Curated Concerts – Emotionally Powerful

Wanting to go to a concert but not sure which one is for you?

This year the SSO is curating it concerts to give you some idea which concerts you’ll love best.

Want to be moved?
There is nothing more powerful than the sound of a full symphonic orchestra at full forte – we put together this list to highlight this season’s concerts that will blow you away!

Opening Night - Rachmaninoff
Rachmaninoff Romance
One of the most romantic pieces of music ever written at the hands of rising star Tony Yike Yang. Yang gives his very first performance of Rachmaninoff's sweeping 2nd concerto for piano and orchestra
7:30PM, Saturday, September 22, 2018
TCU Place, Sid Buckwold Theatre
Honens Piano Recital
A newly crowned Laureate of the 2018 Honens Piano Competition gives their first recital after the September 2018 competition finals.
7:30PM, Friday, October 12, 2018
Convocation Hall
Music of World War One
Gilse, Bridge, and Hindemith
Join the SSO Chamber Players in a concert of music written during the First World War.
2:00PM, Sunday, November 4, 2018
Convocation Hall
Masters 2 - We Will Remember
Elgar Cello Concerto
An emotional evening that features Elgar's romantic dramatic cello concerto with the exceptional Stephane Tetreault
7:30PM, Saturday, November 10, 2018
TCU Place, Sid Buckwold Theatre
Masters 4 - Shakespeare's Tainted Love
Romeo and Juliet
The SSO performs Prokofiev's passionate and fiery Romeo and Juliet alongside a heart-stopping piece for violin and orchestra
7:30PM, Saturday, February 9, 2019
TCU Place, Sid Buckwold Theatre
Johannes Moser Recital
with pianist Chiharu Iinuma
Johannes Moser has earned a reputation for being one of the world's greatest cellists....and he just happens to have Saskatchewan roots!
2:00PM, Sunday, March 17, 2019
Convocation Hall
Masters 5- Finding Heinz Moehn
Mozart Requiem
A German violin concerto discovered in Saskatoon alongside Mozart's glorious Requiem
7:30PM, Saturday, March 23, 2019
TCU Place, Sid Buckwold Theatre
Masters 6 - Eroica
Beethoven Symphony 3
Beethoven's heroic 3rd symphony changed the world...and Sarah Yunji Moon's performance of Departures will change your world
7:30PM, Saturday, April 27, 2019
TCU Place, Sid Buckwold Theatre
May the Fourth - the Music of Star Wars
The perfect way to spend May the Fourth - featuring music from The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, Rogue One, Solo, and the original triology
7:30PM, Saturday, May 4, 2019
TCU Place, Sid Buckwold Theatre
Baroque at Knox - The Choir!
SSO Chorus
Hear some of the great choral hits including Hallelujah Chorus, Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus, and some beautiful Bach
7:30PM, Saturday, May 25, 2019
Knox United Church

Curated Concerts – Family Fun

Wanting to go to a concert but not sure which one is for you?

This year the SSO is curating it concerts to give you some idea which concerts you’ll love best.

Do you remember your first concert?  Wanting to make some magical musical memories with your family?  
Look no further than this incredible line up of family focused events at the SSO – and don’t forget about the $15 tix through TD 25 Below

 

Time For Toddlers
Kids Programming

It's time for toddlers! Specifically designed for your mini-maestro, these parent and child experiences are perfect for your 2- to 4-year-old music lover. Explore music through movement, song, and dance with SSO musicians at Albert Community Centre, Wilton Academy of Music.   Let the music connect you and your child and send you both on a journey through melody, rhythm, colour, …

Pops 2 - 12 Days of Christmas
Join the SSO for some great holiday cheer featuring some of our absolutely favourite friends including Eileen Laverty, Garry Gable, and many more!
Sing-Along Messiah
Hundreds of Singers!
The best concert of the year!
Masters 3 - Ravel and Jazz
Gordon Gerrard conducts
Godwin Friesen returns home to play Ravel's jazzy piece for piano and orchestra, led by guest conductor Gordon Gerrard
Disney in Concert - A Dream is a Wish
Disney In Concert - A Dream is a Wish
May the Fourth - the Music of Star Wars
The perfect way to spend May the Fourth - featuring music from The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, Rogue One, Solo, and the original triology
Mother's Day Concert
Sunday Chamber 3
The Saskatoon Symphony Chamber Players celebrate Mother's Day with a concert featuring the music of Mozart and more!

Curated Concerts – Fun and Fresh

Wanting to go to a concert but not sure which one is for you?

