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THE SCOOP | Rite Of Spring: Toronto Symphony Announces Unique Partnership With Podcast Star Hrishikesh Hirway

By Anya Wassenberg on November 7, 2023

L-R: Gustavo Gimeno (Sept 20, 2023/Photo: Gerard Richardson); Igor Stravinsky (Library of Congress/Public domain); Hrishikesh Hirway (Photo: Ash Green)
L-R: Gustavo Gimeno (Sept 20, 2023/Photo: Gerard Richardson); Igor Stravinsky (Library of Congress/Public domain); Hrishikesh Hirway (Photo: Ash Green)

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra has announced a partnership with Song Exploder to create a listening party and immersive music experience revolving around Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. Popular podcast and Netflix series host Hrishikesh Hirway will join TSO Music Director Gustavo Gimeno for Symphony Exploder: The Rite of Spring on April 5, 2024.

It will be the first-ever live orchestral collaboration for Song Exploder, a series that marks its 10th anniversary this year.

Hrishikesh Hirway

Hrishikesh Hirway is a musician, producer and TV host along with successful podcaster. The American artist created and hosts/co-hosts The West Wing Weekly, Home Cooking and Partners podcasts along with Song Exploder.

As a musician under the name The One AM Radio, he released four albums between 2002 and 2011.

On his popular Netflix docuseries of the same name, Hirway takes each episode to delve into a song. The musicians involved talk about how it came together, what was going on in their lives, and reveal the truths behind their creative processes. Hirway produces and edits the show as well as hosting it.

Symphony Exploder

Gustavo Gimeno and Hrishikesh Hirway will begin in a conversation about the layers of music and meaning in Stravinsky’s seminal work. Talk will be intertwined with excerpts of the music, and live replays.

“My relationship with the city of Toronto goes back a long way, and I’m likewise grateful for my various creative engagements across Canada,” says Hrishikesh Hirway in a statement. “So it’s going to be a really special experience to début the first orchestral version of the Song Exploder experience with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. This special orchestral edition of Song Exploder — Symphony Exploder — will be one of the highlights of the tenth anniversary of Song Exploder.

“I’m enthralled to discover, along with Toronto’s music community, how the capacity for deep-listening that we’ve cultivated for ten years will translate into the very fertile grounds of orchestral music. I couldn’t have asked for a better specimen than Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, it’s going to be like nothing else we’ve ever heard.”

The Rite of Spring

The event culminates in a full rendition of the electrifying work. The avant-garde piece, written for the Diaghilev and his Ballets Russes, was greeted by controversy at its premiere, and together with Nijinsky’s original choreography, a social scandal.

“With its viscerally propulsive rhythms, extreme orchestral colours, and shocking harmonies, The Rite of Spring was artistically radical—a totally unexpected and new kind of music,” adds Gustavo Gimeno.

“So presenting the piece in an entirely novel way feels incredibly fitting. I’m eager to explore Stravinsky’s most explosive creation with Hrishi, whose ability to translate complex musical concepts into fascinating and revelatory experiences is truly wonderful, and I know that our audiences, new and seasoned alike, will hear this astounding creation — and our orchestra — with fresh ears.”

Tickets and more information about Symphony Exploder: The Rite of Spring on April 5, 2024 available [HERE].

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