LSM Newswire

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Roy Thomson Hall present The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra; Long Yu, conductor / Yuja Wang, piano - Monday, November

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Roy Thomson Hall present
The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra
Long Yu, conductor / Yuja Wang, piano
Monday, November 16, 2009 / 8:00 PM / Roy Thomson Hall
Tickets: $128 to $29 ĺ─ý Call RTH Box Office 416 872 4255
Online at or

Toronto, ON, November 3, 2009 ĺ─ý The great Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, one of the worldĺ─˘s oldest classical ensembles, makes its Canadian debut at Roy Thomson Hall on Monday, November 16 at 8 pm under the leadership of its dynamic new Music Director, Maestro Long Yu. The featured soloist is the phenomenal 22-year-old pianist Yuja Wang, who joins the orchestra for a performance of Rachmaninoffĺ─˘s beloved romantic masterpiece, Piano Concerto No. 2. The captivating program also includes Mussorgskyĺ─˘s exquisite ĺ─˙Dawn on the Moscow Riverĺ─¨ (Prelude to the opera Khovantchina); and an intriguing work by Chinese composer Chen Quigang, Iris Dłęvoilłęe (Iris Unveiled), for orchestra, two sopranos (combining Western bel canto and Peking opera techniques) and three soloists on traditional Chinese instruments (Erhu, Pipa and Guzheng).

The concert is part of a 12-city, two-week North American tour commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the Peopleĺ─˘s Republic of China and the orchestraĺ─˘s 130th Anniversary. Toronto is the only Canadian city on this historic tour.

The fascinating history of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra is also the history by which Chinese symphonic music developed. Initially formed in 1879 as the Shanghai Public Band, it had 20 Filipino musicians and a French conductor; and after the arrival of Italian pianist/conductor Mario Paci in 1919, the orchestra promoted Western classical music and trained young Chinese talents in this style. In 1951, under its first Chinese conductor Huang Yijun, the 56-member orchestra, which also included Russian musicians, was soon renamed the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and within five years its players were entirely Chinese. From 1984 to 2009, under the direction of Chen Xieyang, the orchestra served as a distinguished musical ambassador both at home and abroad and toured extensively, performing repertoire from every corner of the globe, including premieres of more than 1,000 Chinese symphonic works. The orchestraĺ─˘s extensive discography includes Tan Dunĺ─˘s Oscar- and Grammy Award-winning soundtrack for the hit film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Renowned conductor Long Yu is the new Principal Conductor of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. He is also the Principal Conductor of both the China Philharmonic Orchestra and the Guangzhou Symphony, and has been a guest conductor for many of the worldĺ─˘s major orchestras and opera companies. He last appeared at Roy Thomson Hall in 2005 with the China Philharmonic Orchestra and piano soloist Lang Lang.

Beijing-born pianist Yuja Wang is widely acclaimed for her ĺ─˙powerhouse technique and penetrating musicalityĺ─¨ (New York Times), and has already made astonishing debuts with many of the worldĺ─˘s top orchestras, including Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Tokyo. Her debut CD for Deutsche Grammophon, Sonatas and Etudes, released in April 2009, has received ecstatic reviews, plus Gramophone magazineĺ─˘s prestigious ĺ─˙Young Artist of the Yearĺ─¨Award.

Roy Thomson Hall and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra have partnered for three guest orchestra co-presentations in the 2009-2010 season, bringing some of the worldĺ─˘s best orchestras to the Toronto stage, beginning with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. On February 24, 2010 Yannick Nłęzet-Słęguin conducts the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra; and on April 6, 2010 Christoph Eschenbach conducts the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra with piano soloist Lang Lang.

Sponsored by TD Canada Trust
Co-presented by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall

A Share the Music Event
Share the Music, a Roy Thomson Hall/Massey Hall arts and education outreach project, has provided more than 100 tickets to music students at secondary schools and community centres. The young guests will also attend a pre-concert workshop-demonstration of Chinese traditional instruments with Toronto musicians Ron Korb (Asian Flutes), Xiaoqiu Lin (Erhu), Ting Hong (Guzheng), and Wang Ying (Pipa). Share the Music is sponsored by Sun Life Financial and supported by many individuals and organizations. For more details, please visit

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

TSO's New Creations Festival

Maestro Peter Oundjian and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra
present the 5th Annual
March 5 - 11, 2009

Cutting edge, modern, and Canadian! The Toronto Symphony Orchestra presents the best in new music with the fifth annual NEW CREATIONS FESTIVAL, March 5-11, 2009. This year's festival is devoted to string instruments with a theme that is distinctly Asian. Highlights of this year's Festival will include one world premił«re and two Canadian premił«res, composer Tan Dun conducting three of his own works, American powerhouse violinist Hilary Hahn, and cellists Anssi Karttunen and Shauna Rolston.

