Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra Launches New Season

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Top featured photo Eric Paetkau, photo credit Julie Isaac Photography

The Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra is widely known throughout the country for debuting new works, featuring home-grown talent and taking risks. “When we sit to sit down to plan out our concert season, top of mind is always the audience,” says Mark Turner. “We listen to the direct feedback from our audience. Those conversations that happen in the lobby after our shows allow us to find new ways to thrill the audience young and old.”

The 2019/2020 season features pieces that give people a musical escape and allow them to feel something extraordinary. “We want to be the change we want to see in the classical music scene,” says SSO executive director Mark Turner. “Historically, there was a very long time where women were not allowed to compose. They had to publish their works under their husband or brother’s names. There are some incredible female voices out there and the quality only gets better when we encourage those voices.”

Accent, Photo Credit Rebecca Need-Menear

The SSO didn’t have to look far for the top female talent. Opening night will feature Dóchas by Regina composer Laura Pettigrew, sharing the stage with performances of cellist Stéphane Tétreault. Gravelbourg-born composer, Nicole Lizée, will have her Behind the Sound of Music featured in February’s offering that also highlights the talents of Saskatoon pianist Thomas Yu. The SSO is proud to be presenting the North American premiere of Rebecca Dale’s Materna Requiem and Dale herself will be in the audience for the March performance.

Rebecca Dale, Photo Credit Jake Turney

This year’s lineup continues the SSO’s long-standing tradition of fostering local talent. November’s Homecoming will feature violinist Carissa Klopoushak and trumpeter Ryan Cole in his debut with the orchestra. “In December we’ve assembled our dream team for Handel’s Messiah,” says Turner. “We are adding movements never done here in Saskatoon. Local artists such as Danika Lorén, Spencer McKnight and Lisa Hornung along with Adam Harris and the Saskatoon Symphony Chorus will make it unforgettable.”

Danika Lorén, Photo Credit Sam Gaetz

Speaking of the holidays, the SSO will once again delight with its annual holiday review in December featuring Elly Thorn, Dean McNeill, The Greystone Singers, and the University Chorus. There’s plenty of sure-fire sellouts this season and audiences won’t want to miss Jeremy Dutcher. In November, this Polaris Prize and Juno Award winner will join the SSO to show why he’s the most talked-about vocalist in Canada right now. “Jeremy is creating an entirely new style and sound to his work,” says Turner. “His music is two worlds colliding as he blends classical music with his Indigenous roots.”

Jeremy Dutcher, Photo Credit Feldman Agency

The orchestra hasn’t forgotten about the little ones in its plans. Families will delight in the presentation of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. The SSO will voyage under the sea as they play along with the original film. It’s an amazing way for parents to introduce their children to the power of live performance.

Internationally acclaimed vocal jazz group Accent will team up with the orchestra to develop the group’s first symphony show in March. “It’s a great opportunity for these guys to develop a new show within the comforts of a home town audience,” says Turner. Members Danny Fong and Andrew Kesler hail from Saskatoon. “This season is going to be epic,” exclaims Turner. “We can’t wait for our audience to join us for some amazing music!”

SSO 2019/2020 Season at a Glance:


21 - Opening Night Feat. Stéphane Tétreault


5 - Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Feat. Véronique Mathieu

19 - The Planets


9 - Jeremy Dutcher

16 – Homecoming Feat. Carissa Klopoushak & Ryan Cole


7 – Christmas with the SSO Feat. Elly Thorn

13 – Handel’s Messiah Feat. Danika Lorén, Lisa Hornung, Spencer McKnight & Adam Harris

14 – Sing-Along Messiah


19 – Sunday Chamber

25 – The Little Mermaid


8 -  Thomas Yu

16 – Sunday Chamber Czech Romance


7 – Requiem Feat. Spencer McKnight & Chelsea Mahan

21 – Accent


4 – Mozart’s Flute Feat. Naomi Ford


2 – Beethoven 250 Feat. Jane Coop

10 – Sunday Chamber Beethoven Septet