THIS WEEK'S CONTENTS

A BIT OF TIME ON YOUR HANDS?

CLICK TO GO TO :

- Revenos a Nos Moutons, avec Duguene!

- Guitar of the Week featuring Jorma Kaukonen of Hot Tuna & Jack Casady of Jefferson Airplane

- El Sistema Aeolian Update: Dudamel leads Beethoven's 9th

- Insight: Fred Hersch's Valentine

- In Clark's Studio

- Winter 2021 Virtual Art Show with the Artful Dodgers

- Spring 2021 Virtual Art Show with the Shady Artists

SETTLE IN FOR THE LONG READ!

CLICK TO GO TO:

- Valentine's Dream: A Romantic Play List

Community Portal

- Black History in Ontario: the Ontario Black History Society

- Spotlight on William Dawson

- Spotlight on Louise Bernice Halfe: Parliamentary Poet Laureat

- Canada's First Gay Marriage on this day in LGBTQ2 History

- Support the Aeolian

- Celebrating Aeolian's Donors & Friends

 

FIND THE MUSIC AND WIN

If you are like us, and you've been reading the Aeolian weekly newsletter from top to bottom since we launched the new layout in October... then this contest is for you!

Find the microphone 🎤 hidden in one of the stories below. Email boxoffice@aeolianhall.ca and be the first to tell us exactly where it is and win a one month pass to the Phoenix Sessions... that's 4 concerts in the comfort of your home. You will also receive two signed posters from any of the Phoenix Sessions. Happy reading!

Aeolian Phoenix Sessions Present...

Colin Linden... Live from Nashville

Colin Linden is a genuine renaissance man of roots music. He’s a member of the highly successful trio, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, a singer and songwriter, an in-demand and prolific record producer, musical director on the hit TV show Nashville and sideman to the stars as guitarist for the likes of Bob Dylan, Bruce Cockburn, Emmylou Harris, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss.

Of how many artists can it be said that they’re getting better, 33 years into their recording career? Colin Linden can certainly be considered a member of that select club based on From The Water, the 11th solo album in a storied career that has also featured his work on literally hundreds of other records. At last count, the total of albums on which he has played stood at over 300, while at least 70 albums bear the ‘Produced by Colin Linden’ credit.

Linden is a genuine renaissance man of roots music. He’s a singer and songwriter of great skill, an in-demand and prolific record producer ( Bruce Cockburn, Tom Wilson, Colin James), a sideman to the stars as guitarist for the likes of Bruce Cockburn, Emmylou Harris, and Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, and, for the past decade, a member of the highly successful trio, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings.

Colin’s songs have been covered by The Band, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Keb’ Mo’, and Colin James, and his well-stocked trophy case includes seven Juno, multiple Maple Blues Awards, and a Toronto Arts Award. He was nominated for a Grammy Award for the star-studded A Tribute to Howlin’ Wolf CD, and was involved in the ground-breaking O Brother Where Art Thou phenomenon. Linden has a well-deserved reputation as a slide guitar virtuoso of real originality, and his riveting slide work can be heard both on albums from such artists as Cassandra Wilson, The Rankin Family and Whitey Johnson and on his own sizeable solo catalogue.

PREMIER DATE: Friday February 12, 2021

PREMIER TIME: 7:30 P.M.

Visit www.aeolianhall.ca/events for more information.

Aeolian Phoenix Sessions...

FEBRUARY PRODUCTION LINE-UP: SUBSCRIBE NOW

The Phoenix Sessions bring the virtual stage live into your livingroom. Subscribers have front row seats and a virtual backstage pass to a concert and interview. A one month subscription and access to at least four performances is available for $20.

Aeolian’s Phoenix Sessions are proud to produce four outstanding performances in February.  One new show will be released every Friday including: Lewington & Downie (Enter the Haggis), Colin Linden, Jully Black, and Nocturne Romantique featuring Clark Bryan, pianist.

In keeping with Ontario government regulations, out of respect for our friends in the music venue industry, and out of consideration for all of our artists, volunteers and staff, the Aeolian Phoenix Sessions will be independently recorded in home studios during the provincial lockdown. We wish to thank our dedicated musicians for taking on this extra initiative to ensure that the Phoenix Sessions can continue. As always, we look forward to being able to showcase our talent on stage again soon. In February, our performances come to you from London, Toronto, and Nashville. We hope you enjoy this musical journey.

Subscribe once, enjoy live music all month long!

These performances are part of the Aeolian’s Phoenix Sessions. To view, become a recurring monthly member. You will receive an email including a link that you will use each time you wish to view a performance.

Visit www.aeolianhall.ca/events for more information.

