Media Room

February 07 2011

This Is What the Canadian Symphony Sounds Like Right Now

February 7, 2011
– An audience favourite that attracts to Toronto the world’s best composers working today, the TSO’s annual New Creations Festival returns in March 2011 with an exciting line-up of contemporary orchestral music. In this season’s New Creations Festival, TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian celebrates the music of Canada and America with première performances of TSO commissions, and featuring Canadian composers R. Murray Schafer, Vincent Ho, and Gary Kulesha and American composers John Adams, Jennifer Higdon, and Mason Bates. March 2 – 10, the TSO electrifies Roy Thomson Hall with new sounds and bold experiences as part of the seventh annual New Creations Festival.

The 2011 New Creations Festival features two TSO commissions, including the world première of preeminent Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer’s first symphony (March 10) and Canadian composer Gary Kulesha’s Torque (March 5). The festival also features the Canadian premières of two TSO co-commissions: City Noir (March 5), a TSO co-commission from John Adams; and On a Wire (March 10) from Jennifer Higdon for chamber ensemble eighth blackbird.

The New Creations Festival brings the world’s best composers to Toronto for exciting live performances. American composer John Adams makes his TSO début, conducting the orchestra in his own work on March 5. Also on March 5, TSO audiences get to experience two different sides of American composer Mason Bates. The San Francisco-based classical composer and DJ joins the TSO on-stage to perform electronica in the Canadian première of his work Liquid Interface for orchestra and then gets on the DJ decks to spin at the audience-wide post concert lobby party. The New Creations Festival begins on March 2 with a performance by the acclaimed Dame Evelyn Glennie in The Shaman a concerto for Percussion and Orchestra written specifically for her by Canadian composer Vincent Ho.

TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian launched the first New Creations Festival in 2005 as a programme to celebrate new works from contemporary composers. The annual festival has featured and performed works from Chinese composer Tan Dun, American composers Jennifer Higdon and Philip Glass, Argentinean composer Osvaldo Golijov, and French composer Olivier Messiaen. Throughout the festival’s history, TSO has commissioned and premièred works from Canadian composers Jacques Hétu, Gary Kulesha, Alexina Louie, Andrew Paul Macdonald, Kelly-Marie Murphy, and Andrew Staniland. In the spirit of the festival, each concert includes pre-concert performances, intermission composer chats and post-concert audience-wide parties featuring local new music performers. With each festival the TSO works with partner Toronto arts organizations for artistic collaborations that extend beyond the concert stage.

Each New Creations Festival performance begins with a musical prelude performance in Roy Thomson Hall’s lobby, 30 minutes prior to the concert. New Creations Festival 2011 pre-concert preludes feature: Lightning Drum (March 2); Gryphon Trio (March 5); Eighth Blackbird (March 10). Join guest artists and TSO musicians in New Creations Festival post-concert parties featuring live music performances in the Roy Thomson Hall lobby. New Creations Festival 2011 post-concert parties feature music from: Roberto Occhipinti Ensemble (March 2); DJ Mason Bates (March 5); and Le Vent du Nord (March 10).

John Adams’ City Noir is a co-commission of: Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, London Symphony Orchestra in association with Cité de la Musique-Salle Pleyel, The Eduard van Beinum Foundation at the request of ZaterdagMatinee, the Dutch Radio Concert Series in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam.

Jennifer Higdon’s On A Wire is a co-commission of: Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Akron Symphony, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra with support from Ann and Harry Santen, The Cleveland Orchestra, Flynn Center for the Performing Arts and Vermont Symphony Orchestra, West Michigan Symphony.

TSO’s New Creations Festival is made possible with support from the Canada Council for the Arts.

TSO Concert Season Sponsor is Tippet-Richardson Limited.
TSO Conductor’s Podium Sponsor is BMO Financial Group.

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra Presents:

Wednesday, March 2 at 8:00pm
Peter Oundjian, conductor & host
Dame Evelyn Glennie, percussion

Adams: Short Ride in a Fast Machine
Ho: The Shaman: Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra
Adams: Harmonielehre

Saturday, March 5 at 7:30pm
Peter Oundjian, conductor & host
John Adams, conductor
Mason Bates, electronica
Tim McAllister, saxophone

Kulesha: Torque (TSO Commission)
Bates: Liquid Interface (Canadian première)
Adams: City Noir (TSO Co-Commission & Canadian Première)

Thursday, March 10 at 8:00pm
Peter Oundjian, conductor & host
eighth blackbird, chamber ensemble

Adams: Tromba Lontana
Higdon: On a Wire (TSO Co-Commission & Canadian Premiere)
Schafer: Symphony No. 1 in C Minor (TSO Commission & World Premiere)

Tickets range between $32-$141

To purchase tickets, call the TSO’s ticket line at 416.593.4828 or visit

About the TSO: Founded in 1922, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is one of Canada’s major cultural institutions. Under the leadership of Music Director Peter Oundjian, the TSO is committed to innovative programming and showcases a roster of distinguished guest artists and conductors. In addition to performances, the TSO serves the community with one of the largest musical education outreach programmes in Canada, connecting students throughout Ontario with curriculum-based programming.

Laura Quinn, Senior Manager of Public Relations 416.593.7769 x232
Nicole Morrison, Publicity Coordinator 416.593.7769 x267