JUST ANNOUNCED Last week in their budget, the Government of Ontario committed $8 million toward the revitalization of Massey Hall. As we noted in the March 26 edition of the Buzz, the Old Lady of Shuter Street is looking forward to this revitalization thanks to the pending transfer of land by MOD Developments (announced in 2012). You can read the Corporation’s statement on the Province joining the Government of Canada and the City of Toronto in supporting the preservation of Massey Hall’s legacy here.
Yesterday was Music Monday in Canada – a day that “celebrate[s] the galvanizing power of music in Canada and demonstrate[s] how that power is rooted in school music programs” championed by the Coalition for Music Education. This year was a particularly out-of-this-world edition as the official Music Monday song was co-written by Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies and Chis Hadfield of the International Space Station (the actual Space Station – even though it sounds like some hip new band). CBC Music has CONTINUE READING >
JUST ANNOUNCED Last week, the Government of Canada announced its 2013 Economic Action Plan and the Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall is thrilled by the commitment of $8 million to begin the revitalization of our cherished Massey Hall, thanks to the offer of land by MOD Developments, which was announced in 2012. Details of the recent announcement, including a statement from the Corporation’s President & CEO, Charles S. Cutts, are here and you can listen to Charlie Cutts speak with Matt Galloway on Metro Morning from last Friday, here.
Happy Tuesday everyone! It’s great to be back at The Buzz after spending an inspiring few days attending the CAPACOA (Canadian Arts Presenting Association) conference hosted here in Toronto. While we were talking about the importance of live arts experiences at the conference, we were thrilled to hear that the province was reiterating the significance of live music performance here in Ontario. You’ll see in this week’s Buzz, that we’ve got lots of great live music coming up this week in the Halls.
PERFORMANCES Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis (Wednesday): This week Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis returns to Massey Hall for a feature presentation. Visit WyntonMarsalis.org for all sorts of good stuff including details on a new book, In the Spirit of Swing: The First 25 Years of Jazz at Lincoln Center.
An Evening With BLUE RODEO (Friday & Saturday): If you haven’t heard already, the big news in city planning is that Toronto will have its own Rodeo Drive, a Blue Rodeo Drive to be more specific. CONTINUE READING >
In this special edition of the podcast, we hear from the iconic Canadian musician Burton Cummings, from a conversation I had with him backstage at Massey Hall. Listen in as he discusses his new live album Massey Hall, which was recorded over two nights at the historic venue, along with memories of performing at the Hall over the years and of seeing concerts here as a teenager.
We announced at the end of last week that the rescheduled date for Fran Lebowitz In Conversation, with Jian Ghomeshi, will be February 8, 2013. The original date was rescheduled due to the extreme weather conditions in the New York City area, where Ms. Lebowitz is based. If you’ve already purchased tickets to the originally scheduled November 2 presentation, those tickets will be honoured on the new date. For those who couldn’t make it to the originally scheduled date – here’s your chance! In addition, to aid and support those impacted by Hurricane Sandy, $1 from every ticket sold to this event will be donated to the Red Cross.
PERFORMANCES National Geographic Live: Kenny Broad, Diver + Environmental Anthropologist (Tonight – Tuesday): Just another reminder that National Geographic Live is back at Roy Thomson Hall. Tonight is our second (fascinating) presentation of Kenny Broad’s Exploring the Blue Holes of the Bahamas. If you missed it last night – check it out tonight!
Jeremy Fisher (Wednesday): Canadian Songbook at the Rivoli continues this month with Jeremy Fisher and special guest Kalle Mattson. If you haven’t already, you can get a sneak peek of Fisher’s latest album, Mint Juleps, on his website and see some of Mattson’s videos on his site. Don’t forget, you can still purchase the Canadian Songbook Societyseries pass which gets you access to all six shows remaining in the series taking place at the Rivoli including Jeremy Fisher, Belle Starr, Mo Kenney, Tanika Charles, and two more shows still to be announced!
Itzhak Perlman (Sunday): Itzhak Perlman returns to Roy Thomson Hall for a recital this Sunday afternoon. Performing with piano accompanist Rohan De Silva, the performance promises a demonstration of Perlman’s “superstar status” as a classical violinist. The program is set to include pieces from Mozart, Fauré, and Stravinsky.
Gilberto Gil (Monday): Gilberto Gil returns to Massey Hall on Monday to wow us with his signature Brazilian sounds. For this very special engagement, entitled For All, Gil will showcase his take on baião, the “infectious celebratory dance music of Northeast Brazil.” For a flavour of what you’re in for, check out this New York Times review from his performance last Thursday where Jon Pareles declares Mr. Gil “an urban sophisticate and an intellectual” and noted that during the show “a musicology lesson turned into a dance party.” Enjoy!
JUST ANNOUNCED We recently announced two performances featuring Blue Rodeo celebrating their 25th anniversary – this February 1 and 2. You can buy tickets and learn more about An Evening with Blue Rodeohere. On a related note, watch video of Cuff The Duke (who play Nov 24 at Winter Garden with Jenn Grant) performing “Five Days in May” as part of Blue Rodeo’s Silver Anniversary Concert recorded at Glenn Gould Studio this past week, embedded above.
Fran Lebowitz In Conversation, with Jian Ghomeshi, originally scheduled for November 2, has been postponed due to the extreme weather conditions in New York City. We’ll be announcing the rescheduled date very soon – in the meantime, here is an article from the Globe and Mail with her thoughts on the US Election and another from The Grid on all sorts of good stuff.
