Winter is coming… and so is the TBSO! Reply

By Sylvie Di Leonardo
Hey, Northerners [Norwesters?]; are you looking for music that hits a little closer to home? The TBSO has you covered. Each year, the musicians of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra set out on two regional tours, to bring as much music as possible to as many people as possible. This year’s tour, thoughtfully arranged by TBSO musician and tour manager Damian Rivers-More, will take our new Musical Director, Paul Haas, and Conductor-in-Residence, Simon Rivard, East of the city. This tour herald’s the TBSO’s return to Terrace Bay after many years, and its annual visit to the Pic River First Nation. More…


“Puccini & the H.P.O.”; 2017 Reply

Review by Terry Gaisin
We’re democratic (in the social -non-political way) so we respect folks right to different opinions than ours. This is especially true of opera. Unlike many other ambiguous items, this particular genus seems to elicit, like piano keys, either a black or white response – no grey area. We understand this because opera is more than just listening to music it’s experiencing the entire presentation; sight, sound and ethos. When we attend an in-concert opera performance our minds recall the whole libretto, the rationale and the scenario behind each presented aria. Non-aficionados may thus not appreciate the piece as part of an entirety.

Benedikt & Jackson interpreting “O Soave Fanciulla” from La Boheme


“The Toronto Consort”; guests of Hammer Baroque Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
The term ‘baroque’ is defined as irregular or imperfect, but also refers to the 17th to mid 18th century artistic period…especially in music. If not enunciated properly, the meaning refers to impecunious or empty-pocketed…something most of us scribes have suffered! Hamilton’s “Hammer Baroque” organization brought the 45 year-old octet to perform the music and songs associated either directly or contemporary of William Shakespeare’s theatre and England. The group are renowned not only for their vocal & instrumental authenticity, but their making every performance a learning experience – even for the musically enlightened. We, as first-timers were impressed.

The Toronto Consort post-performance in Hamilton.


Voice of the flute – the 5@1st’s opening concert of ’17 Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
The first concert in the 8th season of 5 @ the First series was “The Voice of the Flute” featuring HPO principal flautist Leslie Newman, accompanied by Roman Borys, cello and pianist Jeanie Chung. The afternoon opened with a student of Newman’s – Lisa Han playing Astor Piazzolla’s Tango-Etude #3 for solo flute. This difficult and interesting piece was very well played by Han, but the flute was a slim sounding instrument to convey the passion of tango, although it did marvellously well in the haunting, longing passages. Han is only in Grade 12 and is obviously a musician to watch. 

The ‘Voice of the Flute’ musicians – post-concert


Oakville Chamber Orch’s, “fun & fun(d) raiser” Reply

Review by Terry Gaisin
The OCO has a history of creative ways to attract support and contributions. Even our ARTS REVIEW had the imaginative idea of door prizes that incorporated assisting in the next concert’s critique; a restaurant dinner and an evaluation (always positive) of said eatery. The laminated and mounted article then was hung in the diner’s entryway. It was a desirable prize.
Since relocating to Hamilton, we’ve forsworn the concept, but OCO also has other innovative ideas and an afternoon at Joshua Creek Art gallery for music, food and silent auction was a success.

Leslie Ashworth performing, backed by Linda Ruan


“Russian celebrations”, a superlative HPO evening 1

Review by Danny Gaisin

Once upon a time, there was a thing called a record player. Round vinyl platters could be stacked up, and thus preferent music choices could be enjoyed. The HPO’s director Gemma New somehow was able to select four of this scribe’s favourites. So, if a reader gleans a little bias in the following…please forgive me.
A capriccio is defined as a whimsical or prankish work. Methinks Rimsky-Korsakov interpreted the meaning to emphasize the lighthearted aspect rather than a joke idiom because the work is a pure joy – both to perform and to hear. The H.P.O. gave all its five sections a distinct image

   Chalifour & New performing Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto