Visiting Orchestras, World Premieres, Films and More Slated for February 2017 with the TSO

With two visiting orchestras, classical landmarks by Haydn, Beethoven, and Schumann, high-status guest artists, two World Premières, and the continuation of the films with live orchestra series, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) offers heart-warming music for the cold month of February. As part of the TSO's Canada Mosaic project, audiences will be treated on several occasions to new, brief orchestral works called Sesquies, to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary.

On February 1 and 2, the bright and serene Fauré Requiem marks anticipated return appearances by French conductor Stéphane Denève, soprano Karina Gauvin, and baritone Russell Braun, who share the stage with the Amadeus Choir and the Elmer Iseler Singers. Making his TSO début, Montreal-based Jean-Willy Kunz is featured in A Globe Itself Infolding-a work for organ and orchestra by Canadian composer Samy Moussa. Russell Braun takes centre stage in Brahms's moving Four Serious Songs, in a beautiful version with original preludes and orchestration by Detlev Glanert.

On February 4, the fourth annual Chinese New Year Celebration ushers in The Year of the Rooster. Long Yu, Artistic Director of the China Philharmonic Orchestra and Music Director of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, leads a fascinating program that features the World Première of Canadian composer Vincent Ho's work for pipa-a Chinese folk instrument-performed by internationally renowned pipa virtuosa Wu Man, together with the Orchestra and Canadian Mark Rowswell (a.k.a. "Dashan") as host & narrator. The TSO also welcomes star trumpeter Alison Balsom, who performs Joie Éternelle by Chinese composer Qigang Chen.

On February 9 and 11, American piano legend Garrick Ohlsson performs the majestic Beethoven Emperor Concerto. Czech conductor Ji?í B?lohlávek leads the Orchestra in Debussy's Première rhapsodie, shining a spotlight on TSO Principal Clarinet Joaquin Valdepeñas, and Symphony No. 6 ("Fantaisies symphoniques") by Czech Master Martin?.

The Exposed Series continues on February 10 with What Makes It Great?® Haydn London Symphony. Host & conductor Rob Kapilow explores Haydn's last symphony with his usual convivial approach.

On February 13, the TSO presents the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine. The distinguished ensemble, under conductor Volodymyr Sirenko, performs Tchaikovsky's stirring Symphony No. 6 "Pathétique", and works by Ukrainian composer Yevhen Stankovych, featuring violinist Dima Tkachenko. The evening includes a free pre-concert performance, presented by the Ukrainian Art Song Project, featuring Krisztina Szabó, mezzo-soprano; Russell Braun, baritone; and Albert Krywolt, piano, in the Roy Thomson Hall lobby at 7:15pm.

On February 15 and 16, Jan Lisiecki Plays Schumann stars the young, sensational Canadian pianist. The program, led by conductor Jakub Hr?ša, also includes Death and Transfiguration by R. Strauss and Scriabin's The Poem of Ecstasy.

On February 18-just in time for Family Day weekend-the TSO presents Disney-Pixar Ratatouille in Concert. As the charming movie is projected on the large screen, the TSO performs the sprightly score by Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino, under the baton of American conductor Sarah Hicks, making her TSO début.

The Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra (TSYO) returns to the George Weston Recital Hall on February 19 (3:00pm). Conductor Earl Lee leads the talented young musicians in a program of Romantic music that includes Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet, as well as selections from Romeo and Juliet by Prokofiev. Katharine Hao-a 2015/16 TSYO Concerto Competition winner-is the featured soloist in Reinecke's Flute Concerto.

February 25 brings Lights, Camera...Orchestra! Joining forces, the TSO and TIFF commissioned DAM! The Story of Kit the Beaver-a short animated film by Kjell Boersma, with a score by Erica Procunier performed live by the Orchestra and conducted by Earl Lee. The fun film-themed concert is an ideal weekend outing for the whole family.

On February 25 (evening), the TSO presents the celebrated National Arts Centre Orchestra. Music Director Alexander Shelley leads a program featuring music by Walton, and Rodrigo's beloved Concierto de Aranjuez, with the acclaimed guitarist Pepe Romero.

The TSO Season Presenting Sponsor is BMO Financial Group. The 2016/17 season is dedicated to H. Thomas Beck in recognition of his vital and long-standing support of the TSO.

For more on the TSO, follow on Twitter: @TorontoSymphony, Facebook:, YouTube: and Instagram:

Founded in 1922, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is one of Canada's most important cultural institutions, recognized internationally. Music Director Peter Oundjian leads the TSO with a commitment to innovative programming and audience development through a broad range of performances that showcase the exceptional talents of the Orchestra along with a roster of distinguished guest artists and conductors. The TSO also serves the larger community with TSOUNDCHECK, the original under-35 ticket program; the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra; and music-education programs that reach tens of thousands of students each year.

All concerts take place at Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., unless otherwise noted. Call the TSO ticket line at 416.593.1285, or order tickets online at TSO.CA.

