With Music Director Peter Oundjian's tenth season in full swing, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra
presents 24 concerts in October and November. The October performances range from Benjamin Britten
's brilliant Violin Concerto performed by James Ehnes; to a special appearance by Rufus Wainwright
, whom Elton John
called the "the greatest songwriter on the planet"; to a new performance experience featuring mesmerizing acrobats in Cirque de la Symphonie; to acclaimed Canadian pianist Janina Fialkowska performing the Piano Concerto by esteemed Polish composer, Witold Lutos?awski.
November kicks off with Carl Orff's incredibly popular Carmina Burana. The month also includes pianist Emanuel Ax performing Brahms's Piano Concerto No. 2; a Young People's Concert with PROJECT Trio; and the return of Sir Andrew Davis
conducting a programme of Beethoven and Richard Strauss
On October 10 and 12, violin virtuoso James Ehnes takes the stage to perform Benjamin Britten
's Violin Concerto in what the CBC predicts to be one of the "20 outstanding orchestral concerts in 2013-2014." Maestro Stéphane Denève will lead the Orchestra in Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 "Eroica" and the Canadian première of Three Interludes from Scotland's James MacMillan's opera, The Sacrifice.
With this rare orchestral appearance, Canadian composer and singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright
makes his TSO début for one special performance on October 11. Hailed for his astonishing versatility, Wainwright will perform his orchestral setting of Five Shakespeare Sonnets, selections from his first opera, Prima Donna, and a variety his own hits and favourite tunes including his version of Judy Garland
's iconicSomewhere Over The Rainbow.
The circus is coming to town, or rather, to Roy Thomson Hall, for an incredible visual spectacle of movement and music! This highly-anticipated special production, Cirque de la Symphonie brings the magic of circus to the music hall, on October 15 and 16. TSO Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke
leads the orchestra in selections from popular classics ranging from Bizet to Wagner, to which acrobats, contortionists, dancers, jugglers, balancers, and strongmen will perform specially choreographed feats.
Both conductor and soloist make their TSO début for the first performance of this season's Light Classics concert series, From Dvorák to Tchaikovsky on October 19 and 20. Under the baton of Jean-Claude Picard, newly-appointed Assistant Conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, violinist Vilde Frang, the 2012 Credit Suisse Young Artist Award, join the Orchestra for Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1. The Guardian recently said "Frang is clearly a new star in the violin firmament."
On October 23 and 24, the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra joins the TSO side-by-side for Dvo?ák's Carnival Overture. Maestro James Gaffigan will also lead the TSO in Brahms's Symphony No. 2. The October 23 Afterworks series concert, which has an earlier start time and runs just over an hour, includes pre-concert hors d'oeuvres and features CBC Radio's Tom Allen as host. Acclaimed Canadian pianist Janina Fialkowska also joins James Gaffigan and the TSO on October 24 and 26 for Witold Lutoskawski's Piano Concerto, paying homage to the 100th anniversary of the Polish composer's birth.
A staple of popular culture, Carl Orff's Carmina Burana sets the tone for a sensational evening of drama, humour and beauty. On October 31, November 1 and 2, TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian and the Orchestra will be joined by the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, the Toronto Children's Chorus, baritone James Westman, and soprano Valentina Farcas in her TSO début. This powerful programme also includes Benjamin Britten
's Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings featuring the début of tenor Nicholas Phan and TSO Principal Horn Neil Deland.
For Brahms, a concerto called for every bit as much depth, ingenuity, and imagination as a symphony. Pianist Emanuel Ax will join Peter Oundjian and the Orchestra for Brahms's magnificent Piano Concerto No. 2 on November 6 and 7. Also on the programme is TSO Composer Advisor, Gary Kulesha's Third Symphony which the National Arts Centre Orchestra commissioned and premièred in 2007.
What makes great music great? On November 8, conductor, composer, and commentator Rob Kapilow returns to the TSO for the first concert in the Exposed Series: What Makes It Great?, providing audiences with a play-by-play of what makes Mozart's Eine kleine Nachtmusik one of the most recognizable pieces of music ever written. Known for his concert presentations, commentaries on NPR's "Performance Today" and CD series, Rob Kapilow takes listeners on a journey inside the music.
For this Young Peoples Concert on November 9, In The Groove, PROJECT Trio, a chamber music ensemble that perform instrumental music fused with hip-hop, rock, and pop, bridge the gap between classical music and pop culture with their beat boxing flutist and commitment to engaging younger audiences. Winner of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition, Violinist Leo Jarmain, will take centre stage for the third movement of Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor.
With its light-heartedness and amiable tunes, Beethoven's Fourth Symphony contrasts sharply with the Third and Fifth, but supplies just as much satisfaction and creative ingenuity. On November 20 and 23, TSO Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis
will pair Symphony No. 4 with Richard Strauss
's rollicking musical depiction of Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, light-hearted music by a serious composer. Canadian opera star, soprano Erin Wall completes the Germanic programme with her solo performance of Alban Berg's Seven Early Songs.
For his TSO début, British Maestro Edward Gardner
conducts Mahler's mighty Symphony No. 1 "Titan" on November 27 and 28. Gardner will also lead the Orchestra through Wagner's Prelude to Die Meistersinger and Hummel's Trumpet Concerto, the latter of which will feature gifted soloist Alison Balsom, who BBC Music Magazine has described as "a true poet of the trumpet" and who has just been nominated for the prestigious Female Artist of The Year Classic BRIT Award.
Ottawa's National Arts Centre Orchestra and Music Director Pinchas Zukerman make a welcome return to Roy Thomson Hall on November 30 with a programme featuring Shostakovich's monumental Symphony No. 10 and a special solo performance, performed on this occasion by Mr. Zukerman as violin soloist and conductor, in Mozart's beloved Violin Concerto No. 3.
About the TSO: Founded in 1922, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra
is one of Canada's most important cultural institutions, recognized internationally as an outstanding orchestra. Currently celebrating his 10th season as Music Director, Peter Oundjian continues to lead the Orchestra with a commitment to innovative programming and audience development with performances that range from Masterworks to New Creations, Young People's Concerts to Pops, all showcasing the exceptional talents of the Orchestra along with a roster of distinguished guest artists and conductors. In addition to the concert season, the TSO serves the larger community with TSOUNDCHECK, the original under-35 discount ticket programme, the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, and through music education and outreach programmes which connect students with acclaimed curriculum-based programming.
All concerts at Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. unless otherwise noted. All artists, programmes, dates, prices, and chats are subject to change without notice. TSO ticket line: 416.593.4828; Chinese hotline: 416.593.0688. Online Tickets: TSO.CA.