Dr. Peter Simon, President of The Royal Conservatory, and Mervon Mehta, Executive Director of Performing Arts, announced today the details of the 2012-13 concert season. “The 2012-13 season of concerts also marks the 125th Anniversary of the Royal Conservatory, so we begin by looking back at one of our illustrious alumni who, to this day, remains the most iconic Canadian musician – Glenn Gould – and we view him through a modern lens we are sure he would enjoy; we present Valery Gergiev, one of the world’s great Maestros; three specially curated series will unfold over the course of the season that allow audiences to dig a little deeper into the musical life of Montreal, Cuba, and the legacy of Dizzy Gillespie. Audiences will have an opportunity to see some old friends and be introduced to the brightest new jazz, classical, and world music talents on the planet, including the best from across Canada,” said Mehta.


Peter Simon stated: “Over the course of our first three seasons, we have built a solid relationship with audiences who know that when they come to a concert in Koerner Hall, no matter the genre, the artistry will be of the highest calibre in a venue that is unparalleled. From September until May 2013, a diverse array of artists from 21 countries will pay us a visit. Ticket prices have remained among the most affordable in the city and we encourage audiences to come and experience something new, and to bring a friend who has yet to experience Koerner Hall. We are extremely grateful for all those that continue to support live music as essential parts of our lives.”  


Special Events

The birthday of pianist Glenn Gould, the most illustrious alumnus of The Royal Conservatory, is celebrated with Glenn Gould’s Birthday BACHanalia, which opens the Koerner Hall season on September 24, 2012 at 7pm. The all-Bach buffet features excerpts from Goldberg Variations played by harpist Sylvain Blassel, a flute sonata played on a harmonica by Howard Levy, bluegrass inspired fiddle improvisations by Mark O’Connor, Oscar Peterson’s ‘Salute to Bach’ featuring the Dave Young Trio, a South Asian jam session with Trichy &  Suba Sankaran and Autorickshaw, and more. The evening will end with Gould ‘himself’ at the piano!


On September 29, The Royal Conservatory salutes Scotiabank Nuit Blanche with visual artists John Coburn and Travis Shilling creating new artwork live throughout the evening, Sylvain Blassel playing the full Goldberg Variations on harp, Small Wooden Shoe presenting “Reads Difficult Plays and Sings Simple Songs,” a performance from Toronto’s Balkan/Klezmer/punk/road warriors Lemon Bucket Orkestra, and students from The Glenn Gould School playing music all night long.


This year’s Season Gala on October 26 welcomes superstar Russian conductor Valery Gergiev. The Maestro brings with him the Stradivarius Ensemble, which features the string section and leading soloists of the Mariinsky Theatre's Symphony Orchestra, who perform on some of the finest and richest sounding instruments made by Stradivarius, Amati, Guarneri, Guandini, and Gofriller. The Ensemble plays Richard Strauss’s Metamorphosen, Dmitri Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony, and Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings. A gala dinner will follow the performance.


The last special event is a February 2 concert, re-scheduled from the 2011-12 concert season, featuring comedic kamikaze cabaret care of Meow Meow, described by The Australian as "a comedian of extraordinary nerve."


Montréal à Toronto

New for this season is a series featuring a cross section of Francophone artists from Montreal presented in association with the Bureau du Québec and Alliance Française de Toronto. The Montréal à Toronto concert series opens with Montreal-based soprano Marie-Josée Lord  accompanied by piano and violin performing a “Jambalaya” of songs and arias from Gilles Vigneault, Michel Legrand, Gershwin, Dvořák, Verdi, Bizet, Bernstein, and Michel Berger. 2012 Juno Award winner, French Canadian pianist Marc-André Hamelin makes his Koerner Hall debut in collaboration with the Takács Quartet in a program of Schubert, Britten, and Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet; La Bottine Souriante, the legendary 25-year-old Québecois group, makes its Koerner Hall debut in support of their new CD, Appellation d’origine contrôlée; Koerner Hall favourite Louis Lortie is back with fellow French Canadian pianist Hélène Mercier to perform a concert of 4-hand and 2 piano works by Mozart, Schubert, Ravel, Rachmaninov, and Liszt; and CHANSONGS : Songwriters Rendezvous/Le rendez-vous des refrains, a three-concert mini-series, is presented in the Conservatory Theatre. Each concert features two Canadian singer-songwriters – one Francophone and one Anglophone. The series is curated and hosted by Dominique Denis of Alliance Française de Toronto.


