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Leadership Notes

Gustavo Gimeno: Adapting to Uncertainty

September 29, 2020

Music Director Gustavo Gimeno meets virtually with members of the TSO’s Artistic team to plan future seasons.

Music Director Gustavo Gimeno meets virtually with members of the TSO’s Artistic team to plan future seasons.

When Gustavo Gimeno was in Toronto conducting Daphnis et Chloé last October, he could not have imagined what the remainder of the season would bring. “The concert was such a joyful experience—it was an energizing and inspiring process to be working with the musicians of the TSO again. I left Toronto with the sweet anticipation of returning in the spring to create more memorable moments with the Orchestra,” said Maestro Gimeno, who recently became the TSO’s Music Director. The concert garnered positive reviews, with the Toronto Star stating, “Gimeno revealed himself to be a focused, meticulous leader whose main goal was to let the composer’s ideas speak clearly...The Toronto Symphony will be in sure artistic hands for the foreseeable future.”  

“It was also a wonderful time in that I had the opportunity to meet some of the TSO’s close friends—donors, long-time subscribers, Board members, and staff. I was, and remain, eager to be embedded in the TSO community,” said Gustavo.

From his home in Amsterdam, Gustavo has been spending time taking a deeper dive into the scores he hopes to conduct with the TSO and is redeveloping plans for the 2020/21 season. “I must admit, it was personally crushing to not realize the program that I had originally developed for my first season with the TSO. But, I am also a believer that sometimes adversity and disappointments can lead to deeper musical discoveries and alternative approaches to performances.” Gustavo has been working with the TSO’s Artistic Department over Zoom for months to plan for the 2020/21 season, which includes new virtual-concert offerings and in-person experiences. “My career as a musician and as a conductor has been anchored in the concert hall, so refocusing the TSO’s activities to a digital platform and in communities with smaller groups required a unique and interesting collaborative process,” explained Gustavo. “I feel very lucky to be working with such a talented team, and musicians who remain steadfast in their commitment to sharing the music we love.”

Gustavo’s resilience in the face of obstacles was not lost to Susan Brenninkmeyer, who made the decision to make a significant philanthropic investment to support Gustavo’s appearances for the next five years in memory of her late husband, Hans. “I am very honoured and grateful to Suzy for this wonderful expression of faith in my artistic vision and collaboration with our outstanding Orchestra,” said Gustavo.

Along with his work with the TSO, Gustavo has conducted a number of streamed concerts in Europe with Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, where he is also Music Director, and The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam.  

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