ACTIVATING YOUR MONTHLY PACKAGE

Membership is Automatic; Show Selection is the Viewer's Choice

Every month, your Phoenix Sessions Membership rolls over automatically. Members still need to login and select your show package and any other Member's Only items we have on offer. The process is easy.

IF YOU ARE ALREADY A MEMBER

(ie: you subscribed with automatic renewal and have a Membership Number)

  • Go Here (to select February's programming): FEBRUARY LINK
  • Scroll down to the Membership Form at the bottom of the page.
  • Select I AM A MEMBER
  • Enter your membership number*
  • Select VERIFY
  • This will automatically confirm your membership is active and provide access to the February Pass.
  • Scroll down. Enter your information (name and email).
  • Select SUBMIT
  • Check your email. You will receive your February Pass.** Keep it safe: you will use it for every concert in February.

*Lost Your Membership Number? Select “I FORGOT MY NUMBER” and enter your email address. We will email it to you within a few minutes.

**Lost Your February Pass? Go here: FEBRUARY PASS RECOVERY

REMEMBER: unless you wish to donate or want to give a membership as a gift, leave these sections blank. Partially completed sections will cause an error message when checking out.

ANNOUNCEMENT:

Change to the February Line-Up

JULLY BLACK

Jully Black is a platinum-selling singer, songwriter, performer, international recording artist, multiple Juno Award winner, Gemini Award (now Canadian Screen Awards) recipient, a celebrated television actress and author.

She has collaborated with industry heavyweights such as Destiny's Child and Sean Paul, has shared the stage with superstars such as Celine Dion, Elton John and Etta James, to name a few.

In February 2020 Jully took the musical theatre world by storm and won the highly esteemed Dora Mavor Award and the coveted Toronto Theatre Critics Award for her critically acclaimed, starring role as ‘Caroline’ in ‘Caroline, or Change’ (books and lyrics by Tony Kushner).

Jully is a phenom in Canadian entertainment, lifestyle and public speaking arenas. It is with purpose driven ideals and boundless spiritual fortitude that she continues to refine and reinvent her artistry.

As CEO of Jully Black Entertainment Inc., Jully continues to contribute to the music landscapes that she has helped define throughout her illustrious 20+ year career as Canada’s Queen of RnB/Soul. 

PREMIER DATE: Friday February 19, 2021

PREMIER TIME: 7:30 P.M.

DIGITAL PASS HERE or see www.aeolianhall.ca/phoenix for more information

ANNOUNCEMENT:

Change to the February Line-Up

NOCTURNE ROMANTIQUE

Clark Bryan, Pianist

Footsteps on freshly fallen snow. The smell of a wood burning fire. Stars dancing among a frozen sky. A candlelit window breaking the darkness. Quiet contemplation.

Experience an evening of passion and romance as Clark Bryan plays nocturnes; night music for a winters' eve.

Come in from the cold. With Talisker or a smoky wine in hand, step out of reality and into romance. Dreamy and suggestive, piano nocturnes are among the most beautiful and the most melancholy.

From love to love-lost, and the new to the comfortable, this evening of nocturnes will warm your heart, feed your restless soul, leaving you lost for just a moment among the starry, starry night.

As an award-winning concert pianist, Clark Bryan has performed internationally, recorded 14 CD’s and has been featured on radio and television. As a teacher, Mr Bryan has taught thousands of students, adjudicated more than 60 music festivals coast to coast in Canada, given dozens of workshops and written a book “Gateways to Learning and Memory”.

The founder of The Aeolian Performing Arts Centre, Clark believes that everyone should have universal access to music, art and culture. Because of this belief, he launched El Sistema Aeolian in 2011. This free, intensive music program has offered hundreds of children and youth an opportunity to experience the joy of a rich musical experience. In 2016, Mr. Bryan secured Bishop Cronyn Memorial Place, a second facility to develop an Education Campus. Shortly after securing this facility, he co-founded two new programs. Pride Men’s Chorus London is a choir open to men of all backgrounds and identities. Rebelheart Collective is a conductorless chamber orchestra that offers mentorship to young apprentices and offers free tickets to every concert.

Mr. Bryan is engaged in community activism and speaks regularly at events, on radio and television and has given a TEDx talk about the power and joy of music study.

He has been awarded Musical Personality of the Year (2005), Forest City London Music Award for Community Contribution (2011). In 2017, Mr. Bryan was given the Western Alumni Award of Merit and inducted into the Don Wright Faculty of Music Wall of Fame. In 2018, Clark was recognized with a Canada 150 Award through the House of Commons for his contributions to community and the nation.

PREMIER DATE: Friday February 26, 2021

PREMIER TIME: 7:30 P.M.

