“It’s hard to believe that Koerner Hall, which feels so new and vibrant, will soon be celebrating its 10th anniversary season,” noted Mervon Mehta, The Royal Conservatory’s Executive Director of Performing Arts.
Indeed, Koerner Hall, which the Toronto Star says “still dazzles after almost a decade,” has had a significant impact since opening in the fall of 2009. It has been treasured by artists and audience members around the world for its beautiful acoustics and breathtaking architecture. It has also created new opportunities for The Royal Conservatory to engage with communities throughout the city and surrounding region.
On January 17, 2018, The Royal Conservatory announced the first wave of classical and jazz performances that will comprise the 10th season of concerts at the celebrated venue. The full season will be unveiled in June.
The musical offerings of this landmark season are characteristically diverse. Beyond the always reliable piano recitals, there is a tribute to the origins of the violin, celebrations of Roma music, indie rock presented in a classical setting, and tributes to artists as varied as Nat King Cole and Steve Earle. Many audience favourites will return, while several other performers will make long-awaited debuts.
In the words of Conservatory President and CEO, Dr. Peter Simon, all these concerts “affirm Koerner Hall as the venue of choice for internationally celebrated performers.”
Chilly Gonzales Returns
Lively iconoclast Chilly Gonzales will make a welcome return to Koerner Hall, which he has described as “one of the best halls — anywhere!” The acclaimed pianist/producer/raconteur/rapper will present two concerts featuring works from his successful Solo Piano albums, and will reimagine his other repertoire with the help of cellist Stella Le Page and drummer Joe Flory.
Other pianists who will take the stage during the 10th anniversary season include extraordinary alumnus Jan Lisiecki; virtuoso performer Murray Perahia; acclaimed artist Richard Goode; visionary interpreter Gabriela Montero; as well as Seong-Jin Cho and Charles Richard-Hamelin, Gold and Silver Medal winners, respectively, at the 2015 International Chopin Piano Competition.
Gautier Capuçon and Yuja Wang to Record Live Album
Intense cellist Gautier Capuçon will return to Koerner Hall alongside superstar pianist Yuja Wang to perform a recital of works by Chopin and Franck that will be recorded for Warner Classics. Captivating violinists Hilary Hahn and Nicola Benedetti will also make return engagements. Hahn will perform a solo recital of works by Johann Sebastian Bach, while Benedetti will perform the Canadian premiere of a work by Wynton Marsalis, composed especially for her.
King’s Singers Celebrate 50th Anniversary
Audience favourites The King’s Singers return for another special holiday performance, this time to celebrate their 50th anniversary. “As a performer it is an absolute joy to sing in the premier concert venues around the world – Koerner Hall is near the very top of that list,” exclaimed member Christopher Bruerton during the ensemble’s 2015 concert.
The Vienna Boys Choir will also return to Koerner Hall next season for another breathtaking performance, while Italian bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni will revisit the stage with his father-in-law, famed baritone Thomas Hampson, for the amusingly titled concert “No Tenors Allowed.”
Concerts Celebrate Romani Music
Three concerts next season will celebrate the contributions of Roma musicians to the global musical landscape. Among them is the Koerner Hall debut of the Django Festival All-Stars, dedicated to the legacy of legendary Roma guitarist Django Reinhart.
The other two concerts will feature incredible Roma musicians making long-awaited returns: flamboyant fiddler Roby Lakatos and virtuosic jazz pianist Robi Botos. “Koerner Hall is my favourite place in the world to perform,” says Botos. “This is a gig as close to heaven as one can get.”
Jazz Greats Return
Beloved jazz artists Jane Bunnett and Hilario Durán will be welcomed back to Koerner Hall after being part of its inaugural season. Bunnett will be joined by her all-female ensemble Maqueque, while Durán will be supported by his 20-piece Latin Jazz Big Band alongside drummer Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez and Sarita Levya’s Rumberos.
Guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli will carry on the tradition of concerts celebrating the birthday of a legendary musician. Along with Freddy Cole, he will pay tribute to none other than Nat King Cole, Freddy’s older brother, on the occasion of Nat’s 100th birthday.
Rounding out the jazz concerts are performances by celebrated saxophonist Joshua Redman – with an all-star band including Koerner favourite Brian Blade on drums – interpreting music of Ornette Colman, as well as soulful pianist Marcus Roberts, who will perform solo and with his trio in works by John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, and Thelonious Monk.
Daniel Hope Explores Origins of the Violin
Violinist Daniel Hope, who has described Koerner Hall as “one of the greatest concert halls in the world,” will present a special concert charting the emergence of the violin during the Baroque era. Entitled AIR – A Baroque Journey, it is inspired by his award-winning recording of the same name.
Also comprising the chamber music series is a concert by Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera with the Harlem String Quartet; the Koerner Hall debut of the Danish String Quartet; and a tribute to Steve Earle courtesy of the innovative and eclectic Art of Time Ensemble, featuring a guest appearance by award-winning author Michael Ondaatje.
Royal Conservatory Orchestra
The students of the Royal Conservatory Orchestra, part of the Temerty Orchestral Program, will once again inspire audiences in Koerner Hall. These students of The Royal Conservatory’s Glenn Gould School will be led by acclaimed conductors Bramwell Tovey and Johannes Debus during the during the 2018-19 season, along with two other conductors to be announced in June.
Subscriptions go on sale on January 26, 2018 at 10am.
Single tickets go on sale on February 2, 2018 at 10am.
To purchase, visit rcmusic.com/performance