Royal Conservatory of Music announces 2023-24 concert season at Koerner Hall
By Adam Feibel2023/06/06
The Royal Conservatory of Music has announced the full lineup of its 15th concert season, which includes newly added performances by Mavis Staples, Lizz Wright, Stacey Kent and more.
The Royal Conservatory had previously offered a preview of the lineup back in February, which included concerts by Samara Joy, Terence Blanchard, Christian McBride, Brad Mehldau, and Robi Botos. Now, they’ve announced their full schedule of more than 80 live concerts that are coming to Koerner Hall in Toronto this season.
“After three years of uncertainty, cancellations, and shutdowns, we are proud to bring you our greatest season yet — filled with superstars from classical, jazz, pop, and global music, as well as artists who we feel you need to hear,” said Mervon Mehta, executive director of performing arts at the Royal Conservatory.
“Many of our dear friends will be back, but we also feature debuts from over 20 artists,” he added. “Two-thirds of the concerts feature Canadians and a third of them feature artists that celebrate the great diversity of our city. We are indebted to our subscribers and to our legion of donors who help us at every turn. I look forward to sharing many evenings together.”
Here are a select few of the concerts announced Tuesday:
Oct. 21, 2023 — Robi Botos and Friends
Juno Award-winning pianist and the RCM’s inaugural jazz artist in residence Robi Botos takes a trip through Roma-inspired jazz piano with the help of some special guests. Botos will be joined by rising star vocalist Joanna Majoko and his frequent collaborators, trumpeter Tim Reis, bassist Mike Downes, drummer Larnell Lewis and more.
Oct. 28, 2023 — Mavis Staples
Mavis Staples, hailed by NPR as “one of America’s defining voices of freedom and peace,” returns for her fourth appearance in Koerner Hall.
Nov. 4, 2023 — Christian McBride’s New Jawn
Eight-time Grammy-winning bassist Christian McBride leads an all-star quartet that includes drummer Nasheet Waits, trumpeter Josh Evans, and saxophonist Marcus Strickland.
Dec. 9, 2023 — Terence Blanchard’s E-Collective with Turtle Island Quartet
Oscar-nominated and seven-time Grammy-winning trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard and his electric ensemble are joined by the double Grammy Award-winning Turtle Island Quartet. The E-Collective features guitarist Charles Altura, pianist and keyboardist Taylor Eigsti, drummer Oscar Seaton Jr., and bassist David “DJ” Ginyard.
Jan. 27, 2023 — Brad Mehldau
Grammy Award-winning Brad Mehldau plays a solo night of new jazz works commissioned by The Royal Conservatory, Wigmore Hall (London), Carnegie Hall, and Cal Performances (UC Berkeley). The pieces reflect the influences of French impressionism in 13 passages.
Feb. 24, 2024 — Samara Joy
Grammy-winning sensation Samara Joy has a rich and velvety yet precociously refined voice, which has already earned her fans like Anita Baker and Regina King, appearances on The Today Show and millions of likes on TikTok — cementing her status as perhaps the first Gen Z jazz singing star. The winner of the Grammy for best new artist makes her debut at Koerner Hall.
March 2, 2024 — KUNÉ with Meesha Shafi and Jesse Cook
KUNÉ, Canada’s global orchestra that was formed in 2016 by the RCM to celebrate the cultural diversity and pluralism of Canada as it turned 150, teams up with the internationally acclaimed and multi award-winning guitarist Jesse Cook and Pakistani Sufi star Meesha Shafi for a special evening.
April 27, 2024 — Lizz Wright and Sanah Kadoura
Lizz Wright sings about the cultural fabric of America. She shares the evening with Lebanese-Canadian drummer Sanah Kadoura, who blends jazz, neo-soul, and influences from her motherland in her new project, Duality.
May 4, 2024 — Stacey Kent and the Alison Young Trio
May 11, 2024 — The Jon Cowherd Trio and the Larnell Lewis Band featuring Joy Lapps
Larnell Lewis, Joy Lapps and the Jon Cowherd Trio share a soulful double bill. The Jon Cowherd Trio features three of the most imaginative, sensitive, and wide-ranging artists in modern jazz, who are also Koerner Hall favourites: pianist and Hammond B3 player Jon Cowherd, bassist John Patitucci, and drummer Brian Blade. Grammy winner Larnell Lewis has established himself as one of the most diverse and in-demand drummers in the world. Internationally lauded artist and composer Joy Lapps treats the steelpan as a tool for engagement, anchoring her artistry in a profound, community-centred musical tradition.
The Koerner Hall lineup also includes performances by Rhiannon Giddens, the Kronos Quartet, and the ARC Ensemble; debuts by Israel Fernández, the Cesária Évora Orchestra, and Igor Levit; and a special concert to commemorate National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.
“As Koerner Hall celebrates its 15th season and my last as president and CEO of the Royal Conservatory, it is hard not to feel proud that what we set out to accomplish those many years ago, has come to fruition,” said Peter Simon. “We have brought both internationally acclaimed artists such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to this great city, as well as those who are just beginning to discover their artistry — and this upcoming season is no exception. The Royal Conservatory is deeply grateful to our generous donors, sponsors, and patrons who have supported our mission for developing human potential and who share our belief in the profoundly transformational power of music.”
In keeping with recent seasons, the Royal Conservatory will continue live-streaming select performances at Koerner Hall.
The presale for subscribers begins Tuesday, June 6, at 10 a.m. New subscriptions go on sale on Friday, June 16, at 10 a.m. All tickets and subscriptions are on sale starting
Friday, June 23, at 10 a.m.