DIGITAL PASS HERE or see www.aeolianhall.ca/phoenix for more information

AEOLIAN PHOENIX SESSIONS

With special thanks to our sponsors:

Chris Collins & Elana Johnson

2020 Gold Sponsors

 

Aeolian Phoenix Sessions...

MARCH PRODUCTIONS ANNOUNCED

The Phoenix Sessions bring the virtual stage live into your living room. Subscribers have front row seats and a virtual backstage pass to a concert and interview. A one-month membership and access to at least four performances is available for $20.

Aeolian’s Phoenix Sessions are proud to produce four outstanding performances in March. One new show will be released  every Friday including: Marty Kols, Andrew Collins, Luke McMaster, and Fraser Teeple

Subscribe once, enjoy live music all month long! 

These performances are part of the Aeolian’s Phoenix Sessions. To view, become a recurring monthly member. You will receive an email including a link that you will use each time you wish to view a performance.

Aeolian Phoenix Sessions...

APRIL PRODUCTIONS ANNOUNCED

The Phoenix Sessions bring the Aeolian stage into the comfort of your living room. Subscribers have front row seats and a virtual backstage pass to a concert and interview. A one-month membership and access to at least four performances is available for $20.

Aeolian’s Phoenix Sessions are proud to produce five outstanding performances in April. One new show will be released every Friday including: Heartaches String Band, Fred Hersch...Live from New York, Permesso featuring Jennifer Thorpe, the El Sistema Quartet and April Love featuring Take Three.

Subscribe once, enjoy live music all month long! 

These performances are part of the Aeolian’s Phoenix Sessions. To view, become a recurring monthly member. You will receive an email including a link that you will use each time you wish to view a performance.

 

The Elements of Story:
Buffy Sainte-Marie

Renew your New Year’s reading goals and join us for our next iteration of The Elements of Story, this time curated by the legendary Indigenous singer-songwriter, musician, Oscar-winning composer, visual artist, educator, pacifist, and social activist, Buffy Sainte-Marie!

Buffy Sainte-Marie has selected three books around which the event will be framed. Once registered you will receive the book list to read over the course of the coming weeks in preparation for the deep-dive conversation or to let Sainte-Marie’s words inspire your reading and add context to the books for you to enjoy in the future. The not-to-be-missed moderated discussion will touch upon the ways in which the chosen works have impacted Sainte-Marie personally, how they collectively articulate the present moment, and on the importance of storytelling in the search for meaning in difficult times.

LIVE DIGITAL EVENT
DATE: Thursday February 18, TIME: 7:00pm 

SUBSCRIBE

 

BLACK HISTORY MONTH:

Canada's Music Landscape 

"The fire this time, the future is now."

Panelists will discuss what they think really needs to happen in Canada’s music industry to support Black music practitioners, creators, and industry workers. Is executing overnight knee jerk token Black hires enough? How do we measure success and expedite equality when it comes to fully eradicating anti-Black racism in the Canadian music industry? Is there anything non-Black allies of Black music industry workers can do on their WOKE-ness journey to (really) help level the playing field? Are there any issues being ignored in this BLM-fueled journey to justice in Canada? 

Join TD Sunfest for the live stream at 7:00pm EDT

With a special performance from Krystle Dos Santos Set time: Approx 8:00pm EDT

Krystle Dos Santos (Vancouver)

Krystle Dos Santos is a 2x Western Canadian Music Award winning soul, jazz and R&B singer based out of Vancouver, Canada. With an extraordinary voice that is commanding, powerful and rich with talent, her music, inspired by classic and neo-soul combined with smooth R&B elements is executed brilliantly; It's simultaneously elegant, bold and sensual similar to modern legends Sharon Jones and Charles Bradley.

"She commands the stage with her elegant statuesque form and her easy banter draws you in making he whole experience naturally intimate. However, it's when Dos Santos grasps the retro microphone she sings into and unfolds that tremendous, earthy, sexy voice you are captured" - Shelley Gummeson, Radio Host, Jazz on the Rocks

WATCH ON FACEBOOK LIVE

 

REVENONS A NOS MOUTONS, AVEC DEGUENE

Un segment spécial pour notre ami francophone

LA MONTAGNE QUE NOUS MONTONS

Deux semaines après l’envahissement du Capitol par une foule de haineux, c’est l’aube d’un nouveau jour dans le monde moderne. C’est le jour, je l’espère, du commencement d’un nouveau chapitre dans le livre de l’histoire de l’Amérique : Biden va devenir président à la place du plus grand haineux de l’histoire moderne, après Hitler. Outre le fait que c’est une journée historique, du fait que c’est le jour qu’une femme, noire de surcroit devient la vice-présente des USA, c’est surtout pour moi le jour ou j’ai découvert une jeune poète qui m’a mis du baume au cœur : Amanda Gorman! J’étais au bord de la déprime la semaine dernière à cause de ces événement malheureux qui m’ont fait sentir la précarité dans laquelle je vis en tant que femme noire ici à London.

