Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 8/1/2020 (185 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Welcome to a shiny new year — and decade — with even more world-class concerts coming your way, courtesy of Winnipeg’s tireless musicians and arts groups.
Here is a baker’s dozen of shows that have caught my eye, listed in chronological order. Beethoven lovers, take note: there are programs aplenty celebrating the 250th anniversary of the revolutionary composer’s birth being marked worldwide all year long.
● The Winnipeg Chamber Music Society gets the party started with A Beethoven Celebration, featuring the society’s co-founders, violinist Gwen Hoebig and pianist/artistic director David Moroz. The duo will perform Beethoven’s final two sonatas for violin and piano, No. 10 in G major, Op. 96, and No. 9 in A major, Op. 46, Sunday, 7:30 p.m. at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. More information at wcms.mb.ca.
● It’s back! The 2020 Winnipeg New Music Festival, led by Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra maestro and festival artistic director Daniel Raiskin, kicks off with Fire and Blood on Saturday, Jan. 25, at 7:30 p.m. at the Centennial Concert Hall. The festival, co-curated by Raiskin and WSO composer-in-residence Harry Stafylakis, runs nightly through Friday, Jan. 31. This year’s lineup features works by distinguished guest composers Michael Daugherty and Sarah Kirkland Snider. Check out wnmf.ca for the full lineup.
● The Westminster Concert Organ Series presents Canadian pipe organist Jean-Willy Kunz — the first organist-in-residence for the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal — at Westminster United Church on Sunday, Feb. 9, at 2:30 p.m. The program includes works by J.S. Bach, Liszt, Messiaen and Verne, as well as Kunz’s own transcription of Saint-Saëns’s The Carnival of the Animals with narration by Bill Richardson. Visit wfp.to/westminster for more details.
● The Manitoba Chamber Orchestra has long boasted an enviable track record of presenting stellar artists in an up-close-and-personal setting at the intimate Westminster United Church. Don’t miss hearing two of Canada’s own: cellist Ariel Barnes, who will perform the world première of Marcus Goddard’s Cello Concerto, on Wednesday, Feb. 12; and later this spring, Armenian-born soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian performing her own musical pastiche, Queen of Armenia, comprising opera arias inspired by the "other" Cleopatra, on Tuesday, June 9. Both programs begin at 7:30 p.m. See themco.ca for more details.
● Call this one wine, women, and song – and Canzona, the baroque choir led by Kathleen Allan, sets hearts aflutter with Canzoni d'Amore, an evening of Italian love songs by 18th-century female composers, as well as arrangements of baroque songs penned by three contemporary Canadian female composers. The show, in collaboration with the WSO, will be held at the Fort Garry Hotel on Sunday, March 1, 7:30 p.m. Visit canzona.ca for further info.
● Buckle up for more Beethoven: the Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir, led by Yuri Klaz and accompanied by the WSO, performs Happy 250th, Ludwig! featuring Beethoven’s Mass in C on Sunday, March 22, at 3 p.m. at the St. Boniface Cathedral. Guest soloists include: soprano Sarah Jo Kirsch; alto Kirsten Schellenberg; tenor James McLennan; and bass Justin Welsh. The epic work, not heard in Winnipeg for at least a decade, will be paired with Dvořák’s celebratory Te Deum. Visit thephil.ca for details.
● Everyone loves a femme fatale and Manitoba Opera fills the bill with an all-new, fiery production of Bizet’s Carmen, starring French-Canadian mezzo-soprano Nora Sourouzian in the title role. Tickets are already going fast, with three performances of the Spanish-infused tragedy, considered the most popular opera of all time, being offered at the Centennial Concert Hall on March 28, 31, and April 3. For tickets and info, visit mbopera.ca.
● It always feels like cause for celebration when sublime English cellist Colin Carr comes to town. The beloved soloist, joined by collaborative pianist Thomas Sauer, delivers Part I of Beethoven’s complete solo cello works with Virtuosi Concerts on Saturday, April 4, 7:30 p.m. Part II is scheduled for the fall. The concert, being held at University of Winnipeg’s Eckhardt Gramatté Hall, highlights three Beethoven cello sonatas and rounds out with Variations on Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen. Visit www.virtuosi.mb.ca for tickets.
● GroundSwell pays homage to one of its original co-founders, Canadian composer/pianist Diana McIntosh, who retires from her position as co-artistic director at the end of this year. The retrospective evening takes place at the Winnipeg Art Gallery on Sunday, April 19, 7 p.m. and the price is right — free. Check out gswell.ca for more details.
● Polycoro Chamber Choir shakes things up with Quake, on Wednesday, April 22, at 7 p.m. at St. John's Cathedral. France's Ensemble Nonpariel, the guest ensemble, marks its Winnipeg debut with the collaborative program, featuring Antoine Brumel's groundbreaking Earthquake Mass, described as "one of the most breathtaking outbursts of the Renaissance imagination," as well as music by Tavener, and Winnipeg's Andrew Balfour. Three concerts included with one ticket: ENP + Polycoro, 7 p.m.; Musical Scavenger Hunt, 8 p.m.; and ENP at 9 p.m. Visit polycoro.ca for tickets and more info.
● Catch a sneak peek of one of the programs the WSO will present during its historic tour of the Netherlands this May. The Winnipeg Singers, also led by Klaz, join forces with the Philharmonic Choir and WSO in works commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands by Canadian troops. Highlights include Beethoven’s famous Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67, with the pair of weekend concerts offered Friday, April 24, and Saturday, April 25, at 8 p.m. at the Centennial Concert Hall. Visit winnipegsingers.com or wso.ca for tickets.
● The Women’s Musical Club of Winnipeg wraps up its 125th anniversary season with Canadian tenor Adam Luther, accompanied by Winnipeg-based pianist Madeline Hildebrand, who is pursuing a doctorate of musical arts in piano performance at New York’s Stony Brook University on Sunday, April 26, at 2 p.m. at the WAG. Another can’t-miss concert is the biennial WMC McLellan Competition for Solo Performance with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, with the finals led by Daniel Raiskin, slated for Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute’s Jubilee Place on Wednesday, April 15, at 7:30 p.m. Or cheer on your favourite performer during the semifinals on Saturday, Feb. 15, beginning at 9 a.m. at Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall. For tickets and more details, visit womensmusicalclubofwpg.ca.
● Finally, Camerata Nova performs Captive, the third program in its ongoing series of Truth and Reconciliation concerts. Two performances under the baton of Mel Braun will be presented at the Neeginan Centre (181 Higgins Ave.) on Saturday, May 9, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 10, at 3 p.m., featuring new works on the theme of "captivity" by Indigenous composers and performers, including founding artistic director Andrew Balfour. For more info, visit cameratanova.com/16.
As usual, this is only the tip of the iceberg, with much, much more to come. If you need more, the listed websites offer a treasure trove of additional options with something for everyone. So bundle up and support live music — it matters!
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Updated on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 at 5:31 PM CST: Makes minor change.