Chilly Gonzales

The Royal Conservatory Previews 10th Anniversary Season in Koerner Hall

Dr. Peter Simon, Michael and Sonja Koerner President & CEO of The Royal Conservatory of Music, and Mervon Mehta, Executive Director of Performing Arts, today revealed programming details of some of the classical and jazz concerts for the 2018-19 season, which will mark Koerner Hall’s 10th anniversary. The full season of over 90 concerts, including pop, world music, and new special series, will be released in June. 

“These extraordinary concerts affirm Koerner Hall as the venue of choice for internationally celebrated performers. Its landmark 10th anniversary season will further strengthen the position of The Royal Conservatory as a leading concert presenter and global cultural hub, which has brought together more than a million Canadians through the unifying power of music,” says Dr. Peter Simon. 

Mervon Mehta stated, “It is hard to believe that Koerner Hall, which still feels so new and vibrant, will celebrate its 10th season. Over that time, this jewel box of a theatre has won praise from artists and audiences for its brilliant acoustics and stunning architecture. Thousands of musicians, many of them Canadians, have graced our stage. Hundreds of thousands have come to listen. Bloor Street has blossomed into a vibrant cultural corridor. We are grateful to our loyal and musically curious audiences, to corporate and private donors who support our vision, and to three levels of government for funding.”

Classical Concerts 

Piano Recitals

Chilly Gonzales
Grammy Award-winning pianist, producer, arranger, composer, raconteur, provocateur, and Royal Conservatory alumnus, Chilly Gonzales, returns to Koerner Hall! Known as much for the intimate piano touch of best-selling albums Solo Piano I and Solo Piano II as for his showmanship and composition for award-winning stars such as Daft Punk, Peaches, and Feist, Gonzo approaches the piano with classical and jazz training and the attitude of a rock star and rapper. 2018 sees Gonzales’s return to the stage with an intimate hour of pieces from the Solo Piano album cycle, after which he is joined by Stella Le Page on cello and Joe Flory on drums to perform hits and hidden surprises from the rest of his repertoire, interspersed with his insightful explanations about how music works.

Seong-Jin Cho 
Seong-Jin Cho’s thoughtful and poetic, assertive and tender, virtuosic and colourful playing is driven by an impressive natural sense of balance. Cho came to the world’s attention in 2015 when he won the coveted Gold Medal at the Chopin International Competition in Warsaw. Within a month, a recording of his live competition highlights was released by Deutsche Grammophon, propelling the pianist to pop star status in South Korea. The album achieved multi-platinum sales within a week of its release and triggered a sales frenzy at stores across the country. At this Koerner Hall debut concert, he will perform works by Debussy and Chopin.

Gabriela Montero 
Gabriela Montero’s visionary interpretations and unique improvisational gifts have won her a devoted following around the world. Anthony Tommasini remarked in The New York Times, “Montero’s playing has everything: crackling rhythmic brio, subtle shadings, steely power in climactic moments, soulful lyricism in the ruminative passages and, best of all, unsentimental expressivity.” In her Koerner Hall debut, she will perform a special program called “Innocence and Experience,” which includes her famous improvisations as well as works by Schumann, Shostakovich, and Chick Corea.

Charles Richard-Hamelin 
Quebec pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin, the 2015 Chopin Competition silver medalist, performs with “real sonority that comes from his entire body, a large palette of colours and a real poetic sense … His conduct is always impeccable. By conduct, I mean the architectural and emotional conception of a work, the tempo and mood relations, the dynamic layering. Additionally, when appropriate, a highly sensitive ear to the art of transition.” (Le Devoir) His program will include works by Schumann and Chopin.

Jan Lisiecki 
Jan Lisiecki has won acclaim for his extraordinary interpretive maturity, distinctive sound, and poetic sensibility. The New York Times has called him “a pianist who makes every note count.” An alumnus of the Royal Conservatory’s Glenn Gould School, Lisiecki’s insightful interpretations, refined technique, and natural affinity for art give him a musical voice that belies his age. The remarkable 22-year-old musician made his debut in the main auditorium at New York’s Carnegie Hall in January 2016. In its rave review, The New York Times noted that it was an “uncommonly sensitive performance”. At this Koerner Hall recital he will perform works by Chopin, Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Rachmaninov.

