Toronto Symphony’s Peter Oundjian to lead final concerts this month as music director

Posted on: June 13, 2018

“A great sports car and a symphony orchestra, it turns out, have a few things in common,” writes John Terauds in Saturday’s (6/9) Toronto Star (Canada). “ ‘The first thing you want to do is test the limits a little bit, so you know what it’s capable of,’ says Peter Oundjian as he gets behind the wheel of a borrowed Porsche 718 Cayman GTS. The maestro loves fast cars…. We spend the next hour driving around a congested city the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s artistic leader has called home for the last 14 years. This is Oundjian’s final season as music director…. Oundjian will sell his townhouse and return to his old home base in Connecticut…. Oundjian, now 62, has spent his life making music…. He spent 14 years as the first violin for the now departed Tokyo String Quartet…. [At the Toronto Symphony] the former violinist started up a Mozart festival every January, he consolidated a lot of the season’s new music into an annual New Creations Festival and, over the years, has replaced most of the principal players in each section with new musicians. He also helped change a lot of people’s attitudes. ‘All of us, including such amazing players as (concertmaster) Jonathan Crow, know that it’s not just about making music and people coming to us for that,’ says the conductor. ‘It’s about being out there in the community.’ The TSO began recording and touring again…. I ask the conductor what may have been his biggest lesson over the past 14 years…. It was pacing, he says: of knowing how to handle pauses, ‘of relaxing into the music.’ ”

Posted June 13, 2018