Freude! 30 Years After the Fall of the Berlin Wall poster

Freude! 30 Years After the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Sunday, October 27, 2019 - 3:00pm

Pre-concert chat at 2:15 with Michael Newnham

Programme Notes are now available! 

On November 9, 1989, the shape of Europe changed, as ordinary people tore apart a wall dividing their country, and changing the political landscape of Europe and the world. Join Orchestra Toronto as we present a concert celebrating unity, joy, and the human spirit that unites us all. 

  • Mozart probably wrote Piano Concerto No. 23 in A-major for his own performance. Pianist Elijah Orlenko, winner of the 2019 Marta Hidy Prize for Piano, will perform this intimate, expressive conversation between piano and orchestra with us.
  • Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 is the most-performed symphony in the world. The stirring, and almost universally known, "Ode to Joy" is an anthem for all humanity. The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and a stunning quartet of soloists will join the Orchestra to share this dramatic paean to fellowship and human endeavor. 


Michael Newnham – Conductor
Elijah Orlenko – Piano
Lesley Bouza – Soprano
Andrea Ludwig – Mezzo soprano
Andrew Walker – Tenor
Bradley Christensen – Baritone
The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir

On the Programme

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Piano Concerto No. 23 in A-major
Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No. 9 in D-minor


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


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Meet Our Guest Artists


Elijah Orlenko, age 14, was born in Vancouver, BC.Photograph of Elijah Orlenko

He is currently in 9th grade, and a senior piano student at The Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists with Michael Berkovsky.

Elijah won the Second Prize of Los Angeles Young Musician International Piano Competition in 2016, and received the Best Bach Performance award at that competition. This spring, he made his debut at Koerner Hall with ACO under the baton of Maestro Ivars Taurins. In August, Elijah became a second place winner at 2018 National Music Festival in Sackville, NB.

He received Founder’s Award at North York Music Festival in 2018.

In his spare time, he enjoys science, math, sports, and playing with his dog.

Toronto Mendelssohn Choir group photographThe Grammy-nominated Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, as one of Canada’s largest choral organizations, believes its role is to provide Canadian audiences the experience of the classical choral masterworks of the world.

Grand symphonic sound has been the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir’s trademark for over 125 years. Performing both sacred and secular repertoire, TMC choristers are committed to offering audiences authentic interpretation, clarity of expression and a profound emotional experience of some of the most important music ever composed. Concerts are exhilarating and uplifting celebrations of the triumphs, great and small, of the human spirit.

Through its performances and educational programs, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir aspires to make choral masterworks available, accessible, and inspirational to all listeners in order to create a shared heritage of musical expression and appreciation.

The TMC includes a core of 20 professional singers. The TMC organization also includes the Mendelssohn Singers, a 70-voice ensemble formed from the ranks of the TMC, giving us more flexibility in both performing venue and repertoire.

Headshot of Singer Lesley BouzaCanadian Soprano Lesley Bouza is happiest when she is on stage making music with her talented colleagues. While initially trained in saxophone, Lesley discovered the potential of her singing voice in her early twenties and never looked back, taking every opportunity to use her eclectic skill-set performing jazz, pop, musical theatre and classical genres. Lesley is proud to have appeared as a soloist with a diverse group of musical ensembles including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Les Violon du Roy, the Elora Singers, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, the Winnipeg Symphony and the Calgary Philharmonic.

Some of Lesley’s most memorable career highlights include Lesley Sings Joni , a Joni Mitchell tribute concert at the 2018 Elora Festival, Steve Reich at 80 with Soundstreams, Dido and Aeneas at Carnegie Hall with Les Violons du Roy and a tour of Taiwan as a member of the Swingle Singers.

In addition to being a busy performer Lesley is an accredited music therapist. This provides her with the opportunity to connect with others through music and to support them in their exploration of music as a tool for their own well-being.

Born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan, Juno-nominated and Dora award winning mezzo soprano Andrea Ludwig is an artist of tremendous depth and versatility. Andrea has appeared with the Canadian Opera Company in numerous roles including Nireno in Handel’s Julius Ceasar, the Second Niece in Britten’s Peter Grimes, Flora in The Turn of the Screw, Moira in Paul Ruder’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and Liesgen in Bach’s Coffee Cantata.Very much in demand for contemporary opera, Andrea has been involved in many of Tapestry New Opera’s projects including their Liblab and Opera Briefs as well as newly premiered operas Shelter, Oksana G and most recently The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring. Andrea was Nada in the multi Dora-nominated Queen of Puddings’ production of Ana Sokolovic’s Svadba (The Wedding) that had its world premiere in Toronto in June 2011. She reprised the role of Nada in France, Serbia and Ireland in 2012; at Edmonton Opera and Philadelphia Opera in 2013, San Francisco Opera in 2016,  and at the prestigious Festival D’Aix en Provence in 2015.

