Toronto Symphony is $1.2 million down

Toronto Symphony is $1.2 million down


norman lebrecht

December 04, 2013

Bad times are back in Roy Thompson Hall. The orchestra is suffering a box-office slump and can’t find a new chief exec. The actual loss of C$1.2m masks a ticket sales dive of C$1.5m. ‘We need a visionary,’ says one staffer. Rob Ford, anyone?

toronto symphony


  • MacroV says:

    I thought the TSO was supposed to be resurgent, rivaling the Montreal Symphony for Canadian supremacy. Maybe they could do their American friends a favor and hire Michael Henson to straighten it out.

  • John S. Gray says:

    Bringing back Jukka Pekka Saraste, might be a solution…..

  • Franz says:

    Dear god no….last time the Toronto Symphony went on strike and had a dismal dark period, Jukka Pekka was there. He was an awful leader and the orchestra played terribly under him in that time. What Toronto needs is to move out of conservative backwater Anglo taste concert programming and make a positive step forward towards the future. Nurturing new talent, new composers, engage the mostly ignorant public and solidify their young audience. The New Creations festival is one such positive step in the right direction, but it’s minuscule compared to the amount of times the Messiah or Tchaikovsky 4 and 5 are performed. And Norman, Rob Ford once came to the symphony, drank a beer in the front row and left at intermission, most likely to score crack. Otherwise, the handicapped from the neck up Ford Nation, has very little to do with any intelligent cultural discourse in this city. If your site is here to encourage the growth of culture worldwide, don’t bring up trash. He’s not amusing, worth the time of any discourse or even pleasant to look at.

  • Ilya Lazarov says:

    I agree with the comment above (Franz). The Toronto Symphony needs to be more cutting edge and get away from what is rightly referred to above, as “anglo taste”. The problem for all orchestras today is that very few know how to recruit the right leaders, as the industry is managed by technocrats and boards of directors disconnected from any sense of what kind of leadership a 21st century orchestra needs. I’m sure that in a crisis, the Toronto Symphony will bring in a business person, with the false belief that he or she will bring in the money needed. It is not so simple and truly creative visionary talent is necessary and this people are not in the system and the classical music industry only works within the realm of the system, as the leaders are mostly conservative, unimaginative and unaware. The same is true for the recording industry.. Just look at the major labels and the characters that are now working for the likes of Universal Classics, to site just one embarrassing example.

  • Mark T. Lundholm says:

    I hear Osmo Vanska is available to conduct!

  • nick says:

    If they want to destroy the orchestra, hire a Brit as executive is the quickest way to do it.

  • Dinshaw Burjorjee says:

    Let’s see. Chris Mazza who collected some $9,000,000 from the Ontario Govt. is now suing for another million. The last chairman of Blackberry collected some $50,000,000. BMO made a profit of $ 10^9 and laid off 1000 staff. By siting power plants in unsuitable locations the Ontario govt. recanted and paid out a few hundred million dollars in compensation. Introduce progressive taxation, increase the minimum wage and subsidize the orchestra.