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Music Director Gustavo Gimeno addresses the Orchestra at Roy Thomson Hall on the day of his appointment

TSO Musicians Reflect on the Relationship with a New Music Director

What makes the relationship between conductors and musicians so special? Four TSO musicians share their thoughts.

September 30, 2021

The long-awaited reunion between the musicians and Gustavo Gimeno is coming closer with a live stream concert on October 14, and Maestro Gimeno’s official début on the podium as the TSO’s new Music Director in November. Four musicians shared their thoughts on the relationship between conductor and musicians, and what they are looking forward to with Gustavo.

The relationship between conductor and musician(s) is so special and unique—there’s a real intimate sort of trust placed in whomever is at the helm.

We rely on the conductor for all sorts of logistical things such as timing and precision of entrances, but also broader emotional matters, too—an amalgamated expression of our collective passion with their interpretation of each composer’s ideas.

The conductor is really the face of the orchestra, representing us to the audience—and we feel like we are in epically capable ones with Gustavo!

Heidi Elise Bearcroft, Principal Harp

As a member of the percussion section, it's so exciting to have Gustavo joining us this fall. Earlier in his career, he was the principal percussionist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (Amsterdam), so he understands how things work and feel in the percussion section, which is not always the case for a conductor.

Of course, his musicianship spans far beyond just the percussion section, but I find the way he communicates with us and the things he asks of us really highlights the exciting colours and characters that our instruments are capable of producing, and it's truly awesome to experience.

Joseph Kelly, Assistant Principal Timpani and Percussion

The best conductors let the players be personally expressive within the parameters of the interpretation. That's what I love about Gustavo. From one day to the next, a performance can feel like a completely different experience because he lets the players express themselves.

Everyone is human and feels different one day to the next and he's responsive to the mood in the room.

Christopher Redfield, Viola

When we play a concert, great conductors breathe life into the music on stage. It is very inspiring when the conductor gives us musical ideas very clearly at rehearsal because that is when we can grow and evolve as an orchestra.

We have an amazing opportunity in Toronto to have Gustavo with us, and I cannot wait to share the musical journey on stage with Gustavo and the audience!

Eri Kosaka, Acting Principal Second Violin