ENSEMBLE POLARIS, featuring fellow Heliconian Alison Melville and Margaret Gay in their midst, was founded to create a distinctively Canadian voice for the music of the north – Scandinavia, Canada, the Baltics and, most recently, Russia. With musicians from richly diverse traditions and backgrounds, they have a colourful, unusual instrumentation that ranges from cello and bass clarinet to nyckelharpa, bazouki and the musical saw. they play category-defying arrangements of northern traditional music, as well as original tunes by Polaris members and other Canadian and international musician/composers.
Two years ago they wanted to create an antidote to the festive season’s musical clichés, and got the idea to arrange Tchaikovsky’s quintessential ballet music for their unusual instrumentation. Definitely Not the Nutcracker was born and premiered at our own Heliconian Hall!
As a natural extension to their ‘northern’ rep, they added some Russian folk tunes to the mix; these are also a perfect complement to Tchaikovsky, who loved and made arrangements of his country’s folk music. The show in 2011 was a huge hit, so they expanded the rep and played for an even bigger, enthusiastic crowd in a larger venue last December.
Diana McIntosh, photo by Mary Perdue.
On Thursday, April 4, 2013 at 8 pm, musician/theatrical performer/composer Diana McIntosh will give a one-night-only performance of her provocative one-woman theatrical concert featuring her original work McIntosh the Stein Way. It offers a glimpse into the playful and profound mind of Gertrude Stein, as seen, felt and enjoyed by McIntosh. Also included in the program are her comical work Doubletalk, and her entertaining piece All-Too-Consuming, about a sensual meal in a restaurant where McIntosh ‘plays’ the dishes.
Described on Bravo television as a ‘national treasure,’ Winnipeg-based Diana McIntosh leads an active career as an innovative and witty composer and performer who has appeared widely across Canada and the USA and in the UK, France, Portugal and Kenya. Together with Ann Southam, she founded western Canada’s first contemporary music concert series, Music Inter Alia, and was its Artistic Director for fourteen years.
This concert will take place at the historic Heliconian Hall, home of the Toronto Heliconian Club of which Diana McIntosh is an out-of-town member. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to hear and experience one of Canada’s leading female composer/performers, in a witty and thoroughly original program of her own creation!
Admission $20 (students/seniors/members $15). Tickets will be available at the door. Show at 8pm.
“Pencil Blues offers eleven instantly ear-pleasing melodies. Very highly recommended.” Mark Rheaume, CBC.
A new member of the Heliconian Club, Kye Marshall will be launching her just-released CD “Pencil Blues” on Sunday April 14th at the Jazz Bistro located at 251 Victoria Street.
The event will feature performances by Kye Marshall (cello), Dave Young (Bass), Andrew Scott (Guitar) and Ethan Ardelli (Drums). Sets at 2 and 3.30 pm. $10 Cover.
“Kye Marshall is brilliant and blew me away with her playing and her writing.” Barrie Woodey, CHRW.
At this 6th annual Interval House Benefit concert, we want to honour those who seek sanctuary from domestic violence at Canada’s first shelter for women and their children. Performed at the historic Heliconian club, we will also be celebrating the women who defied the odds, almost 100 years ago, and founded the Heliconian Club for women in the arts.
We hope you can join us this year! This is always a fabulous concert featuring Peggy Mahon‘s jazz quartet with Danny McErlain on Piano, Dave Field on Bass and Don Vickery on drums. Please stay for the reception following the show for some refreshments, and meet Peggy, her band mates, and some of the hard working folks at Interval House.
Concert is on May 9th at 7:30pm, Heliconian Hall. Advanced tickets for $30 can be ordered by calling 416-698-2163.
Co-founded by fellow heliconian, Monica Pearce, the Toy Piano Composer (TPC) Collective and Ensemble takes to the stage once more, bringing Canadian artwork to life. Join them as they re-imagine great Canadian art from the past and present, transforming canvas and paint into notes and sound. This energetic concert will focus on the intersection of these two art forms – line, colour, gesture, and form are explored by each of the brand new compositions. Each of the visual works of art will be displayed while the pieces are performed onstage.
From local Toronto paintings to animations and video game art, the TPC have drawn on a diverse range of visual media for musical inspiration that playfully reflects each composer’s own unique style. World Premieres include: Sylvan Sworcery by Christian Floisand (art by Sylvian Coutouly), Get in Line by Glenn James (art by Zoë Cilliers), In the forest, glow. by Monica Pearce (art by Brandon James Scott), Strange Gazes and Birdsong by Fiona Ryan (art by Kate Domina) and Walking by Chris Thornborrow (animation by Ryan Larkin). Also joining the TPC Composers will be guest composer Patrick Murray, who has written Skin and Bone (with art by Ognian Zekoff) for the ensemble. Come hear what art sounds like and what music looks like.
Special online ticket price – only $10! Click here to get them.
Heliconian and British music specialist Dorothy de Val and guest artist Charlene Biggs are “off to see the wizard” in the Faculty Concert Series of York University’s Music Department. They will mark the centenary of the births of British composers Benjamin Britten and George Lloyd and pay tribute to Australian-born composer Percy Grainger, the titular wizard, with a performance of works for duo piano at York’s Tribute Communities Recital Hall on January 17 at 7.30 pm.
The first half of the program will feature a rare performance of Lloyd’s atmospheric Aubade and the magisterial Introduction and Rondo alla Burlesca by Britten. After intermission comes a musical romp down the yellow brick road with Grainger’s compositions and arrangements “dished up”, in the composer’s words, for two pianos. The lineup includes Hill Song No. 2 , an unusual and haunting work better known in its version for band; his adaptation of the exuberant Symphonic Dance No. 1 written by his close friend, English composer Cyril Scott; and – in a nod to Grainger’s many years living in the US – his exhilarating fantasy arrangement of songs from George Gershwin’s incomparable opera, Porgy and Bess.
Box office and other info at: http://music.finearts.yorku.ca/news-events/events/
Earlier this Fall, we welcomed 27 new members at the President’s Reception at the first event of the year. Since then, many of these new members have contributed to life to our Club, adding fresh ideas and perspective to our ever growing club. We are thankful for their participation, and can’t wait to show them off as fellow Heliconians. Below are a few highlights of these women based on submitted bios.
Web Editor Click here to get to know them!
This Friday, Allison Arends (soprano), Katarzyna Sadej (mezzo soprano) and Heliconian Amanda Johnston will be presenting an exciting programme featuring song cycles by De Falla and Liszt, duets by Chausson, Debussy, and Brahms, and operatic highlights by Handel, Donizetti, Bellini, and Stravinsky. This is a programme that is sure to enlighten, uplift, and entertain.
It will take place on Friday, November 23rd at 8pm at Heliconian Hall (35 Hazelton Avenue, in the heart of Yorkville). Tickets are $20 and are available at the door.