The TSO Unveils Its 2016/17 Season‏

“With the 2016/17 season, the future of the TSO looks brighter than ever,” says TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian. “A brilliant roster of guest artists along with our unique programming offers something for all the senses. In celebration of the Sesquicentennial of our great nation in 2017, we’re thrilled to be working towards partnerships across Canada and exploring our musical past and the future of great Canadian music. We look forward to experiencing this season with you.”


The beloved soprano returns after a six-year absence from the TSO stage. Renée Fleming brings her unique and radiant vocal magic, joining the Orchestra and Peter Oundjian for a memorable evening—inaugurating the TSO’s 95th season—that showcases her wide-ranging repertoire.

THE DECADES PROJECT—In partnership with the AGO

Launched during the 2015/16 season, The Decades Project continues to explore the connections between music and visual art. The concerts are enhanced by performances by The TSO Chamber Soloists, and pre- and post-concert activities (co-curated by Peter Oundjian and Tom Allen) in collaboration with AGO curator, Kenneth Brummel.

1920–1929 (Oct 26–Nov 11, 2016)

  • From jazz to neo-romanticism, the first concert—marking a TSO début for conductor Kristjan Järvi—includes works by Rachmaninoff, Gershwin, and Kodály that epitomize the ever-changing 1920s.
  • With pianist Jon Kimura Parker and conductor James Gaffigan, the second program brings electrifying music by Prokofiev and a young Shostakovich, and the tinged mythological ballet score by Milhaud, La création du monde.
  • Peter Oundjian conducts the third program, which features two stirring English pieces—Vaughan Williams’s The Lark Ascending (Jonathan Crow, violin) and Walton’s Viola Concerto (Teng Li, viola)—the monumental Symphony No. 7 by Sibelius, and one of the all-time great orchestral showcases, Ravel’s Boléro.

1930–1939 (Jun 2–24, 2017)

  • The first June program features masterworks from the 1930s, such as the rarely heard Belshazzar’s Feast, Sir William Walton’s spectacular biblical oratorio, conducted by TSO Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis.
  • Peter Oundjian conducts Kurt Weill’s satirical “sung ballet”, The Seven Deadly Sins**, in a new, semi-staged production directed by Joel Ivany and starring Canadian mezzo-soprano Wallis Giunta.
  • The Decades Project culminates with Carmina Burana by Carl Orff. With Peter Oundjian at the podium, the choral spectacular stars an all-Canadian cast of soloists.


 Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton (Oct 29 & 30, 2016)

Throughout their 30-year partnership, visionary Hollywood filmmaker Tim Burton and composer Danny Elfman have created a uniquely magical world. The TSO performs selections from Tim Burton’s films featuring music from Danny Elfman’s iconic film scores, including Batman, Edward Scissorhands, and The Nightmare Before Christmas, as scenes from the movies are projected above the Orchestra.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring In Concert (Dec 1, 2 & 3, 2016)

Torontonian Howard Shore’s sweeping, Academy Award–winning score for the first film in director Sir Peter Jackson’s three-picture adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy classic comes to life when the TSO, a large chorus, and a cast of soloists perform it live to the epic motion picture. This is the first installment of the The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Disney-Pixar Ratatouille in Concert (Feb 18, 2017)

One of Disney and Pixar’s most enchanting animated fables tells the touching story of a rodent’s quest to become a top Parisian chef. An ideal outing for the entire family, hearing Michael Giacchino’s score performed live by the TSO boosts the film’s charm to a new level. Presentation licensed by Disney Music Publishing and Buena Vista Concerts, a division of ABC Inc. © All rights reserved.

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark with Live Orchestra (Mar 29, 2017)

Indiana Jones’s screen début takes on a new dimension as the TSO plays John Williams’s score live, under the direction of Steven Reineke.

CANADA MOSAIC (Jan 21, 2017)

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation, the TSO pays tribute to some of the Canadian composers who made our country proud during the mid-to-late 20th century. Alain Trudel conducts works by Ridout, Mercure, Coulthard, and Weinzweig, as well as Rhapsodie romantique by André Mathieu, with Canadian pianist Alain Lefèvre.

More celebratory events and new commissions will be announced as part of Canada’s Sesquicentennial anniversary of Confederation.

MOZART@261 FESTIVAL AT KOERNER HALL—In partnership with the RCM (Jan 11–20, 2017)

The TSO marks the 261st anniversary of Mozart’s birth with six performances—co-curated by the much-admired Mozart specialist Bernard Labadie and Peter Oundjian—which will be presented this year at the intimate TELUS Centre’s Koerner Hall.

From the Prague Symphony to works for small orchestra and grand piano, the Mozart@261 Festival sheds light on the composer’s multi-faceted genius. Highlights include the TSO débuts of 14-year-old Canadian pianist Leonid Nediak and German violinist Isabelle Faust, and the awaited return of pianist Emanuel Ax.


The TSO’s New Creations Festival, created by Peter Oundjian as he began his Music Directorship in 2004, is emblematic of the TSO’s commitment to creating new works of music, developing tomorrow’s masterworks, and experimenting with the full capacity of the orchestral art form.

In 2017, Canadian composer Owen Pallett joins Peter Oundjian and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra to curate the 13th annual New Creations Festival, which brings astonishing throat singer and 2014 Polaris Music Prize winner Tanya Tagaq, celebrated Canadian violinist James Ehnes, acclaimed pianist Yefim Bronfman, and new-music rock stars the Kronos Quartet to Toronto.

The festival includes seven World Premières: a work by Tanya Tagaq, written with Christine Duncan (TSO Commission), and new works by festival curator Owen Pallett, Mica Levi, TSO’s RBC Affiliate Composer Jordan Pal, Cassandra Miller, and Nicole Lizée—performed by the Kronos Quartet. The festival also features Yefim Bronfman performing Trauermarsch for Piano and Orchestra by Jörg Widmann (Canadian Première/TSO Co-commission), and a violin concerto by Pulitzer Prize–winner Aaron Jay Kernis (TSO Co-commission) performed by James Ehnes.

Striving for cultural excellence and social innovation, the TSO looks forward to weaving more than music into Toronto’s fabric with new community outreach and education initiatives and innovation platforms, and to providing pre-professional training and talent development through the TSYO. Stay tuned for more announcements and impromptu happenings.

* Event includes World Première/TSO Commission as part of Canada’s Sesquicentennial anniversary of Confederation.

** New staging commissioned by the TSO as part of Canada’s Sesquicentennial anniversary of Confederation.


Online: TSO.CA

Call: 416.598.3375

In person: TSO Patron Services Centre, 212 King Street West, 1st Floor, Toronto


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