Toronto Symphony Orchestra
One of Canada’s most respected arts organizations, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) plays a vital role in the city’s dynamic cultural life. Committed to serving local and national communities through vibrant performances and expansive educational activities, the TSO offers a wide range of programming that resonates with people of all ages and backgrounds. With a notable recording and broadcast history complementing international touring engagements, the TSO is a unique musical ambassador for Canada around the world.
The TSO continues its long-established history of connecting younger generations with orchestral music. Two core programs include School Concerts, performed for over 40,000 students annually, and the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra (TSYO), which, in a tuition-free model, offers high-level orchestral training for talented young musicians aged 22 and under. Additionally, the TSO supports the development of next-generation artists through its annual open call for Canadian orchestral scores, and its essential Resident Conductor and Affiliate Composer positions.
Peter Oundjian was named TSO Conductor Emeritus at the end of his 14-year tenure as Music Director in June 2018. In the 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons, Sir Andrew Davis will serve as Interim Artistic Director, prior to the arrival of the TSO’s new Music Director in 2020. Sir Andrew Davis is well known to Toronto audiences, having a 44-year relationship with the TSO. Maestro Davis opens the 2018/19 season and returns to the TSO stage regularly in each of his two seasons as Interim Artistic Director. Gustavo Gimeno will begin serving as the TSO’s Music Director in 2020/21.
The TSO was founded in 1922 by a group of Toronto musicians and gave its first performance at the historic Massey Hall. Since 1982, Toronto’s iconic Roy Thomson Hall has been the TSO’s home, drawing patrons from around the world. Soon to celebrate its centenary, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s name remains synonymous with musical versatility and growth, and artistic distinction.
Toronto Mendelssohn Choir
is one of Canada’s oldest, largest and best-known choral ensembles. Founded in 1894 by Augustus Vogt, the Choir presented its first concert in Massey Hall, as part of the hall’s inaugural season, on January 15, 1895. The Choir has flourished under the successive leadership of Herbert Fricker (1917-42), Sir Ernest MacMillan (1942-57), Frederick Silvester (1957-60) Walter Susskind (1960-64), Elmer Iseler (1964-97) and Noel Edison (1997-2018). All of these Canadian conductors have been internationally renowned in their own right, and have successfully brought the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir to the world’s attention, through performances, recordings and tours.
The Grammy-nominated Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, as one of Canada’s largest choral organizations, believes its role is to provide Canadian audiences the experience of the classical choral masterworks of the world.
For a quick look at what goes into one TMC season check out this fun graphic, and here’s a map that highlights the international reach of TMC activities.
Grand symphonic sound has been the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir’s trademark for over 125 years. Performing both sacred and secular repertoire, TMC choristers are committed to offering audiences authentic interpretation, clarity of expression and a profound emotional experience of some of the most important music ever composed. Concerts are exhilarating and uplifting celebrations of the triumphs, great and small, of the human spirit.
Through its performances and educational programs, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir aspires to make choral masterworks available, accessible, and inspirational to all listeners in order to create a shared heritage of musical expression and appreciation.
The TMC includes a core of 20 professional singers. Currently this core is formed by 20 members of the Elora Singers. Starting in the 2019/20 season, the TMC will audition and retain its own professional core. The TMC organization also includes the Mendelssohn Singers, a 70-voice ensemble formed from the ranks of the TMC, giving us more flexibility in both performing venue and repertoire.
The TMC is currently conducting an international search for a new artistic director who will be only the 8th artistic director in the Choir’s 125-year history.
Sir Andrew Davis
Maestro Davis is conductor laureate of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (having previously served as principal conductor), conductor laureate of the BBC Symphony Orchestra (having previously had the longest tenure as chief conductor since BBCSO founder Sir Adrian Boult) and former music director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera. Sir Andrew serves as artistic advisor to the Besançon International Music Festival and is president of the jury for that festival’s 52nd International Competition for Young Conductors.
In the 2011-2012 season Maestro Davis conducts Boris Godunov, Ariadne auf Naxos, and The Magic Flute at Lyric Opera of Chicago. His engagements elsewhere in 2011-12 include the Besançon Festival, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, London’s Philharmonia Orchestra,the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera (Don Giovanni), BBC Symphony Orchestra, The Santa Fe Opera, Canadian Opera Company (Eine florentinische Tragödie and Gianni Schicchi), Santa Fe Opera (Arabella), the Bergen Festival (La damnation de Faust), and the opening of the Edinburgh Festival. In addition, Sir Andrew will spend several weeks recording for Chandos Records with various orchestras.
In the 2010-11 season Sir Andrew conducted The Mikado (new production), The Girl of the Golden West, and Lohengrin at Lyric Opera of Chicago. He was seen on the podium with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Sir Andrew also returned to the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Proms in London and to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, where he led performances of his own new orchestration of Handel’s Messiah. Maestro Davis made return appearances with the Metropolitan Opera (Capriccio), the Canadian Opera Company (Ariadne auf Naxos), the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (Peter Grimes), and Glyndebourne Festival Opera (Rusalka).
With the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Maestro Davis has led concerts at the Proms and on tour to Hong Kong, Japan, the U.S., and Europe. He has conducted all of the world’s major orchestras, from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to the Berlin Philharmonic and the Royal Concertgebouw, as well as at opera houses and festivals throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, and the Bayreuth Festival.
Maestro Davis has a massive discography on the Chandos, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Warner Classics International, Capriccio, EMI, and CBS labels, among others. Sir Andrew currently records exclusively for Chandos Records. His first Chandos recording, Elgar’s “Crown of India,” was released in 2010. His recordings of Holst’s “Beni Mora,” “Japanese Suite,” and “The Planets,” and of York Bowen’s Symphonies No. 1 and 2 with the BBC Philharmonic; and of Delius’s “Appalachia” and “Song of the High Hills” with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, were issued in the first half of 2011.
In 2008, Sir Andrew released Elgar’s Violin Concertos, featuring violinist James Ehnes and London’s Philharmonia Orchestra (Onyx Classics), which won Gramophone’s coveted “Best of Category – Concerto” Award. Recordings in 2007 included Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with violinist Min-Jyn Kim and the Philharmonia Orchestra (Sony); a solo recital of operatic favorites sung by soprano Nicole Cabell with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (Decca), which in 2008 won the Solti Prize from the French Académie du Disque Lyrique; and Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with pianist Yundi Li and the Philharmonia Orchestra (Deutsche Grammophon).
In 1992, Maestro Davis was created a Commander of the British Empire for his services to British music, and in 1999 he was made a Knight Bachelor in the New Year Honours List. In 1991, he received the Royal Philharmonic Society/Charles Heidsieck Music Award.
Born in 1944 in Hertfordshire, England, Maestro Davis studied at King’s College, Cambridge, where he was an organ scholar before taking up the baton. His diverse repertoire ranges from Baroque to contemporary, and his vast conducting credits span the symphonic and operatic and choral worlds. Sir Andrew is a great proponent of twentieth-century works including those by Janácek, Messiaen, Boulez, Elgar, Tippett, and Britten, in addition to the core symphonic and operatic composers’ works.
Maestro Davis and his wife, soprano Gianna Rolandi, reside in Chicago where she is the director of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago.