• eat
  • shop
  • see
  • go
  • stay
  • daytrip
  • map
  • calendar
  • transport
  • weather
  • currency
  • tofrom

Toronto Summer Music Festival

Weekend Roundup: August 3 to 5

Friday: the Nash Ensemble offers French classics as part of the Toronto Summer Music Festival

Friday, August 3
The Toronto Summer Music Festival continues to offer some of the best classical performances from around the world. Tonight, Britain’s Nash Ensemble takes the Walter Hall stage with a program of French fare by Debussy, Ravel and Franck.

See the earth from a different perspective at Thompson Landry Gallery, where Guy Laiberté, founder of Cirque du Soleil, presents Gaia, a new exhibition of photographs he took while on an 11-day voyage in outer space.

The Irie Music Festival returns for another year at Nathan Phillips Square with a showcase of reggae, salsa, soul and African music.  The weekend-long event’s opening night features soca sensation Fay-Ann Lyons, as well as an exhibition with the works of Caribbean artists. (more…)

Weekend Roundup: July 20 to 22

Friday: Speed-the-Plow satirizes the movie industry (photo by Cylla von Tiedemann)

Friday, July 20
Expect cracking dialogue and fierce satire this evening as Soulpepper Theatre Company performs David Mamet’s Speed-The-Plow. The play examines the lives of two American film producers while dissecting the relationship between art and commerce.

The Toronto Summer Music Festival returned earlier in the week and brought with it a full slate of concerts, master classes and lectures for classical music lovers. Tonight, the acclaimed Borodin Quartet presents Music of Russia, a program of string quartets by Russian composers, including Borodin, Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky.

Once again the Harbourfront Centre becomes of a cultural smorgasbord of music, dance, international fare and more as the Hot & Spicy Food Festival occupies the downtown waterfront. The festival kicks it up a notch with exciting competitions like tonight’s Taco Takedown—where you decide which taco reigns supreme—and the annual Iron Chef competition, held over the weekend and concluding Sunday afternoon. (more…)

Hot Date: Enjoy the Sounds of the Toronto Summer Music Festival

The Gryphon Trio performs on July 26

JULY 17 TO AUGUST 4 This city’s classical music lovers are psyched for their annual treat as the Toronto Summer Music Festival returns with a packed program of concerts, masterclasses and lectures. Pianist André Laplante opens the proceedings with a July 17 recital featuring pieces by Ravel, Liszt and more, while the Zuckerman Chamber Players present works by Shostakovich and Schumman on July 24. This city’s excellent Gryphon Trio are also among the scheduled performers—the group makes its first appearance at Koerner Hall on July 26. Various venues and showtimes, $26 to $75; call 416-408-0208 or visit here for more information.

Weekend Roundup, July 22 to 24

Friday: Les Ballets Persans perform at the Tigran Iranian Festival

Friday, July 22

Get a taste of exotic art, culture and entertainment at the Harbourfront Centre this weekend with the Tigran Iranian Festival. Explore the concept of “Visions of Eternity” through the work of participating artists and writers, and take in live music from the Paradis Orchestra, Rana Farhan, and the Iranian National Choir.

Toronto’s Caribbean Carnival is more than just a parade—celebrate the salacious sights, sounds and flavours of the Caribbean with an elegant night at the event’s Gala. Dress your best for a night of masquerade models, music and exotic food at the elegant Liberty Grand.

“Do It Again” while “Reelin’ In The Years” when Steely Dan hits the stage at the Molson Amphitheater. The American jazz band still has a commanding stage presence with a slew of hits to play, including “My Old School” and “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number”.

Saturday: The Blue Men Group strike up a charging show at the Princess of Wales Theatre

Saturday, July 23

They’re shocking, comedic, and blue—catch the Blue Man Group when they electrify the Princess of Wales Theatre tonight. The multi-media performance with the bald blue men is centered on a large LED curtain and high-resolution screen for a unique theatrical performance.

After starting their regular season on the road, the Toronto Argonauts finally return to the Rogers Centre for their first game of the season. Cheer on the Boatmen as they take on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers looking for a win in front of a home crowd.

Cool down with the sound of the soothing melodies of the Forgotten Romantics at Walter Hall as the Toronto Summer Music Festival continues. The Vienna Piano Trio teams up with Canada’s leading chamber musicians to perform The Suite by Moszkowski, the masterful sextet by Louis Spohr, and the piano quintet by Karl Goldmark.

Sunday: Celebrate The Wiggles' 20th Birthday at Ricoh Colliseum (Photo courtesy of Ben Pharr)

Sunday, July 24

Wiggle on down to the Ricoh Colliseum to join in on The Wiggles’ Big Birthday Tour. The 20th birthday celebration will be packed with action including the four Wiggles, Captain Feathersword, Dorothy the Dinosaur, Henry the Octopus, and Wags the Dog.

Celebrate over 500 artists at Yonge-Dundas Square this Sunday for a day filled with high-spirited performances and art on display for Youth Day 2011. The square will be filled with inspiring music, dance, art, photography, food, and vendors to keep you entertained all day long.

