2023/24 Concert Photos

Mahler Symphony No. 3

Photos by Allan Cabral

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

The combined force of soprano and alto voices and a treble choir, and the soaring solo vocals of contralto Gerhild Romberger, bring the Toronto Symphony Orchestra Masterworks series to a magnificent close in Mahler’s Symphony No. 3. The six movements of this monumental work characterize the composer’s philosophy of the interconnectivity of nature and man to the heavens—each movement embellishing nature’s next plateau, from simple birdsong to celestial transformation, punctuated by choral passages.


Mendelssohn’s Violin

Photos by Allan Cabral

Thursday, June 6, 2024

A cornerstone of the repertoire, Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto is a passionate and technically mesmerizing display of the instrument’s capabilities. It soars in the hands of the gifted Randall Goosby, a former student of Itzhak Perlman who, at 13, was the youngest winner of the Sphinx Competition. The beloved work is complemented by a delightfully effervescent Divertimento for String Orchestra composed by Bartók in just 15 days, along with Mozart’s popular “Prague” Symphony, and the World Première of a work by Métis composer Ian Cusson, created in partnership with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).


James Ehnes + An American in Paris

Photos by Jae Yang

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Conductor Stéphane Denève leads Spotlight Artist James Ehnes in Bernstein’s Serenade, inspired by the philosopher Plato’s views on love, blending the composer’s signature classical, romantic, and modernist elements with hints of jazz and Broadway. Connesson's composition paints a musical vision of an enchanting, mythical city, and Gershwin’s love letter to Paris, with its classical-jazz fusion, stirs emotions with its seductive rhythms and harmonies.


Tchaikovsky + Brahms

Photos by Allan Cabral

Friday, May 10, 2024

Feel the fiery intensity of Brahms’s Violin Concerto as interpreted by the virtuosic Frank Peter Zimmermann, and embrace the dramatic power of Tchaikovsky’s supercharged Fourth Symphony, as the vibrant energy of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra merges with your TSO in a side-by-side spectacular display of musical mastery.

R. Strauss's Don Quixote

Photos by Allan Cabral

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Experience Richard Strauss’s masterful musical narration of Don Quixote—an imaginative tone poem where instruments of the orchestra represent the characters of the Cervantes novel about the adventures of a delusional Spanish knight and his loyal squire, Sancho Panza—plus the North American Première of Canadian Samy Moussa’s Trombone Concerto, co-commissioned by the TSO, masterfully played by Jörgen van Rijen.


Prokofiev's Piano

Photos by Allan Cabral

Friday, March 22, 2024

Guest conductor Ryan Bancroft leads a programmatic tour de force that explores the complexities of the human experience. Opening with Anna Clyne’s Within Her Arms, the lamenting elegy for 15 strings was inspired by the composer’s loss of her mother. Then, the demanding Piano Concerto No. 3 of Sergei Prokofiev is a testament to his technical prowess as both a performer and a composer, as brilliantly displayed by British pianist Isata Kanneh- Mason, winner of the 2021 Leonard Bernstein Award. Full of orchestral colour amid manic passages of virtuosity contrasted by moments of serene, lyrical melodies, the concerto is one of the most popular of the 20th century. Finally, Russian compatriot Dmitri Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony, written shortly after the death of Joseph Stalin, is a scathing musical indictment of the terror and violence experienced under Stalin’s regime. Sombre, wrenching emotion dominates most of the piece, until, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, it closes with a triumphant climax.


Dan Brown's Wild Symphony

Photos by Marzieh Miri

Sunday, March 3, 2024

Embark on an enchanting musical journey with your whole family as Dan Brown, the #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Da Vinci Code, unveils his latest surprise: Wild Symphony. Create core memories as you introduce your children to a love of orchestral music and live performance. This concert is particularly great for ages 4–8.


Stravinsky's Pulcinella

Photos by Jae Yang

Friday, February 23 & Saturday, February 24, 2024

Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ice Maiden inspired Stravinsky’s ballet The Fairy’s Kiss, the score of which is an homage to his childhood hero, Tchaikovsky. Stravinsky reimagined several of the composer’s early piano works and songs with his own surprisingly romantic interpretation. Stravinsky’s ballet Pulcinella displays the avant-garde, neoclassical approach for which the composer is known, using ideas of the past in a modern context, in this case 17th-century Italian commedia dell’arte, reimagining Baroque sounds with more rhythm, colour, and harmony. The Toronto Symphony Orchestra holds the distinction of hosting the final conducting appearance Stravinsky made in his lifetime, leading the Orchestra in a suite from Pulcinella. Just as Stravinsky was inspired by literary and musical figures, famed Canadian pianist Glenn Gould was fascinated by British Pop star Petula Clark, which Canadian composer Kelly-Marie Murphy channels in our opening work, blending elements of rock and pop with classical orchestration to create a truly unique sound.


