TSO Celebrates 100 Years of Artistic Achievement and Community Impact
Toronto, Ontario—March 23, 2022: The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) announces an historic 2022/23 season that celebrates the Orchestra’s 100th anniversary. Events, repertoire, and world-renowned artists have been programmed to reflect and pay homage to the TSO’s illustrious past, signal the beginning of a dynamic future, and pay tribute to the vibrant, diverse community it serves.
“I cannot fully express my delight and honour to be celebrating such an auspicious anniversary with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and our incredible Toronto community,” says TSO Music Director Gustavo Gimeno. “We are doubly thrilled that in 2022/23 we not only celebrate a landmark event in our history, but also our first complete season of concerts in over two years.”
Maestro Gimeno has crafted outstanding programs across the entire season. He will lead ten Masterworks programs, including an all-Spanish program (March 29–April 2), two programs with superstar pianist Yuja Wang (October & June), and his own compilation of the Suite from Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet (February). In addition, he leads a Gala event starring Yo-Yo Ma (November), the TSO’s annual holiday performances of Handel’s Messiah (December), and the TSO’s first Relaxed Performance for neurodiverse, adult patrons with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 (March).
With his signature programming, Gustavo Gimeno focuses on creating a complex counterpoint, mixing works of divergent styles and influences into a fascinating musical journey, juxtaposing new artists and composers with core repertoire.
“As the pandemic recedes and the number of in-person concerts increases, we have an even greater appreciation for the power of live music and the communal experience we share in our concert hall,” says Gimeno. “Much of the 2022/23 season was programmed to reflect and deepen this sense of community between performer and listener.”
The 2022/23 season is also the first for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s newly-appointed CEO, Mark Williams.
“I am excited to begin my relationship with this great organization at such an incredible milestone,” says Williams. “The Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s 100-year musical legacy is renowned and its contribution to the vitality of our community has always been significant. Over the last two years, the company has become yet more embedded into Toronto with an extraordinary number of new programs, collaborations, and partnerships. As we begin our second century, we will continue to offer music that brings joy and solace, opportunities for growth and self-reflection, and support the well-being of our diverse community.”
To celebrate the community that has supported the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for 100 years and to open the 2022/23 season, the Orchestra will present a free, public concert on September 24. Music Director Gustavo Gimeno will lead a program sure to revive the joy of togetherness and help remind us all of the thrill of a shared, communal experience.
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra embarks on its first tour with Maestro Gustavo Gimeno, February 11–14, 2023. This North American tour includes a return visit to New York City, the TSO’s annual orchestra exchange with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and marks the Orchestra’s début at Chicago’s Symphony Center.
On February 17, 2023, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra returns to its original home with a performance at the newly renovated Massey Hall. It was on this stage on April 23, 1923, that the Orchestra gave its first performance. In a nod to this inaugural concert, Gustavo Gimeno will conduct Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, which was performed at that historic concert.
Renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma will perform his 50th concert with the Toronto Symphony in a Gala celebration and fundraiser conducted by Gustavo Gimeno on November 16. Joining Yo-Yo Ma will be Canadian Indigenous singer/scholar/composer/activist Jeremy Dutcher to reprise their collaboration of “Honour Song,” which Dutcher wrote with George Paul and which was featured on the album Notes for the Future with Yo-Yo Ma.
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra will add to its rich recording history in May 2023 with a new commercial recording of Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphonie, conducted by Gustavo Gimeno, with pianist Marc-André Hamelin, and ondes martenot player Nathalie Forget. The Orchestra released a landmark recording of the work in 1968 on the RCA label conducted by then-Music Director Seiji Ozawa, marking the first North American recording of the work and adding immeasurably to the TSO’s international stature. Turangalîla will be re-recorded during live performances on May 4 and 5, 2023, a remarkable 55 years later.
The Masterworks Series celebrates some of the greatest works from the orchestral canon, including Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade (September), Saint-Saëns’s “Organ Symphony” (September), Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4 (October), Holst’s The Planets (November), Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 (November), Mozart’s Requiem (January), Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 (January), Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances (February), Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 (March), Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 (April), Ravel’s Boléro (April), Brahms’s Symphony No. 2, (May), and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition (May).
Maestro Gimeno’s Spotlight Artist initiative, designed to showcase the virtuosity and versatility of select guest artists each season, returns with two featured artists: French-Canadian cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras and international superstar pianist Yuja Wang. Queyras makes his TSO début with the Schumann Cello Concerto and the Ligeti Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in March, and in April he will return with conductor Fabien Gabel to play Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme.
