Music TORONTO produces a main fall-winter series of traditional and contemporary chamber music concerts and recitals, including international and Canadian artists and emerging Canadian musicians. Music TORONTO holds a special place in the GTA – it is a remarkable series, and the only solely chamber music series around. Others present excellent music, but in variety series or festival form. We have a loyal and knowledgeable audience who enjoy night after night of great concerts: in the 2015-16 season, we also saw a 35% increase in single ticket sales.
We produce an annual series of Master Classes, in cooperation with the Royal Conservatory and the University of Toronto Faculty of Music; these classes give senior students of music performance the opportunity to work with visiting concert artists. Our Composer Advisor Jeffrey Ryan offers pre-concert introductions to contemporary music to demystify the experience for listeners. We also present outreach events such as concerts in alternative venues, young artist concerts in a public library, and music programmes for children.
We are a mature organization with a clear mission. We have a distinguished 45-year history as a presenter both traditional and innovative. We make no apology that our focus is European chamber music; it is often considered the highest form of western classical music, and it arrived in Canada with the English and the French in the 16th century in the form of informal concerts, folk and church music.
Music TORONTO: bringing traditional chamber music into the 21st century with passion and commitment.
Music TORONTO, a non-profit Canadian charitable organization, presents and promotes traditional and modern chamber music. We present the highest caliber of international and Canadian artists, introduce artists new to the Toronto audience, foster the development of Canadian artists, and encourage the presentation of Canadian music.
- Presents concerts, mainly, but not limited to, string quartets and piano recitals;
- Presents the Discovery Concert Series annually, featuring emerging Canadian musicians at the threshold of their international careers;
- Presents Canadian music every season, both repeat performances of existing repertoire and new works;
- Offers Master Classes with international artists for university and conservatory music students seeking to achieve professional standards;
- Offers $10 tickets to students of all ages through its Sponsor-A-Student Programme;
- Offers each year a variety of free community engagement events such as concerts of young artists in a library and musical programs for children.
Music TORONTO began as the music program of Toronto Arts Productions, presenting chamber music concerts and recitals at the Town Hall (now the Jane Mallett Theatre) in The St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts on Front Street. From its first concert in the 1971-72 season, the series established a reputation for high musical quality and considerable popular appeal.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, under artistic leaders Franz Kramer, Costa Pilovachi and Jane Forner, Music at the Centre offered a wide variety of concerts, bringing to Toronto, often for the first time, world-renowned chamber ensembles and soloists. Renamed CentreStage Music in 1983, the concerts continued, also presenting established Canadian artists and nurturing emerging ones. CentreStage Music was instrumental in the organization and presentation of major musical events such as the Bach 300 Festival in 1985 and special events such as musical theatre. In 1987, CentreStage devolved into The Canadian Stage Company and Music TORONTO.
Since 1989, under Artistic Director Chris Wilcox, an advisory committee, and now Artistic Producer Jennifer Taylor, Music TORONTO maintains its vision of artistic excellence and innovation, always featuring both international and Canadian artists. Music TORONTO also enjoys an international reputation for its loyal and discerning audience.
Music TORONTO prides itself on being a fiscally responsible organization, funded by earned revenue, donations and government grants. Facing an accumulated deficit in 1992, Music TORONTO made a decision to pay down that deficit through annual operating surpluses – a plan suitable to a small organization. We had 19 years with an operating surplus, and never added a single dollar of new debt. A bequest from a former subscriber encouraged us to pay off the debt in full at June 30, 2011. We also took part in the Ontario Arts Foundation Endowment Fund programme and raised the maximum allowed. The programme allowed Music TORONTO to retain funds raised for operating purposes, and provides an annual interest payment. We then accumulated a surplus of $99,000 in three years, and are investing it in staffing, administration and marketing. We enjoy the support of many individual donors, foundations and individual and corporate sponsors. Music TORONTO continues to receive essential grant support from the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council, and Canadian Heritage.