SURE TO DELIGHT CHILDREN
An enchanted musical afternoon unfolds on Sunday, December 9, when children choristers, a teenage cello virtuoso, an Instrument Petting Zoo and gift bags bring smiles to kids — and the kid in each of us — at Orchestra Toronto’s annual concert programmed especially for children.
The concert opens with the strains of Amilcare Ponchielli’s popular Dance of the Hours from La Gioconda, well known from the Disney animated film Fantasia, and a piece originally written especially for young performers, Maurice Ravel’s The Enchanted Garden from Ma Mère l’Oye (Mother Goose).
Then Canadian baritone Jeffrey Carl and choristers from the Canadian Children’s Opera Company tell the seasonal story of Chris van Allsburg’s Polar Express, by American composer Rob Kapilow. It’s about a boy who boards a mysterious train bound for the North Pole and contains the reinvented familiar strains of beloved Christmas music.
The performance ends with 15-year-old Daniel Hass of Toronto claiming his prizes as winner of Orchestra Toronto’s second annual concerto competition — the 2012 Marta Hidy Prize for Cello. He’ll perform as soloist in Antonin Dvořák’s romantic and lush Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104, and receive a $1,000 scholarship.
Besides the onstage magic, each child in the audience will have a chance to get up close and personal with the instruments used in a symphony orchestra before the performance and during intermission at Orchestra Toronto’s traditional Instrument Petting Zoo. And each child will leave with a loot bag containing a small musical instrument in addition to other goodies.
The performance is directed by Orchestra Toronto’s music director, Danielle Lisboa. It begins at 3 p.m. Sunday, December 9, in the George Weston Recital Hall of the Toronto Centre for the Arts.
Orchestra Toronto, one of Canada’s oldest and largest community volunteer symphony orchestras, provides musicians with an opportunity to develop and perform public concerts from the symphonic repertoire. Dedicated to providing affordable family entertainment and music education, the orchestra performs five Sunday-afternoon concerts each season.
Performances of Orchestra Toronto’s regular season of five concerts are held at 3 p.m. Sundays in the acoustically superb George Weston Recital Hall of the Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge Street, where it is a company in residence. North York’s Toronto Centre for the Arts, the only major theatre complex north of Bloor Street, is accessible by wheelchair and is easily reached by car and by public transportation.
Single tickets for adults ($39), for seniors ($34) and for those up to 18 years old ($14) can be purchased at the Toronto Centre for the Arts box office or through Ticketmaster at 1-855-985-ARTS (2787). Special-rate tickets ($29 each for groups of 10 or more) are available by calling the Orchestra Toronto office at 416-467-7142. Special prices ($14) are also available for those up to 29 years old and a friend through OTopus; information is available atwww.orchestratoronto.ca.
Season sponsor for Orchestra Toronto’s 2011-12 series of five concerts isTD Bank Group. Orchestra Toronto is also supported this season by Clairvest, KPMG, Long & McQuade Musical Instruments, RBC Foundation, VIA Rail Canada, Wilson Vukelich LLP and Yamaha Canada Music Ltd.
The continuing support of the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Foundation is also gratefully acknowledged.