Orchestra Toronto is an orchestra created by passionate musicians within the community, for the community. We offer the enjoyment of music, foster education and music appreciation and support emerging Canadian talent. Our organization of volunteers is committed to making symphonic music accessible to a broad and diverse public beyond the concert hall.
Orchestra Toronto will entertain and inspire our many communities and strive to ensure the love of symphonic music is embraced by future generations.
Our passion is deep rooted in more than a half century of musical history:
· Our volunteer organization embraces partnerships with our supporters to fulfill our vision
· We seek to provide an inspiring experience in each and every performance
· We share our enthusiasm for music making with artistic responsibility and devotion to our art form
· We create programs that meet the changing needs of our audiences and deliver a musical experience beyond their expectations
· We provide a forum for volunteer and emerging musicians to grow and showcase their talent
· We will make symphonic music approachable for audiences of all social and musical backgrounds
About Orchestra Toronto
Orchestra Toronto is the “crown jewel of Canadian community orchestras,” bringing together musicians and audiences to share great orchestral music in Toronto since 1954.
Who We Are
Since its inception as the Bennington Heights Community Orchestra in 1954, Orchestra Toronto (we changed our name in 2000 to reflect our cross-city membership) has been operating as a community- based orchestra in the GTA. It remains one of Canada’s oldest and largest community-based volunteer orchestras.
The orchestra comprises an average of 85 musicians (number varies depending on what is required for each concert). The musicians are volunteers—actually they each pay a small stipend to become a member of the orchestra.
What We Do
Our orchestra rehearses and performs five concerts each season, with programmes covering the full scope of orchestral music, from new commissions to grand symphonic classics by Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms. We collaborate with some of Toronto’s and Ontario’s finest musicians and ensembles to bring audiences exciting music in the heart of North York.
We sponsor and run an annual concerto competition, the Marta Hidy Prize, awarded to a young musician with world-class potential. This cash prize offers a young soloist the opportunity to perform a concerto of their choosing with Orchestra Toronto in our season-opening programme.
We run three music education programmes within the orchestra:
five annual conducting apprenticeships for emerging symphonic conductors;
five annual concertmaster apprenticeships for young violinists interested in learning the concertmaster's craft;
and up to 20 annual student fellowships, offering promising student musicians the opportunity to join the orchestra for free for one or more concert cycles, along with mentoring on their chosen instrument.
We offer two charitable ticket programmes, allowing members of our community who might not otherwise be able to attend concerts to join us: each Holiday concert, we distribute 200 tickets to Toronto charities helping children and families, and at every concert we welcome 30 newcomers through our refugee settlement partners.
Where to Find Us
Orchestra Toronto performs in the George Weston Recital Hall at the Meridian Arts Centre in North York. This acoustically outstanding Hall holds 1,025 patrons.