This year the SSO is curating it concerts to give you some idea which concerts you’ll love best.

For the music lover who just wants to have fun – its all about the music and a great night out with friends.  Get dressed up, get social, and get inspired!

 

Bernstein at 100 - Warren Lee
In Recital
A celebration of the Bernstein Centenary featuring music by Bernstein and Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue.
Convocation Hall
7:30PM, Thursday, August 16, 2018
Baroque at Knox - The Concerto
Eric Paetkau, Music Director
A concert featuring the SSO's own virtuosos!
Knox United Church
7:30PM, Saturday, October 6, 2018
Honens Piano Recital
A newly crowned Laureate of the 2018 Honens Piano Competition gives their first recital after the September 2018 competition finals.
Convocation Hall
7:30PM, Friday, October 12, 2018
Prairie Pops with Jeffery Straker
Saskatchewan's piano man and singer songwriter extraordinaire returns to the stage with the SSO for musical storytelling and pop hits.
TCU Place, Sid Buckwold Theatre
7:30PM, Saturday, October 20, 2018
Sing-Along Messiah
Hundreds of Singers!
The best concert of the year!
Knox United Church
2:00PM, Saturday, December 15, 2018
Masters 3 - Ravel and Jazz
Gordon Gerrard conducts
Godwin Friesen returns home to play Ravel's jazzy piece for piano and orchestra, led by guest conductor Gordon Gerrard
TCU Place, Sid Buckwold Theatre
7:30PM, Saturday, January 26, 2019
If Music Be the Food of Love
Sunday Chamber 2
The Saskatoon Symphony Chamber Players with music inspired by the works and words of the bard, William Shakespeare
Convocation Hall
2:00PM, Sunday, February 3, 2019
Mother's Day Concert
Sunday Chamber 3
The Saskatoon Symphony Chamber Players celebrate Mother's Day with a concert featuring the music of Mozart and more!
Convocation Hall
2:00PM, Sunday, May 12, 2019
Baroque at Knox - The Choir!
SSO Chorus
Hear some of the great choral hits including Hallelujah Chorus, Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus, and some beautiful Bach
Knox United Church
7:30PM, Saturday, May 25, 2019

Curated Concerts – Classically Curious

Wanting to go to a concert but not sure which one is for you?

This year the SSO is curating it concerts to give you some idea which concerts you’ll love best.

Do you find yourself seeking adventure?  Do you love documentaries and podcasts?  You’re likely always wanting to get more out of life and live just that little bit on the edge…we’ve put together a list of the events this season that push the limits, explore new sounds, and dig deeper into the stories.

No Place Like Home - A Night with Danika Loren
Saskatoon's own Danika Loren returns home for a very special night featuring highlights from recent performances, original works, and a few surprises!

One of Canada’s rising stars returns home for a special benefit concert in support of Saskatoon Opera. Soprano Danika Lorèn has garnered herself rave reviews across Canada and around the globe as one of the most exciting emerging operatic artists in the country.  A recent prize winner at the Stella Maris competition, Ms Lorèn returns to the …

Knox United Church
7:30PM, Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Forecasting the Canadian Wind
Special After Dark Event
Mingle under the stars on a fall night with a cocktail in hand for some incredible new music premiered by Mistral 5...any time a concert is in this cool a space you know you're in for a wild adventure
SSO Rehearsal Hall
8:00PM, Friday, September 14, 2018
SSO Rehearsal Hall
8:00PM, Saturday, September 15, 2018
Merry Christmas, Stephen Leacock
Chamber Opera Project
We're teaming up with Saskatoon Opera for a Christmas tale told by Canada's great Stephen Leacock, with music by Neil Wiesensel
SSO Rehearsal Hall
7:30PM, Friday, November 23, 2018
SSO Rehearsal Hall
7:30PM, Saturday, November 24, 2018
If Music Be the Food of Love
Sunday Chamber 2
The Saskatoon Symphony Chamber Players with music inspired by the works and words of the bard, William Shakespeare
Convocation Hall
2:00PM, Sunday, February 3, 2019
Johannes Moser Recital
with pianist Chiharu Iinuma
Johannes Moser has earned a reputation for being one of the world's greatest cellists....and he just happens to have Saskatchewan roots!
Convocation Hall
2:00PM, Sunday, March 17, 2019
Masters 5- Finding Heinz Moehn
Mozart Requiem
A German violin concerto discovered in Saskatoon alongside Mozart's glorious Requiem
TCU Place, Sid Buckwold Theatre
7:30PM, Saturday, March 23, 2019
Masters 6 - Eroica
Beethoven Symphony 3
Beethoven's heroic 3rd symphony changed the world...and Sarah Yunji Moon's performance of Departures will change your world
TCU Place, Sid Buckwold Theatre
7:30PM, Saturday, April 27, 2019
Baroque at Knox - The Choir!
SSO Chorus
Hear some of the great choral hits including Hallelujah Chorus, Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus, and some beautiful Bach
Knox United Church
7:30PM, Saturday, May 25, 2019

Curated Concerts – Orchestral Romance

Wanting to go to a concert but not sure which one is for you?

