Gustavo Gimeno’s Spotlight Artist initiative, designed to showcase and explore the virtuosity and versatility of select guest artists, began this season highlighting the work of Canadian composer and conductor Samy Moussa.
TSO audiences have been treated to Moussa’s compositions already performed this year: Crimson for Large Orchestra (as part of Saraste + Sibelius, March 23–26), and Fanfare pour Aix (as part of Rachmaninoff’s Second, April 1 & 2).
Two more works await us this season: the World Première performance (and a TSO commission) of Moussa’s Symphony No. 2 (May 25, 27 & 28), and his 2014 composition Nocturne for Orchestra (June 1, 2, 4 & 5).
In speaking about the World Première of his Symphony No. 2, Moussa says, “It's very important for me to feel confident that what I write will be executed at a very high level so that I don't inhibit myself. This is the case with TSO. Whatever I have in mind I know they can do. And this is very liberating for me.“
“As one of the world’s leading Orchestras, I believe the TSO has a responsibility and the privilege, of highlighting artists of exceptional talent,” says Gustavo Gimeno. “In addition to the fact that Samy Moussa is one of today’s leading composers, he is also a Canadian, and for those reasons, I felt he was the perfect artist to begin this initiative. I am proud of the work we have already performed with him, and greatly look forward to his next works both here and abroad!”
Moussa’s relationship with the TSO has extended beyond the concert stage. Last month, the TSO was honoured to participate in the Institute for Canadian Citizenship's Virtual Citizenship Ceremony, with musicians Ashley Vandiver (Acting Assistant Principal Viola) and Alastair Eng (Cello) providing a touching musical performance. As an internationally renowned Canadian artist with deep connections at home and abroad, Moussa provided words of inspiration and celebration for the 138 people from 13 countries taking their citizenship oath. “Today marks a new beginning because you will enjoy all the rights, responsibilities, and privileges bestowed by your status as citizens of Canada...I most sincerely applaud your determination and success.”
The TSO is pleased and proud that our audiences, along with so many orchestras and patrons around the world, have embraced Moussa’s work, and we look forward to participating in his continued success.