Toronto Celebrates New Music with Sixth Annual 21C Music Festival

Source: I Care If You Listen.

From January 16-20, 2019, the sixth annual 21C Music Festival found Toronto in the grip of an extreme cold snap. While introducing New York’s Sō Percussion, The Royal Conservatory’s Mervon Mehta quipped, “We’re renaming the festival minus 21C.” The joke probably makes more sense to Canadians, who measure our temperature in Celsius, but the “minus” was lost on no one.

The theme of this year’s festival was celebrating composer Terry Riley, with his music being performed in three of the eight concerts. Riley, who will be 84 in June, performed in one concert alongside his son, composer-guitarist Gyan Riley, and electric violinist Tracy Silverman. The elder icon of American minimalist was also in attendance at the Sō concert, seemingly ever genial and approachable in the lobby.