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Michael Arnowitt Piano Concert “Kaleidoscope” in Toronto

Saturday, October 1
7:30 pm
Grace Church on-the-Hill
300 Lonsdale Road, Toronto

Tickets $20 general admission, $10 students or people with disabilities
Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance through Eventbrite.com

Grace Church on-the-Hill is located in the Forest Hill neighbourhood of Toronto, near Spadina and St. Clair.

Concertgoers are requested (but not required) to wear masks and practice physical distancing between audience parties during the concert.

Questions? For further info call 416-763-7344 or email us

Program pieces

Michael Arnowitt, piano

J.S. Bach ⋅ Selections from the 3-Part Sinfonias
    (F major, E minor, A major, G major, D major)
Victoria Poleva ⋅ Excerpt from the music to her ballet
    “Mirror, Dreams or A Little Life” (2021)
Victoria Poleva ⋅ Lacrimosa and Music that is not yet,
    from Marginalia (1998-2008)
Victoria Poleva ⋅ Sonata no. 2 “quasi una fantasia” (2011)
Claude Debussy ⋅ Selections from 12 Études (1915)
    Étude no. 11 Pour les arpèges composés
    Étude no. 3 Pour les quartes
Witold Lutoslawski ⋅ Study for Piano no. 2 (1941)
George Benjamin ⋅ Selections from Piano Figures (2004)
    Spell - Knots - Alone - Hammers - Mosaic
Michael Arnowitt ⋅ Burana Bop (jazz improvisation based on
    music from Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana)
Gyorgy Ligeti ⋅ Selections from Études for piano, Book 1 (1985)
    and Book 2 (1988-1994)
    Étude no. 2, Cordes à vide (Open strings)
    Étude no. 4, Fanfares
    Étude no. 5, Arc-en-ciel (Rainbow)
    Étude no. 10, Der Zauberlehrling (The sorcerer’s apprentice)

Kaleidoscope – full program description

Michael Arnowitt’s new program Kaleidoscope takes the listener on a stimulating journey through rich and colourful musical landscapes. The program opens with five of Bach’s miniature 3-Part Sinfonias, companion pieces in 3-part counterpoint to Bach’s more familiar 2-Part Inventions that have been learned by generations of piano students for 200 years. Bach’s Sinfonias are delightful jewels, the music at turns spirited, good-humored, lyrical, mysterious, and joyful. Two Debussy études take us on interesting adventures into Debussy’s unique world of spacious sonorities, bells, water imagery, and experiences that go beyond sound to evoke touch and our other senses.

A highlight of the program are pieces by the present-day Ukrainian composer Victoria Poleva. This Kiev-based composer writes highly absorbing music that is simple yet powerful, expressive, and deeply spiritual. Victoria Poleva recently sent Michael Arnowitt ten of her piano compositions. This program, featuring four of these pieces, marks the beginning of Arnowitt’s efforts to champion her music and raise awareness in North America of this outstanding composer of today’s Ukraine.

The Hungarian-born Gyorgy Ligeti, in the final decades of his life, wrote three books of études Michael Arnowitt regards as the best piano pieces of the last fifty years. This concert provides a great opportunity for audiences to hear live these widely-praised pieces that have been among the most talked about classical compositions of recent decades. Arnowitt will perform Open Strings, Fanfares, Rainbow, and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, showcasing the amazing imagination and creativity of these pieces full of beautiful new piano sounds and textures.

The pianist will also perform his Burana Bop, a jazz arrangement of musical material drawn from Carl Orff’s famous chorus and orchestra piece Carmina Burana, inspired by 13th century medieval secular poetry. Burana Bop has consistently received enthusiastic positive comments from audiences since its premiere in early 2021.

The program is rounded out with the shorter works Piano Figures by the British composer George Benjamin, with its enchanting, creative depictions of knots, hammering nails (no kidding), a mosaic, and more, and abright, rambunctious 1941 piece by Lutoslawski full of Prokofiev-like youthful hijinks. Altogether, Kaleidoscope offers a concert experience full of lively and colourful music past and present.