Lorsque je l’ai écouté, j’ai été frappé par la clarté et l’universalité de son discours qui non seulement s’applique au peuple américain meurtri, mais aussi à tout peuple qui vit l’oppression ou bien à toute personne qui vit dans le désespoir et le découragement.

Ces mots..

Il y’a toujours de la lumière (espoir)

Si seulement on est assez courageux pour le voir

Si seulement on est assez courageux pour l’être

N’avons-nous pas, chacun, notre montagne à escalader?

A toutes les femmes qui vivent une situation difficile avec leurs partenaires, l’espoir est permis. Ayez le courage d’aller chercher de l’aide; cela demande certes une force extraordinaire à puiser au plus profond de soi même pour sauter le pas, mais surtout cela demande de la force pour sortir de sa routine, parfois sécuritaire.

À toutes les personnes qui se battent contre les démons de la santé mentale, vous n’êtes pas seules! C’est certes une montagne abrute à escalader mais il ya de la lumière au bout du tunnel. En ces temps difficiles ou chacun est chez soi pour cause de pandémie, c’est encore plus d’actualité. Ne vous coupez pas du reste du monde : sortez prendre une marche, parlez avec les personnes qui vous sont chères et surtout gardez espoir. Si vous ne vous voyez pas comme votre propre lumière, ne fermez pas les yeux : il ya des lueurs de lumière tout autour de vous!

À tous les enseignants qui enseignent virtuellement et à qui manquent le sourire, le salut, le contact avec ses élèves, je vous dis : tenez bon. Tel un alpiniste, plus tu montes, plus tu t’approches du sommet de la montagne. Je sais que, chaque jour est un combat titanesque pour trouver les ressources, pour engager ses élèves, pour communiquer avec les parents, pour s’occuper de sa propre famille, de ses propres enfants, qui, eux aussi sont devant leurs ordinateurs en train de suivre leurs cours.

À toutes ces personnes qui escaladent leurs montagnes, je vous comprends et je vous dis courage, la réussite est au bout de l’effort.

À ceux qui sont au pied de la montagne, qui la regardent sans avoir encore le courage de lever le genou et d’entamer l’ascension, j’espère que tu trouveras le souffle, sinon le venin nécessaire pour commencer l’écriture d’un nouveau chapitre dans le livre de ta vie.

 

Aeolian Guitar Shop

A recent gift by longtime friend and former Board Member Dave Southen has brought a whole new level of music to the Hall during these quieter times.  Dave has donated his guitar collection to the Hall for purpose of resale.

Each week we will feature one of the guitars in our collection. If you are interested in this guitar or seeing any in the collection, please email info@aeolianhall.ca.

Guitar of the Week: 

YAMAHA

Model: FG800MS signed by Jorma Kaukonen of Hot Tuna & Jack Casady of Jefferson Airplane

Condition: NEW

Accessories: Case

Price: $500.00

GUITARS

JORMA KAUKONEN

Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Jorma Kaukonen was born and grew up in Washington, D.C., where he first turned to the guitar. He lived in the San Francisco Bay Area in the early '60s, playing backup to singer Janis Joplin in local clubs. In 1965, Kaukonen became a founding member of Jefferson Airplane, which soared to fame in 1967. Though Kaukonen's songs and vocals were not prominently featured in the band, his distinctive guitar-playing was crucial to its sound. With bassist Jack Casady, Kaukonen formed a spinoff duo from the group in 1970 called Hot Tuna, and this became his primary musical vehicle after Jefferson Airplane split in 1973. Hot Tuna recorded a series of albums on which Kaukonen sang and played guitar through 1978. After that, Kaukonen worked as a soloist and with such groups as Vital Parts (1980), and he recorded occasional albums. Kaukonen reunited with Casady in Hot Tuna during the '80s, and both participated in the 1989 reunion of Jefferson Airplane. 

JACK CASADY

Casady became the bass player for Jefferson Airplane when lead guitarist Jorma Kaukonen, a high school friend and former Triumphs rhythm guitarist, invited him to join in late September 1965. He replaced original Jefferson Airplane bassist Bob Harvey the following month. Not only did he perform live on stage with Jimi Hendrix during 1968, he also played bass on the Jimi Hendrix song "Voodoo Chile", from the Electric Ladyland album released in the same year (some copies of the album misspell his name as Cassidy). He also occasionally played with other key San Francisco bands Grateful Dead, Country Joe and the Fish and James and the Good Brothers.

Casady and Kaukonen formed Hot Tuna in 1969, and they still perform to the present day. The group has morphed over the years from an acoustic blues unit to an electric boogie band to a rampaging metal act and back again. 

