Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) offers younger audience members an exciting introduction to classical music with the Young People’s Concert Series, continuing their Centennial Celebrations with four concerts in different styles and subjects. These exuberant performances prove that every member of the family can appreciate the beauty of the symphony together, while they also dispel the myth that classical music appreciation is only for the elite.

The Young People’s Concert Series is curated by Barrett Principal Education Conductor & Community Ambassador Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, who conducts two of the concerts as well. His excitement for the material, and for music itself, is irresistible!

TSO Young Peoples Concert

Conductor Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser leads the Toronto Symphony Orchestra with energetic flair. Photo courtesy TSO.

TSO Young People’s Concert Series — Event Schedule

Platypus Theatre’s “How the Gimquat Found Her Song”
Sunday, November 6, 2022 at 1:30pm & 4:00pm

This creation by Platypus Theatre celebrates its 30th anniversary as it returns to the TSO Young People’s Concert Series. Led by RBC Resident Conductor Trevor Wilson, “How the Gimquat Found Her Song”  is an entrancing blend of music, theatre and puppetry. It follows a rare and silent bird’s transformative journey in search of the perfect song.

Furthermore, at pre-concert activities in the Roy Thomson Hall lobby, families can arrive up to an hour before the performance to take part in a musical scavenger hunt in order to save the orchestra! Are you brave enough to complete the Kingductor’s Quest? SoundCrowd also gives a spellbinding a cappella performance in the North Lobby half an hour before showtime.

“The Hockey Sweater”
Sunday, February 5, 2023 at 1:30pm & 4:00pm

“The Hockey Sweater” is a classic Canadian tale that has been read by generations of young people… even fans of both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montréal Canadiens! In this TSO co-commissioned work, the iconic story is brought to life through the music of Abigail Richardson-Schulte and narration by the author himself, Roch Carrier. Enjoy a charming winter tale that will appeal to all budding hockey fans!

RBC Resident Conductor Trevor Wilson conducts the Toronto Symphony Orchestra with featured performer on clarinet, 2021/22 TSYO Concerto Competition Winner Andrew Neagoe.

“The Hockey Sweater” scoots and scores! Photo courtesy TSO.

TSO Young People’s Concert Series — Event Schedule

“Why Sci-Fi?” 
Sunday, March 5, 2023 at 1:30pm & 4:00pm
Relaxed performance Sunday, March 5, 2023 at 11:00am

Set your phasers to stun and blast off with the Orchestra for a cosmic musical exploration! For decades, composers have used music to portray the thrill of adventure in science-fiction stories. In turn, these symphonic pieces never cease to capture our imaginations.

Conducted by Young People’s Concert Series Curator Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, this concert features musical close encounters with works by John Williams, Holst, and Debussy.

“Reggae Roots”
Sunday, April 16, 2023 at 1:30pm & 4:00pm
Relaxed performance Sunday, April 16, 2023 at 11:00am

Conducted by Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, explore the evolution of Jamaica’s most famous export: reggae music! Jamaican Nova Scotia-based reggae artist Jah’Mila shares the beats, melodies, and people that make reggae so engaging.

Discover the people, sounds, and stories of the musical movement that grew to influence music around the globe. “Reggae Roots” also reflects on the social, cultural, and spiritual importance of reggae, which has shaped Jamaica and touched the world.

A young concertgoer wears sound-dampening headphones during a Relaxed Performance. Photo courtesy TSO.

Relaxed Performances

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra offers Relaxed Performances for “Why Sci-Fi?” and “Reggae Roots” as part of the TSO Young People’s Concert Series. These extra shows are intended to be sensitive to and welcoming of neurodiverse audiences, including patrons on the autism spectrum, those with sensory and communication disorders, and people with learning disabilities. This applies to those who simply want a more relaxed concert experience as well, which is certainly a comfort for families with kids who don’t want to sit still.

Therefore, audience members are welcome to move around, express themselves vocally or leave the concert hall if they wish. Moreover, patrons can receive a Venue Guide that details the concert experience in order to reduce anxiety about it, and also access a quiet room furnished with comfortable seating, stress-relieving fidgets, and relaxing activities. The TSO can even provide resources, such as sound-dampening headphones, that can be signed out before the concert and returned afterward.

The spellbinding Roy Thomson Hall. Photo courtesy TSO.

TSO Young People’s Concert Series

When: November 6, 2022 — April 16, 2023
Time: 1:30pm & 4:00pm, Relaxed performances at 11:00am
Where: Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe Street, Toronto

Take a seat at our list of Concerts & Shows in Toronto here!