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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

Toronto Summer Music Festival records substantial audience increase in 2013

By John Terauds on August 14, 2013

Toronto Symphony clarinetist Yao Guang Zhai and bassoonist Nadina Mackie Jackson at Walter Hall during this year's Toronto Summer Music Festival (TSMAF photo).
Clarinetist Yao Guang Zhai and bassoonist Nadina Mackie Jackson at Walter Hall during this year’s Toronto Summer Music Festival (TSMAF photo).

Once they added up the numbers, organizers of the annual Toronto Summer Music Festival noted a 28 per cent larger audience this year than in 2012.

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, the founder of Musical Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
John Terauds

This sort of massive jump in attendance makes this festival Toronto’s classical good-news story of 2013, a year when most other art music and opera presenters have been struggling to maintain audiences.

The biggest issue for anyone selling concert tickets right now appears to be the growing proportion of buyers making a decision on the day of a concert or show rather than planning ahead. This was the case at Toronto Summer Music, as well.

“We received an enthusiastic response to this year’s festival from audiences and critics alike,” festival artistic director Douglas McNabney said in a press statement.  “Two concerts were sold out, most played to houses of 85 per cent capacity or more, and we had an 11 per cent increase in audience members under 35 years of age attending the festival.”

There were 12 mainstage concerts, as well as a substantial number of outreach concerts as well as lectures, screenings and interviews. New this year were informal, late-afternoon concerts at Heliconian Hall meant to explore alternative programming and artist combinations.

The eighth annual festival ran in tandem with an academy for young musicians who are just starting their professional careers. Next year’s festival is scheduled to run July 15 to Aug. 2.

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, the founder of Musical Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
John Terauds
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