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TSO performing on stage

Media High Notes: May & June 2023

July 12, 2023

From previews to reviews to interviews and more, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra regularly receives interesting and insightful media coverage from a wide variety of sources. Here’s a summary of our most recent and notable press: 

Its staggering virtuoso demands were deemed “unplayable” when first composed—but Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto has gone on to become one of the best-known and best-loved in the repertoire. Ahead of his appearance with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra to perform this monumentous piece, Canadian violinist James Ehnes joined smART Magazine to reflect on his approach to this piece.

Pre-Concert Chat: James Ehnes performs Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto for the TSO

The TSO’s first-ever drag headliner, and “Queen of Classical Music”, Thorgy Thor, performed live with the Orchestra at Roy Thomson Hall for a one-night-only, trailblazing concert in June. Before this groundbreaking performance, she stopped by CBC Metro Morning and spoke about the significance of this moment.

Drag performer Thorgy Thor brings her talents to Roy Thomson Hall with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra

“The ask was simple: talk about music, to help a composer write an original piece.” In partnership with CAMH and Shkaabe Makwa, the TSO launched the pilot project The Art Of Healing, a program that seeks to combine the healing power of music with culturally relevant Indigenous knowledge.

A composer worked with patients in therapy. They created beautiful music together

In May, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra received widespread acclaim for their performance of Messiaen’s Turangalila-Symphonie. “Since assuming the podium as TSO conductor, Gustavo Gimeno’s leadership of the TSO to its rightful place on the world stage has been self-evident,” writes Andrea Rush for La Scena Musicale. “Pianist Marc-André Hamelin was confident in the cadenzas and projected brilliantly in the high register. Nathalie Forget [on the ondes Martenot] was always sensitive to phrasing and curvature,” says Ludwig van Toronto’s Arthur Kaptainis.

Review | Epic Interpretation of Messiaen’s Turangalila-Symphonie (La Scena Musicale)
SCRUTINY | TSO Takes A Walk On The Wild Side With Messiaen’s Turangalîla (Ludwig van Toronto)

Yuja Wang’s Rachmaninoff likewise garnered positive reviews. Critics called it “suitably uproarious” (Arthur Kaptainis, Ludwig van Toronto), with Paul Robinson (La Scena Musicale) intrigued by how Wang beautifully “underscored the melancholy and ruminative qualities in the score.” “Rach III is hers as far as I’m concerned,” writes Leslie Barcza (barczablog), “‘Yuja Wang’s Rachmaninoff’ is truer than expected.”

SCRUTINY | Yuja Wang’s Fingers Fly With Toronto Symphony Orchestra (Ludwig van Toronto)
Review | Yuja Wang Dazzles in Rachmaninov with TSO (La Scena Musicale)

Sunday Night at the TSO

Every Sunday evening at 8:00pm (ET) on The New Classical 96.3 FM, musician, teacher, and broadcaster Kathleen Kajioka speaks with members of the TSO family—including our artistic and administrative leaders, musicians, visiting artists, composers, and others—on Sunday Night at the TSO. Listen to last month’s interviews: