Nagata Shachu's 2010 performance in the Free Concert Series.
Are you finding it difficult to choose from all the exciting concerts featured in the Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre this fall? We understand! With 14 wildly diverse concerts, ranging from classical recitals, to swinging jazz, to heart-pounding percussion ensembles, the choices seem endless. To help you out, we've highlighted six of the must-see concerts in September and October.
Thursday, September 26, 2013 - 12 p.m. - Artists of the COC Ensemble Studio & Simone Osborne - Meet the Young Artists
The season begins with a special performance dedicated to the COC's former General Director Lotfi Mansouri, who passed away in August. His legacy lives on through the vibrant young artists in the program he created 33 years ago. In addition to the current Ensemble Studio members introducing themselves with their favourite arias, the concert features a special guest appearance by Ensemble Studio graduate Simone Osborne, our Musetta in La Bohème. Be sure to arrive early, as this concert is always a popular one.
Can't make it this time? Artists of the Ensemble Studio next perform on Wednesday, October 9, in a tribute to Benjamin Britten.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 12 p.m. - Morgan Childs Quartet - Swinging on a Star
A formidable force at the vanguard of the Canadian jazz scene, drummer Morgan Childs leads a dream team quartet consisting of award-winning saxophonist Kelly Jefferson, former Boss Brass pianist Dave Restivo, and one of Toronto’s hottest bassists, Jon Maharaj. Their playful mix of standards and original tunes embrace the romanticism and swing of yesteryear, while showcasing the exuberant edge and modern groove of the new generation. Watch this exciting new ensemble perform in the clip below.
Thursday, October 3, 2013 - 12 p.m. - Hank Knox - Have Harpsichord, Will Travel
Montreal-based harpsichordist Hank Knox bridges the gap between the study of early music on historic instruments and the vibrant, contemporary culture of our day. The culmination of his harpsichord road trip across the Prairies, Knox stops off in Toronto for a sparkling program of musical gems by Byrd, Frescobaldi, Rameau, Geminiani and Bach. He describes his passion for early music and the harpsichord in the video below.
Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 12 p.m. - Nagata Shachu - Hibiki! Echoes of Japan
Celebrating their 15th season, internationally acclaimed taiko ensemble Nagata Shachu returns to the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre with an unforgettable hour of exhilarating and evocative music. From the thrilling assault of an arsenal of taiko drums to the mesmerizing melodies of bamboo flutes and traditional Japanese stringed instruments, Nagata Shachu masterfully combines unbounded spirit and passion with the highest levels of musicianship and discipline. Check out the video below for a preview.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - 12 p.m. - Robert Pomakov and The Gryphon Trio - Celebrating the Bard of the Ukraine
Canadian bass Robert Pomakov (performing on the mainstage in Peter Grimes) joins the acclaimed Gryphon Trio for the world premiere of a newly commissioned work by Ukrainian composer Bohdana Frolyak, based on a text by the legendary 19th-century Ukrainian poet and painter, Taras Shevchenko, and the performance of works by Glinka, Tchaikovsky and Ibert.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 12 p.m. - Artists of the COC Orchestra - Britten@100
Artists of the COC Orchestra (Aya Miyagawa and Ashley Vandiver, violins; Joshua Greenlaw, viola; Alastair Eng, cello; Mark Rogers, oboe) celebrate the centenary of Benjamin Britten's birth with two of the composer’s most compelling chamber works: the rarely heard Phantasy Quartet, an early work showcasing Britten's fondness for the oboe, and the powerful and emotionally charged String Quartet No. 2 in C Major.
The Free Concert Series presents weekly performances in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre from September until June. Click here for a full list of all of our performances, and follow the Free Concert Series on Facebook for weekly images and images.
Photo Credits: All photos by Chris Hutcheson unless otherwise noted. (top) Nagata Shachu, 2010; (middle) Artists of the COC Ensemble Studio; (middle) Robert Pomakov and The Gryphon Trio, 2011. Photo: Karen Reeves; (bottom) Artists of the COC Orchestra, 2012.
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Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001