Performance Saturday, March 26, 2011 | 8 PM

Toronto Symphony Orchestra

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
At Carnegie Hall in 2008, the Toronto Symphony was in “superb shape” under their new music director: “The orchestra has maintained its shine, but now it packs a firm punch as well” (The New York Times). Itzhak Perlman joins them in Bruch’s popular violin concerto. Also on the program is a work with energetic rhythms, quirky melodies, and orchestral verve by an acclaimed Canadian, and the most propulsive of Vaughan Williams symphonies.


  • Itzhak Perlman, Violin
  • Toronto Symphony Orchestra
    Peter Oundjian, Music Director and Conductor


  • BRITTEN Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes
  • BRUCH Violin Concerto No. 1
  • JOHN ESTACIO Frenergy
  • VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Symphony No. 4

  • Encore:
  • VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Romanza from Symphony No. 5


  • Itzhak Perlman

    Undeniably the reigning virtuoso of the violin and winner of 15 Grammy Awards, Itzhak Perlman enjoys superstar status rarely afforded a classical musician. Beloved for his charm and humanity as well as his talent, he is treasured by audiences throughout the world who respond not only to his remarkable artistry, but also to his irrepressible joy of making music. In 2009, Mr. Perlman was honored to take part in the inauguration of President Barack Obama, premiering a piece written for the occasion by John Williams and performing with clarinetist Anthony McGill, pianist Gabriela Montero, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

    During the 2010-2011 season, Mr. Perlman performs as soloist in both new and familiar venues throughout the world. In fall 2010, he traveled to Chile and Brazil, with orchestral performances in Santiago and recitals in Rio de Janeiro, Paulínia, and São Paulo. In October, he thrilled audiences in Japan and South Korea with nine recitals in Tokyo, Osaka, Matsumoto, Nagoya, Yokohama, and Seoul with pianist and frequent collaborator Rohan de Silva. He also joined the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall for its opening subscription week under Music Director Alan Gilbert. Other highlights of his 2010-2011 season include a performance with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to benefit The Rotary Foundation's End Polio Now campaign, and recitals across North America.

    Harvard, Yale, Brandeis, Roosevelt, Yeshiva, and Hebrew universities are among the institutions that have awarded Mr. Perlman honorary degrees. His presence on stage, on camera, and in personal appearances of all kinds speaks eloquently on behalf of the disabled; his devotion to their cause is an integral part of Mr. Perlman's life.

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  • Toronto Symphony Orchestra

    Founded in 1922, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is one of Canada's major cultural institutions. Under the leadership of Music Director Peter Oundjian, the TSO is committed to innovative programming and showcases a roster of distinguished guest artists and conductors. The TSO's 2010-2011 season highlights include the world premiere of TSO Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis's re-orchestration of Handel's Messiah; a Slavic Celebration that showcases works from Eastern European composers; and the annual New Creations Festival, this season featuring the Canadian premiere of City Noir, a TSO co-commission from American composer John Adams, and the world premiere of Symphony No. 1 in C minor, commissioned by the TSO from Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer.

    In addition to performing more than 100 concerts, the TSO serves the community with one of the largest educational programs in Canada, connecting students throughout Ontario with curriculum-based outreach. In fall 2010, Mr. Oundjian and the TSO performed for more than 10,000 adults and students in North Bay and Timmins as part of the orchestra's annual Northern Residency program. In Toronto, one out of every four TSO concerts at Roy Thomson Hall is performed for young audiences.

    During the 2007-2008 season, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra launched tsoLIVE, a self-produced label of live concert recordings conducted by Mr. Oundjian. Current tsoLIVE recordings include Holst's The Planets (March 2011); Shostakovich's Symphony No. 7 (June 2010); Mahler's Symphony No. 4 (October 2008); Bruckner's Symphony No. 4 (June 2008); and Elgar's "Enigma" Variations and Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition (January 2008). Visit for more information.

    Peter Oundjian

    Toronto-born conductor Peter Oundjian, noted for his probing musicality, collaborative spirit, and engaging personality, has been an instrumental figure in the rebirth of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra since his appointment as Music Director in 2004. In addition to conducting the orchestra in dynamic performances that have achieved significant artistic acclaim, he has been greatly involved in a variety of new initiatives, which have strengthened the ensemble's presence in the community and attracted a young and diverse audience. In 2004, he helped establish an annual celebration of new music, showcasing new and commissioned works. Now an audience favorite, the New Creations Festival celebrates the best in contemporary orchestral music and attracts celebrated contemporary composers.

    In addition to his post in Toronto, Mr. Oundjian has been named Music Director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, starting in the 2012-2013 season. Mr. Oundjian was principal guest conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra from 2006-2010 and played a major role at the Caramoor International Music Festival in New York from 1997-2007.

    During the 2011-2012 season, Mr. Oundjian will conduct the Colorado Symphony, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

    Mr. Oundjian was educated in England and attended the Royal College of Music in London. He completed his violin training at The Juilliard School, where he studied with Ivan Galamian, Itzhak Perlman, and Dorothy DeLay. He was the first violinist of the renowned Tokyo String Quartet, a position he held for 14 years. Mr. Oundjian is now in his 30th year as a visiting professor at the Yale School of Music. He and his wife Nadine have two children, Lara and Peter.
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Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Major, Op. 26 (III.Finale. Allegro energico)
Itzhak Perlman, Violin / Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra / Bernard Haitink, Conductor
EMI Classics
Vaughan Williams Symphony No.4 in F minor (IV. Finale con epilogo fugato - Allegro molto)
BBC Symphony Orchestra / Sir Andrew Davis, Conductor

At a Glance

Each of the works on this program has a dominant mood that is quickly established and powerfully sustained. Britten’s Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes has a brooding atmosphere even when the sun is shining. Bruch’s Violin Concerto is an unbroken flow of passionate lyricism, so much so that many resisted calling it a concerto, which would usually have neatly segmented contrasts and movements. Estacio’s Frenergy and Vaughan Williams’s Fourth Symphony are blasts of energy—one bright, the other very dark.
Program Notes