TD Jazz Series: Devoted to Dizzy

Mervon Mehta has programmed this concert series as a celebration of Dizzy Gillespie’s 90th birthday. Gillespie was one of jazz’s  greatest  trumpeters, composers, and innovators, and each concert features his music played by artists who were associated with him, played with him, and were mentored by him. It is only appropriate that The Jon Faddis Quartet opens the series on October 27 as Faddis was one of Dizzy’s protégées. Part of this special evening includes Lalo Schifrin’s Gillespiana Suite in a rare quartet performance. Four of North America’s top horn players, Canadian trumpeter  Jens Lindemann, Grammy-winning trumpeter and former Tonight Show band leader Doc Severinsen, preeminent Canadian jazz trumpeter Guido Basso, and six-time winner of the Trombonist of the Year award by the Jazz Journalists Association Wycliffe Gordon, blow the roof off Koerner Hall during the second concert in the series. Cubano Be, Cubano Bop, so named after the legendary recording featuring Dizzy and Chano Pozzo, features Grammy Award-winning conguero and bandleader Poncho Sanchez with his Latin Jazz Band and  the young New Orleans jazz trumpeter Christian Scott, whom the JazzTimes magazine hails as "jazz's young style God.” Together, they recreate the energy and vibrancy of the original Cubano Be, Cubano Bop recording. Old lions meet young tigers as percussionist Giovanni Hidalgo and trumpeter Claudio Roditi, former members of Dizzy’s United Nations Orchestra, join two Toronto-based bands, the Dave Young-Terry Promane Octet and the Heavyweights Brass Band for another Dizzy celebration. The series closes with Panamanian pianist Danilo Pérez, who first captured the spotlight as the youngest member of Dizzy Gillespie’s United Nations Orchestra. He brings his trio, featuring John Patitucci and Brian Blade (from Wayne Shorter’s quartet), to share their love of Dizzy and his music. A highlight of this special performance is the world premiere of Pérez’s piano quintet commissioned by The Royal Conservatory and The Banff Centre, and performed by the international prize-winning Canadian ensemble, The Conservatory’s own Cecilia String Quartet. Each concert will feature an Artist Chat at intermission where audiences will hear memories and road stories of Dizzy.


¡Qué Rica Cuba!

The rich musical traditions of Cuba and its legendary classical, pop, and jazz artists are explored in the ¡Qué Rica Cuba! concerts, commencing on October 5 with the Royal Conservatory Orchestra conducted by Uri Mayer, as he leads a program that includes George Gershwin’s Cuban Overture. Celebrated Canadian saxophonist, flutist, composer, and Cubaphile Jane Bunnett celebrates 30 years of Cuban musical adventures, joined by legendary Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés, who returns after a long absence to Toronto, and special guests on a journey through Cuban jazz and folk traditions. Latin Grammy winner and two-time Juno Award-winning artist Alex Cuba, who now resides in Smithers, B.C., makes his Koerner Hall debut in a concert that is also a part of the World Music concert series. Returning after his stunning debut in 2010, Quincy Jones-championed jazz pianist Alfredo Rodríguez brings his trio of musicians with him, to be followed on the same evening by three-time Grammy nominated timba band Tiempo Libre from Havana, by way of Miami. Best known for his interpretations of the Romantic repertoire and considered by many piano connoisseurs to be one of the great pianists of the second half of the 20th century, Cuban-American virtuoso pianist Horacio Gutiérrez returns to Toronto for the first time in over a decade with a program of Haydn (Piano Sonata in C Major, Hob. XVI:50), Schumann (Fantasie), Chopin (24 Preludes), and Cervantes (Danzas cubanas, which are based on the Chopin Preludes.) Also part of the series is the previously mentioned Cubano Be, Cubano Bop: Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Jazz Band featuring Christian Scott concert.


