Owen Pallett, Cris Derksen and Matt Smith compose new music for the Art Gallery of Ontario

The choral program Songs of Heaven is inspired by the AGO's Early Rubens exhibit and will be performed for two nights in Walker Court. Plus: more just announced Toronto concerts


The Art Gallery of Ontario has commissioned three new choral works from musicians Owen Pallett, Cris Derksen and Matt Smith.

All three are well known in Canadian indie scenes, but they’ve all dipped into new and experimental composition. Their program, Songs of Heaven, is three choral pieces inspired by the Early Rubens exhibition at the AGO (admission will get you into both). They’ll be performed by the Choir of St. James Cathedral, under the direction of Robert Busiakiewicz, in Walker Court for two nights only. 

 “What Peter Paul Rubens sought to create in his enormous religious paintings is a particular sensation that I loosely describe as making the viewer aware of the concept of the infinite – a sense of spiritual vertigo, of being bowled over by the scope of his vision,” says Pallett in a press release. “Although Rubens’s own version of ‘the infinite’ relates to his Christian beliefs, I am seeking to convey a similar sense of vertigo regardless of the beliefs of the viewer.”

Pallett, whose last album, In Conflict, came out in 2014, has also announced his own show at Longboat Hall on November 9 with DIANA singer Carmen Elle. Derksen is a classically trained Cree-Mennonite cellist who’s well known for playing with artists like Tanya Tagaq, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson and Buffy Saint-Marie. Smith makes music under the name Prince Nifty and has also produced for Lido Pimienta, Bernice and Isla Craig.

October 12 and 13 at the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Walker Court (317 Dundas West), 5:30-9:30 pm. $45. ago.ca.

More Just Announced Toronto Concerts

Art of Time Ensemble Marks the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles’ ABBEY ROAD: Andy Maize, Jeremy Fisher, Craig Northey, Jason Plumb at Harbourfront Centre 8 pm. $25-$64. artoftimeensemble.com. September 26-28.

Clipping. at The Garrison doors 8 pm. $25. ticketweb.ca. October 11.

Songs of Heaven: new pieces composed by Owen Pallett, Cris Derksen and Matt Smith at Walker Court, Art Gallery of Ontario Choral pieces performed by The Choir of St. James Cathedral and inspired by Peter Paul Rubens. 5:30 pm. $45. tickets.ago.ca. October 12-13.

Gord Downie’s Secret Path Live: Buffy Sainte-Marie, Sam Roberts, Tanya Tagaq, July Talk, William Prince, Whitehorse, Tom Wilson at Roy Thomson Hall Fundraiser for the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund. 8 pm. Tickets from $75. roythomsonhall.com. October 19.

Bernice, Booty EP at Burdock doors 9 pm. $12. showclix.com. October 29.

Wintersleep at The Great Hall doors 8 pm. $29.50. eventbrite.ca, rotate.com, soundscapesmusic.com. November 1.

Neil Hilborn, Willow Hawks at The Great Hall doors 8 pm. $25. eventbrite.ca, rotate.com, soundscapesmusic.com. November 6.

Pale Lips, Prancer, Terrastray at Monarch Tavern doors 8:30 pm. $9.50. eventbrite.ca. November 9.

Owen Pallett, Carmen Elle at Longboat Hall doors 8 pm. $20. eventbrite.ca, rotate.com, soundscapesmusic.com. November 9.

Lil Tecca, Pi’erre Bourne at Rebel Moved from the Mod Club. Doors 8 pm, all ages. $20. ticketmaster.ca. November 11.

Pete Yorn at The Great Hall doors 7 pm. $35. On sale September 20. ticketmaster.ca. November 12.

Beans On Toast at Monarch Tavern doors 8:45 pm. $13.50. eventbrite.ca, rotate.com, soundscapesmusic.com. November 15.

Schoolboy Q at Rebel doors 7 pm, all ages. $49.50. On sale September 20. ticketmaster.ca. November 18.

Ringo Deathstarr at Monarch Tavern doors 8 pm. $13.50. eventbrite.ca, rotate.com, soundscapesmusic.com. November 20.

Solids, Sauna, Chris at The Garrison Solids farewell show. Doors 9 pm. $12. showclix.com. November 22.

The Sorority, Snotty Nose Rez Kids at Opera House doors 7 pm. $TBA. On sale September 17. ticketweb.ca. November 24.

The Dirty Nil, Single Mothers, Dear-God at Phoenix Concert Theatre doors 7 pm. $20. ticketmaster.ca. November 28.

Say Sue Me at Drake Hotel doors 8 pm. $15. eventbrite.ca, rotate.com, soundscapesmusic.com. December 3.

Les Louanges at Drake Hotel doors 8 pm. $13,50. eventbrite.ca. December 4.

Ralph at Mod Club doors 7 pm, all ages. On sale September 20. $25. ticketmaster.ca. December 5.

Danko Jones at Lee’s Palace doors 8 pm. $30.50. eventbrite.ca, rotate.com, soundscapesmusic.com. December 6.

Serena Ryder at Queen Elizabeth Theatre The Christmas Kisses tour. 8 pm. $TBA. On sale September 20. ticketmaster.ca. December 18.

The Skydiggers, Communism at Danforth Music Hall 30th anniversary of A Legendary Skydiggers Christmas. Doors 7 pm. $34.50-$49.50. ticketmaster.ca. December 21.

Yola, Amythyst Kiah at Horseshoe doors 8 pm. $TBA. On sale September 20. ticketweb.ca. January 12.

The Jim Cuddy Band at Danforth Music Hall $TBA. On sale September 20. livenation.ca. January 23-24.

Cold War Kids at Phoenix Concert Theatre doors 7:30 pm. $35-$45. eventbrite.ca, rotate.com, soundscapesmusic.com. January 29.

Calexico and Iron & Wine at Danforth Music Hall doors 6 pm. $34-$40. On sale September 20. ticketmaster.ca. February 2.

The Wood Brothers at Mod Club doors 7 pm. $30. eventbrite.ca, rotate.com, soundscapesmusic.com. February 3.

Dave Mason at Danforth Music Hall doors 7 pm, all ages. $49.50-$69.50. On sale September 20. ticketmaster.ca. March 11.

Sampa The Great at Drake Hotel doors 8 pm. $TBA. On sale September 20. ticketweb.ca. March 31.

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