Maestro Oundjian and the TSO established the NEW CREATIONS FESTIVAL in 2005, soon after Oundjian's arrival at the helm of his hometown orchestra. He said the following about this year's Festival:

"Tan Dun is an old friend of the orchestra's, and I am thrilled to have him visit us again. I heard his dazzling cello concerto, The Map, some years ago, and it got me thinking about his music, and about string concertos. It was a natural evolution to bring some of the world's finest string soloists to Toronto to perform some of the best new concertos being created right now. I am particularly pleased that my alma mater quartet, the Tokyo Quartet, is coming! It has been many years since I've played with them, and I am very excited about working with them. Through all these concerts, I have programmed music that has been important to Tan Dun, to his heritage, and to his creative life, including music by his mentor, the great Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu. I am particularly pleased to feature our outstanding Principal Viola, Teng Li, in a beautiful concerto by Takemitsu. New Creations has always been about variety, and this year's festival is going to be an eclectic and widely appealing festival experience."

This year's NEW CREATIONS FESTIVAL will take over Roy Thomson Hall with contemporary art events in the lobby spaces including an ambient gong-sound installation, intermission chats with artists involved in the performances, post-concert live musical performances, and other surprises outside the building.

TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian will act as host for all of the concerts and will conduct select pieces, alongside other guest conductors. The Festival will open with Asian Inspiration on March 5 and will feature the Canadian premił«re of The Map (Concerto for Cello, Video, and Orchestra) by the Oscar-winning composer Tan Dun. Tan Dun will also conduct the piece and celebrated Finnish cellist Anssi Karttunen will be the soloist, making his TSO debut. TSO Principal Teng Li will be the viola soloist in Takemitsu's haunting A String Around Autumn, and Frederick Schipizky's Odyssey will round out the programme.

Eastern Portraits, on March 7, will again see Tan Dun take centre stage, this time conducting his Secret Land for Twelve Cellos, as well as his Pipa Concerto, performed by pipa master Wu Man. The last piece on the programme will be the world premił«re of TSO & CBC Radio co-commission of Alexina Louie's Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra, performed by the internationally renowned Tokyo String Quartet (in which Peter Oundjian played first violin for many years). This concert will be recorded for a future broadcast on CBC Radio.

Takemitsu's magnificent work for string orchestra, A Way A Lone II, will open the final evening of the Festival on Wednesday, March 11, titled String Creations. Grammy Award-winner and 2008 Gramophone Artist of the Year, Hilary Hahn, will be the soloist in the Canadian premił«re of Jennifer Higdon's Violin Concerto, a work that was co-commissioned by the TSO, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and Curtis Institute of Music. Innovative Canadian cellist Shauna Rolston will perform Gary Kulesha's Cello Concerto, which he will also conduct. Gary Kulesha, in addition to being the TSO's Composer Advisor, has worked closely with Peter Oundjian to help shape this year's Festival.

Maestro Peter Oundjian and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra
present the 5th Annual
March 5 - 11, 2009

Thursday, March 5 at 8 pm
Peter Oundjian, conductor/host
Tan Dun, conductor
Teng Li, viola
Anssi Karttunen, cello
Frederick Schipizky: Odyssey
Takemitsu: A String Around Autumn
Tan Dun: The Map (Concerto for Cello, Video, and Orchestra) - Canadian Premił«re

Saturday, March 7 at 8 pm
Peter Oundjian, conductor/host
Tan Dun, conductor
Wu Man, pipa
Tokyo String Quartet
Tan Dun: Secret Land for Twelve Cellos
Tan Dun: Pipa Concerto
Alexina Louie: Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra (TSO & CBC Radio Co-Commission) - World Premił«re

Wednesday, March 11 at 8 pm
Peter Oundjian, conductor/host
Gary Kulesha, conductor
Hilary Hahn, violin
Shauna Rolston, cello
Takemitsu: A Way A Lone II
Gary Kulesha: Cello Concerto
Jennifer Higgdon: Violin Concerto (TSO/Baltimore Symphony Orchestra/Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra/Curtis Institute of Music Co-Commission) - Canadian Premił«re

All concerts take place at Roy Thomson Hall
60 Simcoe Street, Toronto
Tickets range from $37 - $125
Call the Roy Thomson Hall box office 416.593.4828
or purchase online:

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