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In The News

Toronto Zoo and Toronto Symphony Orchestra Strike A Chord With New Community Partnership

October 7, 2021

A creative collaboration between The Toronto Zoo and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) will bring young audiences into the intriguing sounds of animals by illuminating them with performances by TSO musicians. Zoophony, a digital concert being filmed onsite at the Toronto Zoo on October 4, 5 and 6, will be released to schools on November 22, 2021. 

The digital concert collaboration for young audiences is part of a broader partnership between the Zoo and the TSO to explore new and creative ways to serve their communities.

“Your Toronto Zoo is committed to serving our community and for us, that means providing new and engaging opportunities for people of all ages to connect with nature in meaningful ways,” says Dolf DeJong, CEO, Toronto Zoo. “Through this new partnership with TSO, we have found a unique opportunity to connect children with wildlife and music, allowing us to see and appreciate nature from a new perspective. Our shared hope is to further extend our reach to the communities that may not ordinarily have access to these types of experiences,” he added.

“Both the TSO and the Zoo are places where children’s imaginations and curiosity are ignited and celebrated. The TSO has a long history of working with community partners and the partnership with the Zoo is another example of our commitment to our shared educational and outreach efforts. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the Zoo to find new ways to either introduce orchestral music to some children or allow them to explore the music more deeply,” Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, the TSO’s Barrett Principal Education Conductor & Community Ambassador.

Zoophony will be co-hosted by Shawn Blackburn, Learning & Engagement Coordinator at the Toronto Zoo, and Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, the TSO’s Barrett Principal Education Conductor & Community Ambassador. In a departure from the traditional animal-inspired symphonic concert, Zoophony is all about hearing animal sounds through a musical lens, and listening to musical sounds through an animal lens. What elements of music make a tiger sound threatening, or a birdsong attractive? How do composers’ musical ideas compare to those of a gorilla, or a wolf? This unique concert will notably feature performances of many new and contemporary works, including Valerie Coleman’s UMOJA, Emilie LeBel’s Kiwis Can’t Play the Violin, and The Aviary composed by Assistant Principal Timpani and Percussion, Joseph Kelly.

More information about how to stream Zoophony in schools when it is available on November 22, 2021 here.