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THE SCOOP | The Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra Celebrates 50th Anniversary Season

By Anya Wassenberg on February 8, 2024

Simon Rivard and the TSYO at their first performance of the season (Photo: Jag Gundu)
Simon Rivard and the TSYO at their first performance of the season (Photo: Jag Gundu)

The Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra (TSYO) celebrates a half century of talent development in the city this season. Performances began in November with Fate: The Firebird + Tchaikovsky’s Fourth, and continue till June.

Highlights of the season include the annual joint performance with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and an exchange with the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra (COYO), among other events.

Conductor Simon Rivard returns to the podium for his farewell season with the TSYO.

“It has been such an immense honour to lead and mentor the young musicians of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra for the past six years,” says Rivard in a statement. “And this 50th season feels like a joyful celebration of the TSYO’s past, present, and future: I’ve loved hearing from our alumni — many of whom have shared photographs, programs, and memories from their days in the orchestra — while working with our current members, who are all incredibly talented and so devoted to music-making. And I can’t think of a more appropriate way to close out this momentous year, and my tenure, than with our exchange with the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, which will bring the international exposure and recognition our artists so richly deserve.”

From 2022:

The Concerts

There are several opportunities to experience the TSYO and its energy live.

TSYO: Britannia | February 17, 2024

The music of the British Isles will be explored in a program that includes pieces by Holst, Elgar, and contemporary composers Hannah Kendall and James MacMillan.

TSYO: Titan | April 27, 2024

The program is anchored by Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, and also includes Shostakovitch’s Festive Overture, and Kalevi Aho’s Bassoon Concerto featuring soloist Cian Bryson, a winner of the 2022/23 TSYO Concerto Competition.

TSYO & TSO Side By Side | May 10 & 11, 2024

The season was launched with Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. That piece will be revisited by the TSYO performing it side by side with the members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra on stage at Roy Thomson Hall, and under the baton of Gustavo Gimeno. While the side-by-side performances are an annual event, this will be the first time that it involves a full symphony.

Exchange with the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra | June 1, 2024

Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony gets its third and final treatment by the TSYO this year, this time as the second half of a combined concert with the TSYO and the COYO, with TSYO Conductor Simon Rivard and COYO Music Director Daniel Reith trading off between movements. The first half of the program will see the two orchestras perform works by Stravinsky, Brahms, and Piston independently.

The exchange will also involve a joint concert at Blossom Music Center, the summer home of The Cleveland Orchestra, on May 27, 2024. It will be the TSYO’s first performance outside Ontario since 2017.

Tuned for Tomorrow Workshops

A new series of workshops will help prepare young musicians for the various elements of a future career. The sessions will be held monthly, and are free of charge for TSYO members. Topics include:

  • Community Musicianship
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the Arts
  • Preparing for a Music Exchange
  • The Alexander Technique & Yoga for Musicians
  • Audition Preparation & Performance Psychology
  • Financial Planning for Musicians
  • And more.

Tickets and more information about the TSYO’s 50th anniversary season [HERE].

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