LSM Newswire

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Agnes Grossmann leaves Toronto Summer Music Academy and Festival

For immediate release:
Toronto, June 8, 2010

Founding Artistic Director Agnes Grossmann relinquishes post,
passes baton to Douglas McNabney

Toronto Summer Music Academy and Festival (TSM) announced today that Agnes Grossmann will leave her post as Artistic Director at the end of the 2010 season in order to more fully pursue her international conducting and concert schedule. Following an intensive search for Maestra Grossmann’s successor, the Board has appointed one of Canada’s most active chamber musicians, violist Douglas McNabney. He will take up his duties as Artistic Director with TSM at the conclusion of the upcoming season, which opens at Koerner Hall on Tuesday, July 20 and wraps up on August 14.

A distinguished conductor with decades of top-tier experience, Agnes Grossmann helped build Toronto Summer Music from an ambitious idea into a much anticipated midsummer celebration, “a virtual oasis in the musical desert of the Toronto summer.” (The Globe and Mail) On Saturday, August 7 Maestra Grossmann will conduct a farewell concert featuring the chamber version of Mahler’s Song of the Earth and a new work by Canadian composer Glenn Buhr commissioned for the Festival. “As founding Artistic Director, Agnes Grossmann has given us five years of exceptional service, working tirelessly to help us transform an appealing idea into a leading musical destination. The Festival attracts world-class artists and Academy faculty, and boasts full concert houses, critical acclaim and gifted young musical acolytes from around the world,” said TSM Chair Barbara Thompson.

Ms. Grossmann’s thriving conducting career and full international concert schedule includes highly regarded recordings and engagements with leading choirs and orchestras in Japan. She is also Artistic Director of the Taiwan National Choir in Taipei. Incoming Artistic Director Douglas McNabney is an internationally recognized performer who has also held several important administrative positions. He was Artistic Director of The Domaine Forget International Festival from 2001 to 2005, one of the most prestigious music festivals and academies in eastern Canada. He was Chair of the Performance Department (2004-2008) of the Schulich School of Music of McGill University, where he is presently Associate Professor and Coordinator of Chamber Music. The Toronto-born McNabney is a violist with a wide-ranging and varied performing career as soloist, chamber and orchestral musician across Canada and internationally. “Douglas McNabney brings an extraordinary combination of leadership experience, musical excellence, focus and imagination to Toronto Summer Music. We are thrilled to have his energy and ideas as we continue our transition, building on Agnes’ groundwork, from start-up to sought-after destination on the Festival concert and Academy circuit,” remarked Barbara Thompson.
“I look forward with enthusiasm to the privilege and challenge of leading TSM — a music festival and academy with enormous potential in a city I love. We are all grateful to Agnes Grossmann for the legacy she leaves us. In a few short years, TSM has found an enviable niche in the hearts of music lovers in Toronto, with continuity assured by a highly professional administration and a farsighted Board of Directors. The foundation has been laid for a sensational future,” said Mr. McNabney.

TSM’s exciting fifth anniversary season exemplifies Grossmann’s approach to multidimensional
musical encounters and artistic excellence. Taking place in the heart of Toronto, the Festival runs July 20 to August 14 and includes performances by superstar Canadian pianist Anton Kuerti and the Festival debut of renowned German baritone Matthias Goerne at Koerner Hall, an evening of sophisticated Japanese Bunraku-style puppet theatre and explorations of music in combination with painting and dance, along with returning Festival favourites. “I have very much enjoyed working with the TSM Board. With their passionate commitment and wonderful energy, we brought to life my concept of a unique, multidimensional musical experience: a month-long Summer Music Festival comprising instrumental chamber music and an Opera Studio, culminating in fully-staged productions with orchestra, along with an ancillary Academy for superbly talented young musicians from all over the world. What gives me the greatest joy are the many accounts of music-lovers — from novices to the most sophisticated — who tell me how they have been profoundly affected by musical experiences they had at our Festival. I am
proud of what we have achieved together and I wish TSM and its new Artistic Director continued success. As I focus on my burgeoning responsibilities abroad, part of my heart will remain with you,” stated Agnes Grossmann.

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