Toronto Symphony Orchestra Announces February Programming

Toronto Symphony Orchestra Announces February ProgrammingFrom the lyricism of R. Strauss, the passion of Prokofiev, and the vitality of Beethoven to the fanciful atmosphere of The Wizard of Oz with Live Orchestra-just in time for Family Day weekend-February at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) is full of fantasy and zest.

Slovak conductor Juraj Val?uha makes his TSO début with A European Romance on January 31 & February 2. The concert opens with The Enchanted Lake by Liadov, followed by Falla's evocative Nights in the Gardens of Spain, featuring Argentine pianist Ingrid Fliter. Val?uha also leads the TSO in irresistible works by R. Strauss: the magnificent tone poem Don Juan and the exquisite suite from Der Rosenkavalier.

On February 4 at 3:00pm, the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra (TSYO) returns to George Weston Recital Hall to present their second concert of the season. TSYO Artistic Director & Conductor Earl Lee leads the colourful program, which includes Dukas's exhilarating tone poem The Sorcerer's Apprentice (made famous by Walt Disney's animated film Fantasia), Dvo?ák's Symphony No. 8, and Mozart's Flute Concerto No. 1, showcasing Sarah Pollard-a 2016/17 TSYO Concerto Competition Winner.

On February 14 & 15, Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis leads the Orchestra in Prokofiev Romeo & Juliet. Perfect for Valentine's Day, selections from Prokofiev's masterpiece about the star-crossed lovers are paired with Glière's romantic Harp Concerto, featuring TSO Principal Harp Heidi Van Hoesen Gorton, and Balakirev's rousing Overture on Three Russian Folk Songs.

On February 17 & 18-just in time for Family Day weekend-The Wizard of Oz with Live Orchestra is the perfect outing for the whole clan! Conductor Emil de Cou is on the podium for this special journey over the rainbow.

On February 21 & 22, the TSO welcomes Gustavo Gimeno (Principal Conductor of the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg) making his TSO début, and German-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser as part of Dvo?ák & Beethoven. Hailed by Gramophone Magazine as "one of the finest among the astonishing gallery of young virtuoso cellists," Moser takes centre stage in Dvo?ák's Cello Concerto. Ligeti's Concert Românesc (Romanian Concerto) and Beethoven's Symphony No. 4 make this a most satisfying program.

As part of the Young People's Concert series, the TSO presents The Year of the Dog: A Chinese New Year Celebration on February 24. The two performances (at 2:00pm and 4:00pm) include a pre-concert performance in the lobby by erhu* virtuoso Xiaoqiu Lin, as well as lion dancers. Often called "the most famous western personality in China's media industry," Canadian Mark Rowswell (a.k.a. "Dashan") hosts the fun-filled concerts, featuring music from both Chinese and western origins. Taiwanese-American conductor Carolyn Kuan teams up with the TSO, along with renowned pipa player Wen Zhao and Canadian violinist Adrian Anantawan, for an afternoon of musical magic.

*Sometimes called a "Chinese violin," the erhu is a traditional Chinese instrument.

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 Chinese New Year Concert is sponsored by Freedom 55 Financial, a division of London Life Insurance Company.

About the TSO: 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.

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