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culture

The Library’s Travelling Cellist

In honour of the TPL's One Book selection, cellists performed on 22 consecutive days in various locations all over the city.

Throughout April, the Toronto Public Library has been presenting the Keep Toronto Reading Festival, which involves 80 events at 50 branches. These events have all been inspired by the library’s One Book selection: Steven Galloway’s national bestseller, The Cellist of Sarajevo. In the novel, a cellist watches as 22 people waiting in a bread line are killed by a shell—and then, in response to the senselessness, tragedy, and trauma of the experience, resolves to play Albinoni’s “Adagio in G minor” every day for 22 days at the place of their death.

The Toronto Public Library partnered with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra to bring cellists to different locations in Toronto over the course of 22 days (from March 17 to April 7). As the video above shows, Albinoni’s “Adagio” was heard all over the city—in places like the CN Tower, Casa Loma, Harbord Bakery, and the TPL’s Alderwood branch.

“Hundreds of people,” the library writes, “came out to hear the haunting beauty of the music, to celebrate our city’s landmarks and to experience the illuminating power artistic expression can provide in times of darkness.”

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