La Scena Musicale

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Toronto Symphony Orchestra Announces its 2012-13 Season

TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian

Highlights of Toronto Symphony Orchestra's 2012-13 Season

At a press conference this morning, Toronto Symphony Orchestra announced its 2012-13 season. As stated in the TSO press release, the new season is "one of new faces and new possibilities, alongside treasured and timeless masterworks." Its programming is certainly living up to that claim - the opening night combines old masters (Brahms Violin Concerto) with contemporary works (John Adams' Harmonielehre.) A number of great artists are returning after an absence of some years, as well as artists new to TSO and the city. There are also new appointments and new initiatives, underscoring the vitality and energy of this great symphony orchestra.

Conductors: A very strong roster of visiting conductors, among them Thomas Dausgaard, Jiri Belohlavek, Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, Kent Nagano, Bernard Labadie, Sir Andrew Davis, Nicholas McGegan, Johannes Debus, Robert Spano, James Gaffigan, Pinchas Zukerman, Stephane Deneve, Christoph Koenig, Bramwell Tovey, and Giancarlo Guerrero. It's especially exciting to have the Czech conductor Jiri Belohlavek back after a long absence to conduct Beethoven Ninth (Feb. 2013). (He's of course going to be in town for the COC Tristan und Isolde a couple of blocks away at Queen and University Avenues.) Kent Nagano, much loved in Munich and Montreal, is bringing his MSO for a program of Haydn and Stravinsky (Nov.) And of course the TSO Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis figures prominently next season.

Pianists: It's a very strong lineup focusing on youth, among them Yuja Wang, Ingrid Fliter, Kirill Gerstein, Jan Lisiecki, Lise de la Salle; Joyce Yang, Alon Goldstein, Jeremy Denk, Jamie Parker, Jon Kimura Parker, and Charles Richard Hamelin (winner of the 2011 TSO National Piano Competition.)

Violinists: A tremendous lineup of Maxim Vengerov, Anne-Sophie Mutter, James Ehnes, Joshua Bell, Gil Shaham, and our own concertmaster Jonathan Crow!

Vocalists: Baritones Gerald Finley (finally!) and Russell Braun, the huge-voiced Chinese bass-baritone Shenyang (a Cardiff winner), sopranos Erin Wall, Klara Ek, Layla Claire, and Measha Brueggergosman; mezzo Kelly O'Connor, tenors Michael Schade and Joseph Kaiser; and countertenor Daniel Taylor. Also a concert performance of La via breve brings a host of soloists including mezzo Nancy Fabiola Herrera.

TSO Goes Multimedia: Photographer James Westwater will photo-choreograph Smetana's Ma Vlast. Another natural choice for photographic treatment is Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition; similarly, West Side Story will combine Bernstein's score with the newly remastered Robert Wise film featuring Jerome Robbins' choreography.

Canadian Content: During the New Creations Festival, a number of Canadian composers will have their works featured, among them Andrew Staniland, whose Dark Star Requiem made a powerful impression two seasons ago; Owen Pallett will contribute a new Violin Concerto.

New Positions/New Initiatives: Two newly formed positions, Resident Conductor and Affiliate Composer will be created, and the candidates will be named at a later date. The new appointees will work closely with TSO music director Peter Oundjian, Composer Advisor Gary Kulesha, the artistic staff and the TSO musicians. Perhaps one of the most novel and exciting initiatives is the commission of A Toronto Symphony: Concerto for Composer and City, a work for, by and about Toronto. This new work will premiere on March 9, 2013 during the New Creations Festival.

All in all, a very exciting season ahead!

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