Richard Goode 
Richard Goode has been recognized for music making of tremendous emotional power, depth, and expressiveness. Gramophone magazine captured the essence of what makes him such an original and compelling artist: '‘Every time we hear him, he impresses us as better than we remembered, surprising us, surpassing our expectations and communicating perceptions that stay in the mind,” and The New York Times declared: “It is virtually impossible to walk away from one of Mr. Goode’s recitals without the sense of having gained some new insight, subtle or otherwise, into the works he played or about pianism itself.” Goode will perform an all Ludwig van Beethoven program and give master classes at The Glenn Gould School.

Murray Perahia 
American pianist Murray Perahia has performed for over 40 years, during which he has become one of the most sought-after and cherished pianists of our time. He is also the Principal Guest Conductor of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, with whom he has toured as conductor and pianist throughout the United States, Europe, Japan, and South East Asia. “Perahia’s virtuosity, never fussy, narcissistic or quirky, generates a heightened sense of drama in whatever he plays. At 67, his gifts as a storyteller have deepened.” (The LA Times) 

Vocal Concerts

The King’s Singers 50th Anniversary
The Times has called The King’s Singers “[the] superlative vocal sextet.” Acclaimed for their life-affirming virtuosity and irresistible charm, the group celebrates its 50th anniversary with an adventure that gives thanks for all the music that has defined their first 50 years, inspired by the unique maverick spirit that guided the original six King’s Singers to keep every performance as fresh and varied as possible. This holiday performance will feature seasonal songs alongside some of the ensemble’s favourite repertoire. 

Vienna Boys Choir 
A Vienna Boys Choir performance is an enchanting event. The “breathtaking” choir is “totally disciplined voices tempered by a singular sense of ease and consistency.” (Washington Post)  Boys have been singing at the court of the Holy Roman Emperor since the early 15th century. In 1498, more than half a millennium ago, Emperor Maximilian I moved his court and his court musicians to Vienna. He gave instructions that there were to be six singing boys among his musicians. Historians have settled on 1498 as the foundation date of the Vienna Hofmusikkapelle and in consequence the Vienna Boys Choir. Until 1918, the choir sang exclusively for the imperial court, at mass, at private concerts and functions, and on state occasions. The Vienna Boys Choir has delighted music lovers across the globe with their purity of tone, charm, and crowd-pleasing repertoire, and their return to Koerner Hall is sure to be another sellout.

Luca Pisaroni and Thomas Hampson: No Tenors Allowed
Italian bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni returns to Koerner Hall joined by his father-in-law, famed American baritone Thomas Hampson, to perform a “No Tenors Allowed” evening of arias and songs from opera and Broadway. Hampson, America’s foremost baritone, “is without question one of the world’s greatest opera singers … a voice, a baritone so rich it can circle the universe.” (Diane Sawyer, Good Morning America) He has received many honours and awards for his probing artistry and cultural leadership, and his discography includes winners of a Grammy Award, five Edison Awards, and the Grand Prix du Disque. 

String and Chamber Music Concerts

Strings

Hilary Hahn
Three-time Grammy Award-winning violinist Hilary Hahn is renowned for her virtuosity, expansive interpretations, and dynamic approach to music making. She was named “America’s Best Young Classical Musician” by Time magazine, and The New York Times has described her playing as “at once impetuous and authoritative, brilliant and beautiful.” Hahn will perform a solo recital of works by Johann Sebastian Bach. 

Nicola Benedetti with Alexei Grynyuk
Following her superb concert with the Venice Baroque Orchestra in 2016, violinist Nicola Benedetti returns to captivate audiences and critics alike. The Times has printed, “it was thrilling to hear and watch Nicola Benedetti in a truly risk-taking performance that lived so much in the body and fused the sinews of the violin and the nerve-system of the player.” This sums up her ability to communicate and enthrall audiences with dynamic and energy-filled performances. Born in Scotland of Italian heritage, she was awarded the Queen’s Medal for Music in 2017, the youngest ever recipient, and was appointed as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in the 2013 New Year Honours. She and her longtime collaborator Alexei Grynyuk will perform works by Bach, Prokofiev, Strauss, and the Canadian premiere of a new piece by Wynton Marsalis, written especially for her.

