Peter Oundjian Extends Contract with Toronto Symphony Orchestra Through 2016-17

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) announced that the contract for Music Director Peter Oundjian has been extended through the end of the orchestra's 95th concert season in 2016-17. Toronto-born Peter Oundjian is the 10th Music Director in the history of the TSO. With the contract extension, Mr. Oundjian will be the longest serving Music Director since Sir Andrew Davis (1975-1987), who now serves as Conductor Laureate.

"The continuing success of the TSO is enormously important to me," said Mr. Oundjian. "I am delighted to have hired 30 new musicians during my tenure and thrilled to see how the Orchestra is valued by the community. The TSO is an exceptional Orchestra and I look forward to the coming years, during which I have a great desire to take the Orchestra beyond Toronto to major cities of the world and continue building the strength of the Orchestra by increasing our endowment. I will also continue my philosophy of fostering relationships with guest conductors, soloists, and composers; many of whom have significant and long-term relationships with the TSO and bring fresh perspectives to our musicians."

President & C.E.O of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Andrew R. Shaw, said, "Peter has a remarkable capacity to engage and connect with audiences and we are delighted that he has extended his contract with TSO. Peter is an important part of the fabric of our community and an inspiring leader of our Orchestra."

Mr. Oundjian has been an instrumental figure in the revitalization of the TSO since his appointment as Music Director in 2004, with critically acclaimed performances and initiatives that have attracted a young and diverse audience.

In his first season as Music Director, Mr. Oundjian established the New Creations Festival, an annual music series that highlights the works of contemporary composers and features numerous premieres and commissions. Mr. Oundjian helped to develop the TSO's "tsoundcheck" program, which encourages young people ages 15 to 35 to attend concerts. Over 24,000 tsoundcheck tickets are now sold annually making the TSO audience one of the youngest in classical music. Mr. Oundjian has also increased the TSO's profile in the community by partnering with the city's international Luminato Festival. During the 2013 Luminato Festival, Mr. Oundjian will lead the TSO's annual free outdoor concert (a performance that broke Luminato venue attendance records in 2012) and "Music Mob", a concert that invites members of the community to play works by Wagner and Verdi alongside musicians of the TSO.

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by Peter Danish