Chamber Music Concerts

Chamber music concerts begin on October 4 with one of Hong Kong’s flagship professional orchestras, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, with its renowned Music Director Yip Wing-sie. Celebrating the 15th anniversary of Hong Kong’s repatriation to China, the Sinfonietta makes its Toronto debut with a program of Sergei Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 1 (“Classical”) and Violin Concerto No. 2, Igor Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite, and a Toronto premiere of Chan Hing-yan’s ’Twas the Thawing Wind for orchestra and sheng. The Amici Chamber Ensemble, comprised of pianist Serouj Kradjian and two Conservatory faculty members, clarinettist Joaquin Valdepeñas and cellist David Hetherington, celebrates its 25th anniversary with Canadian soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian and special guests Jonathan Crow (violin), Beverley Johnston (percussion), and a number of Conservatory faculty members. They present a program that includes works by Beethoven, Chausson, Poulenc, and Montsalvatge. The Takács Quartet returns to Koerner Hall in a program of Franz Schubert’s String Quartet No. 13 and Benjamin Britten’s String Quartet No. 1, and is joined by pianist Marc-André Hamelin for Dmitri Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet. This concert is also part of our Montréal à Toronto concert series. Also making a return visit is the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony conducted by Edwin Outwater. They perform Cameron Carpenter’s Scandal for organ and orchestra with the American organ virtuoso himself playing the organ. The second half of the program features Carpenter in a solo organ performance including spontaneous improvisations with audience participation. The series closes with an all Ludwig van Beethoven program, including his Coriolan Overture and Symphony No. 3 “Eroica,” performed by the Swedish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Toronto favourite Thomas Dausgaard. The first American pianist to win first prize in the International Chopin Piano Competition, Garrick Ohlsson, joins the Orchestra for Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4.


Invesco Piano Concerts

Sunday matinée Invesco Piano Concerts commence on November 25 with the Grammy Award nominated Polish-Hungarian pianist Piotr Anderszewski performing works by Bach and Schumann. He is followed by the previously mentioned Horacio Gutiérrez, who is also part of the ¡Qué Rica Cuba! concert series. Third generation in a family of musicians, award-winning American pianist Jonathan Biss matches two of Schumann’s greatest cycles for solo piano (Fantasiestücke and Davidsbündlertänze) to 20th century works (Leoš Janáček’s On the Overgrown Path and Alban Berg’s Piano Sonata), which are all deeply connected. Mr. Biss will also give a pre-concert lecture on the program. Charismatic young Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov has taken the classical music world by storm since his first place finish in the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in 2011. In his Canadian debut, he presents works by Scriabin, Liszt, and Rachmaninov. Pianists returning to Koerner Hall include 17-year old Canadian and student of The Glenn Gould School, Jan Lisiecki, performing repertoire that he has been most associated with during his young career – Chopin’s 12 Études, Opp. 10 and 25 – which will also be recorded in Koerner Hall for his upcoming Deutsche Grammophon release; and Louis Lortie, joined by Hélène Mercier, for a Duo Piano program, which is also part of the Montréal à Toronto concert series.


Vocal Concerts

Montreal-based soprano Marie-Josée Lord makes her long-awaited Toronto recital debut in an evening featuring material from Gilles Vigneault, Bizet, Bernstein, and Luc Plamondon’s Starmania. This concert is also part of the Montréal à Toronto concert series. Two choral concerts round out the series: the first features the Taiwan National Choir conducted by Agnes Grossmann, who started the renowned Toronto Summer Music Festival and is the past conductor of the Vienna Choir Boys and the Orchestre Métropolitain in Montreal. From its extensive repertoire, the Choir presents Bruckner’s Motets and Mass No. 2, Brahms’s Zigeunerlieder, a selection of Schumann’s songs, and traditional Chinese folk songs. In the last concert, Maestro Philippe Herreweghe conducts Collegium Vocale Gent, one of the top choirs renowned for their interpretations of Johann Sebastian Bach’s vocal works. As one of the special concerts planned for the holiday season, they present one of Bach’s finest large-scale choral works, the Christmas Oratorio.


String Concerts

Hailing from Montenegro, and still only in his twenties, guitarist Miloš (Miloš Karadaglić) makes his Canadian debut in a concert presented in association with the Guitar Society of Toronto and supported by the Aaron Brock Foundation in memory of Toronto guitarist Aaron Brock (18.11.1974 – 3.08.2006). In 2010, he signed an exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon and his first album, Mediterraneo, topped the UK classical charts and has now been released internationally. Violinist Jennifer Koh, who will appear as Einstein in Philip Glass’s Einstein on the Beach at this year’s Luminato festival, returns to Toronto to give a series of master classes at The Glenn Gould School and to perform “Bach and Beyond,” a program of solo Bach, Bartók, and Mazzoli. Italian-born violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg has been featured on 60 Minutes twice during her career, and she has performed with orchestras around the word as well as the White House. In this recital, she is accompanied on the piano by Anne-Marie McDermott in violin sonatas by Bach, Beethoven, and Saint-Saëns. In the final concert, MacArthur ‘genius’ Grant recipient cellist Alisa Weilerstein is accompanied by Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan for Beethoven, Britten, Shostakovich, and Rachmaninov.


