Classical Context: For the Birds

Friday, October 27, 2017
Event Title: Classical Context: For the Birds
  • Region: Ontario
  • Venue / Location: Canadian Music Centre, 20 St. Joseph St., Toronto, ON M4Y 1J9
  • Time: 8:00pm
  • Price: $20 Door/ $15 Advance
  • Genre: Keyboard
  • External Link: Advanced Tickets
  • Composer: --
  • Composition: --
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For The Birds! As a special celebration of Canada 150, Classical Context invites you to join pianist, organist, and harpsichordist Rashaan Allwood for an interactive, multimedia performance of Messiaen’s Catalogue d’Oiseaux (1er Livre) and Petites Esquisses d’Oiseaux. The evening includes an in concert lecture alongside projections of photos, video and the newly commissioned artwork by Canadian illustrator Avery Kua. Join us in Toronto for an intimate close quarters event at the CMC - Oct 27th, or celebrate with us at Heron Park Baptist Church on the 28th. Shows are identical.

Rashaan Allwood is a keyboard player of great versatility. As a pianist, organist, and harpsichordist, he has played in a variety of settings, including performances with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, and the University of Toronto’s Collegium Musicum. Rashaan was the first prize winner of the Concours d'orgue de Québec in 2017 and of the Canadian National OSM Manulife competition in 2016 for the organ category. He also won second prize in the Wadden Sea International Organ Competition and the Lynnwood Farnam Organ Competition in 2017.

Rashaan uses cohesive programming, lecture recitals, and multimedia performances to engage audiences. This has led to performances at venues such the Canadian Opera Company Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, the Maison Symphonique in Montreal, and St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, UK. His 2015-16 recital season featured topics such as, French piano techniques in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (April 2015), French organ composition techniques between the two Great Wars of the twentieth century (French Connection, April 2016), nineteenth- and twentieth-century adaptions of birdsong in piano music (Birds of Spring, April 2016), as well as sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Stylus Phantasticus and its implications in Lutheran hymnody (Stylus Phantasticus, April 2016).

Rashaan believes that studying both piano and organ has helped to produce insights into interpreting technical and musical aspects of repertoire. Many of the great keyboard virtuosos were masters of both instruments, including Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Liszt, Franck, and Messiaen. Together, piano and organ, have been featured in many of Rashaan’s recitals, including an all-Franck recital featuring works for organ and piano, and several all-Messiaen recitals featuring the composer’s organ works and both solo piano and collaborative works.

Rashaan is a graduate of the University of Toronto where he studied piano performance with Professor James Parker and organ with Professor Kevin Komisaruk. He is currently pursuing a Master of Music in Organ and Church Music at McGill University and studying with Professor Hans-Ola Ericsson.