The VSO Announces 2019 Summer Season Concerts

The VSO Announces 2019 Summer Season Concerts

The VSO Announces 2019 Summer Season Concerts

Performances include free concerts at Sunset Beach and Deer Lake Park, Bernadette Peters, Bugs Bunny, and more

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra announced today the program for its 2019 Summer Season. The eclectic mix of performances includes a return to Sunset Beach, the 32nd annual performance at Deer Lake, the VSO Orchestral Institute at the Chan Centre, Broadway legend Bernadette Peters, Star Wars and Bugs Bunny films, VSO at Bard on the Beach, and a special presentation of Thorgy Thor & the Thorchestra.

Kelly Tweeddale, President of the VSO and VSO School of Music, commented, “The VSO 2019 Summer Season celebrates a few sides of the VSO: its dedication to mentoring the next generation of music makers, a commitment to accessibility for our community, and the lighter side of the orchestra – all in our own back yard. We are delighted to have Music Director Otto Tausk with us as we begin the VSO Orchestral Institute at UBC and return to Deer Lake and Sunset Beach for free concerts for all. It’s a summer season that celebrates all that is great here at home: the outdoor landscapes, popular film, and family-friendly programs. If there has ever been a great excuse for planning a stay-cation with the VSO, I think this is it.”

The season opens June 24th with the VSO returning to the Bard on the Beach stage at Vanier Park under the baton of Assistant Conductor Bill Rowson.

June 25th, the VSO performs for the first time with Thorgy Thor, the star of Season 8 of RuPaul’s Drag Race at the Orpheum Theatre. Thorgy is a classically trained violinist whose previous performances with orchestras have been sellout successes. Thorgy Thor & the Thorchestra coincides with the Queer Arts Festival and the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

Broadway star, seven-time Tony Award-winner, and one of the leading interpreters of Stephen Sondheim, Bernadette Peters meets the VSO on June 27th at the Orpheum. Peters is well known for her five-decade stage and acting career including recent acclaim in HBO’s Mozart in the Jungle. This concert is on sale to the public now.

On June 30th the VSO and Music Director Otto Tausk return to Deer Lake for its 32ndannual summer performance. Each year the VSO’s outdoor concerts in the beautiful Burnaby park attract more than 10,000 concertgoers. New this year, the VSO will add family activities and participation from the VSO School of Music to entertain families and concertgoers in the afternoon as well as a pre-concert performance by members of the VSO Orchestral Institute.

During the summer season the VSO Orchestral Institute (VSOI), led by musicians of the VSO and Maestro Otto Tausk, will be in residence at UBC and the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. One of the country’s preeminent professional training programs, VSOI attracts young musicians from around the world. The program culminates in a public concert on Wednesday, July 3rd at the Chan Centre including Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, Night on Bald Mountain and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5.

July 4th, 5th and 6th features Star Wars: The Empire Strikes back on the big screen at the Orpheum with the VSO performing the John Williams score underneath. This concert is currently on sale with a third of tickets already sold.

July 7th Music Director Otto Tausk joins the VSO in partnership with the Vancouver Park Board for its second annual concert at Sunset Beach. Last summer’s inaugural Symphony at Sunset was an unmitigated success with more than 14,000 people attending the free concert on the large lawn at Sunset Beach. The VSO expects to build on that success this year and is working with the Vancouver Park Board to ensure an exceptional experience for everyone who attends the concert this summer.

The VSO Summer Season closes with an enduring family classic: Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II in the Orpheum Theatre on July 12th and 13th. The “Wascally Wabbit” and friends return to the big screen with classic Looney Tunes as the VSO plays the original scores live in a new show created by George Daugherty and David Ka Lik Wong. This is a ticketed event.

VSO 2019 Summer Season Concert Listing

June 24 – Bard on the Beach

June 25 – Thorgy Thor at Orpheum Theatre. On sale March 29.

June 27 – BMO Presents Bernadette Peters at Orpheum Theatre. On sale now.

June 30 –  VSO at Deer Lake Park plus VSOI Mini-Concert and VSO School of Music Family Fun Zone. Free concert.

July 3 – VSOI Concert at Chan Centre, conducted by Maestro Otto Tausk, on sale March 22

July 4-6 – VSO Digital Concert Hall presented by Telus: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back at Orpheum Theatre. On sale now.

July 7 – VSO at Sunset Beach (full program TBA). Free concert.

July 12 & 13 – VSO Digital Concert Hall presented by Telus: 80th Anniversary of Bugs Bunny at The Symphony, Orpheum Theatre. On sale April 12.

For more information visit

Youth development and engagement programs generously supported by The William and Irene McEwen Fund.

Outdoor free concerts made possible in part by the Jane McLennan Fund for Accessible Programming.

The VSO acknowledges the City of Burnaby and the Vancouver Park Board for their support of free outdoor concerts. 

About Maestro Otto Tausk

Dutch conductor Otto Tausk is the Music Director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. He also serves as Artistic Advisor of the VSO School of Music. Until spring 2018, Tausk was Music Director of the Opera Theatre and Tonhalle orchestra St Gallen, Switzerland. He is a respected musical personality in his native Holland, working with all its major orchestras and composers.

The 2018-2019 season began with Tausk’s London concert debut at the BBC Proms, conducting the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. He continues guest relationships with the National Orchestra of Belgium, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic and Dutch National Opera, and made debut performances with New Jersey Symphony and Orquesta de Valencia. In Vancouver his 2018-2019 programs include performances with soloists such as James Ehnes, Renée Fleming, and Itzhak Perlman, to name a few.

Born in Utrecht, Otto Tausk studied violin and then conducting with Jonas Aleksa. From 2004 to 2006, Tausk was assistant conductor to Valery Gergiev with the Rotterdam Philharmonic. In 2011 Tausk was presented with the ‘de Olifant’ prize by the City of Haarlem for his contribution to the Arts in the Netherlands.

About the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

Founded in 1919, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is one of Canada’s most active and successful performing arts institutions, the largest performing arts organization west of Ontario, and the third largest symphony orchestra in the country.

The VSO performs to an annual audience of over 250,000 people and features more than 50 celebrated guest artists each season. Over 170 concerts are performed annually by the VSO in the historic Orpheum Theatre and numerous additional venues throughout the Lower Mainland. 2018/2019 marks the organization’s 100th season.

Media release and images provided by Sarah Yu, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

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