Leon Fleisher, Yefim Bronfman, and More Lead May At The TSO
The month of May at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) brings masterful guest soloists including Leon Fleisher, Yefim Bronfman, and James Ehnes performing much-loved repertoire such as Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 12, Beethoven's "Emperor" Concerto, and Brahms's Violin Concerto, while young Canadian violinist Timothy Chooi lends his virtuosity to Vivaldi's The Four Seasons.
As part of Mozart & Bruckner on May 2 & 3, Peter Oundjian and the TSO welcome legendary American pianist Leon Fleisher. Just short of his 90th birthday, Fleisher brings vitality and insight to Mozart's exquisite Piano Concerto No. 12. The program includes the Canadian Première of a new edition of Anton Bruckner's colossal Symphony No. 8. The distinguished Yale University professor Paul Hawkshaw published it in 2014 after years of research. Following the Toronto performances, Fleisher, Oundjian, and the TSO travel to Montreal and Ottawa to present the same program at Maison symphonique (May 6) and the National Arts Centre (May 7).
Through spoken introductions and musical examples, conductor & host Rob Kapilow explores "Spring" and "Summer" as part of What Makes It Great? Vivaldi The Four Seasons. The performances, on May 11 & 12, spotlight 25-year-old Canadian violin sensation Timothy Chooi.
On May 23 & 24, Finnish conductor Osmo Vänskä makes his TSO début with Beethoven Emperor Concerto, featuring Yefim Bronfman, internationally recognized as one of today's most acclaimed and admired pianists. Vänskä leads the Orchestra in Charles Ives's Second Symphony, a highly original work fusing the European symphonic form with popular American tunes. The program also includes Kaija Saariaho's Ciel d'hiver.
On May 26, the TSO welcomes the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra on a tour honouring Bramwell Tovey's final season as Music Director. The compelling program includes Elgar's "Enigma" Variations-one of the most popular works in the classical repertoire-and Tovey's own Ancestral Voices, featuring Canadian mezzo-soprano Marion Newman. Famed Canadian violinist James Ehnes is the soloist for the profoundly expressive concerto by Brahms.
Ending May on a light and spirited note, Love, Lust, and Rock & Roll is the last instalment of the season's Pops Series, on May 29 & 30. The charismatic Steven Reineke leads the delectable program featuring hits from the 1930s to today, from Frank Sinatra to Elton John, Led Zeppelin, and Queen. Guest vocalist Storm Large (who also brings her own band, Le Bonheur) lends her pitch-perfect chops to I've Got You Under My Skin, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Somebody to Love, and more.
The TSO Season Presenting Sponsor is BMO Financial Group.
The 2017/18 season is dedicated to H. Thomas Beck in recognition of his vital and long-standing support of the TSO.
The Pops Series is presented by Air Canada, the Official Airline of the TSO.
About the TSO: Founded in 1922, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is one of Canada's most important cultural institutions. The TSO has distinguished itself as an active supporter of new Canadian and international works. Since 2008, the Orchestra has released eight recordings under its self-produced label, tsoLive, and two recordings with Chandos Records. Over the past decade, the TSO has toured throughout Canada and internationally. Recent tour highlights include the Orchestra's performance at Reykjavik's Harpa Hall in 2014, and the TSO's first-ever performances in Israel and residency at the Prague Spring International Music Festival in 2017. Toronto's Roy Thomson Hall has been the TSO's home since 1982. 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.
Peter Oundjian will be honoured with the title of Conductor Emeritus when he completes his tenure as Music Director of the TSO at the end of the 2017/18 season. By then, Peter Oundjian will have served in the role for 14 seasons, the second-longest tenure in the TSO's history, surpassed only by Sir Ernest MacMillan, who was at the helm of the TSO for 25 seasons. During his tenure, Peter Oundjian has led 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. Beginning with the 2019/20 season, Mr. Oundjian will return for a number of annual engagements, conducting the TSO at Roy Thomson Hall as part of the flagship Masterworks Series.
Photo: Leon Fleisher
Photo by: Joanne Savio