Music and Beyond review: Pianist Jan Lisiecki wows the crowd but not the critic

Pianist Jan Lisiecki | At Dominion-Chalmers | Reviewed Friday evening

From the Eagles to David Spade, every art form has performers who attract a huge, popular following while dismaying (sometimes enraging) the critics. Classical music is no different. Lang Lang and Yuja Wang still sell out halls despite a catalogue of truly horrible reviews.
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London Handel Players play French with flourish on a sombre night

At St. Barnabas Church | Reviewed Thursday

Thursday’s apparent terror attack in Nice cast a sobering shadow over the London Handel Players program of French Baroque music. The concert was originally billed as a Bastille Day celebration, but even if the musicians didn’t explicitly reference the day’s events, thoughts at the concert could not help but turn to France and its pain.
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China’s Hebei acrobats mix ancient arts with modern glitz

At the Great Canadian Theatre Company | Reviewed Wednesday evening

The Hebei Acrobatic Troupe is an award-winning circus ensemble from Northern China. The artists mix traditional Chinese skills like tumbling, balancing and contortion with more modern and Western styles. The Troupe is the guest of Music and Beyond, and has been delighting audiences all week.
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Music and Beyond review: Harpist Valérie Milot makes celestial music with Les Violons du Roy

Harpist Valérie Milot, Les Violons du Roy | At Notre-Dame Basilica | Reviewed Saturday night

The harp is one of the largest and most imposing instruments, yet it rarely gets to shine. Instead it lurks at the back of the orchestra, or on the sidelines at weddings and cocktail parties. But Valérie Milot wants to put the harp in the spotlight.
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Review: Andrew McAnerney paints in the colours of Orlando

The 16th-century Netherlandish composer Orlande de Lassus – aka Orlando di Lasso, Roland de Lassus and several other globalized aliases – led a life worthy of a Rabelais novel. Legend has it that he was kidnapped several times as a child because of his beautiful voice. He served as a musician at some of the bloodiest, most intrigue-laden courts of the time, counting Cosimo de Medici among his bosses. He survived to enjoy continent-wide fame, aristocratic titles, and financial security. When he died in Munich in 1594, he left behind a lovely garden and an enormous catalogue of some of the most stunning vocal music ever written.

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