THE ROYAL CONSERVATORY, ONE OF TORONTO’S MOST BEAUTIFUL BUILDINGS, IS DEVOTED ENTIRELY TO MUSIC

rc6Founded in 1886 and incorporated in 1947 by King George VI with a royal charter, The Royal Conservatory of Music is both an education centre and a concert venue.

rc5<KOERNER HALL, photo by Richard Lautens/Toronto Star>

rc3<PHOTO – Ettore Mazzoleni Hall>  There are two concert halls – Koerner Hall, which opened in September/2009 and seats 1,135, and the Ettore Mazzoleni Concert Hall which opened in 1901 with seats for 237. The Temerty Theatre, a smaller performance space, is also on site, with space for 150. This theatre replicates the acoustic quality and stage size of Koerner Hall and is used to prepare students for live performances.

rc1Rising above the traffic din on Bloor Street West, the Royal Conservatory is quite the complex, devoted entirely to music.  For details on the building, the concert halls, and the Conservatory’s outstanding graduates – including piano virtuoso Glenn Gould – go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Royal_Conservatory_of_Music

rc2

GEORGE WESTON RECITAL HALL, “AN ACOUSTIC MARVEL”, 5040 YONGE STREET

WESTON1Opened in 1993, the George Weston Recital Hall is one of the top concert venues in the world.  Modeled after Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, it seats 1,000 and is noted for its outstanding acoustics.  Subway stop:  NORTH YORK CENTRE

TORONTO IS BLESSED WITH 5 EXCELLENT CONCERT HALLS & ONE IS GETTING A $135-MILLION MAKEOVER

MASSEY2 It’s the right size, acoustics and ambience are A+, and it boasts history in spades. MASSEY HALL, ‘the old lady of Shuter Street’ is about to undergo a 7-year $135-million makeover from loading docks to more comfortable seating, to uncovering theatre boxes and stained glass windows, increased administrative and lobby space, new washrooms, handicapped access, and the red brick exterior itself.  The goal, according to Massey chief executive CHARLES CUTTS is to “change nothing, improve everything.”

MASSEY5<Rendering of the restored exterior by Cicada Design for Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects>

MASSEY6Who’s appeared on Massey Hall’s famous stage? –  Enrico Caruso (twice); Gordon Lightfoot (annually), George Gershwin (playng his ‘Rhapsody in Blue’); boxer Jack Dempsey; the New Symphony Orchestra (renamed the Toronto Symphony); conductor Igor Stravinsky; Ella Fitzgerald; Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bob Dylan, Luciano Pavarotti, Rush, the 14th Dalai Lama; the musical ‘Cats’; Neil Young; Justin Bieber, Loretta Lynn, Bruce Springsteen, and on and on.

MASSEY7<Massey Hall’s Moorish design details, image c. 1894, Toronto Reference Library>

MASSEY4All of this is being made possible because both the federal and provincial governments have chipped in, as well as the Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank. Developers of the adjacent Massey Tower have donated a key piece of property at the rear of the Hall.

MASSEY1For a history of Massey Hall in point form go to http://www.masseyhall.com/mh_history