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Fundraiser for New Music Concerts: An Evening with Paul Griffiths

Sunday March 1, 2015 at 7 pm
$100/2 for $150 RSVP (food and drinks will be served)
Reservations: 416 961 9594

A unique fundraising event with the famed British critic and author. All proceeds to benefit New Music Concerts.

British music critic, novelist and librettist Paul Griffiths is noted for his writings on contemporary music and for having written the libretti for two 20th century operas, Tan Dun’s Marco Polo and Elliott Carter’s What Next?. He will discuss his collaboration with Carter and other creative endeavours. Tickets $100 (2 for $150) include door prizes, gourmet delights and libations with proceeds to benefit New Music Concerts. A charitable receipt will be issued for the CRA allowable portion.

The Art of the Piano: Martin Soderberg
Frederic Chopin: 24 Etudes

Tuesday March 3, 2015 at 8 pm

“A first class performer....a magnificent interpreter....his Chopin is as beautiful as it is authentic” said the Diario ABC of Madrid after Mr. Soderberg’s performance of the complete Chopin Etudes. Of Swedish-Spanish descent, Mr. Soderberg has been performing since the age of twelve, when he made his recital debut in Las Palmas, Spain. After being awarded the First Prize in the 1985 “Pilar Bayona” International Piano Competition in Zaragoza, Spain, he has concertized extensively in Europe, Central America, South America, the USA, Canada and Asia.

Martin Soderberg was a winner at the 1988 Artists International Auditions in New York and was presented in his New York Recital Debut at Carnegie’s Weill Hall. The New York Times described Mr. Soderberg as a “strong technician who seems to enjoy tapping the energy that lies within the music….he made a stylish account of the Mozart sonata….voicing and textures were attractively transparent and he kept the line moving gracefully….showed considerable skill in bringing the parade of characterizations in Schumann’s Carnaval to life.” In a recent concert at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) the New York Times again described Soderberg’s performance of Spanish Music as “spectacular”, and the Village Voice hailed: “Extraordinary piano playing.” In 1998 he was awarded the “Alumni Award” by Artists International and was invited to perform a recital at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.

Mr. Soderberg appears frequently as a guest soloist with orchestras all over the world. He has performed with conductors such as Zdenek Kosler and Olivier Dohnanyi (Slovak Philharmonic), Irwin Hoffmann (Venezuelan Symphony Orchestra), Enrique Ricci (Orchestra of Guanajuato, Mexico), German Caceres (Orchestra of El Salvador), Max Bragado, Brian Leeper and Hubert Borgel (Orchestra of Gran Canaria, Spain), Juan de Udaeta (Orchestra of Andalucia), Laurine Fox (Orchestra Celebrate in New York), David Gilbert (Manhattan School Philharmonia) Erick Friedmann (FAME Festival Orchestra) and many others.

Martin Soderberg is a graduate from the Manhattan School of Music, where he received a doctorate degree in 1990. He studied under Professor Ubaldo Diaz Acosta in New York City, whom he considers his Master teacher. With him, he learned the principles of the “Relaxation Technique”. He also studied with Solomon Mikowsky, Teresa Alonso, Tomas Andrade, and Juan Antunez. Soderberg has recorded 3 CDs, “Piano Music from Spain”, “Piano Music of Rafael Landestoy” and “The 24 Chopin Etudes” as part of his ongoing recording project “World Piano Collection”.

Recently, Martin Soderberg made his debut in the Philippines, Singapore and in Canada with successful performances, master classes and lectures.


The Art of the Piano: Brendan Fox
Charles Ives' Concord Sonata: An American Masterpiece

Thursday March 12, 2015 at 8 pm

Pianist and composer Brendan Fox makes his Toronto debut with a lecture and recital of Charles Ives’s Concord Sonata. In this monumental work, Ives crystallized the concepts of the Transcendentalist movement in nineteenth century America through musical portraits of Emerson, Hawthorne, the Alcotts, and Thoreau. The result is a tour de force of piano virtuosity, filled with mind-altering harmonies, Beethoven quotations, and moments of staggering power. The lecture preceding the performance is meant to illuminate both the musical materials and the philosophy behind this piece.

