It’s hard to believe that at the moment of writing this (June 28), with this July/August combined issue not yet on the street, another edition of Luminato has already roared through town and the TD Toronto Jazz festival is nearly half over. David Pecaut (formerly Metro Square) has had its new musical tires well and truly kicked. Looks like the new square in town might have some staying power as a musical place.
Equally hard to believe, when our next issue hits the street August 31 (after a very well earned break, I might add), we’ll still be three days away from one last urban musical party of the summer — the annual ten hour New Music Marathon at Yonge-Dundas Square. The event is the brainchild of CONTACT Contemporary Music’s Jerry Pergolesi, and you’ll find us (The WholeNote) among the groups there, first issue of the regular season already in hand to give away. It is impossible to imagine that we will be as tired and grumpy then as we are right now, at the end of a gruelling year. So drop by for a chat, and stay for a while to let your ears be surprised by something new.
Speaking of venues, it’s fascinating to watch how thoroughly and rapidly Koerner Hall at the Royal Conservatory’s Telus Centre has woven itself into the fabric of the city’s musical life. Partly it has to do with the Hall’s own concert series, with Mervon Mehta wielding his curatorial baton with extraordinary deftness. And partly it has to do with the range and quality of the existing musical organizations that have recognized the Hall’s potential and stepped forward to rent it, providing the Hall with a consistently high calibre of musical occupancy. TD Jazz and Luminato are the two most recent cases in point. But the venue now features significantly in the plans of literally dozens of other ensembles eager to carry what they do to a new level. Some test the waters with one-off galas. Some plan one larger scale concert for Koerner in their season. Some take the plunge and risk all, as Esprit Orchestra did last season, and will do again this year.
One that has been interesting to watch is Toronto Summer Music which was incubated (as so many other initiatives have been over the years) in the U of T’s Faculty of Music, just a stone’s throw down Philosopher’s Walk from Koerner. Last year, by my count, TSM had three concerts at Koerner, this year, eight.
Now if the powers that be at the RC would just find a way to let The WholeNote back into the Telus Centre. It’s something to do with free publications not fitting their brand. Then students at the RC aspiring to the heights of musical glory displayed on the Koerner’s stage could also be reminded, daily, of the thousands of opportunities this town affords to work incrementally towards their dreams.
From all of us to all of you, our wishes for a restorative and musically adventurous summer, wherever you may find yourselves.