McGill concerts affordable and exciting

Appreciating classical music is a learning experience that can only be developed through listening. No amount of discussion, persuasion or explanation—even illustrated through the use of recordings—can substitute for the direct and emotionally charged experience of being part of music making, even if the only instrument you have is your ear.

It is never too late to discover the power of live music, whether it’s a graduate-student recital or a concert by professionals.

The McGill music faculty offers a huge selection of works to discover, free or at very modest prices almost every day throughout the year. Here are just a few selections to discover until the end of 2013.

* September 9, oboeist Jacqueline Leclair accompanied by pianist Sara Laimon will present works by Telemann, Wvorinen, Tomasi, Poulenc and Arvo Pärt.

* September 21, Opera McGill will present Sonnets & Songs, a Shakespeare Serenade

* September 27, in partnership with Instituto Italiano di Cultura and within the framework of the “Journées de la culture,” the rarely heard Les Sequenze and other works by 20th century composer Luciano Berio will be performed.

* October 3, Malcolm Bilson will perform sonatas by Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert on the fortepiano, a precursor to the modern piano.

* October 4 and 5, Kristan Toczko, winner of last year’s McGill Concerto competition will join the McGill Symphony featuring Alberto Ginastera’s Harp Concerto. Verdi and Dvorak are also on the program.

* October 10, violinist Mark Fewer and pianist Philip Chiu will play sonatas by Mozart.

* October 18, the McGill Baroque Orchestra and Cappella Antica will perform Antonio Vivaldi’s celestial Gloria along with this same composer’s rarely heard concertos for four and two violins.

* November 3, the McGill Symphony undertakes an ambitious program playing at the Maison Symphonique, with Watern, Verdi, contemporary composer Saariaho and the magnificent Daphnis and Chloe Suite by Maurice Ravel.

* November 7, pianist Sara Laimon will present miniature solos pieces for piano.

* November 11, soprano Anja Strauss accompanied by pianist Kyoko Hashimoto will perform one of the most accessible of 20th century Paul Hindemith’s works, Das Marienleben.

* November 15, in Dialogues across the Centuries, 17th century French music and the last sonatas by Debussy will be presented.

* December 3 and 4, McGill professor Axel Strauss performs Johannes Brahms’ violin concerto in D, one of the pillars of the violin repertoire.

* Fridays at 12:30: McGill Noon-Hour Organ Recital Series, November 1,8,15,22,29, December 6, 2013. The series continues into the new year.

For venues, hours and other events visit or phone the box office at 514-398-4547.

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