Grand Prize Winner Sidney Outlaw to Perform in Toledo

Published Wednesday, February 19, 2020 10:00 am

On Friday, March 13 and Saturday, March 14, 2020 at 8 PM at the Toledo Museum of Art’s Peristyle Theater, the Toledo Symphony Orchestra (TSO) led by Music Director Alain Trudel will join Grand Prize winner Sidney Outlaw to perform a program dedicated to the timeless stories of love, including Lili Boulanger’s Of a Sad Evening, Gustav Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer, and Johannes Brahms’ fourth and final symphony. The concert is made possible by the Rita Barbour Kern Foundation.

Grand Prize winner of the Concurso Internacional de Canto Montserrat Caballe in 2010, baritone Sidney Outlaw joins TSO on stage to perform Gustav Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer. A graduate of the Merola Opera Program and the Gerdine Young Artist Program at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Outlaw recently received a Grammy nomination for the Naxos Records recording of Darius Milhaud’s 1922 opera trilogy, L’Orestie d’Eschyle in which he sang the role of Apollo.

“I’ve worked with many distinguished soloists over the years, and Sidney is on the top of my list,” says Alain Trudel, Music Director of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra. “He’s a terrific singer, and an operatic powerhouse—a perfect fit for the Mahler and our orchestra. I’m excited for Sidney to make his Toledo debut on this program all about the greatest love stories.”

Mahler wrote the poetry and music to Songs of a Wayfarer in 1883, orchestrated it in 1896, and Dutch singer Anton Sistermans premiered it in Berlin the same year. The work was was written in four movements, featuring four of his original poems about a traveling journeyman who meets adversity and sets out into the world, wandering alone.

The TSO opens the program with French composer Lili Boulanger’s Of A Sad Evening. Boulanger began studying and writing music at a very young age. In 1912, she entered one of her early compositions for the prestigious Grand Prix de Rome and became the first woman to receive the prize in 1913. Shortly after, Boulanger composed Of A Sad Evening in 1918 at the age of twenty-four, just before she passed away. The work was heavily inspired by French Impressionism and opens with a common musical theme that can be heard throughout most of the piece.

To conclude the program, the TSO will perform Johannes Brahms’ fourth and final Symphony. Written in 1885, Brahms’ Symphony No. 4 is considered to be one of his greatest symphonic achievements and contains some of the darkest and deepest music ever written in the 19th century. The work was composed in the traditional four movements and has proven to be the most difficult of the four. It opens with powerful, singing melodies and by the final movement transforms one simple theme into thirty variations.

“This program is all about love, in all its forms,” says Merwin Siu, Artistic Administrator for the Toledo Symphony Orchestra. “We take a look at the multifaceted sides to love with some of the most beautiful works ever written. We’re able to explore the fascinating insight into these composer’s musical and romantic relationships.”

Two performances of Love Songs will be held on Friday, March 13 and Saturday, March 14, 2020 at 8 PM at the Toledo Museum of Art’s Peristyle Theater. Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased online at, by calling 419.246.8000, or stopping by the box office located at 1838 Parkwood Avenue.

For more information, please contact Felecia Kanney, Director of Marketing for the Toledo Symphony at


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-nine 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 Symphony and Toledo Ballet 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.

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