ALERT: Please be advised that due to COVID-19 the events section is not currently being maintained. Events listed here are likely rescheduled or canceled and new submissions will not be approved.

Little Match Girl Passion adapted by David Lang GREX

The Music Gallery Presents

Friday December 20

Little Match Girl Passion


Part of the Post-Classical Series

Doors 7pm / Concert 8pm

Tickets $25 Regular / $15 Member / $20 Advance at Soundscapes

David Lang’s Pulitzer Prize-winning adaptation of the classic Christmas Story

“Anyone who clings to the prejudice that contemporary classical music is incapable of the most direct beauty should put down this magazine and listen to the Theatre of Voices’ recording. If you never come back, I won’t blame you.”


As any concertgoer knows, December in Toronto heralds not only the beginning of the holiday season, but also the tidal wave that is Handel’s The Messiah. The Music Gallery wishes to offer to those who seek holiday “cheer”, a remarkable and poignant alternative.

Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s still-resonant story about the dreams and death of a young girl, and drawing inspiration from Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, composer David Lang‘s work speaks directly to our time even as it delves into the past. Little Match Girl Passion, here performed in its original scoring, is sung by a standard vocal quartet who also accompany themselves on percussion. The piece sounds sometimes like a minimalist soundscape, and at other moments like plainsong echoing through a gothic church. Lang gently illuminates the dichotomy that makes this fairy tale so compelling — the Little Match Girl’s suffering versus her hope — and the similarities between her experience and that of Jesus.

David Lang is a co-founder and co-artistic director of Bang-On-A-Can, a faculty member at Yale and Oberlin, Musical America’s 2013 Composer of the Year and Carnegie Hall’s 2012-13 Composer-in-Residence. Premiered in 2007 in New York, Little Match Girl Passion won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Music and its first recording won the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Small Ensemble Performance.


Katherine Hill, soprano

Patricia O’Callaghan, mezzo-soprano

Lucas Marchand, tenor

Dallas Bergen, bass

GREX is a vocal ensemble that defies comfortable description. Featuring Toronto's most exciting singers, GREX will present the limitless possibilities of the human voice. This set will feature works by Meredith Monk, Moondawg, Tova Kardonne as well as music from the Republic of Georgia and shape note singing.

GREX is: Robin Dann, Felicity Williams, Christine Duncan, Sarah Jerrom, Ryan Driver, Will Reid, Alex Samaras

Little Match Girl Passion adapted by David Lang GREX

Leaflet | © Mapbox © OpenStreetMap Improve this map