2020 – 2021 President’s Message

Welcome to the 65th season of the Guitar Society of Toronto!  Our 2020-21concert season will be very different from any that has come before, and will be a new experience for us all.

When we cancelled the remainder of last season back in March, I don’t think any of us imagined how long the pandemic would continue. But here we are in September, and we, like so many other arts groups, are finding other ways to bring music to you and keep in contact with all of you who love classical guitar.  The universal, uplifting nature of music has never been more important than now. We are so fortunate that our beloved classical guitar translates so well from the stage to a one-on-one connection.

So – although we won’t be gathering in person just yet – the Guitar Society of Toronto is offering you a 2020-21 concert season. Our first two concerts will feature the brilliant young guitarists originally scheduled to perform at our competition winners evening at the Toronto Guitar Weekend in April. I’m very happy that we haven’t missed the chance to showcase the talents of these two young artists.

In September we will present Timothy Beattie, an outstanding young Canadian multiple competition winner, who will join us from Scotland where he’s currently studying.  Austin Wahl (USA) will make his virtual Toronto debut in October; those who saw Austin at Guitar Hamilton will remember what an engaging and dynamic performer he is.

We continue with this year’s Guitar Foundation of America winner Johan Smith (Switzerland) in November.  Our September, October and November online concerts will be offered free of charge, (with donations gratefully accepted) and will feature a live chat with the artist.

Our fervent hope is that beginning in January we will be able to present concerts at St. Andrew’s with a live audience.  Our beautiful new venue is luckily large enough that physical distancing will not be difficult.  

Scheduled to make their Toronto debuts in January, February and March will be Adam Levin (USA), Daniela Rossi (Argentina), and Celil Refik Kaya (Turkey).

April will feature the sixth version of our very popular Toronto Guitar Weekend – a wonderful opportunity to spend a few days of total immersion in guitar! This year we are thrilled to feature the return of the Scottish virtuoso (and Grammy-winning) guitarist David Russell.  We promise you another fun and educational weekend, with lectures, luthier fair, master class, and open mic, as well as the tremendously popular Brunch with the Artists.

We are happy to be able to continue to present, where possible, classical guitar performances in schools, made possible with a grant from the Kenneth G. Mills Foundation.  Our community guitar orchestra, which we hope will resume in January, offers guitarists of all ages and levels an opportunity to learn and perform in an ensemble setting.  The Café Concert series of open mics has continued on line, giving us an opportunity to connect and share music with friends.  Explore our web site for information about all of these.

As you know, we are a not-for-profit organization, and depend on the generous support of our donors, sponsors and volunteers. We are so grateful; we could not do what we do without them!

It is my honour to be entering my sixth year as President of one of the oldest and most respected guitar societies in the world. I hope you will consider becoming involved, as a member, donor, or volunteer.   Check out the Membership (link) and Donor (link) pages on the web site, and don’t hesitate to contact us – we want to hear from you!

Heather Morand Clark,
President