The Amici Chamber Ensemble celebrates its 30th anniversary with a special concert featuring exquisite soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian and Friends.
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Grammy Award-winning Canadian baritone “[Gerald] Finley possesses a warm, glowing baritone with a generous low range and silken top notes, as well as a knack for spinning out long and smooth legato lines. But just as important, he is an intelligent and committed actor.” (The New York Times)
Having received multiple Gramophone Awards with British pianist Julius Drake for their recordings, the artists return to Koerner Hall to perform works by Schubert, Rachmaninov, Beethoven, as well as American and English folk songs.
Iconic South African jazz instrumentalists reunite and perform on the same stage after almost 60 years – they last appeared together in 1960 at the State Theatre in Pretoria during the country’s first Freedom Day celebrations.
Dashing, dapper, and debonair, Max Raabe might have walked straight out of the Golden Age of Berlin in the 1920s. With his elegant poise, suave sophistication, and silky-smooth baritone voice, he brings to life the songs and style of a bygone age. “The appeal is the timeless quality in the music, but also the humour,” he says. He meticulously recreates standards as they used to be sung – in formal evening wear, with an orchestra, giving proper credits to the composers – and his deadpan jokes show that Raabe is not only a unique talent but also a very funny man.
Take a blustery brass lineup, layer it over a rhythm section led by a Fats Waller-style stride-piano virtuoso, and tie the whole thing together with singer “Miz Elizabeth” Bougerol, a magnetic, one-of-the-boys frontwoman whose voice recalls another era, and you have the Hot Sardines.
Ukrainian “ethnic chaos” band DakhaBrakha’s concerts are truly a one of a kind experience, blending Ukrainian harmonies, surprising instrumentation, and theatrical flourishes. “The creative quartet from Kiev, Ukraine, makes music that sounds like nothing I’ve ever heard, with strands of everything I’ve ever heard... they play tight-knit tunes featuring accordion, drums, reeds and shakers while wearing tall, Marge Simpson looking wool hats that made me jealous.” (NPR)
Fatoumata Diawara draws elements of jazz and funk into an exquisitely contemporary folk sound – refracting the rocking rhythms and plaintive melodies of her ancestral Wassoulou tradition through an instinctive pop sensibility. Fatou’s warm voice and rhythmical guitar playing is centre stage following a set by 2017 Juno Award-winning group Okavango.
Italian pianist Beatrice Rana came to public attention in 2011 after winning First Prize and all special jury prizes at the Montreal International Competition. Her very promising career was brought to an even higher level in 2013 when she won the Silver Medal and the Audience Award at the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. In September 2015, she was named a BBC New Generation Artist and, in April 2016, she was awarded a fellowship from the Borletti-Buitoni Trust. She will perform works by Schumann, Ravel, and Stravinsky.
KUNÉ (“together” in Esperanto) features top-notch musicians originally from all over the globe who have been brought together by The Royal Conservatory to create an ensemble that looks and sounds like Canada today. At this special concert, KUNÉ launches their debut, self-titled recording with Universal Music.
The second part of the evening features Juno award-winning trumpeter and composer, David Buchbinder, and Grammy Award nominated Cuban piano master, Hilario Durán, with their band, Odessa/Havana. – I changed “are joined” as they are not performing together.
This concert will be a joyful celebration of Leonard Bernstein, conductor of the New York Philharmonic, lecturer, and composer of scores for West Side Story, On the Town, and other popular musicals, on the occasion of his centenary.
German pianist Sebastian Knauer “manages to give such an impression of spontaneity that he never seems to cover the same ground twice.” (The Times)