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Jan 23, 2020

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Romantic Composers, Concerts for Kids, and a Beloved Musical Round Out February at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra

Romantic Composers, Concerts for Kids, and a Beloved Musical Round Out February at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra

Toronto, ON—January 23, 2020—The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) overflows with musical merriment and romance this month. Valentine’s weekend will feature works by romantic Russian composers Sergei Rachmaninoff and Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov in Rachmaninoff & Scheherazade program, led by conductor Elim Chan and including a performance by acclaimed pianist Stephen Hough. Chan is currently chief conductor of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, the youngest in their history and the first female to take on the role. Following this concert, the Orchestra welcomes critically acclaimed Scottish conductor Donald Runnicles in Majestic Bruckner, which includes one of Wagner’s most beautiful and personal orchestral creations, Siegfried Idyll, written on his wedding day. Conductor Jack Everly will lead the Orchestra in Singin’ in the Rain —Film with Orchestra, which is among the American Film Institute’s 25 Greatest Movie Musicals of all time.

TSO RBC Resident Conductor & TSYO Conductor Simon Rivard leads three concerts this month that the whole family can enjoy. Simon will conduct the Young People’s Concert Beethoven Lives Upstairs, featuring Classical Kids LIVE!, as part of the TSO’s year-long celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday. In the lobby of Roy Thomson Hall, there will be a pre-concert Instrument Discovery Zone, offering music lovers of all ages the opportunity to play a variety of orchestral instruments. Simon will also conduct the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra (TSYO) with two of Dvorak's influential pieces of music, as well as Violin Concerto from 2018/19 TSYO Concerto Competition winner Claire Hur. 

Following a successful launch from April 2019, the TSO is pleased to continue offering Relaxed Performances, which are designed for people living with autism spectrum disorders, sensory and communication disorders, or learning disabilities, or anyone who wants a more casual concert experience. Simon Rivard will return to conduct the first of two Relaxed Performances of the 2019/20 season—The Composer is Dead, a hilarious whodunit with music by Nathaniel Stookey and text by Lemony Snicket, hosted by Kevin Frank, actor and Artistic Director of The Second City Training Centre. The second Relaxed Performance will take place in May, conducted by Daniel-Bartholomew-Poyser.

Visit TSO.CA for a full list of upcoming concerts.
Box Office phone: 416.593.1285


*2:00pm & 4:00pm

Based on the award-winning recording, this concert features a lively exchange of letters between young Christoph and his uncle about the “madman” who has moved in upstairs. Through touching correspondence and beautifully performed excerpts, Christoph comes to understand the genius of Beethoven, the beauty of his music, and his personal torment.

Sound the trumpets! A pre-concert free interactive Instrument Discovery Zone will be available in the lobby, offering audiences the chance to play a wide variety of orchestral instruments.


Alexander Shelley and the NAC Orchestra bring a potently emotional program to Toronto—from Jocelyn Morlock’s poignant composition about Amanda Todd, the victim of cyberbullying who, at age 15, tragically took her own life, to Mendelssohn’s beloved Violin Concerto, performed by Joshua Bell.

*2:00pm & 7:30pm

Topping the American Film Institute’s list of 25 Greatest Movie Musicals of all time, this film masterpiece comes to life with live orchestral accompaniment and award-winning on-screen performances by Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, and Debbie Reynolds.

TSYO & CLAIRE HUR (February 9)
*George Weston Recital Hall, Meridian Arts Centre (formerly Toronto Centre for the Arts)

Dvořák: Carnival Overture
Glazunov: Violin Concerto
Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 “From the New World”

Tickets are available at www1.ticketmaster.ca/event/10005748DD3C3EB7

RACHMANINOFF & SCHEHERAZADE (February 14, 15 & 16)

Valentine’s weekend at the TSO features works by Romantic Russian composers: esteemed artist Stephen Hough plays Rachmaninoff’s rapturous Second Piano Concerto and Elim Chan leads the Orchestra in Rimsky-Korsakov’s bewitching Scheherazade.


Kent Nagano, in his final Toronto appearance as Music Director of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, leads Beethoven’s picturesque “Pastoral” Symphony. And experience Dusapin’s thundering Organ Concerto, performed by the organist of Paris’s Notre-Dame Cathedral. 

MAJESTIC BRUCKNER (February 20 & 22)

Epic and radiant, Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony paints a vast symphonic landscape. Donald Runnicles returns to lead this program, which also features Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll—one of the composer’s most beautiful and personal orchestral creations, written on his wedding day. 

On February 20, there will be a free pre-concert performance by the TSO Chamber Soloists at 6:45pm, including Donald Runnicles on piano with special guest mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabό performing Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder.


Calling all sneaky sleuths and would-be detectives! Who snuffed out the composer? Was it the shifty string section, or maybe the treacherous trombones? Every instrument in the Orchestra is a suspect! With music by Nathaniel Stookey and text by Lemony Snicket, The Composer Is Dead is a hilarious whodunit for the whole family.

This performance is designed for people living with autism spectrum disorders, sensory and communication disorders, or learning disabilities, or anyone who wants a more casual concert experience. 

The TSO Season Presenting Sponsor is BMO Financial Group.
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, and the City of Toronto.

Twitter: @TorontoSymphony
Facebook: facebook.com/torontosymphonyorchestra
YouTube: youtube.com/torontosymphony
Instagram: instagram.com/torontosymphony

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.

Sir Andrew Davis serves as TSO Interim Artistic Director for the 2019/20 season, prior to the arrival of incoming Music Director Gustavo Gimeno in 2020/21. Sir Andrew Davis is well known to Toronto audiences, having a 44-year relationship with the TSO and returning to the TSO stage regularly. 

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.