Donna Goldman grew up in Scarsdale, New York and was immersed in culture at a very young age. Her parents were avid arts enthusiasts and New York City was right at her fingertips. "We used to drive into the City most Sundays, catch a play, a concert at Carnegie Hall, the Philharmonic, a musical, or even just to hang out at the museums. It was a way of life." She credits her parents with introducing her to this and for instilling in her a deep passion for arts and culture. "I had the freedom to hang out in the City - all my friends did - moving from Greenwich Village galleries and its own music scene to the uptown museums and concert halls."
These outings, coupled with her piano and trumpet playing, inspired her cultural curiosity and remain an important part of her to this day. She also benefited from her father's classical music collection and the constant playing of all his favorites on high volume throughout the house. Her face lights up most when she recalls her father playing the Mozart Clarinet Concerto and then swinging into Beethoven on his improvised car stereo during the drive up to their ski house in Vermont. "We just couldn't escape it!"
Donna currently volunteers her time to assist the continued growth of the TSO as a Maestro’s Club Ambassador. The Ambassadors are an integral part of the team in a role that focuses specifically on the stewardship of current Maestro's Club donors as well as the recruitment of new members.
Donna remembers when she first arrived in Toronto in the 1970s when she married husband Cal and began looking for the right arts organizations of which to be a part. "I had unreasonably high expectations so it took a number of years before I zeroed in on the TSO. I saw great potential when Music Director Peter Oundjian was appointed.The TSO rose to great heights and resumed its place on the world stage.
Donna's son Jesse shares his mother's passion for the TSO. Jesse grew up surrounded by the arts, visiting museums, and galleries, and attending concerts with his family. He's an avid piano player and, from an early age and developed a keen interest in exploring various classical styles.
An aspiring regular at Roy Thomson hall, Jesse seeks out the concertos, citing Yuja Wang's performance of the "Rach 3" and Alisa Weilerstein's take on the Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 1 as among the most memorable in recent history. "It's amazing to watch these masterpieces brought to life by such incredible artists, right in front of us," notes this former Canadian Junior Champion. "There's this amazing tension and excitement like you're on the edge of your seat right from the outset, waiting for the final strike of the championships to be thrown."
Jesse has developed his own connection to the TSO as a founding member of the TSO's Young Leadership Council. The YLC is a dynamic group of young professionals focused on taking a fresh, entrepreneurial approach to fundraising and Volunteer leadership. An entrepreneur by profession, Jesse jumped at the opportunity to help the TSO build a community of young professionals: "Upon returning to Toronto after more than a decade studying and working abroad, I was looking for opportunities to get involved in the arts scene. I was delighted to learn about the TSO's initiative to engage and develop our leaders of tomorrow."
The YLC is the driving force behind the Impresarios Club, an exclusive community of young professionals that delivers unique
experiences to its members, including creative networking events, behind-the-scenes programming, and opportunities to interact with TSO musicians. The Impresarios Club differentiates itself by the experience we provide, Jesse tells us, "if you're a young professional interested in music and impacting the future of the TSO, then you'd be remiss not to get in touch with me to learn more!"
If you have the opportunity to meet Donna or Jesse, their individual passion for music is inspiring. As dedicated volunteers and
donors, the Goldmans are an example of members of the TSO community who represent the vibrant future of the TSO.
Just as she has done with Jesse and her two daughters, Rachel and Wendy, Donna hopes to pass on her love of music to the next generation as she plans to bring her four-and-a-half-year-old grandson Jacob to an upcoming Young People's Concert. If I could bring Seth (2) and Zachary (9 months) too, I would, but I probably wouldn't be let through the door!"
The TSO happily welcomes the third generation of the Goldmans to the TSO family.