Toronto – The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) is commemorating its 100th anniversary with an invitation for all Torontonians to attend its highly-anticipated TSO100: Open House & Free Concert, an all-access event and celebration at Roy Thomson Hall (60 Simcoe Street) on Saturday September 24, 2022.
The TSO will be celebrating the diversity of this city, and a century of serving Toronto, with an impressive line-up of diverse, highly-accomplished local ensembles, offering free, engaging music-themed fun, performances and programming.
“We are your orchestra and we belong to you—getting to know Torontonians is essential to the work that we do,” says TSO Chief Executive Officer Mark Williams. “Whether visitors stay for the free concert or simply immerse themselves in the activities we have planned throughout the day, we want Toronto—all of Toronto—to feel welcome.”
The TSO is taking a community-oriented approach to its repertoire and activations, highlighting artists and themes that are important to the city. It wants to attract guests from historically under-represented groups, and have them see themselves reflected among its featured artists. This day is about cultivating meaningful, mutual connections with the TSO and its performance space.
TSO100: Open House & Free Concert Programming
All-access Open House: The TSO will welcome visitors to Roy Thomson Hall from 10:00am to 2:00pm for the all-access Open House experience—an engaging way for Torontonians of all diverse backgrounds and ages to celebrate and get to know their orchestra. The Open House will feature a range of culturally diverse artists including:
- Winston “Pappy” Frederick: This Trinidadian-born steelpan artist, music producer, and teacher, will be sharing his talent and passion for this emblematic instrument
- Iranian-Canadian Composers of Toronto (ICOT): Bridging Canadian and Iranian culture through music and art, ICOT will perform intriguing, melodic piano works by Iranian artists
- Medusa: This all-female, chamber folk ensemble will intertwine the sounds of Scandinavian, Eastern European, Middle Eastern, and Celtic music in a riveting string performance
- Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra (TSYO) – Guests will be able to listen to the musicians of the TSYO performing works by Mozart, Dvořák, and more
- TSO Musicians – Torontonians will experience the much-loved children’s story Kiwis Can’t Play the Violin narrated by artist Pierre Rivard, and featuring TSO musicians
Visitors of all ages can curate their day from a suite of fun drop-in activities centered around the orchestra experience—from create-your-own-sheet-music stations, to a musical instrument discovery zone hosted by the TSO’s Education & Community Engagement team, to guided building tours and a historical exhibition celebrating the TSO’s storied 100-year history. Full programming information is available at TSO.CA/openhouse. No RSVPs are required for this open house and walk-ins are welcome.
Free Afternoon Concert at Roy Thomson Hall: This concert will be hosted by the TSO’s Barrett Principal Education Conductor & Community Ambassador, Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, who will engage with the audience from the stage—introducing the works, and sharing fun-facts and musical details about the composers, the artists and the orchestra. TSO Music Director Gustavo Gimeno has put together a masterworks program with a mixed repertoire that both celebrates and reflects the city’s diversity—a signature style of the TSO’s programming under his leadership.
The concert program will open with Winnipeg-based composer of Cree descent Andrew Balfour’s Kiwetin-Acohkos and also feature original TSO commissions from Toronto-based award-winning Iranian-Canadian composer Afarin Mansouri, and Mexican-Canadian composer Luis Ramirez. These modern creations by contemporary artists are anchored alongside excerpts of Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2—played by Canadian phenom of Chinese heritage, and International Chopin Competition champion (one of the most prestigious competitions in classical music globally), Bruce Liu. The program will also feature Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, the thrilling musical retelling of the Middle Eastern tales known as the 1,001 Nights, and a third piece, Danzón No. 2 by contemporary Mexican composer Arturo Márquez.
Guests are being asked to reserve their seats in advance for this mesmerizing, free, one-hour concert that will begin at 2pm following the open house. Tickets will be available to the public beginning on Thursday September 15, 2022. Complete programming and more information to RSVP and reserve tickets, are available at: https://www.tso.ca/concerts-and-events/events/open-house-and-free-concert/.
The TSO passionately believes in the transformative power of art and it wants to attract as many first-time guests as possible, so they too, can personally experience the lasting impact of live orchestras.