Over 200 Musicians to Perform Mahler's Massive Resurrection Symphony

Published Thursday, April 25, 2019 5:00 pm

Music Director Alain Trudel combines a larger-than-life orchestra and chorus, including the University Musical Society’s Choral Union (Ann Arbor), the Toledo Opera Chorus, and numerous community choirs throughout Northwest Ohio to perform Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection” on Friday, May 17 and Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 8 PM at the Toledo Museum of Art’s Peristyle Theater.

“Performing Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 is a true privilege,” says Alain Trudel, Music Director of the Toledo Symphony. “It’s a monumental symphony on the grandest scale and has been performed with almost every TSO Music Director since Joseph Hawthorne in the 1950s. I couldn’t think of a better way to bring our community together to conclude one of our final performances in my inaugural season.”

Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, known as the Resurrection Symphony, is an elaborate work which took the late-romantic composer six years to complete. Mahler’s Resurrection is considered to be the most popular and successful works he ever wrote, which was inspired by his constant search for the meaning of life and death. The symphony is composed of five movements, and is written for a large-scale orchestra, chorus, and vocal soloists.

“Audiences will witness the largest combined ensemble that has performed at the Peristyle in many years,” says Keith McWatters, Orchestra Manager for the Toledo Symphony. “The last time we performed a work of this caliber was in 2014 for Beethoven’s Ninth at the Huntington Center. Over 200 musicians will unite together on stage for this magnificent work.”

The work calls for four flutes, four oboes, four clarinets, four bassoons, ten horns, ten trumpets, four trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion, two harps, organ, strings, mixed chorus, soloists, and an offstage group that includes four trumpets, four horns, and timpani.

Praised by the New York Times for her “luminous voice” and “intensely expressive interpretations,” soprano Sarah Shafer is quickly emerging as a sought-after artist on both the operatic and concert stage. Shafer will join the Toledo Symphony as one of two soloists featured on the program. Joining Shafter and the TSO is British-born Canadian mezzo-soprano Susan Platts, who brings a uniquely rich and wide-ranging voice to the concert stage. She has performed all over the world, and has collaborated with many of today’s leading conductors. Platts is particularly esteemed for her performances of Gustav Mahler's works.

“I am a lifelong fan of Mahler’s music,” says Symphony President & CEO, Zak Vassar. “His compositions capture our entire world and its emotions, tragedies, and aspirations. The Resurrection Symphony, in particular, moves me for its spectacular sense of drama. Its finale quite literally shakes the Earth and reaches out to Heaven. It’s an unusually inspiring experience for audiences, so it’s easy to see why this has remained Mahler’s most popular work. I can’t wait to share it with our community!”

These performances are dedicated to the memory of Stephen Stranahan, a longtime Toledo Symphony trustee, Board President, and advocate. Mr. Stranahan passed away in January 2019. He was associated with the Toledo Symphony for over 60 years and was instrumental in presenting the TSO’s very first performance of Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony 60 years ago, on March 4, 1959.

Mahler’s Resurrection will be performed on Friday, May 17 and Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 8 PM at the Toledo Museum of Art’s Peristyle Theater. Tickets are available at toledosymphony.com or by calling the box office at 419.246.8000.

For more information, please contact Felecia Kanney, Director of Marketing for the Toledo Symphony at fkanney@artstoledo.com or visit toledosymphony.com.


The Toledo Symphony Orchestra is a community-supported organization of professional musicians and teachers who deliver quality performance and music education for all.

Formed in 1943 as The Friends of Music and incorporated in 1951 as the Toledo Orchestra Association, Inc., the Toledo Symphony Orchestra (TSO) has grown from a core group of twenty-two part-time musicians to a regional orchestra that employs sixty-five professional musicians who consider the Toledo Symphony their primary employer, as well as numerous extra players annually as repertoire demands.

On January 1, 2019, the Toledo Ballet and Toledo Symphony officially merged to form the Toledo Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA), a new non-profit organization dedicated to providing exceptional live music and dance performances and education for the region. This partnership promises to create new and invigorating programs, provide cost and revenue synergies in operations, and integrate the arts through shared educational missions.

The Toledo Symphony reaches more than 260,000 individuals annually through performances and education programs. The series concerts (Masterworks, Pops, Chamber, Mozart in the Afternoon, and Family Series) are the critical underpinning of the orchestra’s artistic mission and regularly draw people from 135 postal zip codes. Additionally, Music Under the Stars, a free summer band concert series, is held annually at the Toledo Zoo. Education programs, student performances, and community concerts are held in schools, neighborhood churches, performing arts centers, and community facilities throughout the region; many are offered at no charge or provided at a reduced fee to help expand participation.

The Toledo Symphony Orchestra has events all year round. View our upcoming performance schedule now.

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