As a momentous part of its extended Centennial Celebration, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) will embark on its first tour under the artistic leadership of Music Director Gustavo Gimeno from February 11–14, 2023. Taking the Orchestra to three cities and celebrated venues in Canada and the US, the tour includes the TSO’s début at Chicago’s Symphony Center and return appearances at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre, as part of an orchestra exchange, and at New York’s Carnegie Hall, marking Maestro Gimeno’s début at the famed locale.“As an orchestra of international stature, the Toronto Symphony is looking forward to resuming touring activities, and once again carrying the torch for Canadian music abroad,” said Mark Williams, the TSO’s Chief Executive Officer. “This celebratory visit to two of the most culturally rich cities in the US, in addition to Canada’s capital, will be an exciting international début, sharing the deep partnership between Music Director Gustavo Gimeno and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.”“Over the course of 100 years, the Orchestra has come to epitomize all that is best about Toronto: It is a cosmopolitan enterprise, welcoming diverse ideas and influences from many perspectives. The Toronto Symphony Orchestra embraces innovation while respecting tradition. And it fosters creativity, both musically and through engagement with our community. In short, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra has earned its place on the world stage, and you can expect to see us at esteemed concert halls across the globe as we enter the next chapter in our history.”
For these highly anticipated performances, Gustavo Gimeno has devised a program that tells the story of the 21st-century TSO—a blend of new music, brilliant soloists, and timeless favourites of the classical repertoire, including a work chosen for its proximity to Valentine’s Day: Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet, in a special suite compiled by Maestro Gimeno himself. The concert opens with Canadian composer Samy Moussa’s texturally rich Symphony No. 2, which the TSO commissioned and premièred last spring. And rounding out the program is Lalo’s virtuosic Symphonie espagnole, with the extraordinary 19-year-old Spanish violin prodigy and Menuhin Competition winner María Dueñas as soloist. The full program is as follows:
Samy Moussa: Symphony No. 2 (TSO Commission)
Lalo: Symphonie espagnole for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 21 (María Dueñas, violin)
Prokofiev: Suite from Romeo and Juliet, Op. 64 (Compiled by Gustavo Gimeno)
“For many reasons, I have been anticipating my very first tour as TSO Music Director,” said Gustavo Gimeno. “Not only will it mark my Carnegie Hall début, but it will also provide us with the opportunity to bring inspiring Canadian music across the border. I’m also delighted to feature music reminiscent of my home country, performed by my fellow Spaniard, the extraordinary violinist María Dueñas. Above all, I can’t wait to see the bonds of this Orchestra grow even stronger. Touring enhances the personal and professional connections between players, enabling the entire ensemble to flourish creatively. There really is nothing like it.”
Honouring Toronto audiences, the same program will preview at Roy Thomson Hall on February 8 and 9, in a concert entitled Gimeno Conducts Romeo and Juliet. On February 11, the tour officially commences with the TSO’s annual orchestra exchange with the National Arts Centre Orchestra (NACO), who will perform in Toronto while the TSO performs in Ottawa. The American leg of the tour begins on February 13, as the Orchestra travels to New York City and performs at the legendary Carnegie Hall. While the TSO has appeared there numerous times—most recently in 2011 and initially in 1963—this concert will be Maestro Gimeno’s introduction to the iconic venue. The performance will also mark the US Première of Samy Moussa’s Second Symphony. The tour then concludes on a romantic note on February 14, when the TSO visits Chicago, Toronto’s sister city, for the first time in its history, playing a Valentine’s Day concert at the storied Symphony Centre.
Feb 11, 2023 at 8:00pm, National Arts Centre, Ottawa
Feb 13, 2023 at 8:00pm, Carnegie Hall, New York
Feb 14, 2023 at 8:00pm, Symphony Center, Chicago
Gimeno Conducts Romeo and Juliet: Feb 8 & 9, 2023 at 8:00pm, Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto
About the TSO
One of Canada’s most respected arts organizations, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) is celebrating its Centennial in 2022/23, and has played a vital role in the city’s dynamic cultural life for 100 years. Music Director Gustavo Gimeno brings an expansive artistic vision, intellectual curiosity, and sense of adventure to programming the 93-musician Orchestra. The TSO is committed to serving local and national communities through vibrant performances, extensive educational activities, and impactful community relationships. It has a notable recording and broadcast history and has been celebrated internationally during its many tours. The TSO remains synonymous with musical versatility and growth, and artistic distinction.