Classical Music Club Toronto

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

29th Season
Sun Sep 13 2:00

Vaughan Williams: Sea Symphony

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872—1958) is generally considered to be the successor in the line of British symphonic composers begun by William Boyce (1710—79) and continued through Sir Edward Elgar (1857—1934). In all, Vaughan Williams composed nine works in this genre with his first, known as “A Sea Symphony”, regarded as one of the most important works in both the symphonic and choral tradition of the UK. Composed in 1909 and employing a large orchestra as well as full four-part chorus, small chorus, and two soloists (soprano and baritone), the work is a setting of various poems by the American poet Walt Whitman on the theme of the sea in all its many moods. The opening movement is a salute to “sailors of all nations” and begins with a bracing representation of the power of the ocean. A nocturne forms the second movement in which the baritone sings of his loneliness on the beach alone at night and of his awe at the power of creation. The third movement is an excited scherzo depicting the waves at play and is scored for chorus and orchestra alone. The final extended movement begins with the moment of creation and ends with a vision of an individual and his soul (represented by the baritone and soprano soloists) metaphorically sailing off into the vast ocean representing God’s immensity.

There are a number of famous recordings of this piece and we will sample several of these interpretations in the first half of the program followed by a full performance in the second.


Sun Oct 11 2:00

Bach Collegium Japan

Masaaki Suzuki is a Japanese organist, harpsichordist and conductor, and the founder and musical director of the Bach Collegium Japan. He was born in Kobe to parents who were both Christians and amateur musicians. Masaaki Suzuki began playing organ professionally at church services at the age of 12. He earned degrees in composition and organ at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, then earned Soloist Diplomas at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam, where he studied harpsichord and organ with Ton Koopman and Piet Kee and improvisation with Klaas Bolt.

From 1981 to 1983 he was a harpsichord instructor at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Duisburg, Germany. In 1983 he returned to Japan, where he began teaching at Kobe Shoin Women's University. In 1990 he founded Bach Collegium Japan, composed of an orchestra and a chorus specializing in Baroque music, playing on period instruments. The group began giving concerts regularly in 1992, and made its first recordings three years later, when they began recording Bach's complete cantatas for the Swedish label BIS Records. They completed the 55-volume series of church cantatas in 2013.


Sun Nov 8 2:00

Peter Jablonski, Pianist

Peter Jablonski was born in Lyckeby, Sweden to a Polish father and Swedish mother and studied percussion and piano at Malmö Conservatory from 1982 to 1986. At the age of nine he performed as a drummer at the Village Vanguard Jazz Club in New York. He debuted as a pianist in Sweden at the age of 12, with Mozart Concerto No. 17 K 453. In 1989 he moved to the United Kingdom, where he studied composition, conducting and piano at the Royal College of Music in London. Signed to Decca Records in 1991, he made his debuts at Washington's Kennedy Center in 1992 and at London's Royal Festival Hall in 1993. In 2008 he made his conducting debut with the Cracow Philharmonic.

The Washington Post wrote about Jablonski: “It may happen once a season or once in a lifetime. Along comes a talent, not merely your run-of-the-mill virtuoso, but someone, something extraordinary that makes you rethink a piece of music you thought you’ve known forever.” A man of many talents makes his relatively late-blooming Toronto debut. Our program traces the remarkable development and maturity of his artistry.

Peter Jablonski is performing in Toronto.


Sun Dec 11 7:00

Festive Season Party

Sun Jan 24 2:00

French Symphonies


Sun Feb 14 2:00



Camille Saint-Saëns (1835–1921) was one of those composers whose long creative life spanned a number of periods of classical music. In addition to his composing career he was also an accomplished organist, conductor and pianist. His compositions are in almost every genre: orchestral, operatic, chamber, song, and even an early film score from 1908! As a teacher he numbered Maurice Ravel and Gabriel Fauré among his distinguished students.

The focus of the program will be on his five piano concertos but we will also have the opportunity to enjoy excerpts from his other works.

Sun Mar 20 2:00

Bach: Goldberg Variations

Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations attracts so many keyboard players. For many contemporary pianists the Goldberg is a challenging recording project which can be considered as an artistic statement or an evening of live performance demanding tremendous strength and technique as well as structural insight. After its publication in 1742, the Goldberg has been long forgotten until the 20th century. Alongside Wanda Landowska, Glenn Gould should be remembered as the torchbearer in the establishment of the current status of this masterpiece. Music lovers in Toronto can appreciate a local bond when we see the opening bars of the Aria theme on Gould’s tombstone in Mount Pleasant Cemetery.

On the occasion of this precious live performance opportunity in a few weeks in Toronto, our presentation lights up not only the harpsichord and piano, but also includes arrangements beyond solo keyboard, such as a two-piano version and one for string ensemble. Bach’s spectacular universe of sound experiment contains limitless possibilities.

Bach’s showpiece is performed live in Toronto
by French harpsichordist Benjamin Alard:
Thu Mar 31, Fri Apr 1, Sat Apr 2, 2016 at 8pm,
Sun Apr 3 at 3:30pm at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre
Tue Apr 5, 2016 at 8pm George Weston Recital Hall


Sun Apr 24 2:00

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 13 “Babi Yar”



Sun May 22 2:00

Strauss: Alpine Symphony



Summer Season

Please note that summer programs are Saturdays at 7:00 P.M.

Sat Jun 18 7:00

French Symphonies

We are pleased to present this program which was postponed from January 24. While not as rich a source as that of other European countries, the French symphonic tradition yields many unexpected treasures. Our program will explore the more familiar examples such as Saint-Saëns and Franck but also works by Bizet, Roussel, and Gounod. There is a wonderful variety of delightful surprises in store.


Sat Jul 9 7:00

Bayreuth Wagner Festival

In 2007, Toshi and I were lucky enough to secure tickets to the Bayreuth Festival and an unforgettable opportunity to see the Ring Cycle there. After ten years of unsuccessfully applying, the opera gods again smiled on us and we were able to get tickets to three performances in early August. In addition, we managed to get tickets to Die Meistersinger in Munich the weekend before. We are pleased to share with you video and audio excerpts from the four operas we will be seeing — Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Der fliegende Holländer, Tristan und Isolde, and Parsifal. Join and help us in preparation for the Wagner Expedition 2016!


Sat Aug 20 7:00


Welcome to our annual opportunity for members to participate without the requirement of planning an entire program. Just bring along CD or DVD selections that you’d like to share with other club members (up to about 10-15 minutes in length). Here’s a chance to go through your collection, make some discoveries (or rediscoveries), and bring them along to the meeting. This will be an opportunity to update ourselves about the most recent recordings (especially important in a time when classical music releases seem to be fewer and fewer every month) and to get to know each CMC member’s musical passion.


Past Years:

Last Updated: Sunday October 1, 2023 at 1:48 pm