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Three reasons you need to check out the TSO

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The Toronto Symphony Orchestra is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and local music lovers reveal why it’s a must-attend experience for all.

Three reasons you need to check out the TSO
Gustavo Gimeno Conducts Firebird Stuart Lowe

When was the last time you went to a Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) concert? If you answered “never,” what are you waiting for? Now’s the perfect time to discover the exciting performances and super-cool entertainment of the TSO’s 2022/23 centennial season. Here are three reasons to check it out.

Experience the music you love

There’s nothing like hearing music performed live. In an audience. In a gorgeous venue. It’s what TSO regular Luanne Ronquillo loves most about TSO concerts. The ice-cream-shop owner says she often enjoys the in-person symphony experience over a great home sound system. “It’s a beautiful way to listen to music,” Ronquillo says. “It’s not through a speaker or headphones.” Excited about the upcoming 100 Years of Epic Film Scores concert (“I just know it’s going to be a great time!”), Ronquillo says one of her favourite TSO memories was seeing Canadian R&B duo DVSN perform with the symphony in 2018. “That concert made me want to cry,” she says. “It was beautiful to see and hear the music that I loved being performed with the rich and intense sounds of the orchestra.”

Three reasons you need to check out the TSO
Clockwise from top left: Tara Noelle; Nick Iozzo (by Tara Noelle); Kulin Matchhar (by Ryan Emberley); Luanne Ronquillo (by Susan Lam)
Enjoy more than just the classics

Did you know the TSO has concerts and events to suit every taste? Whether it’s Elf in Concert or an exploration of the roots of reggae, the TSO’s diverse programming is what keeps real-estate consultant Nick Iozzo and his photographer wife, Tara Noelle, coming back year after year. The duo have been attending the TSO since they were kids and have their eye on a holiday concert this season, as well as a performance of Oundjian Conducts the Planets. Both also recommend the TSO’s super-fun Pops offerings as the perfect “first concert” for those new to the symphony. “[The] adaptation of modern scores of movies and TV shows are a great way to dip your toe in,” Iozzo says. Noelle agrees, citing special concerts geared toward cinephiles. “Another great introduction is watching a classic movie with the TSO providing a live-soundtrack experience alongside the film,” she says.

Expand your horizons

Philanthropy consultant Kulin Matchhar attended the TSO on his birthday, and it wound up being an extraordinary gift to himself. “I went by myself and had such a joy attending,” he says. That spark led Matchhar to explore everything the TSO had to offer, from its specially curated showcases featuring the TSO’s Youth Orchestra to its Masterworks Series, which welcomes brilliant visiting artists from the world over. “[The TSO] gets me curious about music,” he says, “and gives me a deeper understanding of various music forms.” Matchhar ranks a recent “reunion” performance with past TSO conductors as one of his all-time favourite experiences and has the TSO Pops Music of Queen concert atop his 2022/23 to-see list, as well as Yuja Wang + Gimeno Conducts Bruckner. He also stresses that attending the TSO is a not-to-be-missed opportunity for every Torontonian to discover something amazing. “Life is all about experiences,” he says. “And the TSO helps enrich that experience.”

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