Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) Board Chair Catherine Beck and Chief Executive Officer Matthew Loden today announced that Spanish conductor Gustavo Gimeno will become the Orchestra’s 11th Music Director beginning in 2020/21, the Orchestra’s 99th season.
“This is a thrilling day for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra,” said Catherine Beck, Chair of the Board of Directors. “We at the TSO were searching for a leader who would take our highly talented musicians to the next level and, in Maestro Gimeno, we have found exactly that person. We are indebted to our Search Committee who recognized that Gustavo has all the qualities you could ask for in a modern Music Director. He will lead the Orchestra with passion and imagination, bring the TSO to where Torontonians live, and stir this city’s appreciation of great music.”
Acclaimed for his ability to elicit fresh and vibrant performances, Maestro Gimeno has conducted leading orchestras in Europe, North America, and Japan, and became Music Director of the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg in 2015. He made his Canadian début with the TSO this past February with a virtuosic concert program featuring music by Beethoven, Ligeti, and Dvořák.
“I am so proud to become the Music Director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra,” said Gimeno. “From our very first encounter, I connected with the Orchestra’s sound, their cultivated playing and flexibility, and immediately felt at home, both musically and personally. I greatly admire the TSO’s dual commitment to presenting the core repertoire while also introducing new composers and concert formats in a uniquely Canadian way. I look forward to sharing our musical stories with our loyal audiences everywhere.”
Gustavo Gimeno began his international conducting career in 2012 as assistant to Mariss Jansons, while Gimeno was a member of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. As a protégé of the legendary Bernard Haitink and Claudio Abbado, Gimeno gained experience that solidified his musical foundation and shaped his career on the world stage.
Maestro Gimeno has signed a five-year contract with the TSO to begin in the 2020/21 season. He succeeds Peter Oundjian, who was named TSO Conductor Emeritus in June 2018 after a fruitful 14-year tenure as Music Director. Sir Andrew Davis is serving as TSO Interim Artistic Director until the end of the 2019/20 season, when he will continue his long relationship with the Orchestra, returning to the TSO podium regularly.
Gustavo Gimeno has recorded the first symphonies of Dmitri Shostakovich and Anton Bruckner, Maurice Ravel’s complete ballet music for Daphnis et Chloé, as well as Gustav Mahler’s Fourth Symphony with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg on the Pentatone label.
Maestro Gimeno will return to Toronto on June 29 and 30, 2019, to conduct The Firebird—a program anchored by the famous Stravinsky suite, also featuring works by Sibelius (with TSO Concertmaster Jonathan Crow as soloist) and Prokofiev.
Photo: Marco Borggreve