Toronto, Ontario—October 5, 2020: Orchestra fans yearning for the concert experience will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in the new TSO On Demand concert video series. Music Director Gustavo Gimeno announces eight concerts that reflect the range of TSO programming including Masterworks, Pops, and Young People’s Concerts. All concerts will be filmed at Roy Thomson Hall in high definition (HD), and all those involved will follow safety protocols.
“Our creative approach to this virtual-concert series is to give orchestra lovers an experience that they would not normally have in a concert hall. I very much miss the experience of being in Roy Thomson Hall with Toronto audiences, but I think that we are creating beautiful and musically compelling experiences in these performances,” said Maestro Gimeno. “Our artistic goal isn’t to replicate the exact concert experience, but rather to enrich it.” He also plans to conduct two concerts in person, as pandemic restrictions allow.
Gustavo has programmed some of the most loved works in the classical repertoire, including selections from Beethoven, Mozart, and Mahler alongside works that reflect the recognition of the urgent need to present more diverse voices. Audiences will hear music by Joseph Bologne, a Black 18th-century composer; Barbara Croall, an Odawa First Nations composer; American composer Gabriela Lena Frank; Sri Lanken–born Canadian composer Dinuk Wijeratne; American composer Jessie Montgomery; and TSO RBC Affiliate Composer Emilie LeBel.
“These digital performances are a fulfilment of a commitment that the TSO made to stay connected with our audiences and community, despite the circumstances. Gustavo’s exciting TSO On Demand programming is reflective of his artistic vision that is anchored in inspiring musical experiences,” said Matthew Loden, CEO.
The TSO is also giving patrons the opportunity to share the viewing experience with underserved communities through its Give One, Get One program. When patrons buy a ticket to our TSO On Demand series, they can purchase an additional ticket that will be given to one of the TSO’s program partners, such as the YMCA of Greater Toronto and other social-service organizations, so that the gift of music can be shared widely as a way to reduce social isolation.
The TSO is adhering to all public health regulations, ensuring the safety of its artists and staff during the recording of these concerts. Precautions include masks, impermeable barriers between brass and woodwind players, and maintaining a two-metre distance between musicians. The number of musicians will vary by program; however, given restrictions, the full Orchestra is not able to perform together at this time.
Patrons will have the opportunity to purchase all eight concerts as a package for $120, pick three performances for $51, or select single programs for $20 (or $40 for Give One, Get One). Discounts are available to TSO subscribers and TSOUNDCHECK members. Each program will be available for unlimited viewing after its release for seven days. Tickets go on sale on Wednesday, October 14 at 11:00am. Go to TSO.CA/OnDemand or call Patron Services at 416.598.3375 (Mon–Fri, 9:00am–5:00pm).
TSO On Demand
Full program details available at TSO.CA/OnDemand.
The Ultimate Guide to Eating Halloween Candy
Release Date: Oct 26, 2020
Available Until: Nov 1, 2020
Sink your sweet tooth into a candy-centred hour of musical mayhem and Halloween hilarity, as TSO Principal Education Conductor & Community Am-BOO!-ssador Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser attempts to work late on All Hallow’s Eve to program the perfect Young People’s Concert—only to be interrupted by spooks, sprites, and serious sugar cravings! Featuring favourites by Bach, Tchaikovsky, and Mussorgsky, alongside some newer symphonic confections, The Ultimate Guide to Eating Halloween Candy promises tricks and treats to satisfy your whole family.
Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, conductor
Kings of Ragtime
Release Date: Nov 2, 2020
Available Until: Nov 8, 2020
One of the building blocks of jazz, ragtime exploded in popularity at the turn of the 20th century in America and around the world. The undisputed King of Ragtime was composer Scott Joplin, whose syncopated standards—including the ever-popular “Maple Leaf Rag” and “The Entertainer”—provide the steady beat to this toe-tapping program. Conducted by Regina Symphony Orchestra Music Director Gordon Gerrard and hosted by TSO Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke, this concert also features lively works by Jelly Roll Morton, George Gershwin, and others.
