Editors Choice

norman lebrecht

February 07, 2023

To celebrate its first 100 years, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra comes to Carnegie Hall next Monday evening (February 13) with Music Director Gustavo Gimeno (“A wonderfully cogent, adventurous interpreter. He took bold gambles with tempo and dynamics, and made them pay off,” – San Francisco Chronicle), who makes his first appearance in the hall.

The concert begins with the U.S. premiere of a new work commissioned by the TSO, Symphony No. 2 of Samy Moussa, the young Canadian composer about whom the Los Angeles Times says "has his own take on rising to elevated realms…He convinces you that you want to go where he's going." Then 20-year-old violin superstar, María Dueñas, plays Lalo’s spirited Symphonie espagnole. “Dueñas impressed mightily…this is an artist with a bright future ahead of her.” (Boston Classical Review) And, for a Valentine’s Day prelude, Gustavo Gimeno conducts his own suite from Prokofiev’s passionate Romeo and Juliet, showcasing the virtuosity of this ensemble as it begins its second century.

Priced for all, tickets start at just $25. Slipped Disc readers can enjoy a 25% discount on all other priced tickets with this discount code: TSO39878.
Toronto Symphony Orchestra
Gustavo Gimeno, Music Director & Conductor
María Dueñas, Violin
SAMY MOUSSA Symphony No. 2 (TSO Commission/U.S. premiere)
LALO Symphonie espagnole
PROKOFIEV Suite from Romeo & Juliet (compiled by Gustavo Gimeno)


  • David K. Nelson says:

    It’s good to see that the Symphonie espagnole is being programmed again. I was beginning to wonder if the work was going to disappear.

    • MacroV says:

      I hear it enough on radio that I haven’t sensed it disappearing, but true enough, the last time I recall hearing it in concert was about 40 years ago. I have wondered the same about the Bruch Scottish Fantasy.

  • MacroV says:

    They’re an excellent orchestra, if still lacking the international profile of their colleagues in the OSM.

    It bothers me that an orchestra goes to a high-profile engagement at Carnegie and has to bring along a soloist. I know Maria Duenas is a wonderful violinist, but what does she have to do with the TSO? A soloist with a distinctive tie to the visiting orchestra might make sense, like when the Czech Philharmonic would feature Josef Suk on tour. In this case I’d want to hear more from the orchestra, alone.

    • Claremonter says:

      The “distinctive tie” is Spain. Both Gimeno, the TSO’s music director, and Dueñas are Spanish. Note that she will perform the Lalo “Symphonie Espagnole.”

      • The View from America says:

        Hardly a distinctive tie: Lalo was from Northern France. Cultural appropriation?

        Using your logic, a better tie would be to program Albeniz, Turina or Arbos.

  • The View from America says:

    It will be intereseting to see what people have to say about the Moussa symphony. His Violin Concerto is a bit of a yawner.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    They may be a great orchestra, but that’s not a program that would get me to buy a ticket. Sorry.

  • msc says:

    I haven’t made it to hear the TSO with Gimeno yet, but a friend that is a subscriber tells me she isn’t impressed so far: decent, but rarely anything exceptional. His recordings have been mostly mediocre.

    • Peter X says:

      Be brave and go listen. It will change your daily routine!

      • msc says:

        Since I don’t live in Toronto and only visit occasionally, that will be hard. I will, of course, try to get to a concert when I am next there.
        What do you know about my daily routine, especially how much music I listen to and attend live?

    • Barry Guerrero says:

      I only know his Mahler 4 on Pentatone label, and it’s terrific. Very competitive.