May 31, 2017: The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) announces today that Sir Andrew Davis will act as Interim Artistic Director for two seasons following the conclusion of Peter Oundjian’s 14-year tenure as Music Director at the end of the 2017/18 season. Maestro Davis will provide artistic leadership through to the middle of 2020, when the TSO anticipates that a new permanent Music Director will be in place.
Gary Hanson, Interim Chief Executive Officer of the TSO, comments, “As our Music Director Search Committee completes its work, we are grateful that Sir Andrew will step in to provide artistic leadership, just as he did in 2001 when our search for a Music Director led us to Peter Oundjian.”
The TSO’s process to name a successor to Peter Oundjian as Music Director began in 2016. The confidential search is being conducted by a committee composed of TSO musicians, members of the Board of Directors, and senior management representatives. The Committee is chaired by TSO Board member Tom Smee, who notes, “Our Committee is rigorously reviewing the qualifications and potential of many highly qualified prospective Music Directors, most of whom would be familiar to Toronto audiences as recent and forthcoming guest conductors.”
Sir Andrew Davis has had a 44-year relationship with the TSO including 13 years as the Orchestra’s Music Director, from 1975 to 1988. Maestro Davis will open the 2018/19 season and will return to the TSO stage for five weeks in each of the two seasons. “I love being part of the TSO family. My years here have been some of the happiest in my career, and I am deeply honoured to be asked to serve the Orchestra during this transition,” adds Sir Andrew Davis.
In the month of June this season, Sir Andrew Davis will take the podium to conduct Belshazzar’s Feast on June 2 and 3. The biblical oratorio by Sir William Walton depicts the liberation of the Hebrew slaves from captivity in Babylon. Canadian baritone Alexander Dobson takes centre stage, and is joined by the 200 voices of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and Huddersfield Choral Society combined. Music by Hindemith and Berg’s Violin Concerto—featuring TSO Concertmaster Jonathan Crow—round out the program. Belshazzar’s Feast is part of the final instalment of The Decades Project.Peter Oundjian named Conductor Emeritus of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra
May 31, 2017: The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) is pleased to announce that Peter Oundjian will be honoured with the title of Conductor Emeritus when he completes his tenure as Music Director of the TSO at the end of the 2017/18 season.
By then, Peter Oundjian will have served in the role of Music Director for 14 seasons, the second longest tenure in the TSO’s history, surpassed only by Sir Ernest MacMillan, who was at the helm of the TSO for 25 seasons. Beginning with the 2019/20 season, Mr. Oundjian will return for a number of annual engagements, conducting the TSO at Roy Thomson Hall as part of the flagship Masterworks series.
Oundjian’s drive and devotion to the TSO have yielded extraordinary accomplishments. “Peter has brought the Toronto Symphony Orchestra to new and diverse audiences and has put his seal on the refined and wonderful sound that we hear from the Orchestra today. His contribution and commitment will continue to be a great benefit to all of us,” said Cathy Beck, Chair of the TSO Board of Directors. Gary Hanson, Interim Chief Executive Officer of the TSO adds, “Peter has built a lasting legacy, including, without doubt, his success in attracting and selecting the very finest players from a global talent pool.”
Over the course of his tenure, Oundjian has selected more than half of the current musicians of the Orchestra. Moreover, he has selected two-thirds of the principal players, including Concertmaster Jonathan Crow.
The announcement of Peter Oundjian’s honorary title, in recognition of his contributions to the TSO, comes as the institution proceeds in its selection process to name a successor to Oundjian as Music Director. The confidential search, which began in 2016, is being conducted by a Search Committee composed of TSO musicians, members of the Board of Directors, and senior management representatives. The Committee, chaired by Board member Tom Smee, is on track to conclude its work in 2018.
Text is taken from press releases