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Orchestra Toronto Pays Homage to Our Ancestors in Opening Concert

2023-2024 Season Begins with Bach, Brahms and Shostakovich, including Violinist Mark Fewer 

Toronto, Ontario – October 16, 2023 – Orchestra Toronto is thrilled to be kicking off its 2023-2024 season with its Strength Through Our Ancestors concert in the George Weston Recital Hall at the Meridian Arts Centre on Saturday, October 28, 2023 at 8:00pm. This first of its evening concerts offers the audience a powerful program that pays homage to the past while looking to the future.

“We are thrilled to be launching our season with this program that has been designed to touch your heart and stir your soul,” said Michael Newnham, Music Director of Orchestra Toronto. “In addition, we are excited to have the virtuosic talents of Mark Fewer joining us on stage for the violin concerto. Familiar to the Canadian music scene and known around the world, Mark will impress the audience with passion and talent.”

The evening begins with Bach/Stokowski’s iconic “Little Fugue in G minor,” a piece that has captivated audiences for generations with its intense and brooding melody. The fugue will be followed by Shostakovich’s emotional and deeply personal “Violin Concerto no. 1”. The piece draws on the composer’s experiences of strength, change and growth, offering a moving and meditative reflection on the human experience.

The concert concludes with Brahms’ majestic Symphony no. 4, a work that embodies the themes of change, with its rich and evocative melodies capturing the essence of the season as the leaves turn and the world prepares for winter. The piece offers a message of strength and resilience, reminding us that even in the face of loss and sorrow, we can emerge stronger and more resilient than ever before.

Violinist Mark Fewer will be joining Orchestra Toronto for Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1. Mr. Fewer has performed around the world to critical acclaim in virtually every role asked of a violinist – soloist, chamber musician, conductor, artistic director, recording artist and teacher. As a soloist, he has performed with the symphonies of Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Quebec, San Francisco and Melbourne.  He was a founding member of the Duke Piano Trio, has been a member of the Smithsonian Chamber Players for over 15 years and was violinist with the St. Lawrence String Quartet at Stanford University. He has also directed I Musici de Montreal, l’Orchestre Symphonique de Laval, the Newfoundland Sinfonia, the McGill Baroque Orchestra, the Guelph Symphony, the Vancouver Symphony and the choir Capella Antica. Mr. Fewer has been Artistic Director of the SweetWater Music Festival for 16 years and, in 2019, was appointed as the Artistic Director of Stratford Summer Music. He is currently Associate Professor of Violin at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto and is a Juno and Prix Opus winner.

The full performance includes:

Bach/Stokowski Little Fugue in G minor
Dmitri Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. 1, featuring Mark Fewer, Violin
Johannes Brahms Symphony No. 4

Further information on Season 2023-2024, including the sale of full season subscription seats or individual concert tickets, can be found on Orchestra Toronto’s website (www.orchestratoronto.ca). Orchestra Toronto has welcomed hundreds of newcomers to Canada at its concerts as part of its Welcome Seat program. In addition, music lovers of all generations can interact with and hear Orchestra Toronto on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/OrchestraToronto), Twitter (@OrchToronto), YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMJ-IHjJQ_TP7rJL5fIopUg) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/orchtoronto/).

About Orchestra Toronto
Comprised of 90 musicians, Orchestra Toronto is an orchestra created by passionate musicians within the community, for the community. We offer the enjoyment of music, foster education and music appreciation and support emerging Canadian talent. Our organization of volunteers is committed to making symphonic music accessible to a broad and diverse public beyond the concert hall.

For more information or to arrange interviews with artists, guest artists or the Music Director, please contact:

Julianna Cole, Orchestra Toronto’s Executive Director at: executive.director@orchestratoronto.ca

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