Toledo Symphony Announces Revised 2020-2021 Season, Concerts to Begin Sept. 12

New streaming ticket options available

Published Monday, August 3, 2020 8:00 am

The Toledo Symphony Orchestra (TSO) announced today new plans for its 2020-2021 performance season, the orchestra’s 77th season, and Alain Trudel’s third season as Music Director. The TSO will offer both socially distanced in-person and new streaming attendance options for concertgoers. All performances will be held at the Toledo Museum of Art’s Peristyle Theater until February 2021.

“With everything going on in the world right now, we need music more than ever to safely bring us back together,” says Alain Trudel. “The performing arts create a sense of community that we are all longing for, and at a time when the world stretches us in different directions, let us rejoice together in the joy and beauty of music. We’ve reimagined our concert schedule to accommodate the health and safety guidelines set forth by the State of Ohio and now have a season that we’re extremely proud to share with the community.”

In the TSO’s revised season, some performances have been reprogrammed entirely to highlight repertoire that will allow orchestra members to socially distance on the stage. The orchestra has additionally re-introduced some concerts that were cancelled last spring due to COVID-19 closures. The TSO season, which runs from September 2020 through June 2021, will open with all-Beethoven programming in celebration of the landmark composer’s 250th birthday.

Highlights from the 2020-2021 Season:

  • Golden Globe, Tony, and Emmy Award-winner Bernadette Peters makes her Toledo debut, in a one-night-only Spotlight Event.
  • The Toledo Ballet’s 80th Anniversary presentation of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker.
  • Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Recomposed by Max Richter, a treasured favorite with a 21st century spin.
  • The return of the Canadian Brass in a program of music by Brahms and Shostakovich.
  • Van Cliburn Gold Medalist, Jon Nakamatsu performing Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto.
  • A rousing tribute to Louis Armstrong, featuring trumpeter Byron Stripling.
  • A re-creation of Frank Sinatra’s Only the Lonely, featuring Sinatra’s granddaughter, vocalist AJ Lambert.
  • Coming to Toledo from a galaxy far, far away—the TSO performs John Williams’s entire score to Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back alongside the iconic film.

The ProMedica Masterworks Series expands to 13 weekends this season. Inaugural concerts will celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday with performances of his Symphonies Nos. 1, 3 “Eroica”, and 5 (September 12, 13, 25, 26). Violinist Randall Goosby will join a tribute to Joseph Bologne de Saint-Georges, the most prominent Black composer of the 18th century (October 17). Mezzo-soprano Susan Platts returns to Toledo to join tenor Brandon Scott Russell in Mahler’s haunting Das Lied von der Erde, or “Song of the Earth” (November 6-7). The TSO reimagines Vivaldi’s famed Four Seasons with a spellbinding, 21st century “recomposition” by British composer Max Richter (November 20-21). The legendary Canadian Brass return to Toledo for the first time in over a decade to perform music by Brahms and Shostakovich (January 15-16). Grammy Award-winning soprano Measha Brueggergosman joins a celebration of Richard Wagner’s music in her prized interpretation of his Wesendonck Lieder (February 5-6). Alain Trudel and the TSO perform famous works inspired by the city of Prague (February 19). Violinist Kerson Leong performs Bartok’s Violin Concerto No. 2 in between two Tchaikovsky masterpieces: the 1812 Overture and Fifth Symphony (March 5-6). Pianist Stewart Goodyear returns to Toledo to present his original composition, Callaloo, alongside Duke Ellington’s incredible Black, Brown, and Beige (April 9-10). Pianist Jean-Philippe Sylvestre celebrates music of André Mathieu, otherwise known as “Rachmaninoff’s Heir” alongside Rachmaninoff’s own Second Symphony (April 30-May 1). Van Cliburn Gold Medalist, pianist Jon Nakamatsu returns to Toledo in Tchaikovsky’s celebrated First Piano Concerto (May 21-22). The series concludes with pianist Michael Chertock presenting Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Variations on I Got Rhythm alongside Copland’s masterpiece Appalachian Spring (June 4-5).

