In October, two U of T alumni made their debut performances with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra: Shalom Bard (who became the TSO’s Royal Bank of Canada resident conductor in June) and baritone Jonathan Estabrooks, who soloed in “Some Enchanted Evening: The Music of Rodgers and Hammerstein.”
Bard (BMusP 1996) began studying music with renowned clarinetist Joaquin Valdepeñas after moving to Canada from Israel in 1990, and continued his musical education at U of T, where Valdepeñas taught in the Faculty of Music. Part of Bard’s role with the TSO will be conducting the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, where he hopes to foster the same love for music that Valdepeñas inspired in him. “To guide young musicians on their musical journeys and encourage them to play with their hearts all the time – that’s all I want,” he says.
Dubbed by the New York Times as a “robust baritone,” Estabrooks (BMusP 2006) participated in theatre groups and the local opera company in Ottawa prior to attending U of T’s voice program. He and his brother, Bryan (BMusP 2002), both received classical music training – together, they form the Estabrooks Brothers, a duo that fuses elements of pop, soul, big band, brass and vocals. “It’s a love-hate relationship with the two of us,” Estabrooks jokes. “But it’s just amazing because our work is our passion – we live and breathe music every day.”
“The Desert Song” by Jonathan Estabrooks
“Ô vin, dissipe la tristesse” by Jonathan Estabrooks
A U of T lab is working with actors, writers and directors on how they could harness AI and other emerging technologies to generate new ideas and – just maybe – reinvent theatre