PERFORMANCES Chilly Gonzales, Solo Piano II presented in Pianovision (Thursday): This very special presentation sees us bringing one Chilly Gonzales from Glenn Gould Studio (where he performed last spring) over to the Winter Garden Theatre for what promises to be a very engaging night of music and entertainment. This particular performance includes Pianovision, “an experience which captures the full effect of Chilly Gonzales’ creative genius” by projecting his handwork on a screen above the stage. We can’t wait to see it all happen this Thursday; until then you can check out these two Soundboard videos of Chilly Gonzales himself (here and here).
Royal Wood with special guest Elisapie (Saturday): Royal Wood performs at the Winter Garden Theatre on Saturday on the heels of his summer release of We Were Born To Glory. CONTINUE READING >
Good Pinsent Keelor (Tonight – Tuesday): We can’t wait to see – live – what this trio cooks up for us tonight on the Glenn Gould Studio stage. Travis Good of The Sadies, Greg Keelor of Blue Rodeo, and Gordon Pinsent (yes, that Gordon Pinsent), have teamed up for a really interesting and rare collaborative project seeing Gordon Pinsent’s poems inspiring a musical album Down and Out in Upalong, and this concert. It promises to be something seriously special so don’t miss it. Watch them discuss the collaboration in conversation with Jian Ghomeshi on CBC Q in the video embedded above.
Chris Botti (ThursdayJune 28): Chris Botti returns to Massey Hall (*next week) with his signature sound blending pop, jazz, and classical music that’s sure to please. In advance of the show, you can check out some of the videos on his site including a series of interviews with Roy Firestone and an EPK for his latest recording, Impressions, featuring serious praise from the likes of David Foster, Mark Knopfler, Vince Gill, Andrea Bocelli, and Herbie Hancock.
Chris Isaak will perform at Massey Hall in October celebrating his latest recording, Beyond the Sun. The album, recorded at the original Sun Studio, is a collection of Isaak covers from the greats like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis. And Joe Rogan, provider of colourful commentary for UFC and host of Fear Factor, returns to Massey Hall on September 21 for a concert presented by Just For Laughs promising a showcase of his “tough” stand-up comedy. The Guardian has called him “one of the most complex and exciting stand-ups working in America today.” Tickets for both shows are on sale now.
Last week we made a very exciting announcement – the return of the National Geographic Live series to Roy Thomson Hall for the 2012|2013 Season. The second season is packed with twice as much good stuff because, due to popular demand, we’ve added another day of presentations! Subscriptions are now available for either Monday or Tuesday evenings.
Once again, the series will feature four dynamic events with exciting explorers, photographers, filmmakers, and scientists from National Geographic. The upcoming season will see us gain worldly insight from Kenny Broad, diver and environmental anthropologist, on the topic of Extreme Cave Diving – Exploring the Bahamas’ Blue Holes; Robert Ballard, underwater explorer with Adventures in Deep Sea Exploration; photojournalist Catherine Karnow on her Journey to Vietnam; and photographer Tim Laman and ornithologist Ed Scholes with their presentation Birds of Paradise Revealed. You can read all about these speakers and their work as well as purchase your subscription here.
PERFORMANCES Annie Griffiths: A Camera, Two Kids, and a Camel (Tuesday – Tonight): Annie Griffiths is one of National Geographic’s first female staff photographers and someone who learned how to balance work and family while travelling around the world on assignment – no small feat. The presentation, based on her memoir of the same name, will showcase CONTINUE READING >
This week Massey Hall was in the headlines with the exciting news of the revitalization of the Theatre Block, the block on Yonge Street, north of Queen that includes Massey Hall and the Elgin Winter Garden Theatre. Toronto developer MOD Developments Inc.announced on Monday the purchase of 197-201 Yonge Street, a 20,000 square foot parcel of land that includes the historically designated CIBC bank building. The land, which has been owned by Parasuco Jeans of Montreal since the early nineties, extends to Victoria Street and MOD Developments will be generously donating to Massey Hall the portion directly south of Massey, from the backstage area to the back of the Elgin Winter Garden Theatre.
What this gift of additional land permits us to do is now expand Massey Hall, a project we have been working on for years. Numerous studies have been done: planning, architectural, heritage, mechanical — all with the objective of improving operational efficiencies, patron and artists amenities. But until now we were unable to proceed due to the limitations of our existing property.
The “Grand Old Lady of Shuter Street” was built in 1894, a time when the current day’s uses could not have been foreseen. The concert hall, which hosts over 100 public events each year in its 2,753 seat auditorium, has been renovated on several occasions throughout its history. Extensive alterations last took place in 1933 reducing the number of seats from 3500 to 2,753. In 1948, several operational renovations were undertaken rebuilding the stage and adding an annex to the backstage. In the last 60 years, there have been no significant architectural improvements.
With the addition of property behind the Hall, we are now looking forward to addressing the modern day needs of Massey Hall, while protecting the Hall’s concert intimacy so beloved by artists and patrons. We will be sharing news with you about the project as our planning unfolds. Stay tuned!
Heather Clark is Director of Marketing and Development at Massey Hall & Roy Thomson Hall
Soundboard is the official community of musicians, music fans, and friends of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, Canada. It’s your behind-the-scenes source for related music news, recommendations, and rewards.