The KeyBank Pops Series will open with trumpeter Byron Stripling’s tribute to Louis Armstrong on October 3. On January 9, The TSO will recreate Mary Poppins’s Grammy Award-winning score, live to the original film. The TSO will pay homage to the Beatles on January 23 in a brand-new program that features talented young vocalists and arrangements transcribed from the original Abbey Road sessions. Vocalist AJ Lambert will provide a Valentine’s Weekend tribute to Frank Sinatra—her grandfather—in a re-creation of his legendary concept album, Only the Lonely. The Roaring Twenties will be the focus of a new Pops revue on February 27, staring vocalist Connor Bogart O’Brien and conductor Carl Topilow. The series concludes on March 20 with a stirring tribute to Aretha Franklin, starring Broadway’s Capathia Jenkins.

The Buckeye Broadband & Blade Chamber Series begins October 11 with “Transcriptions,” a program that celebrates great moments of the symphonic repertoire in amazing transcriptions for small ensembles. Music on November 1 will include Messiaen’s moving Quartet for the End of Time. The January 31 concert will celebrate intimacy and romance, concluding with Leoš Janáček’s incredible string quartet, “Intimate Letters.” The April 18 performance will pair Shostakovich’s first Piano Trio with Alain Trudel’s Shostakovich-inspired String Quartet. The series concludes on May 16 with Beethoven’s “Razumovsky” Quartet. 

The Anderson Foundation Family Series features two seasonal favorites: the Halloween Spooktacular on October 25 and Christmas at the Peristyle on December 5-6. The series will conclude with a new production, Dancing Fairy Tales, which brings stories of Hans Christian Andersen to life with TSO musicians and Toledo Ballet dancers.

The Dance Series will open with an evening of Gershwin and dance. Toledo Ballet dancers will perform original choreography by Lisa Mayer-Lang and Michael Lang in a glittering revue of Gershwin favorites on October 10. On December 11-13, Toledo Ballet celebrates the holiday season with its 80th Anniversary performances of Tchaikovsky’s beloved Nutcracker. The longest continuously running production in the nation, this year’s performances are dedicated to the late Marie Bollinger-Vogt, who founded Toledo Ballet. The TSO and Toledo Ballet will collaborate with the Toledo Museum of Art on March 14 to present a new production, Moving Soliloquies, inspired by works from the TMA’s legendary collection.

This season’s Spotlight Events include the Toledo debut of singer and actress Bernadette Peters. Famous for her iconic stage appearances in Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, Annie Get your Gun, Gypsy, and Hello, Dolly, Ms. Peters will appear with the TSO on April 17. On May 8, the TSO continues its celebration of the Star Wars franchise with The Empire Strikes Back. This is the second installment in the Star Wars in Concert series. The first installment, Star Wars: A New Hope drew a record-setting crowd of 5,000 to the Huntington Center on May 4, 2019.

Tickets to all of the symphony’s 2020-2021 performances are now available to the general public and can be purchased online at, by calling the box office at 419.246.8000, or by emailing

“We look forward to welcoming our patrons and the public back to the concert hall this September, both in-person and virtually,” says Zak Vassar, President & CEO of the Toledo Symphony. “The coronavirus pandemic has presented many challenges throughout these past few months, but it’s also given us the opportunity to get creative and meet people wherever they are. By expanding our accessibility, we can serve our community in ways that we’ve never been able. We have an incredible season prepared, and we cannot wait to get back to creating exceptional live music and dance experiences.”

New this season, the TSO will launch a state-of-the-art streaming platform. Modeled after popular products like Netflix and Hulu, the TAPA Streaming technology will allow virtual ticketholders to view most performances on their computers, phones, tablets, Apple TV, or Roku devices. More information on TAPA Streaming is available at

“The health and safety of our audiences, performers, and staff remain our top priority. Our administrative and artistic teams have worked diligently to ensure the safest environment for all,” says Vassar. “We’re continuing to follow the guidelines set forth by the State of Ohio related to COVID-19.”

The TSO is implementing additional safety measures for in-person attendance, including increased sanitizing of high touch surfaces, easy access to hand sanitizing stations, enforcement of social distancing guidelines, use of masks, touchless ticketing, and special audience routing throughout the Peristyle. More information on these safety measures is available at

For more information, please contact Allie Dresser, Marketing Manager for the Toledo Symphony at or visit


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.

The Toledo Symphony reaches more than 260,000 individuals annually through performances and education programs. The series concerts (Masterworks, Pops, Chamber, and Family Series) are the critical underpinning of the orchestra’s artistic mission and regularly draw people from 135 postal zip codes. 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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