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Toronto Symphony Orchestra Starts 2021 with Two New TSO On Demand Concerts: Beethoven Septet and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons

January 18, 2021

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) continues its 2020/21 season of TSO On Demand concerts with two Masterworks programs: Beethoven Septet (February 12–March 4) and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (March 12–April 1). Concertmaster Jonathan Crow curated both programs. Tickets for both Beethoven Septet and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons go on sale on January 19, 2021.

The Beethoven Septet is one of the composer’s most successful and popular chamber music works, written at the dawn of the 19th century. It will be presented alongside a movement from an incomplete trio by Beethoven’s devoted disciple Franz Schubert, as well as a Beethoven-inspired composition by the TSO’s RBC Affiliate Composer, Canadian Emilie LeBel.

Included in the Vivaldi’s Four Seasons program is music by American composer Gabriela Lena Frank and Sri Lankan–born Canadian composer Dinuk Wijeratne. Frank’s works often draw on her Peruvian-Jewish heritage, and her Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout mixes elements of Andean folk and western classical music. Wijeratne’s JUNO-winning work, Two Pop Songs on Antique Poems, fuses the rhythms of pop with classical music, and contains musical quotations from Schubert’s Death and the Maiden quartet.

TSO Music Director Gustavo Gimeno says, “While we very much miss being in the concert hall this season, I have been gratified by the music we have been able to produce online and on demand for our audiences. And I am delighted to offer our viewers concert experiences that are enriching and musically adventurous by programming iconic classical works alongside works by living composers.”

These concerts were filmed at Roy Thomson Hall, prior to current lock-down measures, following all health and safety regulations. Since launching the series this fall, the TSO has released a family concert for Halloween, a ragtime Pops concert, and a Holiday Pops concert. These two new releases are the first Masterworks concerts in the series.

Beethoven Septet
Release Date: Feb 12, 2021
Available Until: Mar 4, 2021

Chamber music formed the soundtrack to most social occasions in Vienna at the turn of the 19th century. By virtue of their size, small ensembles could perform most anywhere with little set-up and without occupying much space, including in private residences. How fitting that members of the TSO will perform Beethoven’s most crowd-pleasing contribution to the chamber music repertoire—his Septet—right inside your home! The only complete movement from the String Trio in B-flat Major, D. 471, by Schubert, and a Ludwig-inspired reorchestration of TSO RBC Affiliate Composer Emilie LeBel’s woodwind quintet, Haareis auf Morschem Holz (hair ice on rotten wood), round out the program.

This concert is approximately 60–75 minutes in length and features 17 musicians from the Orchestra.

This recording is generously supported by the Toronto Symphony Volunteer Committee.

Gustavo Gimeno’s appearances are generously supported by Susan Brenninkmeyer in memory of Hans Brenninkmeyer.

For the full Beethoven Septet program, please see TSO.CA/OnDemand.

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons
Release Date: Mar 12, 2021
Available Until: Apr 1, 2021

Year after year, season after season, the music of Vivaldi blooms in perennial splendour. “Full of passionate virtuosity yet finely nuanced in his playing,” (Toronto Star) Concertmaster Jonathan Crow performs as soloist and leads his TSO colleagues in Vivaldi’s timeless The Four Seasons. He also leads two dynamic works by living composers—“Coqueteos” from Gabriela Lena Frank’s melodic Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout and Sri Lankan–born Canadian composer Dinuk Wijeratne’s poetic “A letter from the After-life” from Two Pop Songs on Antique Poems.

Jonathan Crow, leader & violin

This concert is approximately 60–75 minutes in length and features 21 musicians from the Orchestra.

This recording is generously supported by Indra and Rags Davloor.

For the full Vivaldi’s Four Seasons program, please see TSO.CA/OnDemand.

Our TSO On Demand series is filmed in strict accordance with COVID-19 government restrictions for performing-arts venues, prioritizing the health and safety of artists and staff. Musicians are wearing masks, there are plexiglass barriers between brass and woodwind instruments, and all artists are two metres apart.

Tickets for TSO On Demand: Beethoven Septet and Vivialdi’s Four Seasons go on sale Tuesday, January 19, 2021, at 11:00am. Discounts are available to TSO subscribers and TSOUNDCHECK members. Go to TSO.CA/OnDemand or call Patron Services at 416.598.3375 (Mon–Fri, 9:00am–5:00pm).

To share the joy of TSO On Demand this winter, purchase a Gift Certificate and send it to a loved one to redeem for access to a concert.

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Government of Canada, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council.

The TSO Season Presenting Sponsor is BMO Financial Group.

The TSO acknowledges Mary Beck as the Musicians’ Patron in perpetuity for her generous and longstanding support.