The TSO announces RBC Resident Conductor Shalom Bard and RBC Affiliate Composer Kevin Lau

TORONTO, June 18, 2012 /CNW/ - TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian proudly announces Canadian artists, conductor Shalom Bard as the TSO's RBC Resident Conductor and composer Kevin Lau as the TSO's RBC Affiliate Composer. In their roles, Shalom and Kevin will be fully integrated into all areas of the organization, with full access to the inner workings of a major symphony orchestra. Earlier this year, the TSO had an open call for applications which was met with an overwhelming response. Both highly sought-after positions, these two-year residencies represent an important investment in the Canadian arts community by fostering the development of artists and leaders. This investment is supported by special project grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, and a multi-year commitment from the RBC Foundation totaling $400,000, establishing the TSO's first RBC Emerging Artists Programme.

"RBC is committed to supporting emerging talent in Canada and we are thrilled to establish the new RBC Emerging Artists Programme at the TSO to help foster the careers of up and coming artists. In addition, RBC will also support various public performances where these artists will be involved, including the TSO's New Creations Festival," said Shari Austin, Vice President, Corporate Citizenship, RBC and Executive Director of the RBC Foundation.

"We are delighted to welcome Shalom and Kevin as part of the TSO's artistic team starting in September 2012," said TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian. "I look forward to working with them both as they continue to build their careers here with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra." As the TSO's RBC Resident Conductor, Shalom Bard will work closely with Music Director Peter Oundjian and the Artistic Staff of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra with complete access to all TSO rehearsals and performances. He will also work with TSO guest conductors for consultation, coaching, and discussion. In the 2012-2013 season, Shalom will conduct as many as 20 concerts throughout the TSO season, making his Toronto TSO conducting début at a special concert featuring violinist Maxim Vengerov (October 20, 2012). His other conducting dates include the Audience Choice Light Classics concert (January 26 & 27, 2013), Student Concerts on the Northern Residency tour (September, 2012), and a variety of TSO Education and Outreach concerts. Shalom Bard also takes on the important role of the new Conductor of the renowned and talented Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra (TSYO), of which he himself is an alumnus. As TSYO Conductor, Shalom Bard will lead the TSYO in each of their three concerts, direct an intensive rehearsal weekend and lead all rehearsals, mentoring the musicians of the TSYO.

Prior to his position with the TSO, Israeli-born Canadian Shalom Bard was Resident Conductor of Symphony Nova Scotia during the 2011-2012 season under the mentorship of Maestro Bernhard Gueller. Previous appointments include Assistant Conductor for Educational Concerts with the Herbert Zipper Orchestra of Los Angeles, and Conductor of the Mooredale Youth Orchestra in Toronto. Shalom holds Masters degrees in orchestral conducting and clarinet performance from McGill University and the University of Southern California, respectively. As the TSO's RBC Affiliate Composer, Kevin Lau will work closely with Music Director Peter Oundjian, Composer Advisor Gary Kulesha, and the Artistic Staff of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. During his two-year term with the TSO, Kevin will compose at least two works for the Orchestra. Kevin's first work will premiere in June 2013 in concerts also featuring Chinese pianists Yuja Wang. He will also participate in educational work with young audiences in the TSO's community outreach programmes.

A Hong Kong-born Canadian, Kevin Lau is an active composer of contemporary orchestral and film music. His music has been commissioned and performed by numerous ensembles including orchestras in Hamilton and Mississauga, Orchestre de la Francophonie, the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, and the Esprit Orchestra. His orchestral composition Fountain of Dreams was awarded winner of both the 2005 Mississauga Young Composers' Competition and the 2008-2009 University of Toronto Composer's Competition. In 2010, he was awarded the Karen Kieser Prize in Canadian Music for his composition Starsail. His composition Joy, for solo violin and strings, will be featured in a soon to be released CD by Canadian violinist Conrad Chow.

RBC Resident Conductor and RBC Affiliate Composer are part of the RBC Emerging Artists Programme, supported by the RBC Foundation. These positions are also supported in part by the Canada Council for the Arts.

RBC Wealth Management is the Presenting Sponsor of the Maxim Vengerov performance in October 2012 and the Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 2 performance in June 2013.

TSO 90th Season Sponsor is BMO Financial Group.

About the TSO:  Founded in 1922, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is one of Canada's major cultural institutions and is internationally recognized as a leading orchestra. Under the leadership of Music Director Peter Oundjian, the TSO is committed to innovative programming and showcases a roster of distinguished guest artists and conductors. In addition to performances, the TSO serves the community with one of the largest music education outreach programmes in Canada, connecting students throughout Ontario with acclaimed curriculum-based programming. tso.ca


For further information:

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Laura Quinn, Senior Manager of Communications 416-593-7769 x232 lquinn@tso.ca

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