New Creations Festival: Individual tickets & Festival passes on sale today

February 5, 2018

March 2018 brings the 14th New Creations Festival and Lang Lang’s anticipated return to the TSO stage

The month of March at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) abounds with anticipated events including a performance by piano virtuoso Lang Lang with his protege Maxim Lando, the 14th New Creations Festival, and Jaws in Concert. Appearances by pianist Lars Vogt and guest conductor Stéphane Denève, a concert by the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and Classical Kids: Gershwin’s Magic Key add to the buzz.

On March 1, superstar pianist Lang Lang returns to the TSO, sharing the spotlight (and the keyboard) with 15-year-old Maxim Lando in Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. The special program, conducted by Peter Oundjian, also features Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2, and the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra (TSYO) joining forces with the TSO for the magical tone poem by Dukas, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Following the performance will be a gala celebration in support of TSO education programs.

For more information about Lang Lang:

In his final season as TSO Music Director, Peter Oundjian celebrates the extraordinary successes of New Creations Festivals from previous years, highlighting some of his personal favourites over three concerts in which he acts as conductor and host. Individual tickets and Festival passes (three concerts for $30) go on sale today. Please visit TSO.CA.

• On March 3, the Festival gets off to a roaring start with Processions—a blazing piano concerto by Icelandic composer Daníel Bjarnason, who is on the TSO podium for this North American Première. The work features pianist Víkingur Ólafsson—heralded as “Iceland’s Glenn Gould” by The New York Times. “Like Gould, Ólafsson possesses that rare gift of illuminating a familiar work in unexpected ways, revealing hidden depths and drawing out its best qualities...breathtakingly brilliant pianist” (Gramophone, March 2017). Under Peter Oundjian’s baton, American composer Larry Alan Smith’s Symphony No. 4 receives its Canadian Première, preceded by Dust Devils by JUNO Award–winning Canadian composer Vivian Fung.

• On March 7, Peter Oundjian leads a riveting program featuring Little Mass by James MacMillan, starring the Toronto Children’s Chorus. The Scottish composer’s work for children’s chorus and orchestra, described as “strikingly original” by The Guardian, receives its North American Première. The evening also features Mira Wang (violin) and Jan Vogler (cello), who perform the Canadian Première of a Duo Concerto written expressly for them by distinguished German composer Wolfgang Rihm, known for his association with the Lucerne and Salzburg festivals. In the spring of 2017, the TSO posted a call for scores for the 2018 New Creations Festival Composer Competition. Screen Memories by Canadian composer Trevor Grahl was selected as the winning work. The TSO performs the North American Première on March 7.

• On March 10, the Festival culminates with Doctor Atomic, in which the TSO reprises the symphony that John Adams adapted from his opera Doctor Atomic. The evening includes the World Première (TSO Commission) of a Double Concerto by TSO Composer Advisor Gary Kulesha. The new work highlights two brilliant members of the Orchestra: Concertmaster Jonathan Crow and Principal Viola Teng Li. The dynamic program also features Insomnia by Finnish composer—and celebrated conductor—Esa-Pekka Salonen.

Ancillary events
This year, the Festival is once again enhanced by an array of ancillary events—curated by Canadian composer Abigail Richardson-Schulte. Pre-concert performances, intermission chats, and post-concert parties are all included with concert tickets. The Festival also features a noon-hour concert at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre (Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts), presented in collaboration with the Canadian Opera Company on March 7.

Details for all ancillary events will be announced shortly. Please visit for more information.

More March concerts
On March 21, 22 & 23, Constantine Kitsopoulos conducts the TSO in a suspenseful performance of Jaws in Concert. Toronto audiences will have the chance to experience the power of a live symphony orchestra performing John Williams’s thrilling score in sync with one of the greatest motion pictures of all time.

As part of the Young People’s Concert series, the TSO presents Classical Kids: Gershwin’s Magic Key on March 24 (2:00pm and 4:00pm). Young American conductor Michelle Merrill makes her TSO début in a delightful family program as Classical Kids LIVE! actors recount the story of Gershwin and his irresistible music.

On March 24 at 8:00pm, Ottawa’s National Arts Centre Orchestra (NACO) and Music Director Alexander Shelley return for another anticipated visit. Brahms’s refreshing Symphony No. 2 is at the heart of the program, which also includes Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2, starring Russian-born Israeli pianist Boris Giltburg. A new work by Canadian composer Vivian Fung (NACO Commission) rounds out the evening.

Masterworks by Brahms & Rachmaninoff cap off the month on March 28 & 29. Guest conductor Stéphane Denève, a favourite of Toronto audiences, returns to the TSO to explore the wide range of emotions in Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 2, spotlighting renowned German pianist Lars Vogt. Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances—the last orchestral work the Russian composer wrote—full of rhythmic vivacity and lush orchestration, brings the concert to a close.

The TSO Season Presenting Sponsor is BMO Financial Group.
The 2017/18 season is dedicated to H. Thomas Beck in recognition of his vital and long-standing support of the TSO.
The Lang Lang concert is sponsored by China Construction Bank.
The 2017/18 Gala is sponsored by RBC.

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