Fall in love with live music
Take in everything from symphonies to choirs this season
By: Holly Harris
As the lazy, hazy days of summer wind down for another year, another jam-packed arts season roars back to life with truly something for everyone, whether you like going for baroque or prefer cutting-edge contemporary. Here’s but a small sampling of what’s on tap from now until the snow flies (listed in chronological order):
● In the so-cool-it-hurts category, GroundSwell presents Tarantino Etudes on Thursday at 8 p.m. at the Good Will Social Club featuring “superhuman” flute virtuoso Mark Takeshi McGregor in a wildly theatrical program including Manitoban-born composer Nicole Lizée’s same-titled work for bass flute and “neo-noir glitch.” Check out gswell.ca.
● The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra launches its 70th anniversary season with legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman performing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61 on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. If you weren’t able to snag a ticket to the long sold-out show, Kerry DuWors plays the same work at Brandon’s Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium on Sunday at 3 p.m. Also, don’t miss seeing former WSO maestro Victor Feldbrill (who headed the orchestra from 1958 to ’68) mark his return to the podium for Happy 70th WSO!, on Oct. 13 and 14 at 8 p.m. For more details, visit wso.ca.
● The Manitoba Chamber Orchestra kicks off its 45th season with acclaimed cellist Ariel Barnes on Sept. 26 at 7:30 p.m. However, my eye is also on trumpet sensation Guy Few, whose concert on Dec. 13 promises to blow the roof off Westminster United Church. For more info, visit themco.ca.
● You’ll have another opportunity to hear rising-star violinist Gregory Lewis — and a newly minted Yalie — during the Women’s Musical Club of Winnipeg’s opener on Oct. 15 at 2 p.m. at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. The award-winning artist and recent University of Manitoba graduate is pursuing his master’s in violin performance at the Yale School of Music. Visit womensmusicalclubofwpg.ca.
● One of the city’s hottest choirs, Polycoro led by John Wiens, opens its new season with Positive Friction at Canadian Mennonite University’s Laudamus Hall on Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. The a cappella concert that celebrates 500 years of Lutheranism also premières a new set of canticles by Montreal-based composer Isaiah Ceccarelli. Visit polycoro.ca.
● You might need to flip a coin on this one. The venerable Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir also performs Songs of Darkness and Light led by Yuri Klaz on Oct. 29 at 3 p.m. at Crescent Fort Rouge United Church.
The concert is part of the WSO’s Angels and Demons fall festival and promises to take listeners from the “depths of the underworld to the sublime heights of eternal light.” More info at thephil.ca.
● With one concert already under its belt, Virtuosi Concerts presents the world-renowned Dover Quartet in Triumph of the Spirit on Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m. at the University of Winnipeg’s Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall. The program showcases music by two Holocaust composers, Simon Laks and Viktor Ullman, days before the 79th anniversary of Kristallnacht (Nov. 9) and Remembrance Day (Nov. 11). More details at www.virtuosi.mb.ca.
● The Winnipeg Singers — which turns 45 this year — teams with the MCO to perform Thanksgiving and Remembrance on Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m. at Westminster United Church. Arvo Pärt fans will be enthralled with a relatively rare performance of the 82-year-old composer’s sublime Te Deum, conducted by Yuri Klaz, who is marking his 14th year at the Singers’ helm. For further particulars, visit winnipegsingers.com.
● Manitoba Opera opens its season with Puccini’s searing Madama Butterfly, regarded as one of the 10 most popular operas in the world. The three-performance run is on Nov. 18, 21 and 24 at the Centennial Concert Hall and tissues are advised. For more info, head to manitobaopera.mb.ca.
● Camerata Nova opens its season with Snow Angel, a five-movement work by Sarah Quartel exploring love, rebirth and beauty through the eyes of children.
The program led by Vic Pankratz showcases Winnipeg cellist Juliana Moroz as well as a children’s chorus from the WSO’s Sistema music program, and is slated for Nov. 25 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 26 at 3 p.m. at Crescent Fort Rouge United Church. There’s even a suite of Santa Claus songs courtesy of artistic director/composer Andrew Balfour. You can find out more at cameratanova.com.
● If you find yourself “between concerts,” Don Anderson’s latest music course that highlights the world’s great violinists past and present kicks off Oct. 16 at 12:30 p.m. and runs until Nov. 20. A Wednesday night option is also available from Oct. 18 to Nov. 22, at 7-9:15 p.m. All classes are held at the Manitoba Conservatory of Music & Arts. Visit mcma.ca.
So there you have it — another wonderful fall cornucopia of concerts to suit all tastes. Support live music, and see you in two weeks!