Look who’s 90

Look who’s 90

Toronto Symphony Orchestra announced its ninetieth season this morning.  Highlights:

Karina Gauvin will sing Britten’s Les Illuminations for Soprano and String Orchestra (February 2012)

Sondra Radvanovsky will sing Tatyana’s Letter Scene from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, plus an aria from La forza del destino (April 2012)

There will be 500 performers for the Mahler’s 8 ‘Symphony of a Thousand’, incl. Adrianne Pieczonka and Richard Margison (June 2012)

Artists in Residence this season: Lang Lang, Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma.

The Kronos Quartet make their TSO debut.

Violinist Leila Josefowicz performs Nov 30 in the program of Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Liadov.

The fantastic series of talks-with-concerts Exposed: Unveiling Great Music continues with Brahms Symphony 1 (TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian discusses the work in the first half, then conducts the performance – Sep 30 ’11), Bartok’s The Miraculous Mandarin (Jan 26 ’12) and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (Mar 9, ’12).

Complete season brochure HERE.

Here’s a taste of Karina Gauvin illuminating Les Illuminations:

We were also invited to an open rehearsal for tonight’s performance of Mozart’s Symphony 34, led by the TSO’s Peter Oundjian. These are always interesting. Heard in the course of musical direction:

(after the first audience applause) “Thank you. The rehearsal you should come to is the first one. By now, we’re ready.”

“If this was twice as soft, it would be much wittier. Yeah?”

Semplice, not picky, so it has a beautiful arch.”

“Sometimes it’s nicer to start without a plan about those [later bars]. Let’s be in touch as we play.”

Crescendo here slightly too  thick. Too loud, too early. Here we increase the music volume in spirit not in actual volume.”

“Much more brilliant. Much more Rossini.”

“This is a wild outburst. We can be abandoned. Here it’s more like a battle.”

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11 thoughts on “Look who’s 90

  1. You are lucky indeed to go to an open rehearsal. Are they invite only or for anyone? It would be good if more orchestras did this.

  2. Many art orgs are expanding their media lists to include some alternative media as well — hence, DtO being invited. The parterre of the hall was almost full, so I’m thinking the subscribers and sponsors got the invitations to the season announcement rehearsal and they probably get other invites to rehearsals and schmoozing events throughout the year.

    It’s great to be able to observe a rehearsal, even though they’re usually near the performance, when the orchestra is only fine-tweaking the articulation, but it’s still fascinating.

    That’s exactly what I was thinking as I was listening: more orchestras should do this for the general public.

    A class was visiting from some private school, adolescents all decked up in uniforms and neckties, behaving well and looking very interested. I hope public system schools do such visits too.

  3. I work for the TSO and we do have Open Rehearsals 4-6 times throughout the season as a donor benefit. It’s incredibly interesting to see the full orchestra in their final moments of preparation, and it’s also one of the best parts of my job!

    Visit our website or call customer service for more information!

  4. It’s a pity it wasn’t a baroque concert so you practice your ripieno and concertino!
    What did you think of the conductor’s performance?

    1. I know! I caught myself thinking again “Why is there so little baroque”, then it dawned on me while I was looking at the first page of the program: Toronto SYMPHONY Orchestra. Duh.

      There is some Bach next season though, so that should be neat. Itzak Perlman playing Bach with the TSO music director who also happens to be a violinist, and one night only. Peter Oundjian made jokes on the stage how he has to leave right after the presser and practice until the night of the concert.

      Oundjian was really good at the rehearsal. Efficient, attentive, very precise ear, good sense of humour. He used to visit-host a radio show in which he’d analyze various symphonic works with great panache, and I so wish CBC made those available as podcasts, or even started another season. TSO is continuing this in some of its programs, but they’re not as widely available as a radio show would be.

  5. You know finding that PO link was so strange. I was doing some digging for Eyes on the Conductor pt 2 and I put into Googe news “conductors using batons” in case there was some current thinking I should know and ….. there was the above link, second one down on the list. Spooky or what !!

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