Yuja Wang joins the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in the fall with the Canadian Première of Magnus Linberg’s Piano Concerto No. 3 (co-commissioned by the TSO), and returns in June to play Rachmaninoff’s technically dazzling Piano Concerto No. 3. Both Queyras and Wang will also participate in community and educational events during their time in Toronto.
RETURNING FAVOURITES & NEW FACES
Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis (Music Director 1975–1988) and Conductor Emeritus Peter Oundjian (Music Director 2004–2018) return, as well as several audience-favourite soloists with strong ties to the TSO: pianists Yefim Bronfman (Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3, October) and Louis Lortie (Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 23, February); violinists James Ehnes (Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto, May), Leila Josefowicz (Helen Grime: Violin Concerto, North American Première, April), and Nicola Benedetti (Wynton Marsalis: Concerto in D, Canadian Première, May).
Other guest soloists include Augustin Hadelich (Sibelius: Violin Concerto, November), Sergei Babayan (Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1, November), Juan Manuel Cañizares (Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez for Guitar and Orchestra, April), and Víkingur Ólafsson (Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 24, May).
Concertmaster Jonathan Crow celebrates his 11th season with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and is the featured soloist in two programs, playing Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade in September, and Brahms’s Violin Concerto in January. Crow will continue to curate the popular pre-concert TSO Chamber Soloists series in 2022/23.
“It is a joy for me to celebrate my 11th anniversary during this exceptional year at the TSO,” says Concertmaster Jonathan Crow. “I know I speak for all of the musicians when I thank our patrons, both our long-term subscribers and those who are new to us, for their extraordinary enthusiasm. Our art form exists in a vacuum without audiences, and we are grateful for their participation.”
The 2022/23 season sees many débuting artists including Bruce Xiaoyu Liu, the Chinese-Canadian pianist who won the 18th International Chopin Competition in 2021, and who opens the season with Gustavo Gimeno on the podium playing Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Other débuting artists include Dalia Stasevska conducting a Tchaikovsky program (November); superstar cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason playing Elgar’s Cello Concerto (January); 21-year-old Tarmo Peltokoski conducting Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 (January); 18-year-old Spanish violin prodigy Maria Dueñas joining the TSO on tour with Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole (February); acclaimed flamenco guitarist Juan Manuel Cañizares performing Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez (March); renowned Israeli mandolinist Avi Avital (April); and Italian conductor Jader Bignamini (May).
Returning Masterworks guest conductors include Elim Chan, Michael Francis, Fabien Gabel, Kerem Hasan, Gemma New, and John Storgårds.
Music Director Gustavo Gimeno continues to support the next generation of Canadian and international talent through initiatives such as Explore the Score sessions where emerging composers have an opportunity to hear their works played and rehearsed by a professional orchestra; Women in Musical Leadership, a program designed by lead partner Tapestry Opera to develop the next generation of female and non-binary conductors; and the NextGen Composers program, which gives early-career composers the opportunity to have a short piece performed in concert by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
The 2022/23 NextGen composers—Matthew-John Knights, Fjóla Evans, Luiz Ramirez—will each première a five-minute work with the orchestra in Spring 2023. A total of ten Celebration Preludes—works written to celebrate the Toronto Symphony’s centennial season—have been commissioned by Gustavo Gimeno from composers across the GTA, representing the diversity of voices in our community. The first five will be performed by the TSO in Spring 2022, and the Toronto-area composers Eliot Britton, Brian Harman, Kevin Lau, Janet Sit, and Christina Volpini will contribute 100th Season Celebration Preludes during the 2022/23 season.
Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra (TSYO) Conductor Simon Rivard shares Maestro Gimeno’s commitment to training the next generation of young musicians. In addition to performing three full-length orchestral concerts, the TSYO will perform in a side-by-side concert with the TSO, participate in an intensive rehearsal camp weekend, and have the opportunity to take part in the annual Concerto Competition, the winner of which will have the chance to perform with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
World Premières include TSO Composer Advisor Gary Kulesha’s Fourth Symphony (January) and Icelandic composer/conductor Daniel Bjarnason’s Trilogy Part 1 (June), as well as eight new Celebration Preludes and NextGen works.
North American Premières include a new orchestration of the Alban Berg Piano Sonata by Sir Andrew Davis (February), Francisco Coll’s Aqua Cinerea (March), Finnish composer Joonas Kokkonen’s Adagio religioso (April), and contemporary Scottish composer Helen Grime’s Violin Concerto (April).
Canadian Premières include Unsuk Chin’s subito con forza (October), Wynton Marsalis’s expansive and jazz-infused Violin Concerto written for and performed by Nicola Benedetti (May), and Yuja Wang’s performance of Magnus Lindberg’s Piano Concerto No. 3, (October).
