Toronto Symphony launches concert series for people with autism

Posted on: March 13, 2019

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra has launched a series called Relaxed Performances, designed specifically for people living with autism spectrum disorders, sensory and communication disorders, and learning disabilities, with the first concert set for April 27 at Roy Thomson Hall. Conductor Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, who is artist-in-residence and community ambassador of Symphony Nova Scotia, will lead the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in the one-hour “Let’s Dance!” program of music featuring a variety of dance styles. Musicians will share the stage with dancers on the interactive program. During Relaxed Performances, audience members can move around, express themselves vocally, leave the concert hall, and take breaks in a quiet room. A visual guide will explain the concert experience step by step, in order to reduce anxiety, and rows of seats at the back of the hall will be kept empty should guests wish to move away from the sound of the orchestra on stage. Specialized training is being provided to musicians, TSO staff, and front-of-house personnel by Rachel Marks, an autism awareness consultant with significant experience in the performing arts.

Posted March 13, 2019