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The Great Debate – Battle of the Romantics

July 30, 2018 @ 7:30 pm

Great Debate

Tickets $40 (all inc.) at the door – The Market Room

So much of what we now call Classical Music refers to the Romantic Era – the 60 or so years following the death of Beethoven. The giants of that era – Schumann, Liszt, Brahms and Wagner – wrote for the musical vehicles most available to them: the piano, the violin, the symphony orchestra and the opera. While those four musical vehicles remain synonymous with the idea of Classical Music as we understand it, they are all increasingly at risk in our 21st century society. On the surface at least, they appear too big, too expensive, too long, too fragile or too inflexible. Their relevance is constantly scrutinized, and over the next century, their very survival is questionable. Will the four still be vital and valid expressions of music and art? Our question is this: Which, if any of those four musical vehicles – the piano, violin, symphony orchestra or opera – is most likely to survive and grow in the centuries to come?  

 – a panel discussion with –

Peter Hall, William Littler, Tom Allen, Rick Phillips and Christopher Newton

joined by Victoria Kogan – piano


Tom Allen


Tom Allen hails from Montréal. He started playing trombone in high school and decided not to stop. He spent six years at three universities and got two degrees. He lived in New York City when there were still places you just didn’t go and stayed long enough to play a couple of gigs he still brags about. His brass quintet was getting hired where the snow was clean and the concert hall was downstairs from the bowling alley, so he moved to Toronto and eventually found work at the CBC. Now he’s an occasional trombonist, author, host of Shift, storyteller and pitchman for something called The Classical Goodtime Variety Show. He can’t imagine there’s anything else you’d like to know, but if there is you could visit his website, tomtomallen.com


Website: http://tomtomallen.com

Peter Hall

Peter Hall wears many hats. He is the afternoon drive host on Classical 94.5 / WNED where he also produces and hosts “Buffalo Philharmonic Live” (heard Sundays at 5 p.m. repeating Tuesdays at 11 p.m.) which broadcasts BPO performances conducted by JoAnn Falletta. Over the years he has produced over 1,000 radio interviews with musical artists. Around town he is emcee for the Buffalo Chamber Music Society "pre-concert chats with the artists," the Falletta competition, and occasionally the Camerata di Sant’Antonio concerts.  Growing up in the Amherst school system, music, the arts, literature, outdoor activities, and teaching were important in his family. His grandfather, the painter W.J. Schwanekamp, has works on display at the Burchfield-Penney. His father was a high school English teacher and his mother was a librarian. In high school Peter played various instruments in the orchestra, had leading roles in the plays, and was an editor of the high school newspaper. Peter holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Columbia University and an M.B.A. from SUNY at Buffalo. For over twenty years he has taught undergraduate and graduate classes at Canisius College’s Richard J. Wehle School of Business. Depending on the season, on weekends he might be seen riding with the Niagara Frontier Bicycle Club or teaching downhill skiing at Kissing Bridge.

William Littler

writer, music critic

William Littler is one of Canada's most esteemed music critics and broadcasters. He started writing for the Toronto Daily Star in 1966, and in 1980 he was the first music critic to receive the National Newspaper Award for critical writing. In 1990 he received the Roy Thomson Hall Award of Recognition. He lives in Toronto.

Christopher Newton

Actor/Director/Artistic Director

In 1961 Christopher Newton moved to Canada, establishing his acting career with the Canadian Players, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Vancouver Playhouse, Shaw and Stratford Festivals, and on Broadway. He founded Theatre Calgary (1968) and acted as Artistic Director. He went on to be Artistic Director of the Vancouver Playhouse (1971), and Artistic Director of the Shaw Festival for 23 years (1979). He became Shaw's Artistic Director Emeritus upon retirement. Christopher received the Order of Canada and the prestigious M. Joan Chalmers Award for Artistic Direction in 1996. In 2000, he received the Governor General's Performing Arts Award for lifetime artistic achievement. Other awards include the Molson Prize, the Toronto Arts Lifetime Achievement Award, and the United States Institute for Theatre Technology's Thomas DeGaetani Award for lifetime contributions to the performing arts.

Rick Phillips


Rick Phillips was affiliated with CBC Radio for 30 years in a career spanning production, on-air performance and management. He holds a B.Mus. from McGill University and an M.Mus. from the University of Toronto.  For 14 years he was the host and producer of Sound Advice, the weekly guide to classical music and recordings, heard on CBC Radio One and CBC Radio Two.  He is also a freelance writer and reviewer, lecturer, panel moderator, consultant, musical tour guide, artistic director, concert host, and he often sits as juror for the Juno Awards in the classical music categories. Rick is the author of The Essential Classical Recordings – 101 CDs. He also leads a variety of music history and appreciation courses at several Toronto universities.

Victoria Kogan


Russian born Victoria Korchinskaya-Kogan is one of the most significant pianist of our time. Praised as “an admirably gifted performer" by Yuri Temirkanov, "the pianist of great talent, having extraordinary skills and boundless musicality” by Mikhail Pletnev and a “true artist ”by Yefim Bronfman, Victoria is the winner of The Stravinsky Piano Competition, Andorra Piano Competition, E-Piano Competition in Minneapolis and I International Piano Competition In Korea among others. As a soloist, Victoria performed with major orchestras in concert halls such as the Big Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Concertgebouw, Koln Philharmonic, Nurnberg Meistersinger Hall, Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Salle Pleyel in Paris and concertized throughout Russia, USA, Canada, Germany, Italy, Austria, Spain, Netherlands, Turkey, Egypt, France, Azerbaijan and Korea under the baton of Mikhail Pletnev, Mark Gorenstein, Pavel Kogan, Arnold Katz, Nikolai Alekseev, Maxim Schostakovicn, Vladimir Ziva, Alexander Vedernikov, Mark Russell Smith, Charles Ansbacher and Laurent Petitgirard. Two recent recordings featuring Beethoven Piano Concertos by Victoria Korchinskaya-Kogan Released under Art Classic Company label received critical acclaim for its distinguished imagination and stylistic precision. Born in Moscow, 1978 as the granddaughter of the famous violinists Leonid Kogan and Elizaveta Gilels, Victoria started to play the piano at the age of 5. One year later she debuted at the Small Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. Victoria received her M.M. and D.M.A. from the Moscow Conservatory where she studied with Lev Vlassenko, Sergei Dorensky and Pavel Nersessian. Her masterclasses include studying with Andreas Stayer, Dmitry Bashkirov, Claude Frank, William Nabore and Jose Feghali. Faculty in Moscow Conservatory since 2007 and Seokyeong University in Seoul since 2014Victoria is also a frequent guest of famousinternational music Festivals, such as The Corinthian Summer Music Festival in Austria, Summit Music Festival and Mannes Keyboard Festival in the USA, the Musiktage Koblenz in Germany, Nuit Classiques de Ramatuelle and Nuits du Piano d’Erbalunga in France. Her upcoming performances include concerts in Moscow, St.Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Odessa, Baku, South Korea, Israel, USA, Japan and Argentina.


July 30, 2018
7:30 pm
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Music Niagara


The Market Room at The Court House
26 Queen St
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario L0S 1J0 Canada
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