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What’s Happening – November

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In Conversation with Guest Conductors
Pratik Gandhi
When our search committee asked CBSO Music Director Candidate Pratik Gandhi how he was making music with his fellow musicians during the pandemic, he had plenty to share: “This year I am co-directing the York University Wind Symphony, which has been quite a challenge to do remotely. We’re trying to make the best of the situation by engaging with repertoire in ways we wouldn’t ordinarily have the time for. This might mean more (virtual) sight-reading, guided listening, small ensemble work, and exploring the limits of the available technology.” When we asked him what music he listens to to help lift his spirits, he replied, “the Alexander Quartet’s recordings of the complete Beethoven string quartets; Ludwig Goransson’s soundtrack to The Mandalorian, Owen Pallett’s new album Island, Jeremy Levy’s The Planets: Reimagined for jazz band, and conductor Teodor Currentzis’ lively recordings of Mozart operas (with Musica Aeterna) and Mahler symphonies (with the SWR Symphony Orchestra).” Who doesn’t love Mahler symphonies? Thank you, Pratik!
Martin MacDonald
CBSO Music Director Candidate Martin MacDonald has also managed to make music despite the lock-down: “It’s certainly been incredibly quiet over these past months with so much cancelled and postponed. I did, however, have a program out on the East Coast late September/early October. Actual, real, live concerts! It required me to quarantine for two full weeks before rehearsals started, so I was away for nearly 3 weeks. To be onstage with musicians doing what we all love in front of an audience is something I don’t think I’ll ever take for granted. It’s pure magic. I also appeared on a couple of video blogs with some conducting colleagues. One was in the spring and the purpose was to discuss our favourite recordings of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Since I already had my favourites in mind, I thought it was a good chance to discover more. So, each day I went out for a run and listened to a different recording. I must have listened to at least two dozen Beethoven 5’s! It was quite the engaging experience and it was even better when I was able to complete 5km running before it ended. It was certainly much more challenging with the period performance recordings which tend to be quite quick! Since the start of the pandemic, I rediscovered my love for running. I’ve been a runner off and on for several years now so it was definitely a perfect time to get myself moving again. Aside from my Beethoven 5 experiment, I’ve essentially just been picking random composers and random works to listen to while I run. Some of them are very well known to me, some I’ve studied in great depth and conducted many times, others I’ve played as a cellist, and many I’ve never conducted, played, or listened to before. Although it’s beyond heartbreaking what this pandemic has done to the orchestral world, a sliver of light has been the opportunity to listen to music just for the sake of it. Just to enjoy it without having to worry about breaking down the nuts and bolts (although I’m doing that in my head constantly!) I’ve rediscovered so many works that I love, new and contemporary works, new-to-me works, and gaining a larger understand of composer language. While we’re offstage, it’s amazing to be able to find some healing in this way. For me, there is no greater motivation than the rush, power, and pure adrenalin of the orchestral sound. No matter the size, no matter the composer. All music heals.”
Capt. Norman Takes Us to the Skies         
Take a flight with Norm in a Cessna 172 at Welland, Ontario. Instead of being behind an organ console, Norm takes you flying so that you can get out of the house during this time of COVID. Have a fun and safe flight with this video!
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We are extremely grateful to you for your dedication and support as we all navigate through this difficult situation.  Cathedral Bluffs, as with other arts organizations in Toronto, is facing unprecedented financial challenges due to the effects of COVID-19.  We respectfully ask you to consider making a donation which would provide urgently needed support to our organization to weather the current storm. The orchestra is a registered non-profit charitable organization and provides tax receipts for donations of any amount (Charity # 89036 4573 RR0001). 

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