|Antonio Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" is a virtuoso display of violin art, which was reported by the Radio Times readers poll to be Classical Music's single most popular piece of all time. Composed circa 1730, this programme (or descriptive) music portrays the seasons -- Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Vivaldi wrote Sonnets to accompany this music, which help to guide the imagination of his listeners... one can hear bird calls, animal cries, and sounds of nature; wind, thunder, rain, the murmuring of swaying grass and bubbling brooks.
We present this wonderful music with violin soloist Jacques Israelievitch, Concertmaster of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, with the TorMusic Event Orchestra, comprised of members of the TSO. A short concert (35 minutes), or a longer concert, (approximately 1 hour) are available, consisting of the "Four Seasons" alone, or as part of a Baroque Concert with additional repertoire conducted by Mr. Israelievitch.
Another delightful element of this show is Mr.Vivaldi himself, (our period costumed Master of Ceremonies), who introduces himself, with humorous asides about the difficulties of being a musician in the 18th century... and asking Jacques if all these problems have been solved by now, "Surely money is no longer a problem".With droll comments from Jacques on this and other subjects, Mr. Vivaldi returns to his masterpiece, playfully counseling his audience on what to listen for, and reciting his Sonnets which accompany each of the "Seasons" movements.
Born in Cannes, France, Mr. Israelievitch graduated from Le Mans Conservatory at age 11, the youngest in its history. He went on to the Paris National Conservatory, receiving three first prizes at age 16. In 1972 Mr. Israelievitch was appointed by Sir Georg Solti as Assistant Concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony, (at 23, he was the orchestra's youngest musician). After six seasons in Chicago, he spent 10 years as concertmaster of the St. Louis Symphony.
As a violin soloist, Mr. Israelievitch has performed with Georg Solti, Carlo Maria Giulini, Raymond Leppard, and Leonard Slatkin, among others. Recent appearances include recitals and concerto performances in France and Japan. In 2002, Mr. Israelievitch was awarded one of France's highest honours, the order of the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres. France's ambassador to Canada Alfred Siefer-Baillardin, presented the award in a ceremony on stage at Roy Thomson Hall.
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