The program will also feature John Corigliano’s Fantasia on an ostinato, which, like the Concord Sonata, meditates on a Beethovenian theme.


Fantasia on an ostinato (1985) - John Corigliano (1938-)


Sonata No. 2 "Concord, Mass., 1840-60" - Charles Ives (1874-1954)
I. Emerson
II. Hawthorne
III. The Alcotts
IV. Thoreau


Brendan Fox (b. 1989) is a composer and pianist currently living in Ithaca, NY. He received a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and Composition from Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL. He has studied composition with Howard Whitaker, David M. Gordon, Shawn Okpebholo, Dana Wilson, Jorge Villavicencio Grossmann, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, and Michael Gandolfi, and piano with Sung Hoon Mo. In the fall of 2011, Brendan’s piece Holy Ground won the Wheaton College Alumni Composition Competition. He has participated in reading sessions with the Formosa Quartet and the violin duo String Noise.

Brendan has also worked extensively in theatre, whether serving as musical director or composing original music, most notably for a 2014 production of Our Town in Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery.

Brendan is currently completing a Masters of Music Composition at Ithaca College, where he is a member of the Ithaca College Contemporary Ensemble.

Violin Duos: Sarah Nematallah, Min-Jeong Koh, special guest Leopoldo Erice, piano

Thursday March 19, 2015 at 8 pm
$20/$10 Students

Min-Jeong Koh and Sarah Nematallah are both violinists in the Cecilia String Quartet. As members of this ensemble they have been awarded prizes at several international competitions, including first prize at the Banff International String Quartet Competition (2010). They have toured internationally to great acclaim, giving performances at venues such as the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Berlin Konzerthaus, Prague’s Rudolfinum, and London’s Wigmore Hall. The CSQ recorded three CDs for Analekta Records, and fourth CD is scheduled to be released this coming fall. More information can be found at


W. A. Mozart, Violin Sonata in E Minor K. 304/300c

Johannes Brahms, Violin Sonata No. 1 Op. 78 in G Major

Sarah Nematallah, violin and Leopoldo Erice, piano


Dmitri Shostakovich, “The Gadfly”: 3 Duets Op. 97d for two violins and piano

Moritz Moszkowski, Suite Op. 71 in G Minor for two violins and piano

Sarah Nematallah and Min-Jeong Koh, violins, with Leopoldo Erice, piano

Sarah Nematallah, violin

Applauded by the Globe and Mail for her "velvety sound" and the "fine-grained fluidity of her playing", Sarah Nematallah is a founding member of the Cecilia String Quartet. Apart from the CSQ, Ms. Nematallah has performed internationally as an orchestral and chamber musician for organizations such as the Verbier Festival and the Banff Summer Arts Festival, and has appeared as a soloist in Canada and Spain. During her studies in violin performance at the University of Toronto, Ms. Nematallah was the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships, including the University of Toronto William and Phyllis Waters Graduating Award given to a graduating student deemed by the university to have the greatest potential for making an important contribution to the field of music.

Committed to education, Ms. Nematallah recently completed a Masters Degree in Music Education at the University of Toronto, where she researched topics related to music philosophy and cognition, especially connections between music and language. She has given presentations on topics related to music performance and education for organizations such as the Canadian Arts Presenting Organization (CAPACOA), Chamber Music America, and CIHR Café Scientifique. Ms. Nematallah plays on the 1851 Jean Baptiste Vuillaume on loan from an anonymous donor.

Min-Jeong Koh, violin

Praised for her “extreme versatility” (Berliner Zeitung) and “marvelous playing” (Calgary Herald), Min-Jeong Koh maintains a busy schedule as a concert violinist, violist, and as an educator. Prior to joining the Cecilia String Quartet, she was the second prize winner of the 2006 Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition, where she was also awarded the Prize for Best Performance of the Commissioned Piece, a winner at Canada Council’s 2009 Musical Instrument Bank Competition, and a soloist with the Banff Festival orchestra.