This year the SSO is curating it concerts to give you some idea which concerts you’ll love best.

Looking for the perfect date night?
In the movies, the music always makes or breaks the romance…and with music this good, the romance leaps off the stage!

Our Orchestra Romance curated concerts feature some of the best romantic music ever written.

 

No Place Like Home - A Night with Danika Loren
Saskatoon's own Danika Loren returns home for a very special night featuring highlights from recent performances, original works, and a few surprises!

One of Canada’s rising stars returns home for a special benefit concert in support of Saskatoon Opera. Soprano Danika Lorèn has garnered herself rave reviews across Canada and around the globe as one of the most exciting emerging operatic artists in the country.  A recent prize winner at the Stella Maris competition, Ms Lorèn returns to the …

Knox United Church
7:30PM, Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Opening Night - Rachmaninoff
Rachmaninoff Romance
One of the most romantic pieces of music ever written at the hands of rising star Tony Yike Yang. Yang gives his very first performance of Rachmaninoff's sweeping 2nd concerto for piano and orchestra
TCU Place, Sid Buckwold Theatre
7:30PM, Saturday, September 22, 2018
Baroque at Knox - The Concerto
Eric Paetkau, Music Director
A concert featuring the SSO's own virtuosos!
Knox United Church
7:30PM, Saturday, October 6, 2018
Masters 2 - We Will Remember
Elgar Cello Concerto
An emotional evening that features Elgar's romantic dramatic cello concerto with the exceptional Stephane Tetreault
TCU Place, Sid Buckwold Theatre
7:30PM, Saturday, November 10, 2018
Masters 4 - Shakespeare's Tainted Love
Romeo and Juliet
The SSO performs Prokofiev's passionate and fiery Romeo and Juliet alongside a heart-stopping piece for violin and orchestra
TCU Place, Sid Buckwold Theatre
7:30PM, Saturday, February 9, 2019
Johannes Moser Recital
with pianist Chiharu Iinuma
Johannes Moser has earned a reputation for being one of the world's greatest cellists....and he just happens to have Saskatchewan roots!
Convocation Hall
2:00PM, Sunday, March 17, 2019
Masters 6 - Eroica
Beethoven Symphony 3
Beethoven's heroic 3rd symphony changed the world...and Sarah Yunji Moon's performance of Departures will change your world
TCU Place, Sid Buckwold Theatre
7:30PM, Saturday, April 27, 2019

Curated Concerts – For Piano Lovers

Wanting to go to a concert but not sure which one is for you?

This year the SSO is curating it concerts to give you some idea which concerts you’ll love best.

Do you love a piano?
Maybe you have your Gr 8, or you always wished you’d played it, or maybe you just absolutely love the romance and virtuosity of a concert pianist…

We have a big line up of pianists this season…after all, being Season 88 we couldn’t ignore the 88 keys….

Bernstein at 100 - Warren Lee
In Recital
Convocation Hall
7:30PM, Thursday, August 16, 2018
A celebration of the Bernstein Centenary featuring music by Bernstein and Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue.
Opening Night - Rachmaninoff
Rachmaninoff Romance
TCU Place, Sid Buckwold Theatre
7:30PM, Saturday, September 22, 2018
One of the most romantic pieces of music ever written at the hands of rising star Tony Yike Yang. Yang gives his very first performance of Rachmaninoff's sweeping 2nd concerto for piano and orchestra
Honens Piano Recital
Convocation Hall
7:30PM, Friday, October 12, 2018
A newly crowned Laureate of the 2018 Honens Piano Competition gives their first recital after the September 2018 competition finals.
Prairie Pops with Jeffery Straker
TCU Place, Sid Buckwold Theatre
7:30PM, Saturday, October 20, 2018
Saskatchewan's piano man and singer songwriter extraordinaire returns to the stage with the SSO for musical storytelling and pop hits.
Masters 3 - Ravel and Jazz
Gordon Gerrard conducts
TCU Place, Sid Buckwold Theatre
7:30PM, Saturday, January 26, 2019
Godwin Friesen returns home to play Ravel's jazzy piece for piano and orchestra, led by guest conductor Gordon Gerrard

