Words on World Music

World music coming to Toronto’s Royal Conservatory?


Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

The Toronto Star tells us that the new Royal Conservatory of Music chief programmer is interested in bringing new sounds to those hallowed halls.

Mervon Mehta (yup, he’s related) says

That means a mix of world music, jazz, roots and pop as well as classical. “The mandate is to bring the best musicians, the best concerts that belong in an 1,100-seat hall,” Mehta said.

Does that mean world music?  Well

World music presenter Allan Davis, who met Mehta in Europe several years ago, is a believer – and hopes that his own fall world music festival will be able to dovetail with the opening of Koerner Hall. “It makes good sense to partner up with people,” said the organizer of the Small World Music festival.

Mehta understands the “new audience”

Mehta says his own iPod’s playlists cross all genres: “Depending on what mood I’m in, I play a really wide range of things, from (soul and rap artists) Erykah Badu and Common and Musiq Soulchild to (French composer Olivier) Messiaen, and I think there are a lot of people who do that now.”

The programmer believes people who only listen to one type of music are a dying breed. “I’m more interested in people who are adventurous and want to try something new.”

Hear, hear.  Literally.

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