Hamilton, ON – Under the artistic leadership of Music Director Gemma New, the HPO is thrilled to announce our 22-23 concert season. This season, the HPO presents eight live, full orchestra concerts on our Mainstage at FirstOntario Concert Hall and opportunities to view select concerts online.  

“We are so pleased to present a full season of live, full orchestra performances with guest artists from across the county,” said Music Director Gemma New. “Our orchestra and community have demonstrated such tremendous resilience throughout the past few years of challenges and we look forward to reuniting together at our concert hall for rejuvenating collective live music experiences.” 

Music Director Gemma New leads the orchestra on our Opening Night concert, Gemma Conducts Rachmaninoff, on September 24. This concert celebrates Composer-in-Residence Abigail Richardson-Schulte‘s 10 years with the HPO with the world premiere of her newest work The Path Illuminates. In October we welcome the exceptional Jeremy Dutcher to perform a unique blend of pop and orchestral with music from his 2018 Polaris Music Prize-winning record Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa. Canadian cellist Cameron Crozman returns to the HPO stage in November to perform Dvořák’s Cello Concerto No. 1, a favourite piece from the instrument’s repertoire. In December, Gemma New returns to conduct our annual holiday celebration where we are thrilled to welcome the Hamilton Children’s Choir and musicians of the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra to perform on stage with the HPO.  

An HPO favourite returns in February when Darcy Hepner conducts Come Together! HPO Performs the Beatles featuring to-be-announced guest artists from Hamilton’s music scene. HPO Principal Flute Leslie Newman takes centre stage in March to perform Ibert’s Flute Concerto at the concert Mozart in Paris, which includes the world premiere of a new work by HPO 21-22 Composer Fellow Jesse Plessis. Canadian soprano Alexandra Smither joins us for An Evening with Schubert in April to perform the composer’s beloved Ave Maria and Canadian composer Zosha di Castri’s Dear Life. We end the 22-23 Mainstage Season on a triumphant note with Beethoven 5 in May with guest artist Nikki Chooi taking the stage to perform Mozart’s Violin Concert No. 4. 

Off-the-mainstage, we are sharing new music and orchestral favourites in multiple venues around Hamilton. In October, the Intimate & Immersive series returns to The Cotton Factory with Our Wondrous World, conducted by Gemma New and featuring art installations from Hamilton-based artist Amy McIntosh. Also in October, we are joined by narrators Ken MacDonald and Jodi Contin Baker for The Spirit Horse Returns at FirstOntario Concert Hall, conducted by Gemma New. This performance, which can be enjoyed by audiences of all ages, is about an Indigenous storyteller and an orchestra horn player travelling across time and all of Turtle Island (North America). In December Music Director Gemma New conducts two performances of Handel’s Messiah at Central Presbyterian Church, co-presented with the Bach Elgar Choir. We return to The Cotton Factory in May for Intimate & Immersive: Undreaming Sleep’s Bright Land with Gemma New conducting and Hamilton-based artist Amy McIntosh returning to present new art installations.  

Subscription packages for the 22-23 Mainstage season are on sale beginning July 12 with both live and online viewing options. Patrons can select from eight, six or three-concert live subscription packages or a three-concert online subscription package. Subscription packages offer patrons exclusive HPO benefits including priority seating or the same seats as past seasons and 10% off the purchase of single tickets. The 22-23 Season also offers 35 & Under Subscription packages with priority seating and exclusive box office savings. Single tickets for all off-the-mainstage events are also on sale beginning July 12. Single tickets for all Mainstage events are on sale beginning August 22.


All Mainstage performances take place at FirstOntario Concert Hall 

Gemma Conducts Rachmaninoff 
September 24, 2022 at 7:30pm 
Recorded for Online Viewing 

Gemma New, Conductor 
Daniel Hsu, Piano 

Abigail Richardson-Schulte: The Path Illuminates*  
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2                                 
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 

Gemma New conducts a triumphant opening night with soaring sound and sweeping romantic melodies. We hear the premiere of The Path Illuminates by Abigail Richardson-Schulte, who celebrates 10 years as Composer-in-Residence with the HPO. Daniel Hsu is soloist for Rachmaninoff’s monumental Piano Concerto No. 2, boasting dramatic melodies that audiences will recognize. Tchaikovsky’s fateful Fourth Symphony ends the evening on a reflective tone.    

*World Premiere  

Jeremy Dutcher & The HPO 
October 22, 2022 at 7:30pm 

Lucas Waldin, Conductor 
Jeremy Dutcher, Guest Artist 

Operatic tenor, composer and musicologist Jeremy Dutcher joins the HPO for a uniquely vivid performance blending orchestral with pop and the traditional music of the Wolastoqiyik. Winner of the Polaris Music Prize for his debut record Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa in 2018, Dutcher has been exhilarating audiences across the country with his signature style and stage presence. A member of the Tobique First Nation, Dutcher leans into music to preserve Wolastoq culture and language. 

Cameron Crozman Plays Dvořák 
November 12, 2022 at 7:30pm 

Alexander Prior, Conductor 
Cameron Crozman, Cello 
Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra Violins, Guest Artist 

Vincent Ho: Earthbeat  
Dvořák: Cello Concerto No. 1                                        
Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5 

Named “Canada’s next big Cello star” by CBC Music, Cameron Crozman joins the HPO to perform one of the most celebrated works of the instrument’s repertoire, Dvořák’s Cello Concerto No. 1. Violin players of the HPYO join us for Vincent Ho’s Earthbeat, which draws from his experience with the Tsuut’ina Nation and the music and dance traditions shared at the community’s Powwow. To round out the program Prokofiev takes us on a beautiful and epic journey of humanity with his Fifth Symphony, written as an uplifting celebration of human spirit from the throws of WWII. 