Bach’s Magnificent Magnificat

In May 1723 Bach was appointed Kantor of St Thomas, Leipzig – we would probably call him the Director of Music – where he remained until his death in 1750. It was a hugely demanding post, involving teaching at the church school, playing the organ, training the choir and composing the music for the city’s two principal Lutheran churches as well as supervising and training the musicians at three others. Despite this enormous workload and recurrent disputes with the city authorities, Bach composed some of his greatest music during this period. His choral compositions alone include such towering masterpieces as the St John and St Matthew Passions, the Magnificat and the Mass in B minor, as well as the Christmas Oratorio and some 250 church cantatas.

The Magnificat – the canticle of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Luke I: 46-55) – traditionally formed part of the ancient Roman Catholic service of Vespers. After the Reformation it was incorporated into the evening services of the Lutheran and Anglican churches, in which it was linked with the Nunc Dimittis. The Magnificat has been set to music more often than any liturgical text other than the Mass itself, in settings that vary enormously in style, from the purity of Palestrina’s exquisite four-part unaccompanied compositions to Monteverdi’s grand, dramatic settings written for St Mark’s, Venice, and later the almost symphonic conception of Mozart’s Vesperae Solennes de Confessore, of which the Magnificat forms the final movement, composed in 1780 for use in Salzburg Cathedral.

Bach’s Magnificat was written in Leipzig for the 1723 Christmas Vespers. This original version was in E-flat and included several additional Christmas texts inserted at various points in the piece. Some years later he revised it, removing the Christmas interpolations to make the piece suitable for use throughout the year and transposing it into D, a much brighter and more satisfactory key for the trumpets in particular.

The extraordinary impact of Bach’s great choral works derives essentially from his remarkable ability to balance, yet at the same time to exploit to the full, the spiritual and dramatic elements of each text, whether it be one as concise as the Magnificat or as monumental as the St Matthew Passion.

The Magnificat is conceived on a grand scale, requiring five soloists, a five-part choir and, for its time, an unusually large orchestra consisting of three trumpets, two flutes, two oboes, strings and continuo. In its splendour and jubilation the piece anticipates the great choruses of the later Mass in B minor. It begins with a brilliant orchestral introduction in which the trumpets feature prominently. This leads directly into an equally impressive chorus, ‘Magnificat anima mea Dominum’ (My soul doth magnify the Lord). The ten verses and Gloria that comprise the Magnificat canticle form a continuous and homogenous whole, in contrast with the libretto of an oratorio or Passion with its wide variety of extracts from many different Biblical and poetical sources. For this reason there are no recitatives in the Magnificat. Instead, each verse receives extended treatment, the chorus supplying appropriate emphasis to sections such as ‘Fecit potentiam in brachio suo’ (He hath showed strength with his arm), while the more reflective verses are assigned to the soloists. In the trio, ‘Suscepit Israel’ (He hath holpen his servant Israel), Bach gives the oboes a plainsong melody traditionally associated with the Magnificat. It appears as a cantus firmus, i.e. a melody in greatly extended notes, against which the three soloists weave decorative vocal lines. For the final verse, ‘Sicut erat in principio …. Amen’ (As it was in the beginning …. Amen), Bach appropriately mirrors the words by recalling the music that was heard ‘as it was in the beginning’, the Magnificat therefore ending as exuberantly and dramatically as it began.

Gryphon Trio – Artist Profile

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Gryphon Trio has impressed international audiences and the press with its highly refined, dynamic performances and has firmly established itself as one of the world’s preeminent piano trios. With a repertoire that ranges from the traditional to the contemporary and from European classicism to modern-day multimedia, the Gryphons are committed to redefining chamber music for the 21st century.

The Trio tours regularly throughout North America and Europe and their 20 recordings are an encyclopedia of works for the genre. They have commissioned over 75 new works, and regularly collaborate on projects that push the boundaries of chamber music. Honours include two Juno Awards for Classical Album of the Year, and the prestigious 2013 Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts from the Canada Council.

Deeply committed to the education of the next generation of audiences and performers alike, the Gryphons frequently conduct masterclasses and workshops at universities and conservatories, and are Artists-in-Residence at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music and Trinity College.

Gryphon cellist Roman Borys is Artistic Director of Ottawa’s Chamberfest. Annalee Patipatanakoon and Jamie Parker serve as the festival’s Artistic Advisors in addition to their responsibilities at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music, where Mr. Parker is the Rupert E. Edwards Chair in Piano Performance and Ms. Patipatanakoon is Associate Professor of Violin.

