Toronto Symphony Orchestra plans a triumphant return to in-person concerts


Toronto music lovers can take out their earbuds and turn off their soundbars this fall, because the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is tuning up for live performances for its 2021/22 season.

The return to in-person music will mark the first full season that the orchestra’s new music director, Gustavo Gimeno, will take the conductor’s podium.

As COVID-19 restrictions lift, Gimeno means that season to start triumphantly, with Black American composer Andrew Barfield’s new brass composition Invictus — which translates from Latin to “unconquered,” and which he wrote during the pandemic to evoke his experiences in New York City and witnessing the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020.

The season at Roy Thompson Hall concludes with a performance of Ludwig von Beethoven’s Ode to Joy in June 2022.

“We are emerging from a devastating global event and embracing once again the things most important to us,” said Gustavo. “As we return to the concert hall, we have created a 2021/22 season that connects Torontonians with the emotional power and shared humanity of enjoying music together.”

As Toronto emerges from its pandemic lockdown, the season will begin slowly. The first four months will feature hour-long concerts without intermission, with music that requires smaller ensembles on stage to keep physical distancing.

Works calling for larger ensembles will be performed in the spring of 2022.