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The Royal Conservatory – March Concerts



TD Jazz: Katrina 10 Years On continues with Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band
conducted by Ivars Taurins and directed by Leon Major
Karen Gomyo, Louis Lortie, and Paul Lewis return to Koerner Hall

TD Jazz: Katrina 10 Years On

On March 5, Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band are featured in the next concert of “Katrina 10 Years On,” The Royal Conservatory’s jazz series that salutes the spirit of the people who suffered from one of the worst hurricanes in history. Easily one of the most versatile and soulful musicians in jazz, Louisiana drummer and composer Brian Blade has played with everyone from Joni Mitchell to Seal to Wayne Shorter, and formed The Fellowship Band in New Orleans with Jon Cowherd (piano), Chris Thomas (bass), Melvin Butler (tenor and soprano saxophone), and Myron Walden (alto saxophone and bass clarinet). “Post-bop sophistication is gently sifted through layers of gospel, country, folk and soul, with the implicit aim of balancing intellect against emotion. And it works.” (The New York Times)

The Glenn Gould School Opera 2016

George Frideric Handel’s Alcina, conducted by the founding director of Tafelmusik Chamber Choir Ivars Taurins, takes place in Koerner Hall on March 16 and 18, and features the talented vocal students of The Glenn Gould School vocal program and the Royal Conservatory Orchestra. Alcina is opera seria, a style of Italian opera that emphasizes solo voice and bel canto, a florid vocal style. This fantastical tale of the sorceress Alcina, who lures men to her island and transforms them into animals, is directed by Canadian opera and theatre director Leon Major, former artistic director of Boston Lyric Opera and current Artistic Director of The Maryland Opera Studio for the University of Maryland.

Classical Music

Trio of spectacular new-generation classical artists, Karen Gomyo, Christian Poltéra & Juho Pohjonen appear at Koerner Hall on March 4. Canadian violinist Gomyo, who has been hailed by the Chicago Tribune as “[a] first-rate artist of real musical command, vitality, brilliance and intensity;” Swiss cellist Poltéra, whose playing The Strad describes as “perceptive and expressive;” and one of the brightest young instrumental talents to emerge from Finland today, Pohjonen, who has “dazzling keyboard technique and, even more impressively, a broad and varied textural palette that allows him to shade his performances with great subtlety,” (San Francisco Chronicle) perform Haydn’s Piano Trio in E Major, Janá?ek’s Pohádka (Fairy Tale) and Violin Sonata, and Dvo?ák’s Piano Trio in F Minor.

“You might be forgiven for thinking that French violinist Augustin Dumay and Montreal-born pianist Louis Lortie were sent to Earth from some orbiting Vulcan planet where they practice the art of mind-melding — the deep and highly personal exchange of telepathic thoughts through which the participants become one … it’s as though Dumay and Lortie have figured out how to breathe in sync, to think, imagine and create as one. Both musicians explore the elegance and poetry in this music without flash or dazzle …These performances are passionate and intense as well as supple and refined.” (CBC Music) The program for their concert on March 30 includes Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 5 in F Major, Strauss’s Violin Sonata in E-flat Major, and Franck’s Violin Sonata in A Major.

English pianist Paul Lewis returns to The Conservatory on March 20 as part of the Invesco Piano Concerts series after his impressive performance last season with Lisa Batiashvili, which marked the 500th concert in Koerner Hall. “Time and again you marvel at the confidence and sureness of Lewis’s playing, combined with the finesse and musicality that he has always displayed. It’s the kind of playing, in fact, where comparisons cease to matter …” (Gramophone) His program consists of Brahms’s Three Intermezzi and Four Ballades, Schubert’s Piano Sonata No. 9 in B Major, and Liszt’s “Dante Sonata” from Années de pèlerinage.

Koerner Hall is prod to introduce Norwegian violinist Vilde Frang, “clearly a new star in the violin firmament.” (The Guardian) Noted particularly for her superb musical expression as well as her well-developed virtuosity, Frang has been in demand since her debut with the Oslo Philharmonic at age 12. Uzbekistan-born Michail Lifits, praised for his inspirational tone and his wise maturity as well as for the breathtaking beauty of his playing, has increasingly captured public attention since his debut at the age of 13. On March 2, the duo performs Fauré’s Violin Sonata No. 1, Lutos?awski’s Partita, and Strauss’s Violin Sonata in E-flat Major.

