Read on for coverage of returns to live performance, news about notable conductors, updates from the San Antonio Symphony strike, and more. (Photo: TSO music director Gustavo Gimeno, Ont. Arts & Culture Report)
Returns to the stage
A live Roy Thomson Hall audience greeted the Toronto Symphony last week with a welcoming standing ovation, reports the Toronto Star. Critic Michael Crabb reviewed season-opening performances by the TSO as well as the National Ballet of Canada.
The Globe and Mail posted a feature by Ontario Arts & Culture Report, interviewing several arts leaders about their experience of the lockdown and how they felt returning to live events, including new TSO music director Gustavo Gimeno and Shaw Festival director Kate Hennig.
Several orchestras in Quebec have faced venue difficulties and public reluctance, Le Devoir reports (in French). The Montreal Symphony canceled repeat performances of three upcoming concerts in response to lagging ticket sales. The OSQ, OM, and Les Violons du Ruy are experimenting with holiday promotions, amid concerns that many audience members are waiting to buy tickets at the last minute.
New Yorker critic Alex Ross reviewed the Metropolitan Opera's new production of Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up In My Bones, a revival of Mussourgsky’s Boris Godunov, and a “wild ovation” for the return of the Met Orchestra, chorus, stage hands, and other employees after an extended furlough.
The Calgary Philharmonic announced its concert schedule for the winter season after a successful return to live performances in the fall, the Calgary Herald reported.
San Antonio Symphony strike reaches 8th week
Recent coverage of the strike by Musicians of the San Antonio Symphony include pieces by San Antonio Magazine, Spectrum News 1, San Antonio Report, and Texas Public Radio. Concerts through Nov. 27 have been postponed, and a holiday concert on Dec. 18 has been cancelled. Check the MOSAS website for the latest updates.
Conductors in the news
“Yannick Nézet-Séguin Is New York’s Conductor Now,” announces the NY Times’ latest profile of the OM and Metropolitan Opera music director. (Some might disagree.)
Peter Oundjian returns to conduct the Toronto Symphony this week after three and a half years’ absence, the Toronto Star reports. Columnist William Littler caught up with the former TSO music director, whose tenure ended in 2018.
The Atlanta Symphony’s next music director will be Nathalie Stutzmann, the NY Times reports. Currently none of the top 25 American orchestras are led by a woman; Stutzmann’s term will begin in the 2022-23 season.
The distinguished Dutch conductor Bernard Haitink has died, at age 92. The NY Times memorialized his career, which included directorships with the Concertgebouw and other major European and US orchestras.
Elsewhere in the news
Composer Alexina Louie is the recipient of a Governor-General Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement. Producer David Jaeger wrote a CBC Arts essay celebrating her work.