Toronto Symphony Orchestra: 2010-2011

Music Director Peter Oundjian announced the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s 2010.2011 season at a media conference in Roy Thomson Hall.

Highlights of the season include:

– A new multi-media series designed for the musically curious called “Exposed: Unveiling Great Music”

– A focus on composer John Adams as part of the New Creations Festival

– Special programming highlighting the music of Franz Liszt and Rachmaninoff & the Impressionists, along with a Slavic Celebration

– Expanding out-of-town activities to include a return to Carnegie Hall, and a weeklong series of performances at the leading venues in Florida

– TSO Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis leading the TSO in his own orchestration of Handel’s Messiah

– Acclaimed soloists including Isabel Bayrakdarian, Lang Lang, Renée Fleming, Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell; TSO Principals in solo roles, and a season that opens and closes with performances of Mahler Symphonies.

Exposed: Unveiling Great Music

The TSO will present a new concert series called “Exposed: Unveiling Great Music”, three concerts that take both new and experienced music lovers on a journey into major works (Brahms Symphony 3, October 1, 2010; Beyond the Score The Rite of Spring, February 26, 2011; Beethoven Symphony 1, April 2, 2011). The programmes provide an informative context during the first half of the concert, with video illustrations and musical excerpts, which are followed by a complete performance of the work in the second half.

New Creations Festival features composer John Adams

TSO’s 2011 New Creations Festival features pre-eminent American composer-conductor John Adams (March 2 – 10, 2011) who makes his TSO conducting début. The festival focuses on the best in contemporary orchestral music in Canada and the United States, with the world première of a major orchestral TSO commission from Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer, the Canadian première of a TSO co-commission from John Adams (City Noir, co-commissioned with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra in association with Cité de la Musique and ZaterdagMatinee), and the Canadian première of a TSO co-commission from Jennifer Higdon (new concerto for eighth blackbird, a co-commission with partners including the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cabrillo Festival).


The New Creations Festival also includes performances of the Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra by Canadian composer Vincent Ho featuring percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, Liquid Interface by American composer Mason Bates (who will play electronica), and Torque, a TSO commission from Canadian composer Gary Kulesha.

Liszt Signature Series – Rachmaninoff & the Impressionists – Slavic Celebration

The TSO marks the 200th birthday of composer Franz Liszt with a focus on his works for piano and orchestra, featuring pianists André Laplante (February 23 & 24, 2011), Jean-Yves Thibaudet (March 30 & 31, 2011), and Yefim Bronfman (April 27 & 28, 2011).


In the June 2011 focus on Rachmaninoff & the Impressionists, TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian takes a look at musical contemporaries, pairing the passionate and expressive works of Rachmaninoff with the blissful spirit of French Impressionist composers Debussy, Dukas, and Ravel (June 1 – 11, 2011).


In November 2010, the TSO celebrates the music of Slavic composers, including Chopin, Stravinsky, Janácek, and Dvorák, in three Slavic Celebration concerts that feature composers deeply rooted in the folk traditions of Eastern Europe (November 10 – 18, 2010).

Out of town performances

Following a triumphant sold-out performance in October 2008, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra makes a return engagement to Carnegie Hall . TSO Music Director Peter Oundjan will lead the orchestra, joined by violinist Itzhak Perlman, performing the Bruch Violin Concerto in a performance on Saturday, March 26, 2011. The programme also includes works by Britten, Canadian composer John Estacio and Vaughan Williams.

As part of the ongoing exchanges with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the TSO performs in Ottawa on November 20, 2010. For the first time since 2007, the TSO, under the baton of TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian, returns to the stage in Montreal on November 21, 2010.


In January 2011, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Peter Oundjian, along with Canadian violinist James Ehnes, will perform a week-long tour of Florida , performing in Naples (January 9, 2011), Sarasota (January 10, 2011), Fort Lauderdale (January 11, 2011), West Palm Beach (January 12, 2011), Orlando (January 14, 2011) and Daytona Beach (January 15, 2011).


[email protected]

Grammy and Juno award-winner James Ehnes returns to Toronto to perform as soloist and leader in the TSO’s [email protected] Festival where he performs all five of Mozart’s Violin’s concertos (January 19 – 27, 2011).

Sir Andrew Davis conducts his Messiah orchestration

The TSO’s holiday tradition of performing Handel’s Messiah is brought to new heights with TSO Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis leading the TSO in his own grandly scaled orchestration of Handel’s beloved oratorio (December 16, 18, 19, 20 & 21, 2010).

Bringing the world’s best to Toronto

The world’s finest artists are always a part of any Toronto Symphony Orchestra season. Star performers are featured throughout the season with pianist Lang Lang (September 27, 2010), Canadian pianist Louis Lortie (September 30 & October 2, 2010), soprano Renée Fleming (December 8, 2010), soprano Karita Mattila (TSO début May 5 & 7, 2011), pianist Emanuel Ax (May 11 & 12, 2011), violinist Itzhak Perlman who also directs the orchestra in a special performance (May 21, 2011), pianist Yuja Wang (June 8, 9 & 10, 2011), and violinist Joshua Bell (June 15 & 16, 2011).

Along with Music Director Peter Oundjian and TSO Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis, TSO welcomes renowned international guest conductors including former TSO Music Director Jukka-Pekka Saraste (October 14 & 16, 2010), Bernard Labadie (January 22, 2011), conductor James Conlon in his first Toronto performance in 30 years (April 9 & 10, 2011), and composer Tan Dun as he conducts his Water and Paper Concertos (May 26 & 28, 2011). Making their TSO débuts are conductors Vasily Petrenko (February 23 & 24, 2011) and Hannu Lintu (May 5 & 7, 2011)

TSO musicians shine

The wealth of talent within the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is featured in a number of concerts each season. TSO Principal Musicians performing as solo artists in 2010.2011 are violist Teng Li (November 10 & 11, 2010), violinists Mark Skazinetsky, Marc-André Savoie, Etsuko Kimura, and Paul Meyer, and Principal Cello Designate Joseph Johnson (November 24 & 25, 2010), oboist Sarah Jeffrey and double bassist Jeffrey Beecher (January 29 & 30, 2011), keyboardist Patricia Krueger on organ (April 27 & 28, 2011) and clarinetist Joaquin Valdepeñas (June 1 & 2, 2011).

In a year that marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Gustav Mahler, the TSO 2010.2011 season is “book-ended” by two of the composer’s great Symphonies. The season will open with a performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection”, featuring TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian conducting the TSO, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Canadian soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian and Canadian mezzo-soprano Susan Platts (September 23 & 25 2010). The 2010.2011 masterworks series closes with Peter Oundjian leading a performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 5.

2010.2011 Subscription Details

A variety of Toronto Symphony Orchestra subscription packages are available, starting at $49.50. For full pricing details, please visit

Photo credit: Cylla von Tiedemann