Classical Music Club Toronto

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

25th Season
Silver Anniversary

Beethoven: “Emperor” Concerto

This programme has been CANCELLED.



Elektra - Live!

Scene from Electra

Ever since its première over a century ago in 1909. Richard Strauss”s Elektra has excited and shocked its audience through a combination of cutting-edge, shattering music and over-the-top drama. A number of recent recordings (both video and audio) of live performances have approached this work from very different viewpoints, each trying to outdo the other. The program will examine excerpts from contrasting recordings which we hope will stimulate an interesting discussion on a work which continues to astonish after all these years.



Pinchas & the Concerto (Program 1)

What better way to experience some of the greatest music ever written for the violin than through the ears of one of the finest violinists of our time! Join Maestro Pinchas Zukerman, musical director of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa and CBC Radio Two host Eric Friesen for 10 hours of conversation, in studio demonstrations and recordings

In this series of five programs, each program will feature two one-hour presentations. In Program 1 we will hear 'The Building Blocks to Greatness', music by Vivaldi, Bach and Mozart, then after the break, the Bruch Concerto No. 1 and Scottish Fantasy.

Pinchas Zukerman and Eric Friesen

As I sat, hour after hour, with Pinchas Zukerman and his Guarnerius del Gesu fiddle, I was overwhelmed by his generosity in revealing to us a lifetime spent with the great violin concertos and admitting us to the inner circle of the great interpreters of the 20th century. These conversations reveal the real Pinchas; billiant, funny, passionate, honest, humble in the presence of other greatness and as always, the finest player of his generation.
- Eric Friesen



Conductors Series: Gustavo Dudamel

Gustavo Dudamel

Gustavo Dudamel (b. 1981) has taken the classical music world by storm, first through his outstanding work as artistic director of the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar in Caracas, Venezuela and then more recently as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Himself a product of the famous Venezuelan musical education program El Sistema, he successfully won prestigious conducting competitions attracting the attention of conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle and Claudio Abbado, both of whom accepted invitations to conduct the Simón Bolívar Orchestra in Venezuela.

Dudamel began his tenure as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in September 2009. He conducted his official inaugural concert featuring the world premiere of John Adams' “City Noir” and Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 with his new orchestra in Walt Disney Concert Hall on October 8.

In the program we will have the opportunity to see this dynamic and charismatic young conductor in his inaugural concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as well as with renowned tenor Juan Diego Florez. Also featured will be the Simón Bolívar Orchestra in Venezuela performing Mahler’s Fifth Symphony.



Christmas Party

Each year, the Classical Music Club Toronto holds a Christmas party for members and their guests. We hold the party to a FRIDAY night because Saturdays in December tend to be fully booked for many of the Classical Music Club Toronto members.

Details of location and how to RSVP are provided to members via electronic or traditional mail. This is a 'Pot Luck' party. To avoid duplicates, in your RSVP indicate the food you intend to bring. Your friends are welcome. Please bring your own drinks.

ANNUAL CD EXCHANGE: Please wrap a CD you would like to share with other members.



Mozart: Requiem

K626 Requiem - Introit

The Classical Music Club will be entering into a friendly competition with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra when both will be presenting Mozart’s Requiem in 2012. For the session on Sunday January 15, the CMC has assembled a stellar cast:

Arleen AugerCelilia BartoliVinson ColeRene Pape

  • Arleen Auger, Cecilia Bartoli, Vinson Cole and Rene Pape
  • Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor
  • Winener Philharmoniker
  • And by special invitation, Sir Georg Solti
  • The setting is Vienna’s magnificent St Stephen’s Cathedral

St. Stephen's Cathedral, ViennaSir Georg Solti

Time permitting, there will also be a bonus presentation on the story behind the Requiem.

To familiarise yourself with the Requiem, the motion picture Amadeus will be an interesting watch prior to attending this CMC session.


Sun Jan 29 2:00

Pinchas & the Concerto (Program 2)

In this series of five programs, each program will feature two one-hour presentations. In the first half of Program 2 we will hear the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D Major, Opus 35. First movement by Pinchas Zukerman / Bavarian, second movement by Pinchas Zukerman / Israel, third movement by Gil Shaham / National Arts Centre and third movement by Pinchas Zucherman / London Symphony.

