Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s tail-less Philadelphia Orchestra come to Koerner Hall on April 21. Photo by Todd Rosenberg.

It’s time I rumble (fussing with the shirt studs and cufflinks) “once again” (muttering while untwisting the back strap on my white vest) “to carp and whine about this ridiculously outmoded uniform requirement!

The occasion? Getting set to join my colleagues in the Hamilton Philharmonic, a fine regional orchestra where I am sometimes called as a substitute. We are to perform music by Mozart, who wrote his beloved Symphony No.40 in G Minor before white tie and tails were a thing, and Richard Strauss, who lived during their rise as formal evening wear.

Read more: It’s Time to Ditch the Tails

April 2013: how time flies. Benjamin Bowman, Andrew Burashko and Rachel Mercer in Art of Time’s live recording of Schubert’s "Piano Trio No. 2 in E Flat Major, iv. Allegro Moderato". Photo by John Lauener.The sheer number of concerts in our listings is impressive enough. Even more impressive is the resonances between seemingly unrelated events once you start to dig a little deeper and start to connect the dots. Take, as an example, Art of Time and Sinfonia Toronto, mainstay ensembles in our midst for almost as long as The WholeNote has been around. Each is in the midst of a silver anniversary, 25th season with the founding artistic directors of both groups (Nurhan Arman and Andrew Burashko) still at the helm of their respective ensembles. Both of them delight in arranging music, and in creative programming, constantly seeking to blend the familiar with the new, introducing top-flight soloists to challenge their ensembles and delight their audiences.

Read more: Connecting the Dots...

Mahani Teave, NPR Tiny Desk Concert, 2021.Here on the island, there’s artistic blood in everybody. I mean, everybody somehow sings and dances and carves and – or plays an instrument. And there’s nothing more natural and more true to the human being than art and music. – Mahani Teave

Mahani Teave [Tay-AH-vay] – who makes her Koerner Hall debut at 3pm on October 1 as part of her first North American tour – is the sole professional pianist on one of the most remote, inhabited islands on Earth, Rapa Nui (Easter Island). There she heads the island’s only music school. She’s living a remarkable story.

Read more: True To The Human Being

Blake Pouliot. Photo by Lauren Hurt.“What strikes you instantly is that Pouliot’s sound is a beauty: big, rich and warm in the lower registers, clean and clear up high, feathery and husky qualities, along with sweet and rough, all equally there in his colouristic palette.” – Gramophone Magazine

Toronto-born violinist Blake Pouliot (pronounced pool-YACHT) brings his passionate music- making to Koerner Hall, where he will make his debut on April 21. Winning the Grand Prize at the 2016 Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal Manulife Competition – the most significant of Pouliot’s early accolades – led to his first recording (for Analekta). His 2019 Juno Award nomination was further evidence of an ascending career path, leading to this much-anticipated Koerner visit. The following email Q&A took place in early March.

Read more: Q & A: Blake Pouliot, violin.
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