Energizing Beethoven in a former power plant

Posted on: June 28, 2016

“Increasingly, classical music is making itself heard in all kinds of unlikely places,” writes Colin Eatock in Monday’s (6/27) National Post (Toronto, Canada). “Berlin’s Yellow Lounge and San Francisco’s SoundBox are nightclubs that regularly feature classical music…. The Hearn Generating Station [is] a massive structure on a remote patch of Toronto’s port lands. Opened in 1951 as a coal-burning power-plant, it was shut down in 1983…. The Toronto Symphony Orchestra, which puts together a concert for Luminato [arts festival] every year, found itself playing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 inside a former power generating station on Tuesday evening…. The TSO’s performance made a strong case for the idea that context can have a profound impact on an artistic experience…. The Hearn seemed to generate an energy that illuminated Beethoven’s iconic symphony. The performance sizzled with electricity…. The sheer size of the building—it’s large enough to contain a dozen Parthenons—reinforced the architectural grandeur of Beethoven’s masterpiece…. It’s unclear if Luminato and the TSO will return to [the Hearn] in coming years. But the symbiosis between the Hearn and Beethoven was a vivid and palpable force. For the Fifth Symphony, the mothballed power station went back on line.”

Posted June 28, 2016

Photo of performance stage at Hearn Generating Station by Daniel Neuhaus