Ms. Ludwig’s commitment to concert performance remains a strong focus. She has appeared with Symphony Nova Scotia, Symphony New Brunswick, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Kindred Spirits Orchestra, Against the Grain Theatre, Toronto Masque Theatre, Soundstreams, Off Centre Music Salon and The TSO Chamber Soloists. This past September, she went to Shanghai with frequent collaborator Soundstreams, to perform at the 11th Annual Shanghai New Music Week Festival.  Recent recordings include the ECMA-nominated Schubert Orchestrations with Symphony Nova Scotia, Responsio, by Peter Anthony Togni,  Galicians II with The Ukrainian Art Song Project and an ATMA label recording of Ana Sokolovic's Sirens.  Andrea is also a frequent collaborator as a choral singer and soloist with The Elmer Iseler Singers.  She has sung with the Amadeus Choir, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, and  the Oriana Singers. Upcoming performances include R. Murray Schafer's Adieu, Robert Schumann, with Symphony Nova Scotia, Beethoven's Ninth, with Orchestra Toronto,  and Thais: Opera in Concert with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Sir Andrew Davis, which will also be a live-to-air recording with the UK Chandos record label.


Andrew Walker, tenor, has been praised for his “well-crafted high notes that filled the hall” (BroadwayWorld). Andrew pursued his musical training at St. Michael’s Choir School, during which time he performed in Italy, the Czech Republic, and across North America. He served as a Choral Scholar at Truro Cathedral in the United Kingdom in 2013-14, providing music for six weekly services in addition to recordings, tours, and live broadcasts.  He has performed, in both the chorus and as a soloist, with such groups as the Choir of the Cathedral Church of St. James, Tthe Elora Singers, the Theatre of Early Music, and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. Andrew participated in the Weimar Bach Academy and the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart in 2017, where he worked with such talented conductors as Helmut Rilling, Kathy Romey, and Hans-Christoph Rademann. Other credits include Andrew Ager’s Führerbunker, his debut with Orchestra Toronto in Viva Italia! in April 2016, and his Toronto Symphony Orchestra debut as Vanderdendur/Governor/Ragotski in Leonard Bernstein’s Candide in April 2018.

Andrew currently lives in Ottawa, Ontario where he studies and works in cultural policy and arts funding in Canada. He’s thrilled to be joining Orchestra Toronto again for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.


New Zealand-born baritone Bradley Christensen has been garnering an excellent reputation in Canada and abroad. Equally as comfortable on both concert and operatic stages, Bradley has continued
to earn praise for his “most well-rounded instrument ... focused, rich, and sympathetically communicative” (Natasha Gautier, Ottawa Citizen), and “his imposing height, handsome stage presence and attractive lyric baritone” (Joseph So, Opera Canada).

The 2018-19 season tookBradley across Canada – highlights included: Ottone (L'incoronazione di Poppea by Monteverdi), and Giant (Jack and the Beanstalk by John Davies) with Manitoba Underground Opera; Michael (Ours by John Estacio) with Opera on the Avalon (also to be performed in 2020 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa); High Priest (Idomeneo by Mozart) with Opera Atelier; Marcello (La Bohème by Puccini) with Fraser Lyric Opera; Joseph (The Birth of Christ by Andrew T. Miller) with Masterworks of Oakville; Simon (The Seasons by Haydn) with the Sudbury Studio Singers and the Laurentian University Choir; Baritone soloist (B Minor Mass by Bach) with Choral Connection; Baritone soloist (Symphony /no. 9 by Beethoven) with North York Concert Orchestra.

During the 2017/18 season, Bradley made his professional US debut performing the role of Agamemnon (La belle Hélène by Offenbach) with Opera North, while also covering the role of Fred/Petruccio in Cole Porter’s Kiss me Kate. Other season highlights included performing with the Toronto Masque Theatre, Masterworks of Oakville, Southern Ontario Lyric Opera, Georgetown Choral Society, Oakville Choral Society, Upper Canada Choristers, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Loose Tea Music Theatre, Orchestra Toronto and a recital series of Schubert’s iconic Winterreise.

Additional performance highlights include appearances with Ottawa’s Thirteen Strings, the Ottawa Choral Society, Grand Philharmonic Choir of Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, and at the Westben Festival and the Festival of the Sound. Bradley is also a keen recitalist, having performed in the Canadian Opera Company Concert Series, the Concerts @100 Series, the Arts
and Letters Club of Toronto, and with the Pocket Concert Group.

Bradley obtained his Master’s degree from the University of Toronto where he was the recipient of the University of Toronto - Faculty of Music Vocal Performance and Pedagogy Graduate Award. Bradley is also an alumnus of the prestigious Rebanks Family Fellowship and International Performance Residency Program at The Royal Conservatory’s Glenn Gould School. Bradley has been a finalist in the New Zealand Aria Competition, a semi-finalist in the LEXUS Song Quest and the Rochester International Voice Competition. Other awards include the Sondra Radvanovsky scholarship, awarded by the International Resource Centre for Performing Artists as one of 10 ‘Singing Stars: The Next Generation’; the Pears-Britten singing scholarship (University of Auckland); the Marie D’Albini scholarship in singing (University of Auckland); and a travelling scholarship to study in Italy in 2007 (University of Auckland).