Year of the Dragon: A Lunar New Year Celebration

Photos and video by Allan Cabral

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Celebrate Lunar New Year in style with your Toronto Symphony Orchestra! Comedian Dashan hosts this evening extraordinaire, with beloved classics and festive favourites including the Butterfly Lovers Concerto and Song of the Pipa, performed by your TSO and special guests in honour of the Year of the Dragon.

Click here for video B-roll


Pines of Rome

Photos by Allan Cabral

Saturday, February 3, 2024

Ottorino Respighi was instrumental in creating a national identity for Italy’s symphonic voice. His tone poem Pines of Rome is an enduring musical ode to the grandeur of nature and the majestic pines that have watched over the city for centuries. This work, and his more raucous depiction of pomp and revelry, Roman Festivals, embrace our exploration of all things Italian. Film composer Nino Rota’s dances from Il Gattopardo (The Leopard) complement Giuseppe Verdi’s distinctly Italian flair lent to Shakespeare’s Scottish play, and 20th-century composer Luciano Berio provides a look back to the Romantic past with radical innovations in sound and synthesis in his 4 dédicaces.


Beethoven's Sixth + Korngold's Violin

Photos by Allan Cabral

Friday, January 26, 2024

Experience the virtuosic brilliance of Korngold's Violin Concerto, where cinematic flair meets symphonic grandeur, expertly performed by violinist Ray Chen. Then, allow Beethoven's Symphony No. 6 to transport you to serene landscapes, evoking a profound connection with the natural world through its uplifting melodies and sweeping orchestral textures.


Oundjian Conducts Rachmaninoff

Photos by Allan Cabral

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Toronto Symphony Orchestra Conductor Emeritus Peter Oundjian leads Rachmaninoff’s Third Symphony, brimming with dream-like serenity and spirited Russian rhythms. John Adams’s jazz- influenced 2013 commission, Saxophone Concerto is an animated and energetic display of the instrument’s dexterity and range, performed by the incomparable Steven Banks in its Canadian Première, and a World Première by Toronto Symphony Orchestra NextGen Composer Katerina Gimon opens the performance—Under City Lights, Forgotten Stars—which inspires us to uncover the starry skies hidden beneath the brightness of our nighttime city skyscape.


Trifonov Plays Brahms

Photos by Allan Cabral

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Incomparable pianist Daniil Trifonov takes on the technically brilliant Piano Concerto No. 1 of Johannes Brahms. Uncompromisingly intense yet charismatic, the work has been interpreted as an unrequited love letter to Clara Schumann, whose husband, Robert, was both friend and mentor to Brahms. Opening the program is the rhythmic and dignified Sinfonia No. 2 of George Walker, the first Black composer to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music (1996). And Polish folk melodies are infused with elaborate orchestral textures in Witold Lutosławski’s Concerto for Orchestra, written to herald the Warsaw Orchestra’s rise from the ashes of devastating German occupation in World War II.


Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty

Photos by Jag Gundu

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Tchaikovsky’s delight for his original ballet score for The Sleeping Beauty, and his desire to adapt it into an orchestral suite, languished due to the monumental task of editing down the volume of enchanting numbers. It was not published in suite form until after his death. Your Toronto Symphony Orchestra performs the beloved suite as compiled by guest conductor Maxim Emelyanychev, revered for its dramatic fantasy, colourful orchestration, and enduring charm. A second fantasy plays across the stage with the prelude to Humperdinck’s fairy-tale opera, Hansel and Gretel. The charming score, adapted from the Brothers Grimm story, is brought to life in the leitmotifs of the characters, from the lilting innocence of the children to the dissonant chords of the evil witch. Also on the program, Toronto Symphony Orchestra Principal Bassoon Michael Sweeney performs the hauntingly beautiful Bassoon Concerto by Italian-Canadian composer Marjan Mozetich. In 2003, Sweeney commissioned and premièred the intriguing soundscape, which merges new concepts with the familiar.

 


Mahler's Fifth

Photos by Stelth Ng

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Guest conductor David Robertson makes his TSO debut leading Mahler’s tempestuous Fifth Symphony, with its movements of darkness and light, triumphant horn fanfares, and ebullient fugues. Ardent Mahler admirer Alban Berg’s romantic and expressive compilation of seven art songs, written in his youth, opens the program, featuring one of the TSO’s 2023/24 Spotlight Artists, the exquisite Canadian mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo.


