Maestro move: Toronto Symphony reverts to Andrew Davis

Maestro move: Toronto Symphony reverts to Andrew Davis


norman lebrecht

June 01, 2017

Canada’s premier orchestra has asked the British conductor Sir Andrew Davis to serve as interim music director for two years while it extends the search for a permanent replacement for Peter Oundjian.

Davis, 73, was TSO music director for 13 years, from 1975 to 1988.

Some will see the move as a prudent interlude, buying more time to find an ideal music director. Others will have doubts about the orchestra going backwards to a past master who is already over-extended in his jobs with Chicago’s Lyric Opera, the Melbourne Symphony and a heavy guest conducting schedule.

photo: Chris Christodoulou/LebrechtMusic&Arts


  • Canadian Observer says:

    “Canada’s premier orchestra”? Some people in Montreal might object…

    • Steven Holloway says:

      Most decidedly. The Montreal Symphony has been regarded as Canada’s best for many years. Dutoit’s work there had much to do with it. Little if anything of note has come from the TSO for at least as long — and, what is more, it certainly didn’t when Davis was in charge of it. Anyone who thinks Toronto has “Canada’s premier orchestra” has not been keeping up with things.

  • stweart says:

    In spite of much good work done,surely one of the most boring conductors to watch.
    Can’t see what he wants. It really must all be done in rehearsal.

  • Nick says:

    Even his first appointment to Toronto was a surprise. When it was made, he had just finished his tenure as Associate Conductor of the BBC Scottish Orchestra – an Associate post which had earlier seen such luminaries as Sir Colin Davis and Sir Alexander Gibson and would eventually be occupied by Sir Simon Rattle. A good training ground, then. But to jump from that straight to Toronto?

  • Mark Mortimer says:

    Andrew is the great yes man of Classical Music. By which I mean his agent rings him up & he says ‘Yes please whatever!’.

    Correct- huge swathes of his work can be boringly predictable & he conducts far too much which has completely destroyed his creativity. But as a young man he was brilliant. Amidst the current late middle aged mediocrity of his interpretations he can be inspired when he feels like it- saw him conducting a wondrous Dvorak Rusalka at Glyndebourne a few years back. His Richard Strauss is awesome & he’s perhaps best in the opera pit which fires his imagination much more than the concert hall when he’s no story to go on.

  • Carol coker says:

    Have you actually heard him conduct in Toronto? Saw a concert last night that was fantastic- have you seen him live anywhere?
    You have never liked him and should be ashamed.