Reviews of the Best Concerts and Music Events in Toronto and Beyond

Toronto’s music scene is a lively mix of genres and talents. From symphonic sounds that echo through grand halls to the rhapsody of jazz in a dimly lit cafe, the city offers a musical journey that caters to all tastes. For those planning ahead, Toronto’s concerts in January, March, and the much-anticipated events in November promise an array of musical delights. From the contemporary beats of the latest artists to the timeless notes of classical maestros, every night is a testament to Toronto’s vibrant musical soul.

TSO Dress Rehearsal
TSO Orchestra Hero

Whether you’re reminiscing about Toronto concerts last night or eagerly planning future musical journeys, our platform is your guide, offering a harmonious blend of reviews and previews, ensuring you’re always in tune with the city’s melodic heartbeat.

Best Concerts and Music Events by Genre

Symphonic and Orchestral

Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO)

The TSO’s 2022 Beethoven series was lauded for its masterful interpretation. Particularly, the Beethoven Symphony No. 7, conducted by Gustavo Gimeno, garnered praise. The much-anticipated performance of “The Who” was a spectacle to behold, with classics such as “Baba O’Riley” taking center stage. Upcoming in October, they are scheduled to present Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, creating a buzz amongst classical enthusiasts.

Firebird at Roy Thomson Hall in June

Stravinsky’s Firebird, originally a ballet, revolutionized 20th-century orchestral music with its innovative rhythms and use of folk tales. Last April, the Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra’s presentation of Gershwin’s “An American in Paris” and “Rhapsody in Blue” was a hit, blending classical with early jazz elements.

Opera

Mozart Opera at Toronto

Turandot in Toronto (Turandot COC)

Soprano Lise Lindstrom’s portrayal of Princess Turandot in the 2022 season was a thrilling experience, with her voice resonating in every corner of the hall. The set design complemented the narrative, transporting the audience to ancient China.

Don Giovanni in Toronto

Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” received critical acclaim, especially for its dramatic staging and impeccable vocal performances in 2022. The tale portrays the exploits and eventual downfall of the womanizing nobleman Don Giovanni, a balance between dark comedy and tragic elements.

Rusalka in Toronto

The evocative Czech opera “Rusalka” was brought to life with mesmerizing set design and outstanding vocal prowess, highlighting the tragic tale of love and sacrifice.

Other Notable Operas:

  • “La Boheme,” set for November, is generating significant interest given its reputation as one of Puccini’s masterpieces, capturing bohemian life in Paris.
  • “Elektra” brought the raw power of Richard Strauss’s music to the stage, captivating audiences with its drama.
  • Opera Atelier’s presentation of both “Idomeneo” and “The Return of Ulysses” showcased the company’s dedication to historically informed performances, with each opera offering a unique theatrical experience.

Chamber Music

Nicola Benedetti in Toronto

Benedetti’s 2022 performance, especially her rendition of Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1, was both powerful and nuanced. Her command over the instrument was evident.

Eric Guo’s Piano Performances

Eric, a Toronto native, has been a rising star in the chamber music scene. His 2021 performance of Rachmaninoff’s Preludes left audiences in awe of his technical prowess.

Yuja Wang in Toronto & Kyung Wha Chung at Koerner Hall

Both pianist Yuja Wang and violinist Kyung Wha Chung gave masterful performances that showcased their technical and interpretive prowess. Brian Finley also wowed audiences with his virtuosic piano renditions.

Marko Duic Concerts

Marko’s concerts in Toronto have been a highlight, bringing a fresh and invigorating style to classical pieces.

Jazz and Contemporary

Jazz Festival Toronto

Roby Lakatos Concerts

Roby’s 2022 concert at The Rex Jazz and Blues Bar displayed a mix of jazz with Hungarian folk music elements. His violin techniques captivated both jazz purists and newbies.

Keiran Campbell on Cello

The cello, traditionally linked to classical music, has been embraced by contemporary artists like Campbell, bringing its rich tones to jazz, blues, and even rock.

Choral and Early Music

Carmina Burana in Toronto

Carmina Burana is a collection of medieval songs and poems; Carl Orff’s 20th-century setting is one of the most popular pieces of the choral repertoire.

Musicals and Theatre

Anne of Green Gables in Toronto & Gananoque

The beloved Canadian tale of Anne Shirley came alive in both Toronto and Gananoque. While the Toronto show focused on a contemporary retelling, the Gananoque performance stayed true to its original charm.

Toronto Summer Music Festival

The 2022 festival had a diverse lineup, from string quartets to solo pianists, but the standout was the performance of Schubert’s “Trout Quintet.” This festival, initiated in 2006, provides a platform for emerging artists, fostering the next generation of musical talent.

Toronto Summer Music Festival

Other notable festivals include the Beaches Jazz Festival, known for its eclectic mix, and the Toronto Blues Festival, which had an unforgettable performance by Buddy Guy in 2022.

For a more detailed exploration and updates on upcoming events, it’s always recommended to visit the official websites of the respective concerts and events. Staying informed ensures that you never miss an opportunity to experience the very best of Toronto’s musical tapestry.