Roby Lakatos
Virtuoso fiddler Roby Lakatos returns to Koerner Hall for the third time. This scorching player and  musician of extraordinary stylistic versatility is equally comfortable performing classical, jazz, and his native Hungarian folk music. Born into the legendary family of Roma violinists, his musicianship evolved not only within his own family but also at the Béla Bartók Conservatory in Budapest, where he won the first prize for classical violin. His unparalleled technique places Lakatos among the best players in the world, and his musical curiosity and Roma heritage make him truly unique.

Yuja Wang and Gautier Capuçon
Two fiery artists, Yuja Wang and Gautier Capuçon, joined forces at the Verbier Festival and have chosen Koerner Hall as one of their few tour stops for a program of works by Chopin and Franck. Chinese pianist Wang, who “seems to have everything: speed, flexibility, pianistic thunder and interpretive nuance” according to The New York Times, returns for her fifth Koerner Hall appearance. French cellist Capuçon is acclaimed internationally for his deeply expressive musicianship and exuberant virtuosity, as well as for the glorious sonority of his 1701 Matteo Goffriller cello, which showcases his phenomenal technical skills. “It’s the rare performer who can bring such ease and refinement to this music, while still giving everything he plays a sense of dramatic urgency.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

Chamber Music

Daniel Hope and Friends: AIR – A Baroque Journey
Violinist Daniel Hope is joined by some of his friends – Simos Papanas (violin), Nicola Mosca (cello), Emanuele Forni (luthe), Naoki Kitaya (cembalo), and Michael Metzler (percussion) – to present AIR – A Baroque Journey. This program, which traces the origin of the violin, blends the simplest and at times most primitive forms of dance music with the most sophisticated and revolutionary compositions of the day, culminating in Bach’s Air, Hope’s inspiration for this concert.
 
Danish String Quartet 
“This is one of the best quartets before the public today,” declared The Washington Post of the Danish String Quartet. The high technical and musical quality, the joy of playing, the powerful impact the group makes on stage, and the fresh approach to familiar repertoire have become the trademarks of the Quartet, which has been awarded the highly prestigious Carl Nielsen Prize, Denmark’s largest cultural prize in 2011. This concert will feature works by Haydn, Abrahamsen, and Beethoven.

Paquito D’Rivera and the Harlem Quartet 
Winner of 14 Grammy Awards, Cuban saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera returns to Koerner Hall after his debut during the Hall’s inaugural concert season and later appearance in 2012. While his extensive discography reflects a dedication and enthusiasm for jazz, bebop, and Latin music, his contributions to classical music are impressive, as both a performer and a composer. In his third appearance at The Conservatory, the is joined by the Harlem Quartet, praised for its “panache” by The New York Times and for “bringing a new attitude to classical music, one that is fresh, bracing, and intelligent,” by the Cincinnati Enquirer. Their program will include works by Bolcom, Debussy, von Weber, and Ignacio Cervantes, as well as several of D’Rivera’s pieces. 

Art of Time Ensemble: Doghouse Roses
Toronto’s innovative and eclectic Art of Time Ensemble presents Doghouse Roses, a tribute to Steve Earle. A folk artist for contemporary America, Steve Earle’s writing and music has captured the spirit – and the struggle – of this great land of contradiction. Singers Andy Maize (of Skydiggers), Susie Ungerlieder (of Oh Susanna), Tom Wilson (Junkhouse, Blackie, and the Rodeo Kings), and Gregory Hoskins perform Earle’s music, and Michael Ondaatje will read his words. This concert highlights Earle’s brilliant storytelling and presents his songs in new arrangements that honour and celebrate his music. 

Royal Conservatory Orchestra
The Royal Conservatory Orchestra (RCO), part of the Temerty Orchestral Program, is widely regarded as an outstanding ensemble and one of the best training orchestras in North America. It consists of instrumental students in the Performance Diploma Program and Artist Diploma Program of The Glenn Gould School. Graduates of the RCO have joined the ranks of the greatest orchestras in the world, including the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the BBC Orchestra, the Quebec Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic, Tafelmusik, the Hallé Orchestra of Manchester, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and Leipzig Gewandhaus. During the 2018-19 season, the Orchestra will be led by Bramwell Tovey, recently named Principal Conductor at BBC Concert Orchestra, and Johannes Debus, Music Director of the Canadian Opera Company. Two more concerts will be announced in June.