Making its TSO Première in 2022/23 is Elysium for Orchestra (February) by 2021/22 Spotlight Artist Samy Moussa. This piece received its World Première in September 2021 performed by conductor Christian Thielemann and the Vienna Philharmonic in Barcelona’s La Sagrada Família.
POPS SERIES / FILMS IN CONCERT
Led by Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke, the Pops Series opens with a tribute to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra with 100 Years of Epic Film Scores to celebrate the parallel accomplishments of film music and the TSO’s anniversary. Other programs include a tribute to Frank and Ella (April), The Best of Queen (March), the music of Disney hit-maker Alan Menken (June), and the perennial favourite Holiday Pops concert with Broadway stars Caissie Levy and Paul Alexander Nolan (December).
Audiences can enjoy the TSO’s artistry live accompanying iconic films including the cult classic Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (October); holiday favourite Elf with a heartwarming score conducted by the composer himself, John Debney (December); the long-awaited Star Wars: The Force Awakens (October) and Star Wars: The Last Jedi (May) with colourful scores by John Williams; and, the mega-hit, Marvel Studios’ Black Panther, with an incredible score by Ludwig Göransson (June).
YOUNG PEOPLE’S CONCERTS
Concerts for young people have been a core part of the Toronto Symphony’s Orchestra’s programming for almost 100 years and the 2022/23 season is no exception, offering younger audience members four Young People’s Concerts curated by Barrett Principal Education Conductor & Community Ambassador Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser. Two new concerts join the TSO’s repertoire: Why Sci-Fi?, highlighting how composers use music to portray the thrill of adventure in science-fiction stories (March); and Reggae Roots, which shares the beats, melodies, and people that make reggae so engaging, and features Jamaican Nova Scotia-based reggae artist Jah’Mila (April). Two beloved staples of TSO education programming for young people return this season: Platypus Theatre’s How the Gimquat Found Her Song, celebrating its 30th anniversary (November); and The Hockey Sweater, an orchestral work composed by Abigail Richardson-Schulte based on Roch Carrier’s iconic Canadian story, commissioned by the TSO for its 90th season (February).
School audiences will enjoy The Hockey Sweater and Reggae Roots, along with a new program created by Bartholomew-Poyser called The Moments which brings the audience along with Toronto Symphony musicians on their mental, physical and musical journey to prepare for their moment on stage. In addition to these in-person, live school concerts, the Toronto Symphony will continue to engage with remote educational communities through virtual programming.
Performances of Why Sci-Fi? and Reggae Roots will also be offered as Relaxed Performances, specially presented for neurodiverse audiences—including patrons on the autism spectrum, those with sensory and communication disorders, people with learning disabilities, or those who simply want a more informal concert experience.
Under the continued leadership of Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is building on the relationships developed with community organizations and deepening the TSO’s commitment to serving Toronto’s diverse communities. A new youth-led co-composition program at the Cecil Community Centre with composer Kevin Lau and Bartholomew-Poyser will bring to life a chamber work that reflects the experiences of youths living in downtown’s Kensington/Chinatown neighbourhood. Through its partnership with the YMCA of Greater Toronto, the TSO continues to expand its reach into many communities by participating in workshops and performances for older adults, students in the YMCA’s Black Achievers mentorship program, and the young 2SLGBTQ+ adults living at YMCA Sprott House. Finally, in collaboration with the Toronto Public Library, children’s storytime with musical accompaniment has been added to the TSO’s already robust programming for children and youth.
TSOUND Connections, the TSO’s program that reduces social isolation by bringing personalized virtual music performances to seniors continues to leverage the power of music to reinforce positive health outcomes, social connection, and inspiration through our work with partners at the Alzheimer Society Peel, the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and Baycrest Health Sciences.
The TSO begins its Centennial Celebrations on April 9, 2022, with the Celebrate 100: Maestros’ Special Homecoming concert featuring five of the TSO’s Music Directors at the podium. Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis, Günther Herbig, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Conductor Emeritus Peter Oundjian, and Music Director Gustavo Gimeno will conduct works that represent and define each of their unique tenures with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
“Announcing a new season is always a joy for me because it builds on past achievements as well as holds such promise for an even greater future, exploring this dynamic, constantly developing art form together,” says Music Director Gustavo Gimeno. “I am honoured to join you on this journey from one century to the next.”
SUBSCRIPTIONS PACKAGES AND BENEFITS
2022/23 season subscriptions are available April 8. Please contact TSO.CA to subscribe.