Maestro Denis Mastromonaco and the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra will launch their impressive 48th concert season at the Living Arts Centre during Thanksgiving weekend. On October 12, the orchestra will present Music of Thanksgiving, a concert that will include Antonin Dvorak’s soaring Symphony No. 9 “From the New World”, and George Gershwin’s wildly popular Rhapsody in Blue, featuring guest soloist, Talisa Blackman at the piano. As an added bonus, concert goers are invited to join Maestro Mastromonaco in Roger’s theatre for the first Meet the Maestro pre-concert discussion of the season. Ticket prices start at $40. Special pricing is available for seniors, families, and patrons under 26. Complimentary underground parking is included with every ticket purchase. A complete list of repertoire and pricing can be found at mississaugasymphony.ca.
When Antonín Dvořák, age 51, arrived in New York on September 27, 1892 to direct the new National Conservatory of Music, both he and the institution’s founder, Mrs. Jeanette Thurber, expected that he would help to foster an American school of composition. The “New World” Symphony was not only Dvořák’s way of pointing toward a truly American musical idiom, but also a reflection of his own feelings about the country. “I should never have written the Symphony as I have,” he said, “if I hadn’t seen America.” First performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City with the New York Philharmonic in 1893, Dvořák’s stunning ninth symphony has become one of the most beloved and impressive works in the cannon of classical music.
George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue occupies a special place in American music: it introduced jazz to classical concert audiences, and simultaneously made an instant star of its composer. From its instantly recognizable opening whine in the clarinet through its brilliant finale, Rhapsody in Blue epitomizes the Gershwin sound and instantly transformed the 25-year-old songwriter from Tin Pan Alley into a composer of “serious” music.
As an orchestral pianist, soloist Talisa Blackman has performed extensively with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Esprit Orchestra, the Hamilton Philharmonic, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, the Niagara Symphony Orchestra, and has performed with the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra in St. Petersburg Russia under the direction of Valery Gergiev. Talisa is also an active chamber musician, with performances across Canada and the United States. She has collaborated with noted vocalists and instrumentalists, most recently with acclaimed Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti.
The MSO’s relaxed Meet the Maestro pre-concert discussions are fantastic opportunities for concert goers to interact with Maestro Denis Mastromonaco and learn more about the history behind the music being performed at each concert in the MSO’s Masterworks series. Meet the Maestro discussions take place in the Living Arts Centre’s Rogers Theatre at 7:15 pm.
The MSO is designated as one of Mississauga’s six pillars of arts, culture and heritage. The orchestra offers entertaining and increasingly sophisticated programs from the classic and popular repertoires of symphonic music, all performed to the highest artistic standards. Based out of Hammerson Hall, a world-class theatre located within the Living Arts Centre, the MSO provides performance opportunities and personal development to talented amateurs while combining the strands of excellence and education by assisting young professional performers and composers through solo performance opportunities, commissions and mentoring.