If it was at a Mississippi Delta crossroads where blues guitarist Robert Johnson supposedly sold his soul to the devil to gain his virtuoso skills, one wonders where a young pianist might complete a similar transaction. The Steinway showroom in Manhattan, perhaps? The Russian-born New Yorker Daniil Trifonov, a sensation whose ability to tap ivory has been described as "demonic," does sleight-of-hand things with compositions by Schumann, Chopin and Rachmaninoff in Toronto, where tickets to a sold-out show will be no bargain. Feb. 1, at Toronto's Koerner Hall.
Legend Lin Dance Theatre: The Eternal Tides
Credited with putting her native Taiwan on the international dance map, choreographer Lin Lee-Chen works in harmonious and poetic ways to celebrate the spiritual and natural worlds. With her epic piece The Eternal Tides, traditional Taiwanese rites and religious rituals are drawn upon. Sweeping, striking stuff by all accounts. Jan. 24 to 27, at Montreal's Théâtre Maisonneuve; Feb. 3, at Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
Jordan Tannahill is having a moment, isn't he? Coming off a summer that saw the London West End premiere of his drama Late Company, the young Ottawa-raised playwright just released his debut novel, Liminal (part ontological thriller and part millennial saga), on the same day his ode to mortality, Declarations, hit the stage for the very first time. To Feb. 11, at Toronto's Berkeley Street Theatre.
Winnipeg New Music Festival
After 12 seasons at the helm, Alexander Mickelthwate is stepping down as music director of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. On his way out, the German conductor gifts Manitoba audiences with minimalist master Philip Glass, who gives the Canadian premiere of his Symphony No. 11, while the JACK Quartet offers the world unveiling of Glass's String Quartet No. 8. Other highlights include a 45-minute work performed in darkness. Will the maestro Mickelthwate be around when the lights are turned on? Jan. 27 to Feb. 2, at Winnipeg's Centennial Concert Hall.
The Whole Shebang
A furor erupted when New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art recently changed its pay-what-you-wish admission policy for out-of-state visitors. Starting this spring, tourists will need to fork over $25 to enter the Met. Perhaps the contentious issue will come up at a one-day event of talks, tours and questions about public collections, the preservation of art and issues of capacity. And yes, the event is free. Jan. 27, at Cambridge Art Galleries: Queen's Square Gallery