2016-17 Season

Welcome to our 48th season!

As the TCC celebrates four dozen years of music-making, our concerts will explore the topic of “Music and Memory”.

Neuroscientists today are producing extraordinary insights into the workings of the human brain. Yet we still have more questions than answers about how our minds process music, particularly with regard to memory: how could Mozart supposedly write down the Allegri Miserere after hearing it only once? How can non-responsive Alzheimer’s patients spring to life when hearing certain music from their past? And how does hearing a piece of music cause us to recall something as complex as our cultural identity?

Please join us as we ponder some of these questions. Our first Kaffeemusik in October sets the stage to explore this connection between music and memory, drawing on sources ranging from ancient Greece to modern neuroscience. At Christmas we remember the poignant traditions of many diverse cultures through their most beloved holiday carols. In March we remember our departed loved ones as we sing a stunning Requiem by Heinrich Biber, and in May we will consider how modern music from Latin America remembers its roots.


Music & Memory


Is the old adage true that we remember 10% of what we read but 90% of what we sing?

This Kaffeemusik will survey the complex relationship between music and memory by discussing, among other things, the role of memory in Renaissance polyphony, the legend of Wolfgang Mozart’s visit to the Sistine chapel, research by neuroscientists such as Oliver Sacks, and modern theories such as the “Mozart effect”. Music by Allegri, Lassus, Purcell, and others, plus the premiere of David Barber’s Remember Not.


A Tour of Carols

Pre-concert chat @ 7:15pm with Kirk Elliott

There is perhaps no more powerful tool for evoking cultural memory than a holiday carol, which is passed lovingly from generation to generation like a special recipe.

With the help of multi-instrumentalist Kirk Elliott, the TCC will take you on a musical tour all across the globe. This warm holiday program presents carols from more than a dozen nations, including Ireland, the Netherlands, early America, and New France.

Collaboration with The Toronto Consort:

Kanata/Canada: First Encounters

Friday February 3 and Saturday February 4, 2017 8:00 pm – Trinity St. Paul’s Centre,

427 Bloor Street West.

Pre-concert chat @ 7:00 pm with panelists David Fallis, George Sioui and John Beckwith 

The TCC is thrilled to be collaborating with The Toronto Consort (and our former director David Fallis!) in Kanatha/Canada: First Encounter.
We will be joining The Toronto Consort as well as members of the Brookside Festival Chorus in performing Wendake/Huronia, a 2015 composition by Canadian music icon John Beckwith.  The piece was commissioned by the Brookside Music Association to mark the 400th anniversary of the voyage of Samuel de Champlain. A breath-taking account of the Wendat experience from pre-European contact to modern-day, Wendake/Huronia consists of six movements performed with period instruments and choir, sung in French and Wendat. The overall experience is one of reconciliation, but will take the audience on a journey through all the emotions.
Tickets at torontoconsort.org.


Biber Requiem


Pre-concert chat @ 7:15pm with Julia Wedman and Christopher Verrette

One of our greatest comforts in mourning is to cherish our memories of the departed.

Heinrich Biber’s masterful Requiem in F minor will be preceded by some of the composer’s most innovative motets and sacred cantatas, demonstrating his unique recipe for deepening the Catholic liturgy: the mixture of declamatory singing with Bohemian violin virtuosity. Our string ensemble will be led by Biber aficionados Julia Wedman and Christopher Verrette.


Sacred Sounds of Latin America

Elizabeth Anderson, guest conductor

When people travel across oceans, societies collide and inevitably change one another. The music which emerges from this contact encodes the exchange into sound, reminding us that every human society is shaped by a complex web of cultural influences.

In the colonial era following Columbus’s arrival in the New World, a new soundscape was created when indigenous music mixed with Spanish polyphony. In the twentieth century, Latin American composers used elements of traditional music in the spirit of nationalism, even while experimenting with avant-garde techniques from Europe. This Kaffeemusik attempts to tease out the many currents of cultural and musical influence which make Latin American sacred music so complex in both the colonial and modern eras. Music by Gutierrez Fernandez Hidalgo, Juan de Lienas, Ariel Ramírez, Heitor Villa-Lobos, and others.