November 2017 at the TSO: Measha Brueggergosman, Louis Lortie, and Angela Hewitt grace the TSO stage
October 24, 2017
Guest conductors include Tania Miller and Donald Runnicles
From the moving and powerful Afghanistan: Requiem for a Generation to the family fun of Wall-to-Wall Percussion, November at the TSO explores the gamut of human emotions. Additional musical offerings include the rich music of Vaughan Williams and Mahler, the pure interpretations of Angela Hewitt, and Stravinsky’s rousing Firebird suite.
On November 3, host/conductor Rob Kapilow guides the audience through a fascinating exploration of Stravinsky’s dynamic score as part of What Makes It Great?® Stravinsky The Firebird. The concert opens with Small Song, Daniel Janke’s Sesquie for Canada’s 150th.
November 4 brings two performances of Wall-to-Wall Percussion, starring Canadian percussionist extraordinaire Vern Griffiths. Using traditional instruments and everyday household items, Griffiths joins the TSO and RBC Resident Conductor Earl Lee in this fun and interactive family concert.
On November 9 & 11, the TSO marks Remembrance Day with Afghanistan: Requiem for a Generation—a stirring work by Canadian composer Jeffrey Ryan, with texts by Canada’s first official war poet, Suzanne Steele. Premièred in Calgary on November 10, 2012, Afghanistan: Requiem for a Generation received rave reviews. Returning to the TSO, guest conductor Tania Miller is on the podium, as soprano Measha Brueggergosman, mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy, tenor Colin Ainsworth, and baritone Brett Polegato, along with the Toronto Children’s Chorus and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir share the stage. Members of the Canadian Armed Forces perform several moving works, and music by Vaughan Williams—including The Lark Ascending, performed by TSO Concertmaster Jonathan Crow—rounds out the program. The featured Sesquies for Canada’s 150th are La fantaisie du pendu by Julien Bilodeau (Nov. 9) and Fallen by RBC Affiliate Composer Jordan Pal (Nov. 11).
On November 12 at the George Weston Recital Hall (3:00pm), the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra (TSYO) opens its season under the direction of its Artistic Director & Conductor, Earl Lee. The emotionally charged program features Verdi’s overture to La forza del destino; Smetana’s beloved “The Moldau” from Má vlast; and the haunting Symphony No. 5 by Shostakovich.
On November 15 & 16, Oundjian Conducts Vaughan Williams stars an all-Canadian cast of soloists, including soprano Carla Huhtanen, mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo, tenor Lawrence Wiliford, baritone Tyler Duncan, and the Elmer Iseler Singers in the beautiful Serenade to Music. TSO Principal Oboe Sarah Jeffrey and TSO Principal Viola Teng Li also step into the spotlight, while superb Canadian pianist Louis Lortie lends his virtuosity to the Piano Concerto in C. As Peter Oundjian’s affinity for the music of Vaughan Williams is well known, this concert is one of November’s auspicious events. The performance will be recorded by Chandos for future release.
Praised as “the outstanding Bach pianist of her generation” by The Sunday Times (London), Canada’s own Angela Hewitt leads the Orchestra from the keyboard on November 18 (Roy Thomson Hall) & 19 (George Weston Recital Hall). The program features two of J. S. Bach’s finest concertos, and glorious works by Mozart.
On November 23 & 25, the TSO welcomes internationally acclaimed conductor Donald Runnicles for Mahler Symphony 6. Runnicles, who is concurrently General Music Director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Chief Conductor of BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and Music Director of the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson, Wyoming, leads the Orchestra in Mahler’s heart-wrenching, emotional masterpiece. Both concerts open with Sesquies for Canada’s 150th: Just Keep Paddling! by Tobin Stokes (Nov. 23), and Step Up by Abigail Richardson-Schulte (Nov. 25).
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.
Air Canada is the Official Airline of the TSO and the Presenting Sponsor of Pops.
The November 15 performance of Oundjian Conducts Vaughan Williams is sponsored by the Toronto Symphony Volunteer Committee.