January 2017 at the TSO
January 12, 2017
There is much excitement in the air as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) rings in the new year with the Mozart@261 Festival at Koerner Hall, to celebrate the eternally young, forever-extraordinary composer. January also brings the launch of Canada Mosaic—a Signature Project of Canada 150, funded by the Government of Canada—to highlight the sesquicentennial anniversary of our still-young, musically rich country.
Celebrating the 261st anniversary of the great composer’s birth, the Mozart@261 Festival—co-curated by Quebec conductor and Mozart specialist Bernard Labadie, and TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian—comprises six performances, presented this season in the intimate acoustics of Koerner Hall.
And at the end of the month, pianist Stewart Goodyear and the feisty musicians of the TSO hit the road, joined by the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra (TSYO), to bring a spirited program to Ottawa and Montreal before performing the same concert for Toronto audiences.
Mozart@261 Festival at Koerner Hall (January 11–20)
• Magnificent Mozart (January 11 and 12), conducted by Peter Oundjian, features young Ottawa violinist Kerson Leong performing the spirited Rondo for Violin, and 13-year-old Leonid Nediak (from Kingston, Ontario) performing the Piano Concerto No. 27. The profound, iconic Symphony No. 40 rounds out the program. On January 11 only, The TSO Chamber Soloists offer a pre-concert performance of Mozart’s String Quintet No. 3 in the auditorium at 6:45pm (admission is included in the price of regular tickets).
• Emanuel Ax Plays Mozart (January 13 and 14) marks the anticipated return of the eminent pianist—a consummate Mozart interpreter and TSO audience favourite. From the charm and ingenuity of the Piano Concerto No. 14 to the brilliant, masterful Piano Concerto No. 22, Mozart’s genius is once again centre stage. Guest conductor Michael Francis leads the Orchestra in the cheerful and bright Symphony No. 33.
• Mozart Prague Symphony (January 18 and 20) brings back the esteemed conductor Bernard Labadie, who leads the Orchestra in the Overture to Lucio Silla, and Symphony No. 38 “Prague”, in which Mozart explores new musical horizons. The superb German violinist Isabelle Faust shines in Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 3, both infused with grace and elegance.
The launch of Canada Mosaic
January 21, 2017, brings Canadian Legacy, the inaugural concert of Canada Mosaic—a national celebration of Canada’s diverse musical landscape, and a Signature Project of Canada 150. The Orchestra returns to Roy Thomson Hall to present a vibrant program, honouring the legacy of emblematic Canadian composers such as Ridout, Mercure, Mathieu, Coulthard, and Weinzweig. Hosted by Tom Allen, the evening features pianist Alain Lefèvre and conductor Alain Trudel—both Montreal born. Celebrated Canadian conductor Victor Feldbrill makes a special appearance for the occasion.
As part of Canada Mosaic, the TSO is partnering with orchestras and ensembles across the country for an unprecedented pan-Canadian celebration. Over 40 new works—including two-minute pieces called Sesquies—will be co-commissioned and presented from coast to coast to coast. The January 21 concert features the World Première of Alain Trudel’s Sesquie, Birth, co-commissioned with the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra.
Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra (TSYO) joins the TSO and Stewart Goodyear in three Canadian cities
On January 28, Peter Oundjian leads a not-to-be-missed concert spotlighting Canadian pianist Stewart Goodyear in Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, and featuring Dvořák’s dramatic Symphony No. 7. The evening begins with the World Première of Eruption by Dutch-Canadian composer Edward Top—a Sesquicentennial commission—which brings together the TSO and the TSYO. The two ensembles also travel together for the first time ever to present the same program in Ottawa (National Arts Centre, January 24) and Montreal (Maison symphonique, January 25). The evening also includes the World Première of United Anthems, a Sesquie by Maxime Goulet, co-commissioned with the McGill Chamber Orchestra.