Pinchas Zukerman and Eric Friesen

After the break, the Bartok Violin Concerto No. 2. The first movement (opening) will be by Zoltan Szekely / Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the first movement complete by Pinchas Zukerman / St. Louis, second movement by Isaac Stern / New York, finale (alternate ending) by Pinchas Zukerman / St. Louis, finale by Pinchas Zuckerman / St. Louis.


Sun Feb 19 2:00

Anniversary Celebration: Delius & Debussy

The year 2012 is an opportunity for us to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the births of two celebrated 20th-century composers: Claude Debussy and Frederick Delius. Both are masters of the late-Romantic orchestral style but are also noted for their work in smaller forms, such as piano solos and songs. Although Debussy’s music is performed more often in concerts and recitals these days, there is a case to be made for experiencing the rarely heard lush, chromatic world of Delius. The program will be in two parts with each composer being showcased separately.


Sun Mar 18 2:00

Manon: Fleming, Netrebko, Dessay

Three of the greatest singers of the current day — Renee Fleming, Anna Netrebko, and Natalie Dessay — will be profiled in this program. Manon (in the 1884 work of Jules Massenet) has been a signature role for all these superstar sopranos and outstanding DVDs were recorded for every one of them. Exciting and colourful opera settings enable each singer’s artistic characters to be fully demonstrated.


Sun Apr 15 2:00

True & Real Opera Heroines

In this programme I will present a couple of feminine characters who, even though they are not the ostensible focus of the opera, are its most compelling and interesting characters; they are the true and real heroines. The first character is the Countess from Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. Although a secondary figure in the drama, she undergoes the most profound character and musical transformation. The other figure I’ll present is Brünnhilde in Wagner’s Ring Cycle. Although she is the title character in one of the operas of the cycle, she plays a key role in Götterdämmerung, the last opera of the Ring, which ostensibly concentrates on the character of Siegfried. However, it is Brünnhilde who turns out to be the “free agent” who does the right things and puts right Wotan’s wrongs, and it is she who, through courage, elicits the most sympathy.


Sun May 13 2:00

Brahms: Symphony No. 2

Composed in the summer of 1877, the creation of Brahms’ Second Symphony was surprisingly short when compared with the fifteen years he laboured over his First Symphony.

Often compared to Beethoven’s 6th Symphony, the 2nd Symphony conjures up the lyric beauty of nature while adhering to the strict structural requirements of sonata form throughout each of the four movements.

The melodies are all derived from a small number of themes which are structured into a complex network of counterpoint. The beauty of the musical motifs keeps the complexity from becoming bewildering while the complexity ensures that the melodies are not merely pretty.

In the program we will have the opportunity to sample a selection of video and audio performances.


Sat Jun 16 7:00

Slavic String Quartets

String Quartet Instruments

The string quartet originated in Italy from the baroque Trio Sonata and it arose to prominence with the work of Haydn. Ever since Haydn’s day, the string quartet has been prestigious and considered a true test of the composer’s art, but until the second half of the 19th century the popularity of this musical form was limited to the German-speaking realm. As “national schools” of music started to evolve in the late 19th century the string quartet was taken up with enthusiasm by composers all over Europe, especially in the Slavic countries who gave the string quartet a very distinctive musical flavour and developed it in very original ways, especially in the 20th century. This program will present selections from string quartets by Czech and Russian composers.


Sat Jul 21 7:00

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 11

Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 11 in G minor, Op. 103 is subtitled “The Year 1905”, a reference to the events of the Russian Revolution of 1905. Composed in four movements which are performed without a break, the symphony describes the massacre which occurred on January 22, 1905 in Saint Petersburg. The final two movements consist of a lament for the victims of violence and a call to arms against tyranny. A special feature in the composition is the nine revolutionary songs which act as a thematic thread.

I was introduced to this work during the early days of the Classical Music Club and can still clearly remember that Sunday afternoon. At that time, I knew very little about Shostakovich and was completely overwhelmed by the power of this work. It has since become a favourite and I have many recordings by some of the great conductors of the 20th century.

The first part of the program will consist of several other works by Shostakovich followed by a brief movement-by-movement discussion of the main work. A complete recording of the symphony will complete the program.


Sat Aug 11 7:00



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Last Updated: Sunday October 1, 2023 at 1:55 pm