World Music

World music concerts include aforementioned Alex Cuba, who is a part of the ¡Qué Rica Cuba! concert series as well; the re-scheduled concert from the 2011-12 season by Amanda Martinez, who brings her lush voice, raw flamenco rhythms, vibrant Afro-Cuban beats, bossa nova, and the colourful resonance of Mexican folk music; the return of Spain's most successful touring company, the award-winning flamenco troupe Noche Flamenca led by Soledad Barrio (their concerts sold out during the 2009-10 season); another sold-out act from previous seasons, Spanish songstress Buika explores the traditional coplas (female-centric Spanish torch songs), sophisticated flamenco and jazz cross-pollinations, gypsy rumba, beautifully rendered rancheras, and Afro-Cuban rhythms. Making his Koerner Hall debut, singer and guitarist Milton Nascimento is one of Brazil’s most influential artists, who blends Brazilian music, such as bossa nova, with African folk, European classical music, jazz rhythms, and even pop-rock. He has collaborated with and inspired numerous musicians, including Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, Paul Simon, and Sting.


Music Mix

Music Mix concerts begin with the return of American jazz pianist Chick Corea, who made his Koerner Hall debut during the Grand Opening Festival of the Hall in the fall of 2009. On this occasion, he is joined by vibraphonist Gary Burton performing material from their new album, Hot House, and exploring their unique takes on “standards” by composers from Kurt Weill and Antônio Carlos Jobim to Thelonious Monk and Lennon & McCartney. The multiple Grammy-winning duo also adds the Harlem Quartet, expanding their legendary chamber-jazz repertoire on Chick’s composition Mozart Goes Dancing and classic Corea & Burton tunes. The world’s preeminent banjo player with 14 Grammy wins under his belt, Béla Fleck, is back in Koerner Hall – this time with the Marcus Roberts Trio (led by Roberts on piano, with Jason Marsalis on drums and Rodney Jordan on bass), for a night of jazz and bluegrass-based collaborations, where the banjo and the piano speak the same language. Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Keb’ Mo’, who is a living link to the Delta blues, makes a stop at The Conservatory in support of his new CD, The Reflection. A multiple Grammy Award winner, his soulful, authentic music expresses the artistic and cultural journey that has transformed the blues, seamlessly blending it with contemporary rock, folk, and jazz. Classical in intent and eclectic by design, the Canadian Quartetto Gelato boasts the mastery of eight instruments and the bonus of an operatic tenor. Their concert will once again travel between classical masterworks, operatic arias, and the sizzling energy of tangos, and gypsy and folk songs, all with a healthy dash of humour. Presented in partnership with the Toronto Blues Society, the Maple Blues Awards return for the 16th annual gala concert. Celebrating Canada’s blues music, the ceremony once again features the finest blues musicians and special guests from across Canada, all backed by the Maple Blues Band. New Orleans living legend Allen Toussaint is a composer, arranger, producer, pianist, and singer whose abundant gifts are woven into the fabric of American popular music. He returns to The Conservatory with guitarist and songwriter David Bromberg, who has collaborated with artists such as Bob Dylan, George Harrison, and the Grateful Dead. Master fiddler Mark O'Connor, who has worked with the likes of superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma, returns for the second time this season when he is joined by jazz singer Jane Monheit for a program of some of the most treasured songs from the Great American Songbook. A sold-out act in the 2010-11 concert season, American tap-dancing legend and Tony Award winner, Savion Glover, brings his new show, SoLe Sanctuary, to Toronto. The performance is a tribute to his idols that have inspired him in his career.


Now an annual tradition, Canadian singer John McDermott returns to Koerner Hall for a holiday celebration with all-star lineup of musicians, and another holiday concert is presented courtesy of Canadian Brass Christmas. One of the world’s leading brass ensembles, the Canadian Brass returns to The Conservatory after participating in a concert with the Venezuelan Brass Ensemble during Koerner Hall’s inaugural concert season.