EL SISTEMA AEOLIAN UPDATE

IN PERFORMANCE: Dudamel leads the Bolivar Orchestra on Beethoven's 9th Symphony

THE ORCHESTRA

The Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela (Spanish: Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar de Venezuela) is a Venezuelan orchestra. Named after the Venezuelan national hero Simón Bolívar, it is the apex of the nation's system of youth orchestras, although by 2011 it was no longer officially a youth orchestra because the average age of the players had risen too high. It was replaced as the national youth orchestra by the Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra.

The economist, José Antonio Abreu established the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar on 12 February 1978. Gustavo Dudamel has been the orchestra's artistic director since 1999. The orchestra has worked with many famous conductors including Claudio Abbado and Simon Rattle.

Venezuela's youth orchestras are run under the auspices of the Fundación Musical Simón Bolívar (FMSB), formerly known as the Fundacion del Estado para el Sistema Nacional de las Orquestas Juveniles e Infantiles de Venezuela, known colloquially as El Sistema.

Based in Caracas, the orchestra moved its home in 2007 from the Teresa Carreño Cultural Complex to a new Center for Social Action Through Music nearby. The name of the center reflects the fact that El Sistema sees itself as a social agency: most of its music students come from poor socio-economic backgrounds.

THE MUSIC

The Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, is a choral symphony, the final complete symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven, composed between 1822 and 1824. It was first performed in Vienna on 7 May 1824. The symphony is regarded by many critics and musicologists as Beethoven's greatest work and one of the supreme achievements in the history of music. One of the best-known works in common practice music, it stands as one of the most performed symphonies in the world.

The symphony was the first example of a major composer using voices in a symphony. The words are sung during the final (4th) movement of the symphony by four vocal soloists and a chorus. They were taken from the "Ode to Joy", a poem written by Friedrich Schiller in 1785 and revised in 1803, with text additions made by Beethoven.

In 2001, Beethoven's original, hand-written manuscript of the score, held by the Berlin State Library, was added to the Memory of the World Programme Heritage list established by the United Nations, becoming the first musical score so designated.

 

INSIGHT: VALENTINE

Pianist & Composer Fred Hersch to Perform for the Phoenix Sessions in April

“Valentine” was composed on Valentine’s Day in 2001 at The MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, NH. At the time, I was writing jazz tunes with the aid of a kitchen timer, and this was completed in sketch form in about 20 minutes. I then fashioned a lead sheet and began playing the piece in concerts, usually as an encore. It received a Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Composition in 2008. As I performed the piece, my interpretations became more consistent – even though there is a free improvisatory introduction and improvisation after the melody and before the recapitulation.

This piece is to be played in a relaxed, leisurely manner with great affection and warmth.”

– Fred Hersch

A pianist and composer whose work has received nearly universal acclaim in a career spanning over 25 years, Fred Hersch is among the foremost creative musicians in the world today. Described as “a master who plays it his way” by The New York Times, Hersch has released more than twenty albums as a solo artist or bandleader, two of which were nominated for Grammy awards for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance.

LIVE FROM CLARK'S STUDIO

This week we bring you two more pieces performed live by our Executive and Artistic Director, Mr. Clark Bryan.

Clark has performed and recorded a piece of music every day since Aeolian closed its doors in March 2000 ensuring that music does not go silent in these unusual and challenging times.

The arts can be seen as a luxury for those who have the time or the money to enjoy them, but our goal has always been to provide universal access to music.

MORE MUSIC BY CLARK

For your enjoyment, here are a few of Clark's more recent performances:

We must communicate from a place of love. Many of us can recall an experience of listening to a work performed without love. It can be a good performance. Everyone will know and feel that something is missing. The ingredient of love shifts the “good” to “sublime” or “ecstatic”.

- S. Clark Bryan

ARTFUL DODGERS WINTER 2021 SHOW

Installation by the Artful Dodgers collective featuring the works of Lynne Pinchin, Chip Oud and Judy Stirling in their third showing at Aeolian Hall.

All pieces are available for immediate purchase and pick-up at Aeolian Hall at 795 Dundas Street, London, Ontario.

To purchase, email us (no calls, please) at boxoffice@aeolianhall.ca. In your email, please indicate which pieces (by title and artist) you wish to purchase.

A representative will contact you as soon as possible to arrange payment (Credit Card or eTransfer in advance of the pick-up appointment) and schedule curbside pick-up at Aeolian Hall.

With thanks to the artists, the Aeolian Hall receives 30% of the sale of each work with proceeds going toward our programs like El Sistema Aeolian and the Pride Men’s Chorus London.