Jazz Concerts

Joshua Redman: Still Dreaming
Joshua Redman, one of the best-known jazz saxophonists in the world, performs new compositions inspired by Old and New Dreams. His group includes drummer Brian Blade, bassist Scott Colley, and trumpeter Ron Miles, three of the most imaginative voices in contemporary jazz. Together they interpret the Old and New Dreams quartet of the 1970s and 1980s, a renowned quartet of Ornette Coleman alumni that included Redman’s father, Dewey Redman. With repertoire consisting of Ornette Coleman compositions and original works, their music was honest, uninhibited, and completely engaging in its unpredictable live execution. “Redman’s definitely got the fire and burns hot as coals … [with] unbridled abilities as musician and performer.”(All About Jazz)

Django Festival All-Stars 
The Django Festival All-Stars carry on the legacy of the great Roma guitarist Django Reinhardt, the first European jazz musician to make major contributions to the development of the guitar genre, with their 
unique, high-energy performances. Reinhardt’s style became known as “hot jazz” and it continues to grow in popularity globally. The Django Festival All-Stars honor the best energetic traditions of this French Roma jazz musician and add their own creative interpretations, arrangements, and original compositions. The group consists of Dorado Schmitt on guitar, Ludovic Beier on accordion and accoardina, Pierre Blanchard on violin, DouDou Cuillerier on rhythm guitar and scat singing, and Antonio Licusati on bass.   

Jane Bunnett and Maqueque
Multiple Juno Award-winner, Jane Bunnett, has turned her bands and recordings into showcases for the finest musical talent from Canada, the US, and Cuba. She has been nominated for Grammy Awards, numerous Juno Awards, received an Order of Canada, The Queens Diamond Jubilee medal, and most recently Ontario’s Premier’s Award for Excellence. Her exploration of Afro-Cuban melodies expresses the universality of music, and her ability to showcase the rhythms and culture of Cuba has been ground-breaking. In her return engagement at Koerner Hall, she once again brings the soul of Cuba to the hearts of Canadian music lovers with her all-female group, Maqueque, and several guest artists. 

Marcus Roberts
“Roberts individualizes his sound by utilizing orchestral devices ... In the course of a single piece, he constantly modulates grooves, tempos and keys, plays separate time signatures with the right hand and the left, and, as he puts it, flips around the roles of the piano, bass and drums by giving everyone an equal opportunity to develop the concepts and themes, to change the form, to get us where we’re getting ready to go.” (Jazziz Magazine) At this concert, Marcus Roberts performs Jelly Roll Morton, Monk, Ellington, and Gershwin on solo piano. After intermission he is joined by his trio, Rodney Jones on bass and Jason Marsalis on drums, for music from the Trio Crescent CD, which celebrates John Coltrane and his landmark suite, Crescent.

Hilario Durán and his Latin Jazz Big Band with Horacio "El Negro" Hernández and Sarita Leyva’s Rumberos
Special guests, drummer Horacio “El Negro” Hernández, and Sarita Leyva’s Rumberos and Iré Omó Afro-Cuban Drum and Dance Ensemble with Amado Dedeu, join pianist Hilario Durán’s 20-piece Latin Jazz Big Band for this Keorner Hall concert. Havana-born, Toronto-based Durán is ranked one of the most important contemporary Cuban pianists and arrangers today. In 2005, he formed his explosive 20-piece Big Band Orchestra with top Canadian and Cuban musicians in Toronto. Recipient of multiple Juno Awards and Canadian National Jazz Awards, he has been nicknamed “Contumbao” for his creative use of the tumbao repetitive bass figures. In this Koerner Hall concert they will perform Afro-Cuban music and pieces from his most recent recording, Contumbao.

