TSO announces new Relaxed Performance for neurodiverse audiences including those living with autism spectrum disorders

March 11, 2019

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) announces its first Relaxed Performance, the most recent addition to the TSO’s acclaimed Education & Community Engagement programs, to meet the needs of neurodiverse audiences.

Relaxed Performances are designed specifically for people living with autism spectrum disorders, sensory and communication disorders, learning disabilities, or anyone who wants a more casual concert experience.

“Relaxed Performances will help the TSO to reach a group of Torontonians who may have been unable to attend concerts in the past, and enable audience members to enjoy a concert in a low-stress environment,” explains Matthew Loden, Chief Executive Officer. “We are creating new ways to bring the joy of live orchestral music to our many constituents, and TSO remains committed to developing opportunities for inclusion wherever possible.”

The Relaxed Performance will differ from other TSO concerts in a number of ways:

• If patrons need to move around, express themselves vocally, leave the concert hall, or take a break in the quiet room, they are welcome to
• Audience members will have advance access to a Visual Guide that details the concert experience, step by step, in order to reduce anxiety about it, and a fact sheet with detailed information about the performance itself
• Rows of seats at the back of the hall will be kept empty should guests wish to move away from the sound of the orchestra on stage
• Patrons will have access to a quiet room furnished with comfortable seating, stress-relieving fidgets, and relaxing activities
• The TSO will provide other resources such as sound-dampening headphones
• Specialized training will be provided to musicians, TSO staff, and front-of-house personnel at Roy Thomson Hall by Relaxed Performance Consultant, Rachel Marks

Relaxed Performances are the latest addition to the TSO’s Education & Community Engagement programs which highlight the TSO’s long-standing commitment to reaching diverse audiences through varied programming. In the Fall of 2018, students enjoyed The Adizokan Suite—a unique partnership with Red Sky Performance that featured Indigenous dancers and a throat singer/beatboxer. The TSO has been presenting School Concerts since 1924, with one out of every five TSO performances designed for young audiences, giving many youth from in and around the GTA their first experience hearing an orchestra live. In addition, the TSO’s popular audience development program, TSOUNDCHECK (started in 2002), provides discounted tickets from only $19 for any audience member aged 15–35.

Let’s Dance!
Saturday, April 27
11:00am–12:00pm (Relaxed Performance)
Roy Thomson Hall

Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, Artist-in-Residence and Community Ambassador of Symphony Nova Scotia, is at the helm of the TSO with Let’s Dance! As the musicians share the stage with dancers, this entertaining, interactive program features a variety of dance styles that will have the whole family moving in their seats.

Tickets:
$17 each (plus a $6 service charge per ticket)
$15 for groups of 10 or more (plus a $10 per order service charge)
On sale to the general public on Tuesday, March 12 at 9:00am 416.598.3375 or TSO.CA

The TSO Season Presenting Sponsor is BMO Financial Group.
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the City of Toronto.
The Relaxed Performance has been made possible by generous individual and corporate supporters.

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