A passionate educator, Ms. Koh has extensive experience teaching violin, was a panel speaker at a Solution Focused Brief Therapy Association conference, and worked closely with Mimi Zweig in the String Pedagogy Workshop at Indiana University. Her dedication to performance and music education has led to an invitation to the national honour society, Pi Kappa Lambda. Ms. Koh has recently completed her Doctoral of Musical Arts Degree at the University of Toronto where she researched the proliferation of Canadian string quartets. Currently, she studies with Donald Weilerstein, which is made possible by Canada Council for the Arts. Through the generosity of a private benefactor, Ms. Koh performs exclusively on a ca. 1767 Joannes Baptista Guadagnini violin.

Leopoldo Erice, piano

Spanish pianist Leopoldo Erice enjoys a performing and teaching career which has brought him to Europe, the two Americas, Asia, and Africa. Among his performances the recitals with Canadian soprano Leslie Fagan, clarinetist James Campbell, and the Cecilia and Penderecki String Quartets, especially stand out. He is currently Assistant Professor of Music at the American University of Sharjah (UAE), and this year is Guest Lecturer in Piano at Wilfrid Laurier University (Waterloo, Canada).

Ten years ago, Leopoldo founded the Festival Internacional de Música Clásica de Ribadeo (Spain), a weeklong series of educational performances and a workshop given by international artists. The goals of this summer festival are to bring music closer to the general public and to develop the artistic abilities of music students and young professionals.

Leopoldo has won several prestigious national and international prizes, including the “Ciudad de Albacete” and the “Acisclo Fernández”—which he won by a unanimous jury vote—and has made recordings for television and radio programs in Spain, Argentina, Syria, and in the USA.

Leopoldo studied music in his home country with José Ramón Martínez Reyero, Beata Monstavicius, and Joaquín Soriano (Real Conservatorio Superior de Música in Madrid), and in Holland with Rian de Waal (Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague). As a Fellow of the prestigious “la Caixa” Foundation Fellowship Program (Spain), he studied at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University (Bloomington, USA) under Leonard Hokanson, Menahem Pressler, and Emile Naoumoff. While at IU, he was awarded by a unanimous faculty vote the coveted Performer’s Certificate, in recognition of his outstanding performance. He holds the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts from the State University of New York at Stony Brook (USA). Leopoldo was born in Madrid in 1977.

Hilario Durán Trio

Friday March 20, 2015 @ 8:00PM
$20/$10 Students

Hilario Durán is one of the world’s most innovative pianist/composers/arrangers of Afro-Cuban music and Latin Jazz. The outstanding musical interplay of this stellar Trio, featuring Roberto Occhipinti on bass and Mark Kelso on drums, thrills audiences of all kinds.

“This trio is one of my most expressive musical formations—classic Cuban and Latin jazz repertoire with essential rhythms from Afro-Cuban music like cha-cha-cha, Bembé, Mambo, Son Montuno and elements of modern jazz.”
- Hilario Durán

“One of the greatest Cuban pianists. No doubt about it. Either solo, on a duo, trio, quartet... or a big band (you get the idea), Hilario’s compositions and arrangements are outstanding.” See the article and video. —
- Danilo Navas, Feb 2, 2011.

“The album Motion creates different moods ranging from a soft and smooth piano, to hard driven drum solos; its Latin mood floats throughout the whole album. Motion feels more like this trio created a very strong set list for a concert where all the pieces intertwine, but have their own original flavors. Hilario Durán is an amazing pianist and composer and his decades of work in the music industry shine through the album's eight tracks.”
Michael Pascua, July 25, 2010

SONUSKAPOS: Mason Victoria Jazzband

Friday March 21, 2015 @ 8:00PM
$20/$10 Students

SONUSKAPOS is an 18 piece big band led by trumpeter and current Humber student, Mason Victoria. Comprising of many jazz musicians currently attending school for music, SONUSKAPOS aims to give the opportunity for band members to write and play with peers in a large ensemble setting. Striving for unique collaboration, the big band plays many different styles of music from classical swing era to borderline experimental, all made or arranged by members of the band.

