TSO 2012/13 Season Finale includes Gershwin, Joshua Bell, Yuja Wang and More

TSO 2012/13 Season Finale includes Gershwin, Joshua Bell, Yuja Wang and More

For Rhapsody in Blue (June 1 & 2), one of the most popular American concert works, conductor Bramwell Tovey will take to the piano to play Gershwin's beloved jazz-infused Piano Concerto. Before leading the orchestra in Elgar's Enigma Variations- a series of charming musical sketches about the composer's closest friends -Tovey, an eloquent host, will share some of the unsolved mysteries of the work's "secret" contents. The June 2nd performance is at the George Weston Recital Hall, Toronto Centre for the Arts and also features Bernstein's "Overture" to Candide.

Grammy Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell returns to the TSO (June 5, 6 & 8) to perform both classical and folk-inspired works. When Bell performed with the Orchestra in 2009, the Toronto Star raved that "the way [Joshua] can make his instrument and the music sing, in every sense of the word...makes him one of the world's finest musicians." With TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian at the helm, Bell is joined by double-bass soloist and composer, Edgar Meyer, in the Canadian première of Meyer's TSO Co-commissioned Concerto for Violin & Double-Bass. Joshua Bell will join Music Director Peter Oundjian onstage for a lively post-concert chat!

The fiery fingers of pianist Yuja Wang propel her through Prokofiev's sizzling Concerto No. 2 (June 12 & 13). The night continues with Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, featuring TSO Concertmaster Jonathan Crow; and Treeship, a TSO Co-commission for RBC Affiliate Composer Kevin Lau, which will receive its world première. Pre-concert chat in the North Lobby with Larry Beckwith on June 13 at 7:15pm.

Party late into the night at the TSO's annual Tailgate Party and Late Night Concert (June 15)! Featuring food-truck fare, drinks and exhilarating performances, the evening will begin with a tailgate party in the Roy Thomson Hall parking lot, followed by explosive performances onstage by pianist Yuja Wang in the first movement of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 and Jonathan Crow in Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade. Afterwards, mix and mingle at a post-concert party in the lobby of RTH, featuring live music from Toronto electro-pop artist Digits. Tailgate Party begins at 8:00pm. Concert begins at 10:00pm.

Celebrate the 200th birthdays of composers Richard Wagner and Giuseppe Verdi while sitting under the stars, as the TSO returns to David Pecaut Square for a free open-air concert at the Luminato Festival (A Symphonic Birthday Party, June 21). The Orchestra will be led by TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian and joined by the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. Last year's outdoor TSO concert, Symphonic Finale, broke attendance records at the Square, and this year's Festival crowd is expected to be even larger. The programme will also feature a piece by the great Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer who turns 80 this year. Only 120 years to go!

Everyone is invited back to the Festival Hub at David Pecaut Square the next day (June 22), but this time to play alongside members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at the Luminato Festival's inaugural Music Mob, conducted by TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian. People of all ages and musical talents will come together to perform Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" and Verdi's "TriumpHal March and Chorus" from Aida. No prior experience is necessary! Complete details including sheet music for every orchestra instrument and voice, suggestions for alternative instruments, and instructional videos by the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra musicians performing are available at luminatofestival.com.

To close the spectacular 2012/2013 season, acclaimed young conductor Andrew Grams will lead the Orchestra in the best of symphonic dance and ballet music from Spain, France, Hungary, Russia, and Austria (June 22 & 23). This Light Classics programme will also mark the TSO début of teenage violinist Kerson Leong, whose artistry has been influenced by TSO Concertmaster Jonathan Crow. Kerson will take centre stage for the virtuoso showpiece, Waxman's Carmen Fantasie.

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