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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the schedule represents the TSO’s first complete season of concerts in more than two years.Jag Gundu/TSO

On April 23, 1923, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra gave its inaugural concert. It happened at the city’s Massey Hall, where the 58-musician concern, then known as the New Symphony Orchestra, performed a program that included Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, under the direction of the Serbian-Canadian conductor Luigi von Kunits.

Next spring, on the occasion of the TSO’s century of music, the orchestra returns to its ancestral home to once again perform Tchaikovsky’s fifth symphony. This time the piece will be conducted by Gustavo Gimeno, the TSO’s current music director.

The orchestra last performed at Massey Hall in 2017. The coming concert is part of the orchestra’s 2022-23 season, as announced Wednesday. “I cannot fully express my delight and honour to be celebrating such an auspicious anniversary with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and our incredible Toronto community,” Gimeno said in a press release.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the schedule represents the TSO’s first complete season of concerts in more than two years. Other than the one-off affair at Massey Hall, the rest of the performances will take place on the orchestra’s home stage at Roy Thomson Hall. The TSO recently announced that masks and proof of vaccination are no longer required for its concerts and other events.

Other 2022-23 season highlights include the following:

  • In September, Bruce Xiaoyu Liu, the Montreal-based Chinese-Canadian phenom who won the 18th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw last year, opens the TSO season with Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2.
  • The Chinese piano virtuoso Yuja Wang guests with the TSO this fall for the Canadian premiere of Magnus Lindberg’s Piano Concerto No. 3 and returns in June, 2023, to play Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3, a keyboard challenge in D minor.
  • Yo-Yo Ma performs his 50th concert with the symphony for a gala fundraiser this November. Joining the superstar cellist will be Canadian Indigenous musician, composer and musicologist Jeremy Dutcher to reprise their collaborative Honor Song.
  • On May 4 and 5, 2023, the TSO under the baton of music director Gimeno will record live performances of Olivier Messiaen’s Turangalila-Symphonie. In 1968, the orchestra released a recording of the work on the RCA label that boosted the TSO’s international reputation at the time.

The orchestra’s centennial celebration actually begins next month with a previously announced homecoming concert featuring Gimeno and former TSO music directors Andrew Davis, Gunther Herbig, Jukka-Pekka Saraste and Peter Oundjian – a sort of Mount Rushmore for Toronto maestros.

In his review of the TSO’s first concert in 1923, Globe and Mail music and drama editor E.R. Parkhurst noted that the performance excited the genuine enthusiasm of those in attendance, and that the presenters were “pleased with the reception of their enterprise.”

One hundred years later, today’s TSO hopes for nothing less.

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