Beethoven’s Triple Threat

Beethoven composed his “Triple Concerto” op. 56, for his pupil and patron, the Archduke Rudolph of Austria, who was a pianist and amateur composer. Rudolph, who eventually became an archbishop, remained a life-long friend and patron of Beethoven, and was the only person to whom Beethoven ever gave regular instruction in composition. In addition to the “Triple Concerto”, the Archduke received the dedication of such important works as the Fourth and Fifth Piano Concertos, the “Lebewohl” and “Hammerklavier” Sonatas, the op. 96 Violin Sonata, the “Archduke” Trio, the Missa Solemnis and the Grosse Fuge.

Beethoven’s choice of piano, violin and cello appears to be unprecedented in the literature—”really something new,” he wrote to his publisher. There was a popular genre in the Classical era known as the sinfonia concertante for two or more soloists with orchestral accompaniment, a revamped model of the Baroque concerto grosso. Mozart and Haydn left lovely examples, but the particular combination of piano, violin, and cello seems never to have been tried before.

He sketched the first movement early in 1803 during his most prolific period. At the same time he was composing the “Eroica” Symphony, the “Waldstein” and the “Appassionata” piano sonatas, and the first of the “Razumovsky” quartets. The “Triple Concerto” presented formidable compositional problems for Beethoven: how to give each soloist sufficient exposure while keeping the work within manageable formal bounds. To solve the problem, he had to devise simple and compact themes comprising basic chord and scale patterns, so this concerto is not rich in the dramatic transformation of material he was to employ in other middle-period compositions. The interest is to be found elsewhere—in the work’s contrasting sonorities, its interplay between soloists and orchestra, and its formal cohesion. This format, in turn, means that the concerto as a whole tends more toward lyric elaboration than to dramatic transformation of the material. The “Triple Concerto”, therefore, combines the scale of Beethoven’s grand concerto style with instrumental dialogues among the soloists in a manner more typical of chamber music.

The first, expansive movement commences in the murmuring cellos and basses presenting the rhythmic motif that dominates the initial subject, and ensuing movement. The second movement, a sublime melody presented by the solo cello, is, in contrast to the lengthy first movement, surprisingly brief. The peaceful theme is not developed; rather Beethoven links it to the final movement using a set of short variations in dialogue between the soloists. The prancing polonaise, “Rondo alla Polacca”, dances headstrong before erupting in the duple meter “Allegro”. The swaggering polonaise returns, bringing the Concerto to a stirring conclusion.

Often overshadowed by the composer’s other concertos, the rarely heard and underrated “Triple Concerto” stands as a testament to the composer’s craft and as a window to Beethoven’s future lyricism of the Fourth Piano Concerto, op. 58 and the Violin Concerto, op. 61.

The SSO will perform Beethoven’s Triple Concerto on May 5th with the world renowned Gryphon Trio.

Shostakovich’s 9th

The ninth symphony was originally intended to be a celebration of the Russian victory over Nazi Germany in World War II (see Eastern Front). The composer declared in October 1943 that the symphony would be a large composition for orchestra, soloists and chorus “about the greatness of the Russian people, about our Red Army liberating our native land from the enemy”. On the occasion of the 27th anniversary of the Revolution held in 1944, Shostakovich affirmed, “Undoubtedly like every Soviet artist, I harbor the tremulous dream of a large-scale work in which the overpowering feelings ruling us today would find expression. I think the epigraph to all our work in the coming years will be the single word ‘Victory’.”

David Rabinovich recalled from a conversation he had with Shostakovich on the ninth symphony in 1944 that the composer “would like to write it for a chorus and solo singers as well as an orchestra”. In a meeting with his students on 16 January 1945, Shostakovich informed them that the day before he had begun work on a new symphony. A week later, he told them that he had reached the middle of the development section, and the work was going to open with a big tutti. Isaak Glikman heard around ten minutes of the music Shostakovich had written for the first movement in late April, which he described as “majestic in scale, in pathos, in its breathtaking motion”.

But then Shostakovich dropped the composition for three months. He resumed work on 26 July 1945 and finished on 30 August 1945. The symphony turned out to be a completely different work from the one he had originally planned, with neither soloists nor chorus and a much lighter mood. He forewarned listeners, “In character, the Ninth Symphony differs sharply from my preceding symphonies, the Seventh and the Eighth. If the Seventh and the Eighth symphonies bore a