Royal Conservatory of Music announces 2021-22 concert season at Koerner Hall

The Royal Conservatory of Music has announced the lineup for its 13th concert season at Koerner Hall in Toronto, which includes performances by the Joshua Redman Quartet, Artemis, Dianne Reeves and many more.

More than 90 live concerts are planned, and roughly half of them will also be streamed on the Royal Conservatory’s new digital channel. The 2021-22 season includes 40 concerts that were postponed last season, plus 50 more that were newly added to this year’s lineup.

“As a community, we have managed to navigate through some extraordinary times, but I am proud to say that our beautiful Conservatory will be, once again, a hive of artistic activity,” said Peter Simon, president and CEO of the Royal Conservatory. “Music is such an essential and intrinsic part of the human experience, and we are thrilled to be able to open our doors in order to welcome back our guests and patrons, as well as a host of extraordinary musicians and artists, to Koerner Hall for the 2021-22 season.”

In what’s sure to be one of the highlights of the concert season, saxophonist and composer Joshua Redman will appear with his newly reunited original quartet featuring pianist Brad Mehldau, bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade for a performance of brand new material and signature work.

Then there’s a concert with the newly formed and highly acclaimed Artemis, the international all-star group featuring pianist and musical director Renee Rosnes, trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, clarinetist Anat Cohen, saxophonist Nicole Glover, bassist Noriko Ueda and drummer Allison Miller.

Two of the three concerts in this year’s Oscar Peterson International Jazz Festival will take place at Koerner Hall, featuring three artists who were near and dear to the late Canadian legend: pianist Makoto Ozone, guitarist Ulf Wakenius and bassist Christian McBride.

The Brubeck Brothers Quartet celebrates the 101st birthday of pianist Dave Brubeck with a multimedia show featuring stories, video and music, taking the audience on a journey along the timeline of Brubeck’s extraordinary life and career.

Marcus Roberts and the Modern Jazz Generation will present jazz improvisations on Beethoven’s Moonlight and Waldstein sonatas and variations on Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story and On the Town.

The Jazz From Around the World series will celebrate the genre’s journey from its roots in New Orleans to its influence all around the world. The series features Indonesian pianist Joey Alexander, Trinidadian trumpeter Etienne Charles, Israeli pianist Guy Mintus, Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodríguez, Turkish-Canadian clarinetist and saxophonist Selçuk Suna, Japanese pianist Makoto Ozone, Seoul-born singer Youn Sun Nah, Brazilian pianist Ivan Lins, Canadian guitarist Kevin Breit, Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista, and an international celebration of the music of Miles Davis.

There will be a gospel tribute to Aretha Franklin featuring Damien Sneed, who toured with Franklin, and Grammy Award-winner Karen Clark Sheard.

Iconic Canadian jazz vocalist Jackie Richardson is part of the cast of Follies, starring Cynthia Dale, Ma-Anne Dionisio, Eric McCormack and Marcus Nance, as the centrepiece of the season’s opening gala.

Among the other notable performers coming to Koerner Hall this season are Dianne Reeves, Bobby McFerrin, Daniel Lanois and Daymé Arocena.


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There will also be concerts by the Royal Conservatory Orchestra, the Academy Chamber Orchestra and the Glenn Gould School operas; others that are part of the Mazzoleni Masters series, the Discovery Series, the Taylor Academy Showcase, the Rebanks Family Fellowship and the SongBird North series; and two competitions: the Glenn Gould School Concerto Competition Finals and the Glenn Gould School Chamber Competition Finals.

“This special concert season is infused with a restoring and revitalizing energy, and we are overjoyed to welcome audiences back in our venues to share the vitality of live music together in person again,” said Mervon Mehta, the Royal Conservatory’s executive director of performing arts. “We also understand that the situation might change quickly and that some might not feel comfortable in public spaces yet, therefore we are also offering the option to enjoy many of our performance presentations online from the comfort of home.”

The Royal Conservatory also announced that all artists, staff, crew, students and audiences over the age of 12 will need to show proof that they are fully vaccinated in order to enter any parts of their premises. (Certain exemptions will apply for medical reasons per the Ontario Human Rights Code; those with exemptions will have to instead provide a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours of entry.)

See the full lineup at rcmusic.com.