Our 2023-24 season was filled with excitement and joy. We had a wonderful time sharing concerts, musical talks and events across our region this season! Each concert and event was special because we got to share it with you, our patrons, supporters, donors and sponsors.  

Thank you for your generous support. We could not do this without you. Here are some of the special highlights from our season.  

Spotlight on our soloists 

We started off the year strong with Gemma Conducts Schumann & Mendelssohn which featured the incredible Tony Siqi Yun at the piano, captivating audiences with Schumann’s Piano Concerto for a lively season opening. Over the year, we pointed the spotlight on many of our own Principal players. Principal Oboe  Aleh Remezau, wowed us in October with the Vaughan Williams Oboe Concerto, and Principal Horn Jessie Brooks, delivered a show-stopping performance of Strauss’ Horn Concerto No. 1 in February. Mother-daughter duo Erika and Elizabeth Raum won the hearts of our audience in March, with Erika performing her mother’s Violin Concerto. We wrapped up the season with Gemma Conducts Beethoven 9. A wonderful celebration of Gemma’s nine years as Music Director and featuring four incredible soloists; Carla Huhtanen, Lauren Segal, Lawrence Wiliford and Alexander Dobson along with the Bach Elgar Choir, Strata Vocal Ensemble, Masterworks of Oakville and the Georgetown Bach Chorale as our 135-singer strong mass choir. 

Championing new music

As part of our Composer Fellowship Program supported by Composer-in-Residence, Abigail Richarson Schulte, we premiered brilliant new works by Liam Ritz, Paul Kawabe, Kathryn Knowles, and Michael Maevskiy.

Our Intimate & Immersive series, featured an art installation by Canadian multi-disciplinary artist Diana VanderMeulen. Audiences were wowed by seven unique works composed by seven different featured composers, 6 of whom are Canadian. They were also treated to introductions by many of the composers themselves, who shared their incredible music with us at The Cotton Factory.  

The next generation of musicians

HPO continues to partner with the Women in Musical Leadership program (WML) designed to develop the next generation of women and non-binary conductors and music directors in Canada. Led by Tapestry Opera and music-based organizations across the country, WML creates practical opportunities for conductors to assist, observe, conduct, and build connections and support networks to establish themselves fully in the profession. We would like to recognize our partnerships with conductors Maria Fuller and Kelly Lin who joined us for various programs over the past year through WML and provide valuable leadership within our local community and across Canada.  
The HPYO presented three SOLD OUT concerts this season. Their final concert featured the esteemed Hamilton Children’s Choir, whose voices added an extra layer of fun to the performance. Our youth orchestra is rapidly growing, starting the season with 68 registered participants, and finishing with 100! These students continue to thrive under the leadership of conductor David Willms and our HPO musicians.

Music education

This season, we were able to provide students within the city with an inside look into the world of instrumental and orchestral music. From our rehearsal experiences and school tours to our AIFEC visits and adopt-a-school programs, the HPO is proud to be investing in the future of 6900+ young musicians across our city.

Our school tour was a rousing success with 16 concerts performed across 13 school, we were able to reach 3,000 students from grades 7-12. We also hosted 1900 students at the FirstOntario Concert Hall where they were treated to a performance of HPO Composer-in-Residence Abigail Richardson-Schulte’s The Hockey Sweater. The HPO was also proud to host sessions on marketing and fundraising for four different HWDSB SHSM Arts and Culture programs.

HPO in the community 

This year we continued our community engagements with free performance with our partners at Hamilton and Burlington Public Libraries, Hamilton festivals like Supercrawl and Festival of Friends supported by the Turkstra Summer Music Series, and the children’s literary festival Telling Tales.

The HPO’s North American Composer Festival ran from March 9 – 23 and culminated with our mainstage performance on Saturday March 23, featuring soloist Erika Raum. This annual festival highlighted music of North American based composers and included events like the Community Recital, a screening of Maestro at The Westdale, and free talks presented by HPO’s Composer-in-Residence Abigail Richardson-Schulte with HAALSA, Hamilton Public Library and Burlington Public Library.

Throughout the season, we continued our Seniors Connect program which provides older adults facing social isolation with the opportunity to attend HPO concerts, and build a support network within the community. The HPO partnered with the YWCA Seniors Active Living Centre to expand the program, allowing 100+ participants to access Seniors Connect.

The HPO also started a brand new music appreciation series in partnership with The Westdale Cinema and sponsored by incite Foundation for the Arts. Hosted by Abigail Richardson-Schulte, audiences were treated to HPO performances on the big screen.

Thank you for a year to remember! We look forward to seeing you again this summer for our continued community programming, and in September for our blockbuster 140th season where we will kick off the year with our new Music Director, James Kahane. 

Explore our 2024-25 season!