Classical Music

CRITIC’S PICKS | Classical Events You Absolutely Need To See This Week: Jan. 30 – Feb. 5


Ambur Braid as Salome (Photo courtesy of the COC); Conductor Masaaki Suzuki (Photo: Marco Borggreve); Riccardo Muti conducts the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Photo: Todd Rosenberg)

This is a list of concerts we are attending, wishing we could attend, or thinking about attending between Jan. 30 and Feb. 5, 2023. For more details on what’s happening around Toronto, visit our calendar here.

RCM/Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Wednesday Feb. 1 and Thursday Feb. 2 at 8 p.m. Koerner Hall. $85+

No less an ensemble than the Chicago Symphony makes its first Toronto appearances in more than a century under the direction of its music director, Riccardo Muti. The robustly standard programs offer Beethoven (Seventh Symphony) and Prokofiev (Fifth Symphony) on Wednesday and Beethoven (Coriolan Overture and Eighth Symphony), Liadov (The Enchanted Lake) and Mussorgsky-Ravel (Pictures at an Exhibition) on Thursday. Both concerts are posted as sellouts. If you believe in miracles, check the box office here. Rush ticket info here.

Artists of the COC Orchestra/Metamorphosen

Thursday Feb. 2 at noon. Four Seasons Centre. Free.

Players from the COC Orchestra try out a septet version of Richard Strauss’s radiant Metamorphosen. Also on this free noontime program: Zoltán Kodály’s Serenade for Two Violins and Viola, Op. 12. Info here.

Canadian Opera Company/Salome

Friday Feb. 3 at 7:30 p.m. Four Seasons Centre (repeat Sunday Feb. 5 at 2 p.m.). $45+

Atom Egoyan’s 1996 production of Strauss’s one-act shocker has been revived and tweaked a few times. However it is presented on this occasion, we can have faith in a cast that includes soprano Ambur Braid — deemed “spectacular” by a Frankfurt critic in her 2020 debut in the title role — as well as the reliable veterans Karita Mattila (Herodias) and Michael Schade (Herod). Johannes Debus conducts. Info here.

U of T/Hatzis @ 70

Saturday Feb. 4 at 2:30 p.m. Walter Hall. Free.

U of T’s new music festival includes a tribute to the veteran composition prof Christos Hatzis. Info here.

RCM/Bach Collegium Japan/Masaaki Suzuki

Sunday Feb. 5 at 3 p.m. Koerner Hall. $50+

The acclaimed baroque ensemble appears under its founder in a program bringing together instrumental works and solo cantatas by Bach and his approximate contemporaries Telemann and Johann Gottlieb Janitsch. British baritone Roderick Williams is heard in Bach’s Cantata No. 82 “Ich habe genug.” Info here.

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