THIS WEEK'S FEATURED WORKS

BECKONING

Chip Oud

Oil, 30x26, $200

WINTER IN THE CITY

Lynne Pinchin

Acrylic,2x30, $1000

PINK IRIS

Judy Stirling

Oil, 20x24 (Framed), $550

Art Shows at the Aeolian

Select the photo to be taken to the entire collection by the Artful Dodgers

SHADY ARTISTS WINTER 2021 SHOW

Installation by the Shady Artists collective featuring the works of Janice Howell, Sandi McCabe and Michele Haley showing at Aeolian Hall.

All pieces are available for immediate purchase and pick-up at Aeolian Hall at 795 Dundas Street, London, Ontario.

To purchase, email us (no calls, please) at boxoffice@aeolianhall.ca. In your email, please indicate which pieces (by title and artist) you wish to purchase.

A representative will contact you as soon as possible to arrange payment (Credit Card or eTransfer in advance of the pick-up appointment) and schedule curbside pick-up at Aeolian Hall.

With thanks to the artists, the Aeolian Hall receives 30% of the sale of each work with proceeds going toward our programs like El Sistema Aeolian and the Pride Men’s Chorus London.

THIS WEEK'S FEATURED WORKS

PINK TREE IN BLOOM

MIchele Haley

Oil, 20x20, $400

ISLAND IN THE SUN, SPRINGBANK PARK

Sandi McCabe

Acrylic, 30x15, $325

ITALIAN VASE

Janice Howell

Acrylic, 18x18, $320

Art Shows at the Aeolian

Select the photo to be taken to the entire collection by the Shady Artists

VALENTINE'S MUSICAL DREAM
 

Love, in all of its glorious forms – triumphant, fleeting, passionate, fragile, unrequited, tragic – is every artist’s muse.

To celebrate Valentine’s Day with you, we have curated some of the best classical romantic music masterpieces straight from the hearts of the composers.

So whether you’re in love with yourself, trying to impress your significant other, or planning a grand, over-the-top gesture of your own, explore our selection of five of the most glorious pieces of classical romantic music that would make Cupid himself blush or shed a tear.

5. Debussy: La Fille Aux Cheveux De Lin

Here’s a gem from Debussy's vast and stunning oeuvre of solo piano pieces: La Fille Aux Cheveux De Lin. The beauty of this piece lies in its elegant simplicity: lilting, delicate melodies shine and tumble happily over one another, enveloped by the soft, luminous harmonies emanating from the spread chord accompaniment beneath. The liberating feeling of weightlessness and freedom of spirit Debussy achieves here sounds a little like how love should feel.

Performed by Clark Bryan, Pianist

4. Mahler: Symphony No.5, Fourth Movement ‘Adagietto’

It is widely accepted that this astounding symphony tells the story of Mahler’s love affair with his future wife, Alma: indeed the fourth movement is often referred to as a love letter from composer to muse. Sumptuously soft and glossy, the ‘Adagietto’ is almost un-Mahler-like in its vastly reduced orchestral forces and lack of pyrotechnics, with only soulful strings and gentle harp. From the first few bars, it is abundantly clear to the listener that this movement is not like any of Mahler’s other works: this is his heart.Debussy achieves here sounds a little like how love should feel.

Performed by the New Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Sir John Barbirolli

3. Pärt: Spiegel Im Spiegel

Sensitive, hypnotic, poignant. Avro Pärt’s minimalistic approach to composition in this well-known piece strips back the layers, leaving raw, fragile emotion. The solo violin (or cello in some recordings) takes unsteady breaths, with the bow only just making 🎤 contact with the string, whilst the circling piano creates a feeling of stasis and complete contentment. It’s not until the final note that you realise you’ve been holding your breath.

Performed by Jürgen Kruse (Piano) and Benjamin Hudson (viola)

2. Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2, Second Movement, ‘Adagio sostenuto’

Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 is one of the greatest works in the piano repertoire and one of the best pieces of classical romantic music. Brooding, emotional and passionate, there’s a reason why Rachmaninov’s mighty second Piano Concerto is the go-to score of choice for the movie business, born romantics, and pianists who want to seriously impress. The piano concerto will be familiar to many from its prominent use in the 1945 film Brief Encounter, directed by David Lean, starring Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard, directed by David Lean. Lean employed Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 to say more about their true feelings than they do themselves.

Performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin

1. Puccinni: Nessun Dorma, Turandot

Popularized by the extraordinary Lucianni Pavarotti, Puccinni's Nessun Dorma from the opera Turandot is a scorcher of a love song... leaving hearts shattered and tears of passion and heartache all over the stage.