John Pizzarelli and Freddy Cole celebrate Nat King Cole
Freddy Cole has been praised by People magazine for his “gorgeous autumnal baritone, expressive phrasing and pitch-perfect feel for jazz standards, pop tunes, and love ballads,” while Entertainment Weekly said he was “blessed with warmth, timbral beauty, and grace.” World-renowned guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli has been recognized by the Boston Globe for “reinvigorating the Great American Songbook and re-popularizing jazz.” The Toronto Star named him “the genial genius of the guitar” and the Seattle Times has saluted him as “a rare entertainer of the old school.” Together, the two artists celebrate the 100th birthday of Freddy’s older brother, Nat King Cole. 

Robi Botos
Hungarian-born Roma musician, Robi Botos, immigrated to Canada in 1998. Shortly after, he caught the ear of Canadian jazz great Oscar Peterson, quickly became his protégé, and to this day remains a disciple of Dr. Peterson’s mighty sense of swing and technical virtuosity. Along with this influence, Botos possesses a deep tradition in Romani, Hungarian, and European folk and classical music. This fusion of North American bebop, hard bop, and modern jazz along with the deep tradition of folk music of Eastern Europe, as well as romantic classical music, has formulated a sound and approach that is original and formidable. 

 

PREVIEW OF THE ROYAL CONSERVATORY’S 2018-19 CONCERTS IN KOERNER HALL

Chilly Gonzales 
Thursday, October 18 & Saturday, October 20, 2018 at 8pm; $35-$85

Seong-Jin Cho
Sunday, October 28, 2018 at 3pm; $40-$90

Daniel Hope and Friends: AIR - A Baroque Journey
Saturday, November 3, 2018 at 8pm; $45-$90

Danish String Quartet
Sunday, November 4, 2018 at 3pm; $35-$85

Hilary Hahn
Friday, November 9, 2018 at 8pm; $45-$100

Joshua Redman: Still Dreaming
Saturday, November 10, 2018 at 8pm; $50-$105

Django Festival All-Stars
Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 8pm; $40-$95

Bramwell Tovey conducts the Royal Conservatory Orchestra
Friday, November 23, 2018 at 8pm; $25-$55

Gabriela Montero
Sunday, November 25, 2018 at 3pm; $35-$85

Jane Bunnett and Maqueque
Friday, November 30, 2018 at 8pm; $40-$90

Marcus Roberts
Saturday, December 1, 2018 at 8pm; $45-$100

Paquito D’Rivera with the Harlem Quartet  
Friday, December 7, 2018 at 8pm; $45- $95

The King’s Singers 50th Anniversary
Sunday, December 16, 2018 at 8pm; $45-$95

Nicola Benedetti with Alexei Grynyuk
Friday, January 25, 2019 at 8pm; $40-$90

Charles Richard-Hamelin
Sunday, February 3, 2019 at 3pm; $35-$85

Johannes Debus conducts the Royal Conservatory Orchestra
Friday, February 8, 2019 at 8pm; $25-$55

Hilario Durán and his Latin Jazz Big Band
Saturday, February 9, 2019 at 8pm; $50-$100

John Pizzarelli and Freddy Cole
Thursday, February 14, 2019 at 8pm; $55-$125

Jan Lisiecki
Sunday, March 3, 2019 at 3pm; $55-$120

Roby Lakatos
Friday, April 5, 2019 at 8pm; $45-$90

Vienna Boys Choir
Saturday, April 6, 2019 at 3pm; $40-$95

Richard Goode
Sunday, April 7, 2019 at 3pm; $50-$110

Yuja Wang and Gautier Capuçon
Saturday, April 13, 2019 at 8pm; $60-$120

Royal Conservatory Orchestra
Friday, April 26, 2019 at 8pm; $25-$55

Murray Perahia
Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at 8pm; $55-$120

Art of Time Ensemble: Doghouse Roses
Friday, May 3, 2019 at 8pm; $35-$90

Robi Botos
Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 8pm; $35-$85

Luca Pisaroni and Thomas Hampson: No Tenors Allowed
Sunday, May 19, 2019 at 7pm; $55-$115


Subscriptions on sale on Friday, January 26, 2018 at 10am 
Single tickets go on sale on Friday, February 2, 2018 at 10am


Tickets start at $25
All advertised prices include service charge and 13% HST

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All concerts take place at The Royal Conservatory
TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto

Tickets and subscriptions are available online at www.performance.rcmusic.ca, 
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The Royal Conservatory of Music is one of the largest and most respected music and arts 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.com.