 11 to 14 and serenade a favourite love song in your name. The cost is $30 to $60 and it’s a donation to La Scena Musicale, a non-profit charity whose mission is to promote music and the arts through the power of the written word. It produces the magazine La Scena Musicale and the website.

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WMCT Artists Get JUNO Nominations

WMCT Performers Nominated for 2016 Juno Awards
The nominees for the 2016 Juno Awards have been announced, and, once again, the lists are packed with artists who have performed for Music in the Afternoon. In the category of Instrumental Album of the Year, two of the five nominees are WMCT alumni.

Jens Lindemann and Tommy Banks are nominated for “Legacy Live” – Jens played for Music in the Afternoon March 12,

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James Ehnes turns 40





James Ehnes turned 40 on Wednesday, January 27. He was born on Mozart’s birthday, although 220 years later, and, like Mozart, Ehnes displayed considerable musical ability from an early age. On the occasion of his 40th the CBC was able to persuade him to participate in building a “40 photos for 40 years” slide show which is available here:


See CBC Newsletter for more photos and info.

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Romantic music on Valentine’s Day

Romantic music on Valentine’s Day

The superb all-Chopin concert in Toronto on January 15, headlined by our most recent Career Development Award winner and Chopin-interpreter extraordinaire, Charles Richard-Hamelin, will be featured on CBC Radio Two’s In Concert on Sunday, February 14 between 11am and 3pm. The first half of the concert showcased the talented young pianist Tony Yike Yang who, like Charles, placed in the finals of the International Chopin Competition last fall (Tony – 5th and Charles – 2nd).

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And Soprano towards Diva

And Soprano towards Diva

Simone Osborne, after her “surprise” debut at Music in the Afternoon on November 19, 2015, will take another large step forward in her career next year. The Canadian Opera Company has announced that its new season will include a remounting of Harry Somers’s grand opera Louis Riel in a co-production with the National Arts Centre. Composed for the 1967 centennial, this return will celebrate the work’s 50th anniversary, and will help mark the 150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation.

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Mezzo to Soprano

Mezzo to Soprano

“Disappointment to a noble soul is what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens, tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it.”  Eliza Tabor (1835-1914)

“The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”  Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

Planning for the WMCT’s November 19th Concert with mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard (Met Opera star, Grammy Award and Richard Tucker Award winner) began two years ago. Artistic Director Simon Fryer suggested Miss Leonard to the Artists Selection Committee as a possibility for the 2015/16 Season.

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CDA Winner Plays Toronto Concert Jan. 15

The Royal Conservatory of Music has announced the addition of a joint recital featuring CDA winner Charles Richard-Hamelin and Tony Yike Yang, both winners at the recent International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw. The Conservatory concert takes place January 15 at 7:30 pm in Mazzoleni Concert Hall, located in historic Ihnatowycz Hall.
Both artists will perform works by Chopin.
Charles Richard-Hamelin won the WMCT’s $20,000 Career Development Award live competition last April and will play in the Music in the Afternoon 2016-17 season.

Read more CDA Winner Plays Toronto Concert Jan. 15