and a 13-year-old made their Massey Hall debuts within weeks of each other in March 1946. A legendary jazz concert at Massey Hall on 15 May 1953 marked the only time that Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Charles Mingus and Max Roach ever played together (it is considered by some to be the greatest jazz concert ever). In 1962, the and the performed Stravinsky’s A Sermon, a Narrative and a Prayer and 8 Instrumental Miniatures, conducted by the composer. ’s solo acoustic performance on 19 January 1971 was released in 2007 as Live at Massey Hall 1971 and became a No. 1 album in Canada.
John B. Withrow, son of one Massey Hall’s early managers, wrote a regular series of articles beginning in 1982 about the long, distinguished history of the hall for the periodical Bravo. William Kilbourn’s book, Intimate Grandeur: One Hundred Years of Massey Hall (1894–1994), was published in 1994.
Massey Hall - The Canadian Encyclopedia
In succeeding years, the number of events diminished to an average of two or three per week. Although held its annual concert series there from 1982–91, the , with , performed a three-concert series in 1986, and began its annual Messiah performances there in 1987, rock concerts became the mainstay of Massey Hall’s bookings, which included concerts by pop performers, ethnic ensembles, school choirs and ensembles, and a variety of community-based events.
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The Centennial Celebration Concert on 14 June 1994 — commemorating the building’s 100th anniversary — featured the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, conductors , , and , contralto , soprano , rock group and humorist . , the most frequently appearing artist in the Hall’s history, marked his return from illness in May 2005 by resuming his regular spring concert at Massey Hall (“the centre of my universe as a musician,” he has said), a tradition for the singer that stretched back to 1967.
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, published in 1883; here Massey delves deeper into ancient Egypt's influence on modern myths, symbols, religions and languages. By proclaiming Egypt to be the birthplace of modern civilisation, Massey challenges conventional theology as well as fundamental notions of race supremacy;
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, published shortly before his death in 1907, is by far Massey's most important work. In it, he concludes that Kamite thought was the direct progenitor of the philosophy, meta physics, religion and science that eventually shaped Western civilisation. "It is a work which has occupied me over thirty years, and I shall be well content if in another century my ideas are acknowledged as correct".
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The hall’s acoustics have been praised by audiences for its warmth and criticized by orchestral musicians for its deceptiveness. (A TSO musician once said that players could not hear each other clearly because of reverberation, and that consequently a focused ensemble was difficult to achieve.) took over the main functions of Massey Hall — namely, the performances of the TSO and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir — when it was completed in 1982. ’s “A Farewell Tribute to the Grand Old Lady of Shuter Street” (see link below) was played during the TSO’s final concert at Massey Hall on 4 June 1982.