LSM Newswire

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Toronto Music Garden celebrates its 10th anniversary season with free concerts and dance performances and two world premieres

This year, the Toronto Music Garden celebrates its 10th anniversary of outstanding free performances in a unique setting, and popular garden tours. Summer Music in the Garden 2009 will see the return of many favourite Music Garden performers from the past 10 seasons, while more than 30 artists will make their Music Garden debut.

From June 28-September 20, Summer Music in the Garden presents 20 free outdoor concerts and dance performances involving more than 90 artists in total. This year's eclectic lineup includes five dance performances, ranging from Korean to Baroque to contemporary. Two dances will be world premieres: one by choreographer Carol Anderson featuring dancer Claudia Moore on Sept. 3, and another by Andrea Nann Dreamwalker Dance Company with multimedia composer Tom Kuo, on Sept. 10.

The concerts take place on Thursday evenings at 7pm and on most Sundays at 4pm. The free tours of the Toronto Music Garden, led by volunteers from the Toronto Botanical Garden, return for another season, taking place on Wednesdays at 11am, June 3-September 30, and on Thursdays before every concert at 5:30pm from July 2-September 10. Admission to the park and all its programming is free.

Both Summer Music in the Garden and the guided tours are produced by Harbourfront Centre in partnership with City of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation, and with the generous support of Toronto Culture, Margaret & Jim Fleck, George Dembroski, David Graham, Sandra & Jim Pitblado and William & Phyllis Waters. Renowned Canadian composer Ann Southam has generously commissioned the new dance by Carol Anderson to music by J.S. Bach (Sept. 3); Harbourfront Centre has commissioned Leika, by Andrea Nann Dreamwalker Dance Company and multimedia artist Tom Kuo, which receives its world premiere on Sept. 10. Summer Music in the Garden is curated for Harbourfront Centre by Artistic Director Tamara Bernstein.

The Toronto Music Garden is a City of Toronto park, located on the waterfront at 475 Queens Quay West (on the water's edge side), between Bathurst Street and Spadina Avenue. The Garden is wheelchair-accessible and open year-round. For information on the Toronto Music Garden and its current programmes, the public can call Harbourfront Centre, 416-973-4000 or visit For information on other City of Toronto parks and gardens, the public can call 416-338-0338 or visit


All concerts are approximately one hour long (except where noted) and take place weather permitting. Concerts are cancelled in the event of inclement weather.

Sunday, June 28, 4pm
Shauna and Friends

Renowned Canadian cellist Shauna Rolston leads six outstanding student cellists from the University of Toronto's Faculty of Music in music by Elgar, Massenet, Kreisler and others, arranged for cello solo, duo, and ensemble. As a prelude, Barbara Croall (cedar flutes and First Nation drum) and Anita McAlister (trumpet and conch shell) perform Croall's Calling from Different Directions, which was composed for the Music Garden in summer 2008. Calling from Different Directions is a short, arresting piece that invokes the four sacred directions, bringing together instruments from different cultural "directions": trumpet, conch shell, traditional cedar flutes and First Nations hand drum.

Thursday, July 2, 7pm

This exuberant Toronto ensemble returns with traditional Korean drumming and dance’Äîrooted in nature; transplanted to Canada.

Sunday, July 5, 4pm
Orfea and the Golden Harp

Theatre Cotton Robes presents their delightful adaptation of the Orfeo myth for the whole family. A little girl shoulders her golden harp and journeys to the Underworld to bring her beloved grandfather back to life; along the way we hear music from 400 years of opera, including Monteverdi, Mozart and Offenbach. Performed by baritone Lawrence Cotton, soprano Brooke Dufton and pianist Rachad Feizoullaev. (For information about Theatre Cotton Robes, visit

Thursday, July 9, 7pm
Quartets with a Past

The Kirby String Quartet presents four classical works that look back to earlier composers: Beethoven's Quartet Op. 74, Mendelssohn's Capriccio Op. 8, Brahms' Quartet Op. 67, third movement, and Stravinsky's neo-classical Concertino. Aisslinn Nosky and Julia Wedman (violins), Max Mandel (viola), Carina Reeves (cello).

Thursday, July 16, 7pm
Moonlight, Mountains and Flowing Streams: Voices of Ancient China

The China Court Trio performs music from the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. Wen Zhao, (pipa ’Äì Chinese lute), Yongli Xue, (zheng ’Äì Chinese zither), Yu Cheng Zhang (bowled clay flute and vertical flute). (For information about Wen Zhao, visit

Sunday, July 19, 4pm
Does This Drum Make My Brass Sound Big?

