“When I walk in downtown Toronto, one of the things that strikes me is the mixture of architectural styles. You have an old building next to new, and this contrast of styles causes us to see each differently. I approach programming from the same mindset. In listening to a time-honoured masterpiece alongside something that has just been created, we start to hear new things in these familiar favourites, and gain a richer and more complete musical experience.” – Gustavo Gimeno
A Note from Gustavo Gimeno
“I’m thrilled to share with you my first season as Music Director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. I invite you to join me and our exceptional musicians as we journey through our 2020/21 season together.
When I began to consider which music and which artists to include, I spent time reflecting on my first impressions of Toronto when I was getting to know this great city.
As a European from Spain, I spend a lot of time in countries defined by a culture anchored in long-standing traditions. Arriving in Toronto, I was impressed by the vibrancy with which Toronto embraces and celebrates the diversity of its people and its places.
It is a city of contrasts and symmetry, balancing old and new. Victorian homes stand in contrast with modern architecture. Neighbourhoods feel like a unique slice of the world—Chinatown, Greektown, Downtown, the South Asian communities in Scarborough, and the Filipino communities in North York. Together, they make up a city committed to a cohesive and colourful urban landscape. Our music and, indeed, our organization need to represent the culturally sophisticated sensibility of where we live—a city energized by artistic exploration and discovery.
I believe that orchestral music is at its most exciting when we create contrasts and diversity. When we bring together our most cherished musical masterpieces alongside less familiar but equally brilliant works by contemporary composers who are evolving orchestral music for new generations.
I hope you will join us for my inaugural season—to listen deeply, explore, and allow these great musical works to enrich your lives, and the life of our city. ¡Adelante! Here we go!”
About the TSO
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.
Sir Andrew Davis serves as TSO Interim Artistic Director for the 2019/20 season, prior to the arrival of incoming Music Director Gustavo Gimeno in 2020/21. Sir Andrew Davis is well known to Toronto audiences, having a 44-year relationship with the TSO and returning to the TSO stage regularly.
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.