Mason Victoria is a 19 year old trumpeter and composer who is ambitiously hitting Toronto with his writing and trumpet playing. He is currently a second year student in Humber College, studying with the likes of the incredible Alistair Kay, Brian O’Kane, John Macleod, Dave Dunlop, Stephen Crowe and many other renowned jazz musicians in the city. He has also studied composition with Daniel Jamison, Chelsea McBride and Andrew Jones.

REEDS: Chris Dembski, Stefan Haynes, Ben McCaroll-Butler, Emily Steinwall, Jonathan Lau

TRUMPETS: Megan Jutting, Tom Upjohn, Ania Zarzycki, Kyle Windjack

BONES: Nebyu Yohannes, Margaret Nishimura, Matt Doughty, Nick Marshall

RHYTHM: Sean Clarey (g), Ewen Farncombe (p), Irene Harrett (b), Chris Wiens (d)

The Art of the Piano: John Stetch
Off With the Cuffs

Wednesday April 1, 2015 at 8 pm

Review of John Stetch, Off With the Cuffs (Addo Records, 2013) 

"This remarkable pianist, whose wealth of styles and ideas cannot easily be contained even in that increasingly expansive realm known as jazz, seems never to have heard a musical border he did not want to cross. A Canadian of Ukrainian extraction, Stetch has often worked in the folk music traditions of his own heritage, as in his vivid and virtuosic Ukrainianism (2002). On that disc, dark ruminations on catastrophe—“Famine” and the closing track, “Children of Chernobyl”—are interleaved with affirmations such as his “Carpathian Blues.” More than a decade on, Stetch continues to explore new terrain, this time out taking three beloved piano works of European art music for a spin: down the back alleys of the blues; bumping over the off-beat ruts of Eastern folk idioms; and careening into unexpected excursions attributable only to his creativity and the abundance of unnamed influences stored in his inner ear.  The trip is fueled not least by an iconoclastic humor, one required by the very project of grabbing some beers and going joy-riding with Mozart (Sonata in B-Flat, K. 33), J. S. Bach (Italian Concerto, BWV 971), and Chopin (Ballade in G minor, op. 23). To listen to Stetch pilot these luxury vehicles over the off-road of his imagination is wildly inspiring, usefully disconcerting, and just plain fun. The CD closes with Stetch’s idiosyncratic and illuminating readings of three preludes by Shostakovich followed by an original, Kapustin Rag. The dents of the journey through the classics are polished up at the close in the unlikeliest of Rag meters (7/8 and 11/8) in this piece named in honor of the Ukrainian-Russian composer Nikolai Kapustin. With Putin marching into the Crimea and glowering at the rest of the Ukraine it is good to know that in Stetch’s hands the borders will always remain open."

- DAVID YEARSLEY (from Counterpunch, March 2013). David Yearsley, author of “Bach’s Feet,” once played the world’s oldest piano and didn’t damage it … much.

Testimonials For Off With The Cuffs:

"Stetch has the musical gravitas to pull off what some could see as mere musical jokes; in his hands, though, these tunes have become more contemporary songs, to be taken no less seriously than the originals." - DownBeat Magazine, 4 stars

“John's vibrant, whimsical and piano-playing is totally engaging - "Off With The Cuffs" highlights his witty and clever sense of improvisation, and is great fun to listen to." - Lisa Kaplan, 3-time Grammy winning pianist of Eighth Blackbird

"Imaginative, rigorous, and truly personal takes on the classics!"- Joseph Lin, The Julliard String Quartet

“FANTASTIC! There is such clarity and so much humor in Stetch’s playing! I have always loved that about him.” - Rufus Reid, bassist, composer and bandleader

"John Stetch has a unique voice and travels freely between musical styles. He does all of this with overwhelming virtuosity". - Alex Fiterstein, classical clarinetist, 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient

Video Links

Re-Arrangement and Improvsations on Chopin's Heroic Polonaise

Re-Composition of J.S.Bach's Italian Concerto BWV 971

New Art video of original trio composition "Oscar's Blue-Green Algebra"

More 2015 Performances coming soon.
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