LSM Newswire

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Toronto Symphony Orchestra Announces its 2012-13 Season



Toronto February 1, 2012 – Today, Music Director Peter Oundjian announced the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) 2012.2013 concert season. The TSO is known for programming great works in unique ways, and for inviting audiences to experience live orchestral music in formats that fit into their personal lifestyles and tastes. In 2012.2013, the TSO adds new dimensions to the concert experience including visual elements, an “Audience-Choice” programme, and a symphonic work written for, by, and about the City of Toronto.

The season, said TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian, is “one of new faces and new possibilities, alongside treasured and timeless masterworks.” The TSO will bring great orchestral repertoire to the stage, performed by the world’s leading artists including: Peter Oundjian conducting an opening night performance of John Adams’s Harmonielehre; an all-Spanish cast performing in-concert Falla’s opera La vida breve; Mahler’s Sixth Symphony conducted by Thomas Dausgaard; Peter Lieberson’s song cycles setting to music poems by Pablo Neruda; Brahms’s A German Requiem conducted by Peter Oundjian; and the return of Jiří Bělohlávek, conducting Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. He also announced additions to the TSO artistic roster including the appointment of Steven Reineke as Principal Pops Conductor and opened a call for applications for a Resident Conductor and Affiliate Composer.

Premières and TSO commissions

In the 2012.2013 season, the TSO performs three world premières, two North American premières, and eight Canadian premières. The TSO presents three newly co-commissioned works and four newly-commissioned works, including a collaborative work that is uniquely Torontonian by Tod Machover.

A Toronto Symphony: Concerto for Composer and City

What does our city sound like? That is just the question that composer and MIT media lab professor Tod Machover asks Toronto with the TSO commission A Toronto Symphony: Concerto for Composer and City. In the months leading up to its March 9, 2013 world première at the TSO’s New Creations Festival, composer, Orchestra, and Torontonians will collaborate to write a work for, by, and about our city.

New Creations Festival

The 2013 New Creations Festival imagines the evolution of music from past to future, with new works inspired by existing traditions and by exploring the relationship between orchestra and technology. Peter Oundjian and festival curator Tod Machover present a selection of boundary-bending works, including the world première of a TSO commission from Canadian composer Andrew Staniland, which is inspired by Mahler (Mar 9, 2013), and the North American première of Vábení by Krystof Maratka (Mar 7, 2013). In a co-commission with the Barbican, the TSO performs the North American première of a Violin Concerto written by Canadian composer Owen Pallett for violinist Pekka Kuusisto (Mar 7, 2013). Other key works in the New Creations Festival are by composers Nicole Lizée, Mason Bates, Steven Mackey, and Krystof Maratka.

New positions: Resident Conductor & Affiliate Composer

New artists and new music are an essential component of great orchestras. Throughout its history, the TSO has been active in fostering the work of emerging artists and composers. Today, the TSO is proud to announce a call for applications for two newly-formed positions titled Resident Conductor and Affiliate Composer. These residency programmes are aimed towards emerging artists working in the professional world. Applications will be available at on February 8. The positions are open to Canadian residents.

The Resident Conductor will work closely with Music Director Peter Oundjian, the artistic staff, and the musicians of the TSO with access to all TSO rehearsals and performances. This two-year position includes significant podium time by combining the responsibilities of conducting select TSO concerts and rehearsals, as well as being Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra. The Resident Conductor will also have the opportunity to work with TSO guest conductors for consultation, as well as active involvement in the behind-the-scenes workings of the Orchestra.

The Affiliate Composer will work closely with Music Director Peter Oundjian, Composer Advisor Gary Kulesha, the artistic staff, and the musicians of the TSO with access to all TSO rehearsals and performances. Throughout the two-year term, there will be opportunities to write works for the Orchestra, to interact with international visiting composers, and to participate in the TSO’s extensive education programmes. In addition to involvement in the New Creations Festival, the Affiliate Composer will also have a role in promoting and advocating for the creation and performance of Canadian and contemporary music.

Steven Reineke appointed Principal Pops Conductor

Popular programming has been an integral part of each TSO season since 1975. Building on this foundation, the TSO announces the appointment of Steven Reineke as Principal Pops Conductor. A celebrated conductor and arranger who has become familiar to TSO audiences following his début in 1997, Steven Reineke is also the Music Director of The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, and Principal Pops Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. As TSO Principal Pops Conductor, Steven will lead the popular programming initiatives at the TSO and conduct several concerts in the TSO’s Pops series.

Timeless works presented in fresh formats

The TSO is known for presenting great works in fresh and engaging ways to suit all lifestyles, schedules, and tastes. With Afterworks, audiences are invited to skip rush hour and recharge with 90-minute concerts that begin at 6:30pm. 2012.2013 season Afterworks include Sir Andrew Davis conducting R. Strauss’s Don Quixote(Nov 28, 2012) and Canadian Opera Company Music Director Johannes Debus conducting Mozart’s Symphony No. 35, K. 385 “Haffner” (Jan 9, 2013).

Saturday evening Casual Concerts take a relaxed approach to the symphony with performances followed by after-parties in the lobby where audiences can mingle with TSO musicians and guest artists, including pianist Joyce Yang (Sep 29, 2012), pianist Jan Lisiecki (Dec 1, 2012), and bass-baritone Gerald Finley (May 25, 2013).

Light Classics series concerts highlight the favourite works of the most beloved composers. For the first time, the TSO invites the audience to choose their own programme in an Audience Choice concert. Voting runs September through November and the orchestral works with the highest votes will make up the programme for the Light Classics concerts performed on January 26 & 27, 2013.