The Big On Bloor Street festival continues on Sunday with stores along the Dufferin and Lansdowne stretch offering special in-store events, sales and menus. Have a taste of the diverse art, culture, and food that this neighbourhood has to offer.

Hot Date: Season of Classics

Vienna Piano Trio (photo by Nancy Horowitz)

JULY 19 TO AUGUST 13 The Romantic Era returns during this year’s Toronto Summer Music Festival. Pianist Kirill Gerstein kicks off the concert series on July 19 with a program of Beethoven, Liszt and Brahms. On July 21, the Vienna Piano Trio explores the precursors of romantic music. Various venues, $20 to $60; call 416-408-0208 or click here for further details.

Weekend Roundup, August 6 to 8

Rock the weekend with a slew of musical performances, or take some time to appreciate good food, great drinks, and even some tennis!

Friday: Hear the world-music stylings of Dominic Mancuso

Friday, August 6
Explore our urban environment from a different perspective. The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art’s large-scale group exhibition, Empire of Dreams, showcases works by Toronto-based artists that examine the dynamic interactions between humans and their surroundings.

Spend some time browsing the bounty of beautiful vintage furniture, decor accessories, jewellery, apparel and more at the Summer Antiques Show. This annual event at Sherway Gardens is a treasure-hunter’s dream.

Make tracks to Yonge-Dundas Square this evening and let King Sunshine capture enliven spirit with music. With a fusion of disco, funk and house beats, this dynamic group will have you dancing the night away.

Sway to the multicultural singer-songwriter stylings of Dominic Mancuso. The Juno-winning Italian-Canadian takes the stage tonight at Lula Lounge.

Saturday: Mezzo-soprano Roxana Constantinescu performs at the Summer Music Festival

Saturday, August 7
Bear witness to boundless creativity during the SummerWorks Theatre Festival. Dozens of innovative plays are on-stage today—at such venues as the Factory Theatre and Theatre Passe Muraille—to satistfy any dramatic preference.

Eat, drink and be merry at Toronto’s Festival of Beer. The popular event floods Exhibition Place with more than 120 types of beers from 60 brewers, plus a variety of finger foods to satisfy your hunger.

Enjoy a Free Family Weekend at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament. On top of the chance to see the tourney’s qualifying-round action at the Rexall Centre, kids of all ages can enjoy plenty of games, activities, free tennis lessons and lots of prizes to be won.

The Toronto Summer Music Festival is still going strong. Tonight, Roxana Constantinescu and Gordon Gietz come together for a powerful operatic performance of Mahler’s Song of the Earth—reimagined for a chamber ensemble—plus the world premiere of composer Glenn Buhr’s Red Sea.

Sunday: Paul McCartney's back at the ACC

Sunday, August 8
Feast on delicious Greek and Mediterranean cuisine today as the ever-popular Taste of the Danforth. Mixing culture, history, food and community, this enormous street festival celebrates the flavours of Greece (and Toronto’s own Greektown) with live performances, activities and, of course, a whole lot of Hellenic cuisine.

Hear some of your favourite Beatles and Wings classics anew as Paul McCartney brings his Höfner bass to the Air Canada Centre. Though he’s been in the business for more than 40 years, Sir Paul retains the energy of youth, as his “Up and Coming” tour attests.

Complete your weekend with laugh-out-loud sketch comedy at The Second City. The talented crew’s  show, An Evening with Second City, gathers highlights from past performances along with new jabs at current affairs and lots of fresh improvisation.

Experience classical music like never before at Harbourfront Centre’s What is Classical? festival. One of its intriguing elements is The Labyrinth Project, which uses the structure of a maze to help listeners contemplate the musicality of different instruments.

Hot Date: Melodic Milestone

Anton Kuerti (photo by V. Tony Hauser)

JULY 20 TO AUGUST 14 For five years now, the Toronto Summer Music Festival has brought together famed Canadian and international luminaries of classical music for a curated series of concerts in some of the city’s top recital spaces. This season kicks off July 20 as pianist Anton Kuerti presents a solo homage to Robert Schumann, utilizing the exceptional acoustics of Koerner Hall. On July 29, Andrew Burashko and the Art of Time Ensemble draw inspiration from late-Romantic composer Erich Korngold—considered a father of the classic Hollywood film score—and the following day sees the celebrated Penderecki String Quartet performing works by four emerging composers. Various venues and times, tickets $30 to $75; call 416-408-0208 or visit here for further details.

July Hot Date—Classical Summer

The Penderecki String Quartet.

The Penderecki String Quartet.

Opens July 21 Classical music enthusiasts rejoice as world-renowned artists participate in the Toronto Summer Music Festival. Four weeks are crammed with concerts, master classes, workshops and free lectures. Grammy Award–winning violinist James Ehnes and pianist Jon Kimura Parker kick off the event at The Carlu (444 Yonge St., 416-597-1931). As the festival continues , you won’t want to miss Canada’s own Penderecki String Quartet as they expertly perform pieces by composer Christos Hastis on July 31. Various venues, $20 to $75; call 416-597-7840 for a complete lineup, or navigate here for tickets.