TSO Announces Their April Lineup
From Sibelius to Bernstein, with a detour by Broadway and a foray into the music of Bruckner and Beethoven, the April lineup at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) is refreshing as spring.
TSO Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis leads a varied and hearty program, April 5-8. With the towering Sibelius Symphony 5 as the "pièce de résistance," the concert also includes Swedish composer Wilhelm Stenhammar's Intermezzo from the symphonic cantata Sången-a fascinating work that was written for the 150th anniversary of the Swedish Royal Academy of Music; Bruch's beloved Violin Concerto No. 1, showcasing the outstanding talent of Taiwanese-Australian violinist Ray Chen; and Mendelssohn's magical work The Fair Melusina Overture.
On April 10, 11 & 12, On Broadway features beloved, toe-tapping songs from such classic shows as Carousel, Funny Girl, The King and I, and Gypsy, and from more recent hit productions including Wicked, Company, and Into the Woods. TSO Pops Conductor Steven Reineke is joined by Broadway star vocalists Stephanie J. Blockand Ramin Karimloo.
On April 13, the TSO welcomes the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and their music director, Kent Nagano, who perform Bruckner's grandiose Seventh Symphony. Celebrated German violinist Christian Tetzlaff brings out the poetry of Alban Berg's Violin Concerto.
On April 14 & 15, RBC Resident Conductor Earl Lee is at the helm of the TSO for All Beethoven-a program of powerful music that ranges from the tempestuous Fifth Symphony to a pair of sweet-natured romances for violin and orchestra with soloist Blake Pouliot, the Grand Prize winner of the 2016 Orchestre symphonique de Montréal Manulife Competition. Two dramatic overtures round out the mighty program.
The Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra (TSYO) returns to Koerner Hall on April 17 for their Spring Concert. Artistic Director & Conductor Earl Lee guides the TSYO's season to a grand close with Bartók's thrilling Concerto for Orchestra and Ravel's lush Mother Goose Suite.
April 21 brings The Animated Orchestra, the perfect family event at which to discover the magic of music and the orchestra. Guest conductor Dina Gilbert and narrator & composer Greg Smith tell the story of a curious and creative ferret named Ari, who leads the audience on a journey that features orchestral favourites and includes audience participation.
On April 26 & 28, the TSO presents Bernstein's Candide, making its major contribution to the global tributes in honour of Leonard Bernstein's centenary. Bramwell Tovey-whose early career was given a major boost through conducting Bernstein's music in the composer's presence-leads a brilliant cast of singers including soprano Tracy Dahl (Cunegonde), mezzo-soprano Judith Forst (The Old Lady), tenor Nicholas Phan (Candide), and baritone Richard Suart (Pangloss & other roles), sharing the stage with members of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choirand the Orchestra. Bernstein's enchanting operetta, based on Voltaire's satirical story about a guileless young man's education in the ways of the world, is presented in a concert version.
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.
The April 11 performance of On Broadway is sponsored by InterContinental® Toronto Centre.
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: Ray Chen by Sophie Zhai