Welcome to the 66th season of the Guitar Society of Toronto! We are eagerly anticipating a return to live music, and the opportunity to rediscover the power of live performance that we have missed so much. We are planning to begin with the September concert at St. Andrew’s. Luckily our beautiful new venue is large enough that physical distancing will not be difficult, and we will ensure all safety advice is met.
When we cancelled the remainder of the season in March 2020, I don’t think any of us imagined how long the pandemic would continue. The 2020-21 season was very different from any that has come before, but after a quick learning curve, turned out to be a great way for us to stay connected, and enjoy the wonderful music and performers we all love. The classical guitar adapted very well from the stage to online concerts, and I think most will agree that the universal, uplifting nature of music has never been more important.
Now, however, we’re ready to gather again in person, and the season has been planned with hope and optimism. Our first three concerts will feature some fabulous Canadian guitarists – two duos and a quartet – as this will ensure they will not be affected by any international travel restrictions.
In September we will present the brilliant Henderson Kolk Duo, an outstanding Canadian duo that has performed for us multiple times, and are always hugely popular with our audiences. ChromaDuo will appear in October, bringing us their gorgeous performances of new music, as well as arrangements of music rarely heard on guitar.
We continue with the dynamic and exciting Canadian Guitar Quartet in November. This joyful and energetic group is guaranteed to provide a fun evening of music!
Our fervent hope is that beginning in January we will be able to present international artists again. Scheduled to make their (live) Toronto debuts in January, February and March will be Daniela Rossi (Argentina), Irina Kulikova (Russia), and Anna Pietrzak (Poland/Canada). Daniela performed a very popular online concert from the UK last season, and Anna participated in our Canadian Coast-to-Coast Gala concert.
April will feature the seventh 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 Grammy-winning guitarist Jason Vieaux. He was scheduled for the cancelled 2020 weekend, and it will be 12 years since he was last in Toronto! 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 hope to be able to resume classical guitar performances in schools, made possible with a grant from the Kenneth G. Mills Foundation. Our community guitar orchestra offers guitarists of all ages and levels an opportunity to learn and perform in an ensemble setting. The Café Concert series of open mics gives us an opportunity to connect and share music with friends; we expect to resume these in a live setting, as well as continuing an online version. 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 seventh 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!
All of us at the Guitar Society of Toronto cannot wait to see you and share the beauty of live classical guitar music once again!
Heather Morand Clark