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Toronto’s West End Micro Music Festival features four unique concerts


TORONTO, Oct. 31, 2022The intimacy of chamber music is combined with electronics and the visual arts to present chamber music in an exciting new way, at the second annual West End Micro Music Festival (WEMMF). Musicians and co-producers Brad Cherwin and Sebastian Ostertag today announced the return of (WEMMF), this November following last year’s sold-out, inaugural festival.

With an expansive stylistic palette, and by engaging with electronics, theatre, and the visual arts, the new minMAX series includes 14 diverse artists and four varied programmes that explore the dynamic contrast between minimalism and maximalism.

WEMMF takes place at the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Toronto’s West End. Concert dates are November 18, November 25, and November 26 and December 2 with 7:30 p.m. start times, and run times of approximately 75 minutes each.

West End

Single tickets and festival passes are on sale now at https://wemmf2022.eventbrite.ca.

This year’s Composer-in-Residence is Nahre Sol, a celebrated Korean-American composer, pianist, and YouTuber, presenting new works, as well as performing selections from her internationally recognized opus. The Festival also includes work by Caroline Shaw, Nico Muhly, Gyorgy Kurtag, Johannes Brahms, Julia Wolfe, Steve Reich, and more.

“With this year’s festival theme of minMAX, we take things in an exciting new direction,” says Cherwin. “Electric violin, Laurie Anderson, kick drums, improv; we’re bringing a bunch of rock n’ roll minimalism to the stage, and pushing against the very concept of a ‘chamber music festival.’ We aren’t throwing the baby out with the bathwater, there is still some incredible Brahms, and brilliant classical artists, but we play with identity this year. Each of the four programmes takes a different high contrast perspective on live instrumental music.”

Sebastian Ostertag and Brad Cherwin_WEMMF

I. INTERRUPTION: November 18th

INTERRUPTION examines minimalism and maximalism in scale and density, using the minimal forms of composers Nahre Sol, Nico Muhly, and Gyorgy Kurtag to disrupt and bisect the monumental Romantic structures of Johannes Brahms’ Quintet op. 115.

Nico Muhly – Long Drones, from Four Studies
Johannes Brahms – Quintet op. 115, for clarinet and string quartet Gyorgy Kurtag – Selected Miniatures
Nahre Sol – New Work, for clarinet and strings

Nahre Sol composer in residence

II. ONE + 2: November 25th

ONE + 2 throws a spotlight on the creative brilliance of Nahre Sol, WEMFF’s inaugural Composer-in-Residence. Sol effortlessly pulls new ideas from their instruments as they jump between electric and acoustic keyboards, and composed and improvised music. Riffing on the quintessential jazz trio, Sol is joined by Bassist Ben Finley and Korean Traditional Percussionist John Lee, as they meld chamber music and improvisation in a genre-blending performance.

Solo piano works by Nahre Sol and collaboratively composed and improvised works by Nahre Sol, Ben Finley, and John Lee

III. ALTROCK: November 26th

Electric violins, kick drums, electronics, keyboards, and a toy piano come together for ALTROCK as the artists of the West End Micro Music Festival jump blend art rock and chamber music to perform music of Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed, Julia Wolfe, and Steve Reich.

Julia Wolfe – Blue Dress
Julia Wolfe – East Broadway
Steve Reich – New York Counterpoint
David Lang – Heroin
David Lang – Killer
Laurie Anderson – Let X = X, arranged by Louis Pino Laurie Anderson – It Tango, arranged by Louis Pino


QUARTET PLUS PAPER V2 is the final offering of minMAX. This multimedia concert uses diversity — of genre, of artists, and of form — to envision a future for the performance and presentation of chamber music. Minimalism is the connective tissue — its influence rejected in Jamaican-born Eleanor Alberga’s visceral, dense, and thrilling Quartet no. 2; embraced in the repetitive, lyrical gestures of Caroline Shaw’s Entr’acte and Philip Glass’ “Mishima; and manipulated in PAPER V2 a multimedia work for pianist, clarinetist/visual artist, video projection and electronics composed and performed by Nahre Sol and Brad Cherwin.

Nahre Sol/Brad Cherwin** – PAPER V2
Philip Glass – Finale from String Quartet no. 3, “Mishima” Caroline Shaw – Entr’Acte
Eleanor Alberga – Quartet no. 2


Composer-in-Residence, Piano — Nahre Sol Voice — Cormac Culkeen
Violin — Amy Hillis, Hee-Soo Yoon, Eric Kim-Fujita Viola — Maxime Despax

Cello — Sebastian Ostertag
Bass — Ben Finley
Clarinet — Brad Cherwin Percussion — John Lee, Louis Pino Textile Artist — Esther Imm

Lighting Designer — Adam Harris Sound Design/Tech — Dave Grenon

Each concert can be purchased as a series, or individually. Tickets must be reserved in advance online. Limited student tickets are free with valid ID at the door; single tickets are $25 and a full Festival Pass is $75 (plus applicable fees). COVID-19 protocols for the venue will be followed.

Community engagement is also a key component of the WEMMF. Outreach performances will be offered to the student musicians at Sistema Toronto, and invitations will be extended for young local musicians to attend rehearsals and performances.

Festival tickets are on sale now at https://wemmf2022.eventbrite.ca

Other articles from totimes.ca – mtltimes.ca – otttimes.ca

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