Le travail du peintre concert on March 6 is an exciting aural performance based on the visual: works inspired by paintings and painters. The second concert of the Songmasters series, presented by two members of The Glenn Gould School’s esteemed vocal faculty, Monica Whicher and Rachel Andrist, features Glenn Gould School alumna Mireille Asselin (soprano) with Brett Polegato (baritone), and pianists Peter Tiefenbach and Rachel Andrist, performing works by Poulenc, Debussy, Fauré, Wolf, and others.

On March 12, The Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists presents a free Taylor Academy Showcase Concert, featuring leading young classical musicians in Canada.The first concert of the Rebanks Family Fellowship Concert Series kicks off on March 29, featuring solo and chamber works performed by Rebanks Fellows currently enrolled in the one-year Rebanks Family Fellowship and International Performance Residency Program, who are on the cusp of major careers.

Music Mix

Presented in partnership with the Songwriters Association of Canada, top Canadian songwriters come together with host Blair Packham to perform their music and tell us about their inspiration, the songwriting process, and the stories behind the songs in the seventh season of Bluebird North concerts. The line-up of artists for the March 19 evening will be announced soon.

The Royal Conservatory’s 2015-16 concert season is made possible through the generous support of:

Major and Series Sponsors and Supporters: AIMIA, BMO, Invesco, RBC Foundation, TD Bank Group, David G. Broadhurst, Leslie & Anna Dan, Michael & Sonja Koerner, a gift In honour of R.S. Williams & Sons Company Ltd., the Rebanks Family, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, and two anonymous donors

Performance Sponsors and Supporters: Alexanian Flooring, Bösendorfer, CIBC, Downtown Porsche, Georgian Capital, Mohammad & Najla Al Zaibak, Michael Foulkes & Linda Brennan, Ian Ihnatowycz & Marta Witer, Marianne Oundjian, Brayton Polka, Helen Sinclair & Paul Cantor, Deborah Leibow & Ken Snider, Philip & Eli Taylor, and Joanne Tod

Wine & Beverage Sponsors: Blackstone, Vintage Ink, Mill St. Brewery, Acqua Panna & S. Pellegrino

Media Sponsors: Classical 96.3 FM, JAZZ.FM91, NOW, WholeNote, Musicworks

Government Supporters: Canada Arts Presentation Fund-Canadian Heritage, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council

March Concerts at The Royal Conservatory of Music

Vilde Frang & Michail Lifits (String Concerts): Wednesday, March 2, 2016 at 8pm | KH; $30–$65

Karen Gomyo, Christian Poltéra, & Juho Pohjonen (Chamber Music): Friday, March 4, 2016 at 8pm | KH; $35–$75

Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band (TD Jazz): Saturday, March 5, 2016 at 8pm | KH; $40–$80

Le travail du peintre (Mazzoleni Masters): Sunday, March 6, 2016 at 2pm | MCH; $25

Taylor Academy Showcase Concert (The Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists): Saturday, March 12, 2016 at 4:30pm | MCH; Free (ticket required)

Alcina Conducted by Ivars Taurins (The Glenn Gould School Opera 2016): Wednesday, March 16 and Friday, March 18, 2016 at 7:30pm | KH; $250–$40

Bluebird North (Music Mix): Saturday, March 19, 2016 at 8pm | CT; $25

Paul Lewis (Invesco Piano Concerts): Sunday, March 20, 2016 at 3pm | KH; $35–$85

Rebanks Family Fellowship Concert (Rebanks Family Fellowship Concert Series): Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at 7:30pm | MCH; Free (ticket required)

Augustin Dumay & Louis Lortie (String Concerts): Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at 8pm | KH; $40–$85

Venue Legend: KH Koerner Hall; MCH Mazzoleni Concert Hall in historic Ihnatowycz Hall; CT Conservatory Theatre

Tickets and subscriptions are available online at, by calling 416.408.0208, or in person at the Weston Family Box Office

Become a Royal Subscriber: select any 4-6 concerts and save 10%; select any 7+ concerts and save 15%; receive special subscriber benefits.

A limited number of $10 BMO Rush Tickets are available starting 90 minutes before all performances presented by The Royal Conservatory.

All concerts take place at The Royal Conservatory of Music

TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto

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