The Exposed series takes an in-depth look at Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony (Rob Kapilow’s What Makes it Great?©, Oct 25, 2012), Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 (Beyond the Score®, Feb 1, 2013) and Elgar’s Enigma Variations (with Bramwell Tovey, Jun 1, 2013). On June 15, the TSO goes Late Night with TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian conducting a special 10:00pm performance including Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade and featuring pianist Yuja Wang in Rachmaninoff’sRhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.

Visual elements added to performance

With the 2012.2013 season, the TSO adds more visual elements to the concert experience than ever before. In partnership with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the TSO has commissioned photographer James Westwater to photo-choreograph Smetana’s Mà Vlast, the composer’s heartfelt tribute to the lush landscapes of his Czech homeland (Apr 17 & 18, 2013). Images illustrating Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition will be projected above the Orchestra in performances led by TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian (Sep 27 & 29, 2012); and with West Side Story, TSO Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke leads the TSO in Leonard Bernstein’s score, live with the remastered film (directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, featuring Robbins's choreography, Ernest Lehman’s screenplay, Arthur Laurents's book and Stephen Sondheim's lyrics) shown in hidef with original vocals and dialogue intact (May 28 & 29, 2013).


The TSO celebrates Mozart’s concertos in Mozart@257 (January 9 – 17, 2013). Conducted by Canadian Opera Company Music Director Johannes Debus, pianist Jeremy Denk performs Mozart Piano Concerto No. 21, and soprano Layla Claire performs selections from the composer’s beloved operas (Jan 9 & 10, 2013). TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian conducts as TSO Principal Musicians take centre stage with Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp featuring Principal Flute Nora Shulman and Principal Harp Heidi Van Hoeson Gorton (Jan 10, 12 & 13, 2013) and the Sinfonia concertante for Violin and Viola featuring Concertmaster Jonathan Crow and Principal Viola Teng Li (Jan 16 & 17, 2013). Opening the last programme of the festival is the TSO wind section, highlighted in Mozart’s Serenade No. 12 for Winds (Jan 16 & 17, 2013).

Celebrating the Voice

A number of vocalists join the TSO for stunning performances throughout the 2012.2013 season including Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman in Barber’sKnoxville: Summer of 1915 and four songs by Henri Duparc (Apr 11 & 13, 2013). An all-Spanish cast of vocalists join the TSO and conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos for an in-concert performance of Spanish composer Manuel de Falla’s passionate opera La vida breve (Nov 1 & 3, 2012). Celebrated Toronto-based vocalists, tenor Michael Schade and baritone Russell Braun come home for the holidays, along with The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, soprano Yulia Van Doren, and countertenor Daniel Taylor in Handel’s Messiah, conducted by Nicholas McGegan (Dec 18, 19, 21, 22 & 23, 2012). Love poems by the Nobel prize-winning Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda are set to music in Peter Lieberson’s song cycles, performed by mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor in Neruda Songs (Jan 31 & Feb 2, 2013) and bass-baritone Gerald Finley inSongs of Love and Sorrow (May 22, 23 & 25, 2013). Also on the programme withSongs of Love and Sorrow, TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian leads Brahms’s soul-stirring A German Requiem with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.

TSO Musicians featured

The musicians of the Orchestra are featured as soloists throughout the TSO 2012.2013 season in performances including: Principal Clarinet Joaquin Valdepeñas and Associate Principal Clarinet YaoGuang Zhai in Mendelssohn’s Konzertstück No. 1 for Clarinet and Basset Horn (Oct 13, 14, 2013); Principal Bassoon Michael Sweeney in Vivaldi’s Concerto for Bassoon in F Major (Oct 13, 14, 2013); Principal Flute Nora Shulman and Principal Harp Heidi Van Hoeson Gorton in Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp (Jan 10, 12 & 13, 2013); and Concertmaster Jonathan Crow, Principal Second Violin Paul Meyer, Principal Viola Teng Li, and Principal Cello Joseph Johnson in Schubert’s String Quartet in C Minor (Jan 23 & 24, 2013). TSO Concertmaster Jonathan Crow is also featured alongside cellist Shauna Rolston and pianist Jon Kimura Parker in Beethoven’s Concerto for Piano, Violin and Cello, in performances that will be repeated in Brockville, Montreal, and Ottawa (November 14 - 19, 2012).

TSO Specials

Maxim Vengerov resumes his brilliant career as a violinist performing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and conducting and performing the solos in Rimsky-Korsakov’sScheherazade (Oct 20, 2012). As a rare treat, Toronto’s own Barenaked Ladies join the TSO for a full evening featuring new orchestral arrangements of their chart-topping hits in this family holiday concert (Dec 14, 2012).

Season Presenting Sponsor

The TSO welcomes BMO Financial Group as the Season Presenting Sponsor of the TSO’s 2012.2013 season. “BMO Financial Group is proud of its longstanding partnership with the TSO,” said Nada Ristich, Director of Corporate Donations at BMO Financial Group. “We recognize that Toronto is very fortunate to have an orchestra of such outstanding calibre and understand that cultural institutions like the TSO make our communities better places to live.”

TSO Season Presenting Sponsor is BMO Financial Group.

The Resident Conductor and Affiliate Composer positions are supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.

About the TSO: Founded in 1922, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is one of Canada’s major cultural institutions. Under the leadership of Music Director Peter Oundjian, the TSO is committed to innovative programming and showcases a roster of distinguished guest artists and conductors. In addition to performances, the TSO serves the community with one of the largest musical education outreach programmes in Canada, connecting students throughout Ontario with curriculum-based programming.


Online: Phone: 416.598.3375
In Person: TSO Customer Service Centre, 212 King St West, 1st Floor, Toronto



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