In the Act before this aria, Calaf has correctly answered the three riddles put to all of Princess Turandot's prospective suitors. Nonetheless, she recoils at the thought of marriage to him. Calaf offers her another chance by challenging her to guess his name by dawn. As he kneels before her, the "Nessun dorma" theme makes a first appearance, to his words, "Il mio nome non sai!" (My name you do not know!). She can execute him if she correctly guesses his name; but if she does not, she must marry him. The cruel and emotionally cold princess then decrees that none of her subjects shall sleep that night until his name is discovered. If they fail, all will be killed.

As the final act opens, it is now night. Calaf is alone in the moonlit palace gardens. In the distance, he hears Turandot's heralds proclaiming her command. His aria begins with an echo of their cry and a reflection on Princess Turandot:

Nessun dorma! Nessun dorma!
Tu pure, o Principessa,
nella tua fredda stanza,
guardi le stelle
che tremano d'amore, e di speranza!

Ma il mio mistero è chiuso in me;
il nome mio nessun saprà!
No, No! Sulla tua bocca,
lo dirò quando la luce splenderà!

Ed il mio bacio scioglierà
il silenzio che ti fa mia!

 

 

Il nome suo nessun saprà,
E noi dovrem, ahimè, morir, morir!

Calaf, now certain of victory, sings:

Dilegua, o notte!
Tramontate, stelle!
Tramontate, stelle!
All'alba, vincerò!
Vincerò! Vincerò!

 

Performed by Luciano Pavarotti, The John Alldis Choir, Wandsworth School Boys Choir, and London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Zubin Mehta

None shall sleep! None shall sleep!
Not even you, oh Princess,
in your cold bedroom,
watching the stars
that tremble with love, and with hope!

But my secret is hidden within me;
no one will know my name!
No, no! On your mouth,
I will say it when the light shines!

And my kiss will dissolve
the silence that makes you mine!

Just before the climactic end of the aria, a chorus of women is heard singing in the distance:

No one will know his name,
and we will have to, alas, die, die!

 

Vanish, o night!
Fade, you stars!
Fade, you stars!
At dawn, I will win!
I will win! I will win!

Our History: Our Future

COMMUNITY PORTAL

Each week, the Aeolian looks back at our history, and forward to our future in a search for equality for all people. We ask "why," we celebrate successes, and we remember there is still much work to be done. Love and respect or our fellow human beings is the only path that promises peace, equality and human dignity.

We are proud to bring you Aeolian's Community Portal. This is and will continue to be a work in progress where we archive stories important to the voices we have featured here each week in the Our History: Our Future column. We will advocate for the rights of Canada's Indigenous people, the LGBTQ2 community and support the Black Lives Matter movement. Not just a repository of historical information, we will also include coming events, online resources, and stories and videos that shine light on the challenges to and achievements of the movement toward equality.

We cannot do this alone. We want to hear from you and include your stories. If you are represented by this portal and have a story to tell, write us. We welcome submissions and would be happy to interview you or research a topic or event that has not been covered.  The more we know, the more our readers know, the better we can understand each other as humans who are equal, humans who have dignity, and humans that deserve to have their stories honoured.

Community Resource Portal

CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH: Ontario Black History Society

Founded in 1978, the Ontario Black History Society (OBHS), is the organization in Canada that is at the forefront in the celebration of Black history and heritage with a demonstrated record in the study, preservation and promotion of Black history in Ontario. The OBHS is also the only Ontario Provincial Heritage Organization of the Ministry of Culture devoted to Black history and heritage.

We are the organization responsible for initiating the formal celebration of February Black History Month at all levels of government in Canada due to our year-long efforts to extend this celebration. (i.e. the first formal declaration of February as Black history month with the City of Toronto in 1979; and with the Province of Ontario in 1993).

In December 1995, the House of Commons officially recognized February as Black History Month, following a motion introduced by the first Black Canadian woman elected to Parliament, the Honourable Jean Augustine. The motion was carried unanimously by the House of Commons.

Dr. Daniel Hill, Donna Hill, Wilson Brooks, Joan Kazmarski, Lorraine Hubbard and others, co- founded the Ontario Black History Society in 1978. It became the first major public organization in Canada focused on the history of Black people in the country. Daniel Hill remained at the helm of the Society for about six years.

Daniel Hill used his social aplomb and contacts to bring the celebration of Black history into the public domain. In 1980, Toronto Mayor Art Eggleton supported the launch of a major Black history exhibit at the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto. Daniel Hill succeeded in discovering and unveiling a portrait of William Peyton Hubbard, a prominent Toronto Black politician in the early 20th century, who had become all but forgotten in the closing decades of the 20th century.

BLACK EXCELLENCE SERIES:

William Dawson

Of African American heritage, Dawson was born in Anniston, Alabama. A graduate of the Horner Institute of Fine Arts with a Bachelor of Music, William Dawson later studied at the Chicago Musical College with professor Felix Borowski, and then at the American Conservatory of Music where he received his master's degree. Early in his career he served as a trombonist both with the Redpath Chautauqua and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago (1927–1930).

