The Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Canada's foremost
symphonic ensemble, celebrates its 92nd season in 2013|2014. More than
300,000 patrons and 50,000 students visit the Orchestra at Roy Thomson
Hall each year, and an additional five million Canadians tune in to
concert broadcasts on CBC Radio. At the same time, the Orchestra
maintains an international presence, built by a history of touring,
most recently in Europe in the spring of 2000, and reinforced by
recordings available in music stores around the world.
The Orchestra was founded in 1922 by a group of Toronto musicians
and Viennese-born conductor Luigi von Kunits. The New Symphony
Orchestra, as it was then called, gave its first performance in April
1923 at Massey Hall. The name Toronto Symphony Orchestra was adopted
four years later.
Von Kunits served as Music Director until his death in 1931. Sir
Ernest MacMillan, appointed that year, would become the Orchestra's
longest-standing Music Director, presiding from 1931 until 1956. During
MacMillan's 25 seasons on the podium, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra
soared in stature and scope, introducing Toronto audiences to
then-contemporary composers such as Holst, Sibelius, and Stravinsky,
who conducted the Orchestra in performances of his own music in 1937.
Since then the Orchestra has had 8 music directors: Walter Susskind
(1956-1965), Seiji Ozawa (1965-1969), Karl Ančerl (1969-1972), Victor
Feldbrill (Resident Conductor, 1973-1975), Sir Andrew Davis, now Conductor Laureate
(1975-1988), Günther Herbig (1988-1994), Jukka-Pekka Saraste
(1994-2001) and Peter Oundjian (2004 to the present).
The Orchestra moved from Massey Hall to Roy Thomson Hall in 1982.
During the 2001/2002 season, Roy Thomson Hall underwent a successful
sound makeover; the Roy Thomson Hall Acoustic Enhancement Project
resulted in improved acoustics.
Throughout its history, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra has welcomed
some of the greatest international artists, including Martha Argerich,
Maxim Vengerov, Yo-Yo Ma, Evgeny Kissin, Kathleen Battle, Jessye
Norman, Karen Kain, and actor Christopher Plummer. Renowned composers
Henri Dutilleux, R. Murray Schafer, and the late Sir Michael Tippett,
among many others, have been in attendance for the Orchestra's
presentations of their music.
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra serves the community with one of the
largest music education outreach programmes in Canada. Each year, the
Symphony reaches more than 100,000 young people in the Greater Toronto
Area and throughout Ontario with curriculum-based programmes,
recognized throughout North America as leading examples of their kind.
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra is a proud member of Orchestras Canada, the national association for Canadian orchestras
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