Fauré Requiem

Wednesday, February 1 at 8:00pm
Thursday, February 2 at 8:00pm

Stéphane Denève, conductor
Karina Gauvin, soprano
Russell Braun, baritone
Jean-Willy Kunz, organ
Amadeus Choir & Elmer Iseler Singers (Lydia Adams, Artistic Director)

Dinuk Wijeratne: YATRA: Sesquie for Canada's 150th (TSO Co-commission) (Feb. 1only)
Samy Moussa: A Globe Itself Infolding
Brahms/Detlev Glanert: Four Preludes and Serious Songs
Fauré: Requiem

TICKETS: $33.75-$148

The Year of the Rooster: A Chinese New Year Celebration

Saturday, February 4 at 7:30pm

Long Yu, conductor
Alison Balsom, trumpet
Wu Man, pipa
Mark Rowswell ("Dashan"), host & narrator

Huan Zhi Li: Spring Festival Overture
Vivian Fung: Launch!: Sesquie for Canada's 150th (TSO Co-commission)
Qigang Chen: Joie Éternelle
Vincent Ho: Rejuvenation: A Taoist Journey (World Première/TSO Commission)
Shande Ding: Long March Symphony - Mvt 5 "Triumphant Junction"

TICKETS: $33.75-$148

Beethoven Emperor Concerto

Thursday, February 9 at 8:00pm*
Saturday, February 11 at 8:00pm

Ji?í B?lohlávek, conductor
Joaquin Valdepeñas, clarinet
Garrick Ohlsson, piano

Jocelyn Morlock: Hullabaloo: Sesquie for Canada's 150th (TSO Co-commission) (Feb. 9 only)
Debussy: Première rhapsodie
Martin?: Symphony No. 6 "Fantaisies symphoniques"
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5 "Emperor"

TICKETS: $33.75-$148

*Pre-concert chat with Tom Allen in the lobby at 7:15pm

What Makes It Great?® Haydn London Symphony

Friday, February 10 at 7:30pm

Rob Kapilow, conductor & host
Gary Kulesha, conductor (Babin only)

Louis Babin: Retrouvailles: Sesquie for Canada's 150th (TSO Co-commission)
Haydn: Symphony No. 104 "London"

TICKETS: $34.75-$83.75

National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine

Monday, February 13 at 8:00pm

National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, guest orchestra
Volodymyr Sirenko, conductor
Dima Tkachenko, violin

Yevhen Stankovych: Suite from the ballet The Night Before Christmas
Yevhen Stankovych: Violin Concerto No. 2
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 "Pathétique"

TICKETS: $33.75-$107

Free pre-concert performance presented by the Ukrainian Art Song Project, featuring Krisztina Szabó, mezzo-soprano; Russell Braun, baritone; and Albert Krywolt, piano, in the Roy Thomson Hall lobby at 7:15pm.

Jan Lisiecki Plays Schumann

Wednesday, February 15 at 8:00pm
Thursday, February 16 at 8:00pm

Jakub Hr?ša, conductor
Jan Lisiecki, piano

John Rea: Survivance: Sesquie for Canada's 150th (TSO Co-commission) (Feb. 15only)
R. Strauss: Death and Transfiguration
Schumann: Piano Concerto
Scriabin: The Poem of Ecstasy

TICKETS: $33.75-$148

Disney-Pixar Ratatouille in Concert

Saturday, February 18 at 11:30am
Saturday, February 18 at 4:00pm

Sarah Hicks, conductor

One of Disney and Pixar's most enchanting animated fables tells the hilarious story of a rodent's quest to become a top Parisian chef. Hearing Michael Giacchino's sprightly score performed live by the TSO boosts the film's charm to a new level. A perfect part of your Family Day weekend!

TICKETS: ADULTS $29.50-$75
YOUTH $20-$39

Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra Winter Concert

Sunday, February 19 at 3:00pm at George Weston Recital Hall

Earl Lee, RBC Resident Conductor
Katharine Hao, flute

Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet
Reinecke: Flute Concerto
Prokofiev: Selections from Romeo and Juliet

TICKETS: $16-$28

Lights, Camera...Orchestra!

Saturday, February 25 at 2:00pm
Saturday, February 25 at 4:00pm

Earl Lee, RBC Resident Conductor

Lalo Schifrin: Theme from Mission: Impossible
Wagner: "The Ride of the Valkyries" from Die Walküre
Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture
Bernstein/arr. Peress: "Mambo!" from West Side Story
Beethoven: Excerpt from Mvt. 4 from Symphony No. 6, Op. 68: "Thunderstorm"
Berlioz: "Dreams of a Witches' Sabbath" from Symphonie fantastique
J. Strauss: The Blue Danube Waltz
John Williams: Main Theme from Jaws
Erica Procunier/Kjell Boersma: DAM! The Story of Kit the Beaver for Film and Orchestra (World Première/TSO Commission)

TIFF, concert partner

TICKETS: $20.50-$32.75

National Arts Centre Orchestra

Saturday, February 25 at 8:00pm

National Arts Centre Orchestra, guest orchestra
Alexander Shelley, conductor
Pepe Romero, guitar

Nicole Lizée: Zeiss After Dark: Sesquie for Canada's 150th (TSO Co-commission)
Walton/arr. M. Mathieson: Suite from Henry V
Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez for Guitar and Orchestra
Walton: Symphony No. 1 in B-flat Minor (revised 1968)

TICKETS: $33.75-$148

Related Articles View More Classical Music Stories

More Hot Stories For You

Before you go...

Never Miss a Story
Like Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Follow Us On Instagram instagram