Dan Hill and Marc Jordan are joined by Jane Siberry for a fascinating evening of music as they perform some of their biggest hits such as Sometimes When We Touch, Can’t We Try, Falling Man, Rhythm of My Heart, Mimi on the Beach, One More Colour, and Calling All Angels. Other artists who are making their debuts are jazz singer and winner of three consecutive Grammys for Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Dianne Reeves. She is joined by New York-based Raul Midón, who got his start as a back-up singer for Gloria Estefan and is now one of America’s leading singer-songwriters.


The Conservatory Theatre is once again the ideal place to come and hear top Canadian songwriters in the popular Bluebird North concert series. The musicians perform their music and talk about the inspiration, the songwriting process, and even the music business stories behind the songs. Each of the three concerts features a different lineup of distinguished musicians and is hosted by Blair Packham. The concerts are presented in partnership with the Songwriters Association of Canada (S.A.C.). The

S.A.C. gratefully acknowledges the support of The SOCAN Foundation and the Government of Canada through the Creators' Assistance Component of the Canada Music Fund.


Royal Conservatory Orchestra

Royal Conservatory Orchestra presents four concerts during the 2012-13 season and is conducted by returning Maestro Uri Mayer; Conductor Emeritus of the Quebec Symphony, Principal Guest Conductor of the Israel Chamber Orchestra in Tel Aviv, and Head of Orchestral-Conducting Department at the University of Tel Aviv Buchmann-Mehta School of Music Yoav Talmi; Canadian Opera Company Music Director Johannes Debus; and rising star conductor Tito Muñoz. Confirmed soloists include harpist Sophie Baird-Daniel and pianist Rudin Lengo, both winners of the annual Glenn Gould School Concerto Competition. The Orchestra also accompanies the talented singers of The Glenn Gould School vocal program in their annual opera production in March of 2013.


Continuing from previous season, the Royal Conservatory Orchestra performances are now preceded by Prelude Recitals and ticket holders are encouraged to come to Koerner Hall early to hear a performance of solo and chamber works by students and faculty of The Glenn Gould School. The Prelude Recitals begin at 6:45pm.


The Royal Conservatory

Now in its 125th anniversary year, The Royal Conservatory is one of the largest and most respected music education institutions in the world. Providing the definitive standard of excellence in music education through its curriculum, assessment, performance, and teacher education programs, The Conservatory has had a substantial impact on the lives of millions of people globally. In addition, the organization has helped to train a number of internationally celebrated artists including Glenn Gould, Oscar Peterson, David Foster, Sarah McLachlan, Angela Hewitt, and Diana Krall. Motivated by its powerful mission to develop human potential through music and the arts, The Royal Conservatory has emerged over the last two decades as a leader in the development of arts-based programs that address a wide range of social issues. For more information, please visit www.rcmusic.ca.


Support for The Royal Conservatory

The Royal Conservatory is grateful to its returning sponsors and is proud to welcome its newest supporters for the 2012-13 concert season. New sponsors for the upcoming season include Bank of Montreal as sponsors of the rush ticket program (BMO Rush Tickets) and the Valery Gergiev concert and gala, as well as individual concert sponsors – the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office and Sherritt International. “We thank all of our long-time supporters as well as all of the new sponsors who are joining us for the first time,” said Mervon Mehta.


The Royal Conservatory’s 2012-13 concert season is made possible through the generous support of:

Donors/Sponsors: Aaron Brock Foundation, Bank of Montreal, Georgian Capital, Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Invesco, TD Bank Group, Sherritt International, World MasterCard®, Yamaha Canada

Season Beverage Sponsors: Amsterdam Brewery, Baron Philippe de Rothschild, ESKA Natural Spring Water, Inniskillin

The Glenn Gould School Sponsors: D&T Davis Charitable Foundation, Dr. Günes N. Ege-Akter, RBC Foundation, R. S. Williams and Sons Co.

Government: Department of Canadian Heritage, Ontario Arts Council, Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, Toronto Arts Council

Media: Classical 96.3 FM, Jazz FM, CBC


All tickets go on sale on Saturday, April 28, 2012 at noon

Tickets start at $25


All our advertised prices include service charge and 13% HST.


Create your own package: select any 4-6 concerts and save 10%; select any 7+ concerts and save 15%

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

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


Tickets are available online at www.rcmusic.ca, by calling 416.408.0208, or in person at the Weston Family Box Office


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