Gordon Gerrard, conductor
Steven Reineke, host
Vivaldi’s Four Seasons
Release Date: Nov 16, 2020
Available Until: Nov 22, 2020
Year after year, season after season, the music of Vivaldi blooms in perennial splendour. “Full of passionate virtuosity yet finely nuanced in his playing,” (Toronto Star) Concertmaster Jonathan Crow performs as soloist and leads his TSO colleagues in Vivaldi’s timeless The Four Seasons. He also leads two dynamic works by living composers—“Coqueteos” from Gabriela Lena Frank’s melodic Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout and Sri Lankan–born Canadian composer Dinuk Wijeratne’s poetic, JUNO Award–winning “A letter from the After-life” from Two Pop Songs on Antique Poems.
Jonathan Crow, leader & violin
Release Date: Nov 30, 2020
Available Until: Dec 6, 2020
The striking evolution of one of classical music’s greatest talents is on full display in this all-Mozart program, led by TSO RBC Resident Conductor Simon Rivard. The charming overture to Wolfgang’s lesser-known comic opera La finta giardiniera is followed by his Third Violin Concerto, which was written when the composer was just 19 and offers a true glimpse into his eventual magnificence—embodied in his revered Symphony No. 40. The late masterpiece is rife with emotional potency and complexity, and gestures toward the romantic impulses that would frame the work of Mozart’s artistic successors.
Simon Rivard, conductor
Zeyu Victor Li, violin
Gimeno + Beethoven 7
Release Date: Dec 14, 2020
Available Until: Dec 20, 2020
Taking the podium for the first time as TSO Music Director, Gustavo Gimeno brings a program celebrating the power of Beethoven’s emotional expression and timeless influence. The composer’s ever-popular Seventh Symphony, with its deeply affecting Allegretto, grounds the concert and is preceded by the Adagietto from Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, an enthralling musical love letter to his wife, Alma. Jörg Widmann’s Con brio—a contemporary “deconstruction of Beethoven” (The New York Times), which had its Canadian Première at the TSO’s 2012 New Creations Festival—kicks off this passion-filled performance.
Gustavo Gimeno, conductor
Release Date: Dec 21, 2020
Available Until: Dec 27, 2020
The TSO does Noël like no other! Our annual holiday extravaganza will see members of the Orchestra at their festive finest. Your host, TSO Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke, will guide you through timeless carols and other seasonal songs—all guaranteed to spread glad tidings and make spirits bright. A special at-home audience sing-along will put a bow on this holly jolly good time!
Steven Reineke, host
Gimeno + Beethoven 6
Release Date: Jan 4, 2021
Available Until: Jan 10, 2021
Throwing open the gates to lush meadows, murmuring brooks, shepherds, and lively peasant dances, Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony is one of the liveliest expressions of the composer’s genius—a genius that built upon the creativity of the musical masters who preceded him and continues to influence artists to this day. Recognizing the confluence of voices that comprise the classical repertoire, TSO Music Director Gustavo Gimeno has assembled a fascinating program that showcases Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 alongside pieces by Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges—a Black 18th-century composer who helped develop the musical forms that Beethoven adopted—and Barbara Croall—an Odawa First Nations composer whose recent work Innenohr (Inner Ear) was inspired by Beethoven’s Second Symphony.
Gustavo Gimeno, conductor
Release Date: Jan 18, 2021
Available Until: Jan 24, 2021
Chamber music formed the soundtrack to most social occasions in Vienna at the turn of the 19th century. By virtue of their size, small ensembles could perform most anywhere with little set-up and without occupying much space, including in private residences. How fitting, then, that members of the TSO will perform Beethoven’s most crowd-pleasing contribution to the chamber music repertoire—his Septet—right inside your home! The only complete movement from the String Trio in B-flat Major, D. 471, by Schubert, a devoted disciple of Beethoven’s, and a Ludwig-inspired reorchestration of TSO RBC Affiliate Composer Emilie LeBel’s woodwind quintet, Haareis auf Morschem Holz (hair ice on rotten wood), round out the program.
Gustavo Gimeno, conductor