Mahler Resurrection Symphony: Matthew Halls Steps In For Juanjo Mena
Spanish conductor Juanjo Mena sincerely regrets that due to illness he must withdraw from this week's performances of Mahler's Symphony No. 2 with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO). In his place, acclaimed British conductor Matthew Halls will lead the concerts. Mahler's Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection"-April 17, 18 & 20-features soprano Joélle Harvey, contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux, and the combined forces of the Amadeus Choir and the Elmer Iseler Singers, as previously announced.
The word "versatile" is an apt description for Maestro Halls. He first came to prominence as a keyboard player and early-music conductor, but Halls is now better known for his dynamic and intelligent work with major symphony orchestras and opera companies, and for his probing and vibrant interpretations of music of all periods.
Increasingly in demand by North American symphony orchestras, Halls has performed with the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras; Dallas, Pittsburgh, Houston, Seattle, Indianapolis, and Utah Symphonies; Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; and National Arts Centre Orchestra. His TSO début in February 2013, in which he led Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, "captured much of the energy and excitement that its first audience must have felt at its premiere nearly 200 years ago" (Toronto Star). Since then, he has been a regular guest with the TSO, where he last appeared in December 2017 conducting Handel's Messiah.
Having served as Artistic Director of the Oregon Bach Festival for five years, Halls is equally at home conducting baroque and contemporary repertoire.
In 2018/19, Halls's North American guest appearances include his début with the Chicago Symphony and returns to the St. Louis, Dallas, and Indianapolis Symphonies, and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. In addition, Halls conducts the San Diego and Jacksonville Symphonies, as well as the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston. Last season, he made his New York début with Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival in a performance with violinist Joshua Bell.
In recent seasons, Halls has performed in Australia with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and with the Auckland Philharmonia. He is a regular with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, recently having presented a series of five performances traversing all of Beethoven's piano concerti with Paul Lewis. Recent European appearances include Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic, Mozarteum Salzburg, Philharmonie Zuidenderland, and Capriccio Barockorchester.
Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection"
Matthew Halls, conductor
Joélle Harvey, soprano
Marie-Nicole Lemieux, contralto
Amadeus Choir and Elmer Iseler Singers
Wed, Apr 17 at 8:00pm
Thu, Apr 18 at 8:00pm
Sat, Apr 20 at 8:00pm
About the TSO: One of Canada's most respected arts organizations, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) plays a vital role in the city's dynamic cultural life. Committed to serving local and national communities through vibrant performances and expansive educational activities, the TSO offers a wide range of programming that resonates with people of all ages and backgrounds. With a notable recording and broadcast history complementing international touring engagements, the TSO is a unique musical ambassador for Canada around the world.
The TSO continues its long-established history of connecting younger generations with orchestral music. Two core programs include School Concerts, performed for over 40,000 students annually, and the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra (TSYO), which, in a tuition-free model, offers high-level orchestral training for talented young musicians aged 22 and under. Additionally, the TSO supports the development of next-generation artists through its annual open call for Canadian orchestral scores, and its essential Resident Conductor and Affiliate Composer positions.
Peter Oundjian was named TSO Conductor Emeritus at the end of his 14-year tenure as Music Director in June 2018. In the 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons, Sir Andrew Davis will serve as Interim Artistic Director, prior to the arrival of the TSO's new Music Director in 2020. Sir Andrew Davis is well known to Toronto audiences, having a 44-year relationship with the TSO. Maestro Davis opens the 2018/19 season and returns to the TSO stage regularly in each of his two seasons as Interim Artistic Director. Gustavo Gimeno will begin serving as the TSO's Music Director in 2020/21.
The TSO was founded in 1922 by a group of Toronto musicians and gave its first performance at the historic Massey Hall. Since 1982, Toronto's iconic Roy Thomson Hall has been the TSO's home, drawing patrons from around the world. Soon to celebrate its centenary, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra's name remains synonymous with musical versatility and growth, and artistic distinction.