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You have to be in the room

The thing about live music is that you have to be in the room when it happens.  Its the combination of inspiration and momentary rush of focus and grace.  Even if you tried it won’t be the same a second time.

If you’re been coming to the SSO concerts over the last few months, you’ll know that its becoming impossible to miss a concert – each one seems more of a rush than the one before it.  The sheer thrill of live music has become captivating.

Its with that in mind that we created our 87th season – each concert had to be something special, something that didn’t just express the amazing, but griped you and shook you and inspired you.

Music so good it has to be experienced.  Music that leaves an imprint on you.  Music that shares our joy, our grief, our sadness, our common understanding of the human condition.  The opportunity to come together as a community to reflect, and explore, and come to terms with real emotion.

Eric and I have probably tossed around enough ideas we have 20 seasons in the works!  Whether in a planning meeting or in a text, a musician calls us with a request, or a guest artist shares a desire, the ideas come flying.  But it’s when ideas take shape that you get a season.

With just a week until the launch, I have to say there’s something special about it.  It’s easy to say that about any season…but this one has many ideas and plans that have taken years to realize.
Sometimes a guest we’re wanting isn’t available for our venue date.  Sometimes the symphony we’d planned isn’t the right length, or the wrong instrumentation, or just not a good fit musically for the concert.  Sometimes you have to wait to celebrate a special anniversary. Sometimes the waiting pays off and a season takes shape.  That’s this year.
It goes without saying at this point that the SSO will heavily feature Canadian works next season – in fact, there’s Canadian repertoire on every concert.  This wasn’t something we set out to do, it just happens. There is so much great Canadian music that needs to be heard and that we’re excited to share.
There are master works that we haven’t played in a long time, works you know, and some you’ve never heard but must.  There’s music to showcase our wonderful SSO musicians and celebrate our orchestra.
And a hallmark of the SSO’s brand – the season features all Canadian guests.  Canadians who have become international sensations and those whose star is rising.  And our commitment to Saskatchewan artists is thriving – guest artists, orchestral debuts, and celebrations of artists that have made Saskatoon musically special.  Defining our prairie voice has been one of the most rewarding and fulfilling artistic processes imaginable.
And by accident it’s a season filled with amazing women – without ever discussing or planning for it, the season sees a remarkable female musician playing a crucial role in nearly every concert.  From soloist to podium to composer, it became clear that the season had an underlying theme – each of them picked out of our excitement and respect for their work, their passion, and their art.
There’ll be the usual suspects of Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Dvorak, and some surprises with Faure, Shostakovich, and Barber.  A brand new concerto with an old friend, two iconic violin concertos and a piano concerto we’ve never played before, and a work next February that was written not only as a call for peace but as a way to reflect on the state of our divided world.
After two or three years in the making, this season is set to make an impact.
See you at the symphony,
Mark Turner
SSO Executive Director
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