The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO), currently celebrating its 70th anniversary, is a gem of an orchestra tucked into the geographic centre of North America. Music critic Norman Lebrecht describes it as “an orchestra with a sound all its own,” and that is no surprise. From its debut 1948 performance to over 3,000 audience members, the WSO has become a powerhouse orchestra, regularly surprising guest conductors and artists with the exceptional musicianship and flexibility of its members.
Performance highlights of the last few decades include working Maureen Forrester, Kathleen Battle, Janina Fialkowska, Angela Hewitt, Buffy St. Marie, Wu Man, Randy Bachman, Dame Evelyn Glennie, and Tanya Tagaq, to name a few.
Each year, the WSO’s much-lauded Winnipeg New Music Festival features four full orchestral programs plus numerous additional concerts, regularly drawing crowds in the thousands. The 2018 edition had over 11,000 attendees. Headliners of the Winnipeg New Music Festival range from Philip Glass to Meredith Monk to David Lang to Joan Tower to R. Murray Schafer to Arvo Pärt to Christos Hatzis to Samy Moussa to Kelly Marie Murphy to Stephen O’Malley to Caroline Shaw, to name a few.
The WSO’s activity regularly extends beyond its home stage at the Centennial Concert Hall in Winnipeg. It has produced concerts everywhere from Olympic size diving boards to cottage country harbours. The orchestra has toured twice to Carnegie Hall and regularly performed across Manitoba and Canada.
The WSO has served as a launching point for many illustrious careers including Victor Feldbrill, Kazuhiro Koizumi, Bramwell Tovey, and Andrey Boreyko. It has also worked hard to foster and support Manitoba and Canadian talent working closely with the likes of James Ehnes, Tracy Dahl, Andriana Chuchman, Karen Sunabacka, and Lara Ciekiewicz.
From it’s founding, the orchestra has been a pillar in the Canadian music scene, commissioning and premiering hundreds of new works. The Canadian Music Centre recently recognized the WSO with its Award of Excellence for its work promoting the Canadian voice. This work has also been recognized by a 2017 JUNO win and 2018 nomination for best classical recording of the year.
In 2011, the WSO founded Sistema Winnipeg (based on the famous Venezuelan El Sistema), in partnership with two Winnipeg school divisions, to deliver daily, intensive music education that focuses on children with the fewest resources and greatest need in Winnipeg’s urban core.
Over 40,000 students attend orchestra concerts presented by the WSO each season and its innovative pops and film programs introduce a rapidly growing audience to symphonic music.
Starting in 1954, the orchestra has worked closely with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, released numerous recordings on the CBC label, and has given thousands of national radio broadcasts. In addition to its own extensive season of concerts and educational activities, the WSO functions as the official orchestra of Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Manitoba Opera Association.
Walter Kaufmann was the orchestra’s first music director (1948-1957), followed by Victor Feldbrill (1958-1968), George Cleve (1968-1970), Piero Gamba (1971-1983), Kazuhiro Koizumi (1983-1987), Bramwell Tovey (1987-2002), Andrey Boreyko (2002-2005), and current Music Director Alexander Mickelthwate (2005-2018). Under their guidance, the orchestra has both earned a place among the ranks of major Canadian symphony orchestras and has come to be regarded as one of Canada’s most innovative. Some of the eminent soloists who have appeared with the WSO in the past include conductors Pierre Monteux, John Barbirolli and Arthur Fiedler; violinists David Oistrakh and Itzhak Perlman; pianists Glenn Gould, Byron Janis, Gary Graffman, and Leon Fleisher; singers Marilyn Horne and Maureen Forrester; cellists Zara Nelsova and Jacqueline du Pré and many others.
On February 14, 2018, Daniel Raiskin was appointed as the next Music Director of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, starting in the 2018-2019 season.
The Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra has established itself as the leading national orchestra in the region and a gust of fresh air on the international concert scene. According to the international media, the Belgrade Philharmonic is Serbia’s cult orchestra (The Financial Times), one of the leading European orchestras (The Independent), an orchestra for which there’s no looking back (The Washington Post), and an ensemble which shows grand dose of heritage and pride (The New York Times).
Founded in 1923, the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra nowadays has the status of a cultural institution of national importance. The orchestra’s specific image, as well as its creative and often provocative marketing, have influenced the recognition of the orchestra as an exponent of social changes. Thus, the BPO quickly attracted many classical music authorities, who supported its further development. One of the orchestra’s most important collaborations has been the friendship with Maestro Zubin Mehta, who gave benefit concerts with the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra over the past several years.
Starting from season 2017/18, Chief Conductor of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra will be Gabriel Feltz, and from the same period Principal Guest Conductor will be Daniel Raiskin.
In previous seasons, the orchestra has cooperated with leading international conductors and soloists, including Zubin Mehta, Mikhail Jurowski, Krzysztof Penderecki, Sir Neville Mariner, Boris Berezovsky, Gerhard Oppitz, Nelson Freire, Fazil Say, Andrei Gavrilov, Julian Rachlin, Sarah Chang, Isabelle Faust, Mischa Maisky, David Geringas, Sol Gabetta, duo Igudesman and Joo, Vadim Repin, Nikolai Lugansky, Steven Isserlis and many others.
The Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife (OST, "Tenerife Symphony Orchestra") is an orchestra in the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife on the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands. The Tenerife Symphony Orchestra is considered one of the best symphony orchestras in Spain.
Founded as the Orquesta de Cámara de Canarias in 1935, it became a symphony orchestra in 1970. Its seat is the Auditorio de Tenerife. Much of its prestige is due to Víctor Pablo Pérez, who conducted the orchestra between 1986 and 2006. From 2006 until 2010 the orchestra conductor has been Lü Jia. Since 2012 the music conductor and artistic director is the polish Michal Nesterowics The orchestra has performed in the main symphony halls in Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom. They have played with several renowned artists including Krystian Zimerman and Kyung Wha Chung.
The OST has been awarded with the Grand Prix de l'Académie française du disque lyrique, the Cannes Classical Awards, Diapason d'Or (in 1994 and 1995) and the Choc of Le Monde de la Musique magazine. It also received the Premio Ondas in its 1992 and 1996 editions.