Toronto Symphony musician-athletes to perform at opening of Pan Am Games

Posted on: July 9, 2015

“Some of the athletes at Friday’s opening ceremonies of the Pan Am Games will be playing instruments,” writes Trish Crawford in Wednesday’s (7/8) Toronto Star (Canada). “That’s because many members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, participating in the event produced by Cirque du Soleil, are also fitness buffs [who] … put themselves through daily rigorous workouts to keep in shape for their demanding performances. Strength, breath control, core body strength and flexibility are just some of the benefits of exercise for performers, including conductor Peter Oundjian, who swims and plays tennis regularly. ‘It clears the mind, it makes you think clearly, puts you in a better mood and gives you focus,’ Oundjian says.” The article profiles timpanist David Kent, who competes in tennis tournaments; percussionist John Rudolph, who “runs the 11 kilometres from home to Roy Thomson Hall for rehearsals frequently and has participated in the Boston Marathon five times”; and flutist Leonie Wall, a cyclist. In the article, Wall comments, “The cardio workout is great for wind paying, since we need a large lung capacity to play our instruments. Because of the way the flute is built, it actually takes as much air to play as a tuba.”

Posted July 9, 2015