Christmas time is here! Happiness and cheer don’t necessarily go hand in hand with gift buying this season, so we’ve put together our top 5 SSO gift ideas. You can shop from the comfort of your own home, support the SSO, and give the gift of music to your loved ones.
Number 5: Brahms’ Violin Concerto in Feburary
Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s Concertmaster Jonathan Crow will be joining the SSO on February 25th to play Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D Major. It has been ages since the SSO has played this piece! We were certainly overdue and we found a fantastic soloist to join us. Jonathan Crow is an incredible musician and teacher. Since 2011 Jonathan has been the Concertmaster for the TSO and was at one time the youngest Concertmaster in North America (between 2002 and 2006 he was Concertmaster of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal). He is currently an Associate Professor of Violin at the University of Toronto and is a founding member of the New Orford String Quartet.
Also on the program is Valse très lente – Massanet, and Sybelius Symphony no. 5. You can find out more and buy tickets here!
Number 4: Careless Whisper – the SSO does the 80s
Feel like your best years in fashion are behind you? Do you miss the glory days of the 80s? It’s Alright, we Feel For You. We are Head Over Heels for this pops concert. Jeans ‘n Classics returns to the SSO for big hair, parachute pants, and neon to spare. On Saturday, March 11 wear your Diamonds and Pearls and your favourite 80s inspired outfit to the Symphony as you Walk Like an Egyptian over to TCU for this fun night! (Just make sure to look both ways before you cross the street).
The program includes one of the our favourite numbers for 2 o’clock dance party. How can you sit still to Earth, Wind, & Fire?
Number 3: Mozart Fest
A whole week of Mozart is coming your way in January (January 22-28 to be exact). Beginning with our Chamber Concert on Sunday, a music talk Tuesday, Amadeus screening Wednesday, LovePlay with Saskatoon Opera, and a lecture from Mozart Project’s founder and Artistic Director David Bowser, it already seems like a full week. The cherry on top of this fantastic week is our Mozart Fest Concert on Saturday with violinist Timothy Chooi. Known as “le miracle” this young artist will blow you away with his performance with the SSO. Timothy will be treating us with Mozart’s Concerto for Violin No. 5 in A Major, K 219, on his 1717 Windsor-Weinstein Stradivarius (on loan from the Canada Council for the Arts). At age 23, Timothy uses social media as a tool to reach out to his audiences across the globe. He shares bits of music and humour across facebook, instagram, twitter, and youtube.
Number 2: Star Wars – The music of John Williams
Joined onstage by the Saskatoon Youth Orchestra we will be a mighty force, of sound that is.
It’s no big secret that we are all music nerds at the SSO, but not just for classical. John Williams has composed music for over 120 films, several tv shows, and important events including a presidential inauguration, royal weddings, and fanfares for many a celebration including Leonard Bernstein’s 70th birthday. In his spare time, Williams also composes concertos for Boston Pops and his friend Yo-Yo Ma. With such an exceptional array of works, it would be impossible to do the complete works of John Williams in one concert.
We decided to focus on the music of Star Wars. It will be 40 years since the release of A New Hope, and what better way to celebrate than dressing up in our best Jedi outfit, and have a concert filled with selections from all the Star Wars films!
Tickets are available here. Join us April 22nd for a concert fit for a young Jedi (and those that are young at heart).
Number 1: Jan Lisiecki – An Encore
Described by the New York Times as “a pianist who makes every note count”, Jan Lisiecki is no stranger to Saskatoon. He is a true virtuosi and plays with maturity and talent that seem well beyond his 20 years. It’s exciting to know that Jan is just at the beginning of what we hope is a long life and incredible career!
The concert Jan played with the SSO was one that our audiences still talk about. This time we thought it would be wonderful to have Jan on his own in a more intimate setting. For two nights, February 21 and 22, Jan will fill Convocation Hall with the music of Bach, Schubert, and more. As there are only 350 seats available in Convo, we thought it was only fair to have Jan give two recitals (with the same program) so more people could enjoy what is certain to be a magical night! This recital is sure to be a much needed mini staycation in the middle of winter, as Jan will warm our hearts and distract us from our winter woes.
Jan says his aim is to always perform in a way that carries forward the beauty and brilliance of the original work. He has demonstrated that he is capable of rendering compositions remarkably close to the way they were intended. “Going into a concert hall should be like going into a sanctuary. You’re there to have a moment of reflection, hopefully leaving feeling different, refreshed and inspired.”
Just take a listen to Jan now and let him soothe your holiday stress away.
There are several other great concerts this season so take a look at what the SSO has to offer. There is certainly something for everyone!
We hope this holiday season is full of good food, family, friends, and most of all, good music.
From all of us at the SSO – Merry Christmas