Team of two Titans Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
A sold-out audience on Friday night was treated to an extraordinary concert at the First Unitarian Church, and presented by the Caskey School of Music. Francois & Katherine Verschaeve generously sponsored Valerie Tryon and Alexei Gulenco in a program of three pieces for two pianos. Tryon was a British prodigy who gave her first full concert at age 14.  Later she studied inFrance before coming toCanada in 1971.  She was Artist-in-Residence and an Associate Professor at McMaster University until ‘retiring’ to her current concert schedule.  Gulenco began his piano studies in Moldova, then the Netherlands and the USA.  He came toHamilton in 2008 where he is on the faculty atMcMasterUniversity andWilfredLaurierUniversity.   Both of these artists have won numerous prestigious awards.

soloists GULENCO & TRYON



Brott Festival opening …O.M.G.! Reply

Review by Tony Kilgannon

The tyrannical overlords at the Ontario Arts Review are expecting a 500- word critique of the opening concert of the 2012 Brott Music Festival, but I can do it in 3 letters; OMG.  Happily, it’s not necessary to be that brief.  Everything about this concert was just about perfect.  The venue was St. Christopher’s Anglican Church in Burlington. When we arrived, there was plenty of free parking, and the building was very welcoming (when one has been to a lot of folk and rock concerts, these are notthings taken for granted!)

guest soloist Martin Beaver


TITANIC, The Musical 3

Review by Sharon Letovsky

Not a musical version of the popular Oscar-winning film; this show is based on real people and events. It launched on Broadway in April 1997, played 830 performances and won four Tony awards.  It has been translated and performed successfully around the world.  That being said, it is not an easy undertaking for any production company, because the show itself has the potential to be a crashing bore! 


Almost all of the songs are ballads. There is only one dance number and there is no strong side-story-line to give the tragic disaster more life.  That is why writers of the film added the fictional Jack & Rose.


HOMEMADE FUSION, plot–no; theme–definitely! 1

Review by Danny Gaisin
Bryce Declan’s HOMEMADE FUSION may be plot-less and set-less but it is a fascinating and definitely challenging undertaking by the half-dozen singer/actors who are staging it at Hamilton’s STAIRCASE THEATRE. The fourteen episodic songs deal with relationships and emotions…all are presentationally demanding. The compositions radically change key and the prose/poetry lyrics rarely scan. Yet the whole effort succeeds.

Cast of HOMEMADE FUSION (& Gab Sid -piano}


Jesus; from a Jew/Gentile assessment 1

Review by Danny Gaisin

Hamilton’s WESTDALE UNITED CHURCH obviously concerns itself with its parishioners but also obliges the wider community…not to proselytize but to educate and enlighten. Its ‘Distinguished Visiting Speaker’ program attracts the most creative minds; even some that are not so-called mainstream. Last night’s guest was Rabbi Emeritus, Bernard Baskin who iterated for the five hundred audience, a thought-provoking yet factual elucidation of where; who and what Jesus stands for or really was to both his original people (us Jews); his early followers & apostles; and today’s one billion plus religionists.

Baskin knows his history and whatever facts are actually verifiable. Judaism, Christianity & even Islam share the same early history books, i.e. the Old Testament. More…

“For the Love of Music”…5 @ the 1st 1

Review by Judith Caldwell

The final concert in the 5 at The First series for the 2011/12 season was entitled ‘For the Love of Music’ and featured a truly unusual combination of instruments: –  Rachel Mercer on cello; Joseph Phillips on double bass and sitarist Anwar Khurshid;  a rare concert indeed.   The afternoon began with Rachel and Joe playing Duet in D major by Rossini, a truly gorgeous piece of music in three movements.  It began with an allegro that was so playful and so much fun that the audience could not resist laughing and applauding at the end of it. This was followed by a rich, complex andante molto with lovely long melody lines that invited one into the experience. More…