Dvořák Symphony No. 8

Photos by Jag Gundu

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Celebrated Ukrainian conductor Oksana Lyniv leads Dvořák’s lively Symphony No. 8, inspired by the Bohemian countryside and rousing Czech dances. The spotlight shines on the 2022 Honens Piano Competition Laureate, and Lyniv’s Ukrainian compatriot, Illia Ovcharenko, who performs Liszt’s sparkling First Piano Concerto, with its intricate piano-and-orchestra dialogue, lyrical passages, and romantic bravura. The Canadian Première of composer Zoltan Almashi’s Maria’s City, dedicated to the city of Mariupol, rounds out a program paying tribute to the unwavering spirit of the Ukrainian people.


An Evening with Audra McDonald

Photos by Jag Gundu

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Singer extraordinaire Audra McDonald joins your Toronto Symphony Orchestra for a sparkling, one-night-only affair. The Broadway sensation, Tony, GRAMMY®, and Emmy recipient, recording artist, and star of film and television highlights her expansive career, from musical theatre to opera to jazz, as she takes the audience through a musical journey of the Great American Songbook and Broadway’s biggest hits.


Beethoven's Seventh

Photos by Gerard Richardson and Allan Cabral

Wednesday, October 26, 2023

Toronto Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Jonathan Crow takes on the fascinating Violin Concerto of György Ligeti in honour of the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth. The work explores the outer limits of instrumental sound, combined with a hint of humour and the folk tunes of Ligeti’s native Transylvania. Opening the performance is the Canadian Première of Olga Neuwirth’s rhythmic, one-movement Dreydl, underlining the passage of time and destiny, and Beethoven’s celebratory Seventh Symphony rounds out the program with an animated, harmonically energetic interpretation of unabashed joy, one that the composer himself described as “one of the happiest products of my poor talents.”


James Ehnes Plays Barber

Photos by Allan Cabral

Saturday, October 21, 2023

One of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s 2023/24 Spotlight Artists, GRAMMY® Award–winning violinist James Ehnes headlines a spirited program celebrating two monumental 20th-century American works. Both Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto and Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story rely upon lush melodies, passages of tender lyricism, and percussive interludes. The performance also features The Prairies by composer Karen Sunabacka, inspired by nature and her Métis heritage; Ehnes’s take on the virtuosic third movement of French-Cuban composer José White Lafitte’s Violin Concerto in F-sharp minor (a rarely used key); and the Afro-Caribbean rhythms of Sensemayá by Mexico’s Silvestre Revueltas.


Seong-Jin Cho Returns + The Poem of Ecstasy

Photos by Allan Cabral

Thursday, September 28, 2023

A feast for the senses, this evocative program opens with an imaginative musical journey through touch, smell, taste, sound and sight by Peruvian composer Jimmy Lopez Bellido. Maurice Ravel’s lush and sensual Rapsodie espagnole captures the intoxicating flavours, sounds, and colours of Spain, while his Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, filled with dazzling cadenzas and left-hand acrobatics, beguiles listeners into an illusion of two hands touching the keys, performed by the incomparable Seong-Jin Cho. The program concludes with the sumptuous Poem of Ecstasy by Alexander Scriabin, a musical depiction of experiences that transcend the physical senses and exist on a mystical plane.


Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring

Photos by Allan Cabral and Gerard Richardson

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Your Toronto Symphony Orchestra proudly kicks off Year 101 with a musical mosaic, highlighted by the multi-faceted Jean-Yves Thibaudet’s electrifying take on Gershwin’s jazz-influenced Piano Concerto in F. The performance opens with Lili Boulanger’s vibrant and delicate tone poem D’un matin de printemps, countering the controversial score of Stravinsky’s wildly hypnotic and primal The Rite of Spring.

 

About Toronto Symphony Orchestra

For over a century, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) has played a fundamental role in shaping and celebrating Canadian culture. Now in our 101st year, the TSO’s commitment to musical excellence and ability to spark connection remain as strong as ever. With a storied history of acclaimed concerts and recordings, Canadian and international tours, and impactful community partnerships, we are dedicated to engaging and enriching local and national communities through vibrant musical experiences. Music Director Gustavo Gimeno brings an expansive artistic vision, intellectual curiosity, and sense of adventure to programming the nearly 100-musician orchestra that serves Toronto—one of the world’s most diverse cities. As a group of artists, teachers, and advocates who share the belief that music has the power to heal, inspire, and connect people from all walks of life, we engage audiences young and old through an array of education, community access and health and wellness initiatives. The 2023/24 season marks the 50th anniversary of the TSO-affiliated Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra—a tuition-free training program dedicated to cultivating the next generation of Canadian artists. Join us for a concert at Roy Thomson Hall, or experience the TSO in your neighbourhood. Visit TSO.CA or newsroom.tso.ca.

Contact

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