Inside Gustavo Gimeno’s First TSO Season

“When I walk in downtown Toronto, one of the things that strikes me is the mixture of architectural styles. You have an old building next to new, and this contrast of styles causes us to see each differently. I approach programming from the same mindset. In listening to a time-honoured masterpiece alongside something that has just been created, we start to hear new things in these familiar favourites, and gain a richer and more complete musical experience.” –Gustavo Gimeno

Gustavo Gimeno was announced as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra's 11th Music Director in September 2018. Born in Valencia, Spain, he began his international conducting career in 2012 as assistant to Mariss Jansons, while he was a member of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam.

A Note from Gustavo Gimeno

“I’m thrilled to share with you my first season as Music Director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. I invite you to join me and our exceptional musicians as we journey through our 2020/21 season together.

When I began to consider which music and which artists to include, I spent time reflecting on my first impressions of Toronto when I was getting to know this great city.

As a European from Spain, I spend a lot of time in countries defined by a culture anchored in long-standing traditions. Arriving in Toronto, I was impressed by the vibrancy with which Toronto embraces and celebrates the diversity of its people and its places.

It is a city of contrasts and symmetry, balancing old and new. Victorian homes stand in contrast with modern architecture. Neighbourhoods feel like a unique slice of the world—Chinatown, Greektown, Downtown, the South Asian communities in Scarborough, and the Filipino communities in North York. Together, they make up a city committed to a cohesive and colourful urban landscape. Our music and, indeed, our organization need to represent the culturally sophisticated sensibility of where we live—a city energized by artistic exploration and discovery.

I believe that orchestral music is at its most exciting when we create contrasts and diversity. When we bring together our most cherished musical masterpieces alongside less familiar but equally brilliant works by contemporary composers who are evolving orchestral music for new generations.

I hope you will join us for my inaugural season—to listen deeply, explore, and allow these great musical works to enrich your lives, and the life of our city. ¡Adelante! Here we go!”

New Programs: Access, Collaboration & Cultivation

Lunchtime Rehearsals

Incoming Music Director Gustavo Gimeno invites you to watch the concluding 30 minutes of select Masterworks Series final rehearsals. These short, behind-the-scenes experiences are a great way to spend your lunch break! Availability is limited, and details will be announced at a later date.

Patrons must be seated by 11:55am. Rehearsals end at 12:30pm.

TSO Artist in Residence

TSO Artist In Residence Samy Moussa

You are invited to explore the breadth of an individual artist’s repertoire, and to go deeper into their unique musical language, as part of incoming Music Director Gustavo Gimeno’s newly launched Artist in Residence program.

Montreal-born Samy Moussa—the highly celebrated and award-winning composer and conductor—assumes the inaugural one-year role. Five of his compositions, including a World Première/TSO Commission, will be featured in 2020/21 in Monumental Mahler & MozartMoussa Conducts Moussa & Dvořák, Trifonov & Tchaikovsky 4, and Oundjian & Shostakovich 5. The TSO Chamber Soloists will also perform his Frammenti dolorosi et amorosi: Eight Songs for Voice and Piano on April 24, 2021.

NextGen Composers

“The classical canon is ever-evolving, and I am proud to help support the development of the next generation of classical composers, specifically those found right here in Canada. By performing these works, we provide a platform for emerging young talent, play a direct role in nurturing them as artists, and put TSO audiences in contact with some of the most creative and innovative musical voices of today.” –Gustavo Gimeno

As part of incoming Music Director Gustavo Gimeno’s commitment to supporting and developing Canadian talent, three rising-star composers—Roydon Tse, Bekah Simms, and Adam Scime—will be mentored and have a five-minute piece performed in the season. TSO RBC Affiliate Composer Emilie LeBel will work with the composers and foster an ongoing relationship that creates fertile ground for these artists, who are on the cusp of the next stage of their careers. Thanks to the RBC Foundation for its support of this program.

Roydon Tse
Bekah Simms
Adam Scime

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All gifts to the TSO's Annual Fund received by June 30, 2020, will be matched dollar for dollar up to $100,000 by the Barrett Family Foundation.

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