The brass and percussion sections of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada return with a delightful, varied programme that showcases outstanding young Canadian musicians. (For information about the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, visit

Thursday, July 23, 7pm
Another knock at the door

Toronto's Shiraz Ensemble presents a heady brew of Persian art music and original compositions. Yashar Salek (Daf/Dayereh), Nima Rahmani (Santoor), Saeed Kamjoo (Kamanche), Araz Salek (Tar), Shahin Fayaz (Rabab). A co-presentation with Small World Music.

Sunday, July 26, 4pm
Oiseaux Interurbains/Migratory Songflutes

Alison Melville performs acoustic and electronic music from the 12th to 21st centuries, for various flutes, recorders and recorded sound, including works by Bach, Telemann, Hildegard of Bingen, Jacob van Eyck, Peter Hannan, Linda C. Smith, Ben Grossman and the performer. (For information about Alison Melville, visit

Thursday, July 30, 7pm
Behind the Masques

The period musicians of Toronto Masque Theatre, with renowned Montreal dancer-choreographer Marie-Nathalie Lacoursiˆ®re, reveal different faces of baroque dance’Äîcourtly, theatrical, grotesque. Lacoursiˆ®re will also perform several baroque dances reflected in the design of the Music Garden. "[Marie-Nathalie Lacoursiˆ®re] has set a new standard for historical dance in Toronto."’ÄîRobert Everett-Green, reviewing Toronto Masque Theatre in the Globe and Mail, April 25, 2009. (For information about Toronto Masque Theatre, visit

Thursday, August 6, 7pm
Strong and Free

True North Brass returns with a programme that will delight and dazzle. Raymond Tizzard and Richard Sandals (trumpets), Joan Watson (French horn), Alastair Kay (trombone) and Scott Irvine (tuba). (For information about True North Brass, visit

Sunday, August 9, 4pm
Passage to India

Singer Bageshree Vaze and tabla virtuoso Vineet Viyas perform classical North Indian ragas, along with classically-based songs from early Bollywood. (For information about Bageshree Vaze, visit and for information about Vineet Viyas, visit

Thursday, August 13, 7pm
Coming out of Hayd'n

The Cecilia String Quartet performs the Quartet in C Major, Op. 74 No. 1, by the "father of the string quartet," Joseph Haydn, and the sparkling, newly discovered String Quartet No. 1 in E-flat Major by French composer Theodore Dubois (1837-1924). Sarah Nematallah and Min-Jeong Koh (violins), Caitlin Boyle (viola) and Rebecca Wenham (cello). (For information about the Cecilia String Quartet, visit

Sunday, August 16, 4pm
Utopian Voices

In the early baroque, fans of the renaissance cornetto and the newly perfected violin duked it out over which instrument was closest to the human voice. Happily, we don't have to choose when the virtuosi of FOLIA’Äîbaroque violinist Linda Melsted and cornettist Kiri Tollaksen’Äîperform glorious music by Castello, Frescobaldi, Gabrieli and others. With Borys Medicky, harpsichord.

Thursday, August 20, 7pm
"My Unrest": Yiddish Songs for a New Day

Grammy-nominated singer Adrienne Cooper (New York) and world-renowned pianist Marilyn Lerner (Toronto) perform music from their new CD: settings of Yiddish modernist poems on love, longing, war and migration by contemporary composers including Sarah Gordon, Frank London, Fima Chorny and the performers. (For information about Marilyn Lerner, visit

Sunday, August 23, 4pm
Accordions for a Weill

Four virtuoso accordionists’ÄîIna Henning, Eugene Laskiewicz, Joseph Macerollo and Alexander Sevastien’Äîperform a wide-ranging programme of music, from Bach to Piazzola. Mezzo-soprano Ali Garrison joins Henning in songs by Kurt Weill, and accompanies dancer-choreographer Claudia Moore in Moore's touching dance, For Heddy, to the Brecht/Weill song, Nana's Lied. "Heddy was my dear grandma from Germany who loved parties, was a fabulous cook and worked at the Broadway Market in Buffalo. She lived to be 97. Nana's Song makes me think of her and inspired me to make this dance."’ÄîClaudia Moore