His teaching career began in the Kansas City public school system, followed by a tenure with the Tuskegee Institute from 1931–1956. During this period, he appointed a large number of faculty members who later became well known for their work in the field. Additionally, Dawson also developed the Tuskegee Institute Choir into an internationally renowned ensemble; they were invited to sing at New York City's Radio City Music Hall in 1932 for a week of six daily performances. Dawson began composing at a young age, and early in his compositional career his Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano was performed by the Kansas City Symphony.

Besides chamber music, he is also known for his contributions to both orchestral and choral literature. His best-known works are arrangements of and variations on spirituals. His Negro Folk Symphony of 1934 garnered a great deal of attention at its world premiere by Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra. The symphony was revised in 1952 with added African rhythms inspired by the composer's trip to West Africa. Dawson said that the composition was an attempt to convey the missing elements that had been lost when Africans came into bondage outside their homeland. His most popular spirituals include "Ezekiel Saw the Wheel", "Jesus Walked the Lonesome Valley", "Talk about a Child That Do Love Jesus" and "King Jesus Is a-Listening". Dawson was elected to the Alpha Alpha chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the music fraternity, in 1977. He died, aged 90, in Montgomery, Alabama. Dawson's arrangements of traditional African-American spirituals are widely published in the United States and are regularly performed by school, college and community choral programs.

According to Dominique-Rene de Lerma of Lawrence University, in notes to "The Spirituals of William L. Dawson" produced by The St Olaf Choir in 1997, "What is even more striking than the richness of Dawson's textures is the lushness of his sonorities, exhibiting his remarkable insight into vocal potentials." Dawson married pianist Cornelia Lampton in 1927; she died in 1928.

Spotlight on Louise Bernice Halfe

Parliament's new Poet Laureat

An award-winning Indigenous poet and former residential school student has been selected as the next Parliamentary Poet Laureate.

Louise Bernice Halfe, who is also known by her Cree name, Sky Dancer, has used poetry to confront Canada's fraught history with Indigenous people.

She is Canada's ninth Poet Laureate. She also was Saskatchewan's second Poet Laureate.

Raised on the Saddle Lake First Nation in Alberta, Halfe attended Blue Quills Residential School as a child and went on to become a social worker.

The role of the Parliamentary Poet Laureate is to write poetry, especially for use in Parliament on important occasions.

The Laureate also sponsors poetry readings and advises the Parliamentary Librarian regarding the library’s collection.

Halfe says her ultimate goal is to help poetry gain greater prominence in Canada.

ON THIS DAY IN LGBTQ2 

HISTORY

Canada's first "gay marriage" in 1974

In Winnipeg, today in 1974, Richard North and Chris Vogel were married by a Unitarian-Universalist minister.

First publicized as “gay marriage” in Canada, it was not recognized by the government.

The couple's marriage certificate has been put on display at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

Happy 45th Anniversary, Richard and Chris!

AEOLIAN'S STATEMENT ON RACE AND RACISM

The Aeolian Hall was built on a foundation that respects, cultivates and promotes diversity. Discrimination and racism are at odds with our mission and our values.

We stand with the Black Community: in London, in Canada and abroad in calling for an end to anti-Black, anti-racial and anti-Indigenous racism.

Violence and systemic barriers against these communities are destructive to our societies moral and ethical fabric.

The Aeolian Hall calls on our friends, supporters and the larger community to resist and call-out racism.

It is not enough to tolerate and accept each other.

Love for our fellow human beings is the only path that promises peace, equality and human dignity.

 

SUPPORT AEOLIAN HALL
 

Thank you for supporting the Aeolian Hall Musical Arts Association. For some, participation in the arts is just a dream. El Sistema Aeolian, our free afternoon music education program for children and youth who otherwise do not have access is just one of the programs offered by The Aeolian.

We believe that individuals should have universal access to music and music education: whether it be at one of the hundreds of productions we bring to the stage each year, or to a child holding their violin for the first time: music is a gift. Your contributions support the gift of music, the gift of community.

To give, go to www.aeolianhall.ca/donate or to learn more, see the Aeolian Hall Documentary below.

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS & FRIENDS

THANK YOU TO OUR INDIVIDUAL DONORS WHO SUPPORT US ANNUALLY, MONTHLY, OR WHEN THEY CAN. EVERY GIFT COUNTS.

AEOLIAN HALL MUSICAL ARTS ASSOCATION

795 Dundas Street

London Ontario N5W 2Z6

boxoffice@aeolianhall.ca

(519) 709-1656