America the Beautiful: Light Classics

Sunday, March 4, 2018 - 3:00pm

Guest Conductor: Michael Newnham

Read the Programme Notes

This is America’s story – a story of dark, layered complications and unbridled optimism. It’s a story of heroic confidence and unapologetic seductiveness. It’s a story of provocative innovation and a swashbuckling sense of adventure. It’s a story that embraces the huddled masses who helped create a culture of boundless possibility.

Join us for an historic musical journey through the soaring melodies of Aaron Copeland’s Fanfare for the Common Man to the grim, graphic urgency of Danny Elfman’s Batman Suite. Look through the"‘musical kaleidoscope of America" that is Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and buckle up for the symphonic romp that introduced us to the Pirates of the Caribbean.


Michael Newnham – Conductor
Philip Thomson – Piano*

On the Program

Copland – Fanfare for the Common Man
Gershwin – Rhapsody in Blue*
Badelt, Klaus – Pirates of the Caribbean Medley
Copland – Appalachian Spring
Danny Elfman – Batman Suite


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George Weston Recital Hall
Toronto Centre for the Arts
5040 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON M2N 6R8


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Philip Thomson was born in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. He began piano lessons with Carol O'Neil, and later studied with Pierre Souvairan at the University of Toronto and with the renowned pianist Abbey Simon at The Juilliard School. He won the Juilliard School's Liszt concerto competition, and performed Liszt's Concerto #1 in Alice Tully Hall. Besides his many performances in Canada, he has concertized in Hungary, Austria, England, Ireland, France, the U.S., the Netherlands, Belgium, and France. Since 2010, he has appeared as a soloist numerous times in China and Korea, including performances in the Seoul Spring Festival.

Mr. Thomson recorded the world premiere of the Maxwell edition of Liszt's “De Profundis” with the Hungarian State Orchestra, released in 1990. Its universal critical praise secured for him the opportunity to perform the Hungarian, Italian, American, and Canadian premieres of the work the following year. He subsequently released three CDs of Liszt for Naxos records, and the complete preludes and impromptus of Felix Blumenfeld on the Ivory Classics label, all of which have received acclaim from the major musical journals throughout the world.

Philip Thomson is currently the head of Piano Studies at The University of Akron.