Skip to main content
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track on the Olympic Games
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track onthe Olympics Games
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Pianist Peter Tiefenbach, faculty with the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory of Music, plays the piano as accousticians monitor the sound in Koerner Hall.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

"I say no to way more people than I say yes to," explains Mervon Mehta, the executive director of performing arts at the Royal Conservatory of Music, explaining the process by which he assembles the series of concerts he programs annually at Toronto's Koerner Hall. Mehta and the Conservatory announced their ninth season of concerts, for 2017-18, on Tuesday morning, and it includes some real gems. The Conservatory has always made the superb acoustics of Koerner Hall available to many other groups – the Toronto Symphony Orchestra just based its entire Mozart@261 festival at Koerner – but programming the hall themselves has always been a major RCM priority.

And for next season, we'll see and hear the usual stellar procession of world-class and world-famous classical artists. About 50 per cent of Mehta's concerts are classically based, and the RCM has spoiled us in some ways in the past by making the first-rate commonplace. And the same will be true for 2017-18. We'll hear from Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt playing Bach, as well as other keyboard concerts by Khatia Buniatishvili, Beatrice Rana and the ever-popular Yuja Wang. As well, France's duo-piano Labèque sisters, Katia and Marielle, will be making their Koerner Hall debut playing a two-piano version of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.

A Koerner Hall debut will also be made by superstar Canadian soprano Barbara Hannigan, with a program based in the Second Viennese School of Schoenberg, Berg and Webern that should prove more than stimulating. Canadian baritone Gerald Finley and English tenor Ian Bostridge will fill out Koerner's vocal series, Bostridge with an all-Schubert program.

Story continues below advertisement

For its string and chamber series, the Conservatory will see visits from Jordi Savall and Hesperion XXI, the Koerner debut of famed violinist Joshua Bell, as well as an exciting program featuring the Amici Trio and soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian. There will also be several special celebrations during the season – a performance of Olivier Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time featuring an international all-star cast of Janine Jensen, Martin Frost, Torleif Thedeen and Lucas Debargue, and a special Bernstein@100 concert (doesn't that make you feel old?) featuring mezzo-soprano Wallis Giunta and Leonard Bernstein's daughter, Jamie Bernstein. As well, the Conservatory has made next season something of a cello spectacular, with concerts featuring three great cellists – Nicolas Allstaedt, Clemens Hagen and Gautier Capuçon.

The Royal Conservatory has been providing Torontonians with world-class performers for almost a decade now, part of the mandate they assumed when they opened Koerner Hall. Many of these artists visited Toronto before the hall, but it's hard to say how many would come now without it. The combination of fine artistry and perfection in the performing space is special.

As Mehta says, "Our artists always come off the stage at the hall, and they don't just praise the acoustics. They say, 'Where did you get that audience?' The intimacy of the hall and its special feeling create an intensity of listening, a visceral experience, that is very special for the artists standing on stage. They can feel it."

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies