Toronto Symphony concertmaster and cellist: blending tradition and change

Posted on: September 28, 2015

“No other music does what classical music does. No other music is as rich, as deep, as powerful, as resonant. Or so goes the argument,” writes Robert Harris in Thursday’s (9/24) Globe and Mail (Toronto, Canada). “Jonathan Crow and Joseph Johnson believe it wholeheartedly. Crow is the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s concertmaster, Johnson its principal cellist. Together, they will be featured in the opening concerts of the TSO’s 93rd season this weekend, playing the Brahms Double Concerto, one of the standard works of the Western classical repertoire…. Crow and Johnson are a new breed of classical musician, helping the traditional symphony orchestra articulate a future as well as a past…. ‘Everybody here understands what it’s like to be in an orchestra in the 2000s,’ Crow says. ‘This isn’t the seventies any more, where you could just show up, play your Brahms and say to management: Sell us.’ … ‘We know we have to do more than just show up and play in the concert hall,’ Johnson adds… ‘We need to interact with the community, do pop-up concerts, collaborate with other institutions, be part of people’s lives. It’s necessary for our survival. But it’s also fun.’ ”

Posted September 28, 2015

Pictured: Toronto Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Jonathan Crow and Principal Cellist Joseph Johnson rehearse with the TSO. Photo by Kevin Van Paassen / Globe and Mail