Thursday, August 27, 7pm
Echoes of Ancient Boundaries

In ancient Japan, village boundaries extended as far as the sound of their taiko drums carried. The thrilling sounds of Toronto's outstanding taiko ensemble Nagata Shachu (formerly known as the Kiyoshi Nagata Ensemble) transcend the boundaries of East and West, past and present. (For information about Nagata Shachu, visit

Sunday, August 30, 4pm
Percussion from a Suitcase

Find out what happens when a percussionist’Äîthe spectacular Aiyun Huang of Montreal’Äîcreates a programme for which all the instruments fit into her suitcase! Music by Matthew Burtner, Alvin Lucier, Javier Alvarez, Roberto Sierra, Georges Aperghis and John Adams. (For information about Aiyun Huang, visit

Thursday, September 3, 7pm
Bach at Dusk ’Äì With Claudia

Winona Zelenka continues her journey through Bach's six suites for solo cello. This summer, she performs the Suite No. 4 in E-flat Major for solo cello; for the last three movements of the piece (Sarabande, Bourree I and II, and Gigue), Ms. Zelenka is joined by dancer Claudia Moore in the world premiere of a new work by choreographer Carol Anderson. The dance has been generously commissioned by renowned Canadian composer Ann Southam.
Please note: This is a 30-minute concert due to early sunset. (For information about Winona Zelenka, visit (For more information on Claudia Moore, visit

Thursday, September 10, 7pm

In a new work commissioned by Harbourfront Centre, Andrea Nann Dreamwalker Dance Company and multimedia composer Tom Kuo reveal hidden secrets of the Music Garden through music, dance and interactive play. Please note: This is a 30-minute concert due to early sunset. Pre-performance audience participation encouraged from 6:30-7pm. (For information about Andrea Nann, visit

Sunday September 20, 4pm
The Sanssouci Quartet

This exciting new Boston-Toronto quartet on period instruments performs Boccherini's Quartet in D Major and Mozart's Quartet in D Minor, K. 421. Abigail Karr and Karina Fox (violins), Sarah Darling (viola), Kate Haynes (cello). And to close: a reprise of Barbara Croall's Calling from Different Directions, performed by Anita McAlister and the composer. (See June 28 concert.)

Guided tours begin at 11am on Wednesdays: June 3, 10, 17, 24; July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; August 5, 12, 19, 26; September 2, 9, 16, 23, 30.
Pre-concert guided tours begin at 5:30pm on Thursdays: July 2, 9, 16, 23; August 6, 13, 30, 27; September 3, 10.

Visitors are invited to take a free 45-minute walking tour led by Toronto Botanical Garden tour guides. Tours start in the west end of the Garden in the Prelude section. Self-guided 70-minute audio tours (English only) hosted by Yo-Yo Ma and Julie Moir Messervy are also available for a rental fee of $5 (free rentals for children). Private group tours are also available ($5 per person). For reservations, call 416-397-1366 or visit

The Toronto Music Garden is one of Toronto's most enchanted locations. The Garden was conceived by internationally renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma and designed by Boston-based landscape artist Julie Moir Messervy. Its design interprets Bach's Suite No. 1 in G Major for Unaccompanied Cello, with each dance movement within the suite corresponding to a different section of the Garden: Prelude, Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Menuett and Gigue. A unique and magical venue, the Toronto Music Garden is the only garden/park in the world known to be directly inspired by a specific piece of music.

The Toronto Music Garden opened in 1999; concerts have been held there every summer since 2000. Since 2001, the concerts have been produced by Harbourfront Centre in partnership with City of Toronto, under the artistic direction of Tamara Bernstein. The Garden itself is lovingly maintained by City of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation, as well as volunteers.

The Toronto Music Garden, located on Queens Quay West at the foot of Spadina Avenue, is easy to reach by public transit. From Spadina Station take the 510 (Union Station) streetcar south. From Union Station take the Harbourfront LRT (509 or 510 streetcar) going west from inside Union Station. Call the Toronto Transit Commission at 416-393-4636 for transit information.

FOCUS: Shift
Harbourfront Centre wants you to shift gears.

What does it mean to change your perspectives on idea, explore new ways of approaching an old notion or to literally shift gears? From June to September, Harbourfront Centre explores the idea of "shift" throughout its programming. How does an ever-changing culture influence the lives and experiences of artists? What happens when we view the world from a different vantage point? What can be learned from migration, relocation and transformation?

Harbourfront Centre: Change perspectives.

SHIFT is part of an ongoing focus in programming. Our Lens. Your View.

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