Toronto Symphony Music Director, the energetic and talented Peter Oundjian, hosted the press event for the launch of the Toronto Symphony’s 2011/12 season, which also is the orchestra’s 90th anniversary. Along with luminaries from the orchestra’s prime sponsor, BMO Financial, Oundjian sketched the interesting season and laced the proceedings with humorous anecdotes about his early training (Perlman), hockey (yes, hockey) and concertizing in general. He was an excellent host.
Highlighted, were three residencies (a Brit orchestra favourite term) — we get Lang Lang for two weeks, Itzhak Perlman and Yo Yo Ma for a week each. These artists are top of the heap in musicianship and draw. We’re fortunate to be getting them. Well done to the powers that be who negotiated this special season.
I had a quick chat with Oundjian. We were almost student contemporaries in London (he’s older :) and we talked football (the real one), his early teachers, and upcoming seasons. His charm and energy transpose to one-on-ones, too. No wonder the orchestra enjoys his musical company. And, this happy collaboration was emphasized at the open rehearsal of Mozart’s 34th Symphony that followed the presentation. The to and fro between podium and chair was very pleasant. Of course, everybody was on their best behavior, but it was impressive, nonetheless.
Although Audiophilia is international in readership, I urge all our Torontonians to get out and support this growing musical organization. The season looks wonderful. Season tickets are available.
And, a special thanks to the soloists who performed a prelude — they were all excellent, but special mention should go to the Principal Bass, Jeffrey Beecher and Tubist, Mark Tetreault. They are amazing artists. Thanks also to Laura Quinn, Senior Manager of Public Relations and Nicole Morrison, Publicity Coordinator, two lovely young ladies who worked tirelessly behind the scenes (along with many others) to make this launch a world class event.