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The Toronto Symphony Orchestra Presents the Mozart @ 261 Festival: ‘Magnificent Mozart’ (Wednesday January 11 – Thursday January 12, 2017) at Koerner Hall

‘Magnificent Mozart! Violinist Kerson Leong and pianist Leonid Nediak join us to open another celebration of the music of this most timeless of composers.

Mozart was a singularity, the ideal talent in the ideal time and place, the final and greatest Classicist, the last composer who worked at perfecting a style rather than changing it. Symphony No. 40 in G minor is one of his most fascinating and appealing works. He rarely used the minor key, and when he did, the effect is striking—turbulence mixed with lyricism. This is an extremely dramatic and atmospheric work. Mozart himself considered the Piano Concerto in B-flat to be quite difficult, but this is truly a giant at the height of his powers. If you hear him foreshadowing Beethoven in this great concerto, you are not imagining it. In contrast, the lovely Rondo in C for violin is one of his most gracious and polished works, a perfect example of everything we associate with his style.’

Peter Oundjian

Music Director

Introducing Kerson Leong and pianist Leonid Nediak!

Kerson Leong: Violinist

Kerson Leong made his TSO début in June 2013. Acclaimed by musicians and audiences alike for his commanding stage presence, magnificent tone, and musical integrity, Canadian violinist Kerson Leong is quickly establishing himself at the forefront of his generation since gaining international recognition by winning Junior First Prize at the Menuhin Competition in 2010. He has performed at such venues as Wigmore Hall and l’Auditorium du Louvre, as well as with such ensembles as the Oslo Philharmonic, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, the Gulbenkian Orchestra, I Solisti Veneti, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Orchestre symphonique de Québec, Orchestre Métropolitain, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada.

Notable highlights in 2016 were his world and Australian premières and subsequent CD recording of Visions, a new work for violin, boys choir, and string orchestra written for him by John Rutter.

Kerson is currently an Artist-in-Residence at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Belgium, mentored by Augustin Dumay. He gratefully acknowledges the support received from the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation Award 2016. He performs on a c. 1728–1730

Guarneri del Gesù, courtesy of Canimex Inc., Drummondville (Québec), Canada.

Leonid Nediak: Pianist

These performances mark Leonid Nediak’s TSO début. Known for his originality and captivating playing, 13-year-old pianist Leonid Nediak has been awarded many prestigious awards, including the Grand Prize in the Canadian National Composition Competition (CFMTA 2016), second place and the audience prize in the Cleveland International Piano Competition 2015, and the Grand Prize twice at the Canadian Music Competition in 2013 and 2014. In 2015, Leonid was selected as the youngest of the “30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians under 30”. Leonid has performed with orchestras such as the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Orchestre symphonique de Québec, and the Canton Symphony Orchestra in the US, and he has given numerous solo recitals in Canada, the US, and Russia.

Leonid has studied piano with Michael Berkovsky and Ilya Itin. He is currently a full scholarship student at The Royal Conservatory’s Taylor Young Artists Academy in Toronto under the tutelage of James Anagnoson. He has been studying composition with John Burge since 2013. Leonid also enjoys computer science and math and he has won numerous prizes in national math and computer science competitions.