Pianists will deliver surprises this Tuesday with the North American debut of Hans Thomalla’s Noema, according to performer Claudia Chan.
“In the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, they only usually have one piano, but they’re bringing in another massive grand piano for this performance,” says Chan. “There will be two massive instruments and we’re going to be making massive sounds.”
Chan and Ryan MacEvoy McCullough will play Noema and John Adams’s Hallelujah Junction at the amphitheatre in the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, to kick off the month of March in the Canadian Opera Company’s Free Concert Series. The performance, New Creations: John Adams and Hans Thomalla, is being held in collaboration with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s New Creations Festival.
Chan says the concert is a rare opportunity because both composers will be in attendance.
“It will be nice if young composers from Toronto will show up on Tuesday, because there are two great composers that we’re playing and they’ll both be there, so they will have a chance to experience that,” says Chan. “Listeners will be able to look over [from the stage] and see the people who composed the music.”
McCullough encourages Torontonians, even those without a background in classical music, to come and listen to the concert which will begin at noon.
“When you have people coming to a concert on their lunch break, with their sandwich, and they hear something like what we are going to be playing on Tuesday, you get a much more real reaction to the music, often much in the way the composer hoped that the listener would respond,” says McCullough. “So it’s probably the most gratifying experience to play for an audience like this. They are the people who listen in the most pure sort of way. They just take it for what it is.”
The COC began their 8th annual Free Concert Series last September. Close to 80 concerts are scheduled until it’s conclusion in June. Kristen McKinnon, Assistant Publicist for the COC, says so far the concerts have been well received by Torontonians.
“We have a very positive reaction from the community, the concerts are usually full, for certain concerts we have lineups around the block, from what we see, people really enjoy the opportunity to see performances in a beautiful space,” says McKinnon.
McKinnon explained the concerts are of the highest quality hosting a variety of artists, from Juno Award winners to fresh faces.
“We think it’s very important to make the arts accessible to everyone, and it’s a really wonderful way to see a wide variety of the arts in Toronto and to see what Toronto has to offer,” says McKinnon. “We have arts from all over. We have classical and opera and we also have jazz and dance and world music.”
The Four Seasons Centre for Preforming Arts opened in 2006. The centre’s establishment was spear headed by previous General Director of the COC, the late Richard Bradshaw, winner of the General Governor’s Award for Preforming Arts. Performances of the series are held most often on Tuesdays, Wednesday’s and Thursdays. Tickets can be ordered on the COC’s website.