Holidays With Gemma New 
December 17, 2022 – Matinee 

Gemma New, Conductor 
Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Guest Artist 
Hamilton Children’s Choir, Guest Artist 

Music Director Gemma New conducts one of Hamilton’s favourite holiday traditions! We are joined by the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and the Hamilton Children’s Choir for a joyful occasion of music and togetherness. Featuring classic carols and holiday favourites, this is one festive celebration you won’t want to miss. 

Come Together! HPO Performs The Beatles 
February 11, 2023 at 7:30pm 

Darcy Hepner, Conductor 

Beatlemania hits downtown Hamilton! Experience your favourite songs of the Fab Four arranged for live orchestra and featuring some of Hamilton’s nationally recognized performers. Darcy Hepner conducts this wildly fun tribute bringing to life some of the greatest pop songs ever written. 

Mozart In Paris 
March 25, 2023 at 7:30pm 
Recorded for Online Viewing 

Pierre Simard, Conductor 
Leslie Newman, Flute 

Ravel: Pavane pour une infante défunte       
Samy Moussa: Polarlicht       
Ibert: Flute Concerto           
Jesse Plessis: New Work*  
Mozart: Symphony No. 31 “Paris” 

Take a musical journey with your HPO to a romantic evening in Paris. Principal Flute Leslie Newman is soloist on Ibert’s brilliant and virtuosic Flute Concerto, a work known for its texture and intricacies. Ravel’s Pavane pour une infante défunte brings delicate warmth, while Montreal-born composer Samy Moussa’s Polarlicht sets a colourful and dramatic scene of the Northern Lights. The orchestra premieres a new work by 21-22 HPO Composer Fellow Jesse Plessis. Audiences will recognize the grand melodies of Mozart’s 31st symphony, inspired Parisian life and architecture. 

*HPO 22-23 Composer Fellow 

An Evening With Schubert 
April 15, 2023 at 7:30pm 

Sarah Ioannides, Conductor  
Alexandra Smither, Soprano 

Beethoven: Egmont Overture                                                   
Schubert: Ave Maria               
Zosha di Castri: Dear Life  
Schubert: Symphony No. 9 in C Major, “The Great”  

Schubert’s melodies create an uplifting tone for this concert featuring Guest Soprano Alexandra Smither performing the composer’s beloved Ave Maria. Smither joins the orchestra again for contemporary Canadian composer Zosha di Castri’s Dear Life, based on the short story of the same name by Alice Munro. Beethoven’s Egmont Overture brings drama while Schubert’s Symphony No. 9 presents heavenly melodies for an inspiring conclusion. 

Beethoven 5 
May 13, 2023 at 7:30pm 
Recorded for Online Viewing 

Matthew Halls, Conductor 
Nikki Chooi, Violin 

HPO 22-23 Composer Fellow: New Work*  
Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 4 in D Major                             
Iman Habibi: Jeder Baum spricht*                  
Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C Minor 

We end the season on a triumphant note with guest conductor Matthew Halls. Known for his poetic interpretations, Nikki Chooi takes centre stage for Mozart’s enchanting Violin Concerto No. 4. Iman Habibi’s Jeder Baum spricht offers a rhapsodic reflection on climate change in Beethoven’s signature style. The heroic journey of Beethoven’s immortal Symphony No. 5 finishes the season with soaring dramatic melodies and triumph over life’s challenges. 


The Spirit Horse Returns 
Sunday, October 30, 2022 – Matinee 

FirstOntario Concert Hall  

Gemma New, Conductor 
Ken MacDonald, Narrator 
Jodi Contin Baker, Narrator 

In The Spirit Horse Returns, a hornist in the orchestra who lives on a farm is gifted an Ojibwe Horse. Not knowing anything about this Indigenous-developed breed but intrigued, he and the audience go with the orchestra on a journey of discovery. An Indigenous storyteller and the symphony musician travel across time and all of Turtle Island (North America). Through art and music, we learn about a mysterious group of small horses who have always been here, and who can teach people of all Nations the importance of taking care of each other and the land we share. 

Handel’s Messiah 
Friday, December 16 at 7:30pm 
Sunday, December 18 at 2pm 

Central Presbyterian Church 

Gemma New, Conductor 
Bach Elgar Choir 

Handel: Messiah 

The HPO and the Bach Elgar Choir come together for Handel’s monumental work Messiah, led by Music Director Gemma New. Join us at at Central Presbyterian Church for this majestic holiday tradition. From the soft beauty of the opening notes to the resounding joy of the Hallelujah Chorus, this performance promises to uplift and delight audiences during the festive season. 

Intimate & Immersive: Our Wondrous World  
Friday, October 28, 2022 at 7:30pm 

The Cotton Factory 

Gemma New, Conductor 
Amy McIntosh, Multimedia Artist 

HPO 22-23 Composer Fellow: New Work                                                
Gabriel Dharmoo: Moondraal Moondru                                                     
Christopher Thornborrow: Ghosts of Trees                                                   
Bekah Simms: Remnant Shoreline                                                                   
Alexina Louie: Demon Gate                                                                                    

Gemma New and the orchestra collaborate with multi-media artist Amy McIntosh for a vivid evening of contemporary music at The Cotton Factory. We hear Gabriel Dharmoo’s sonic memories of India in Moondraal Moondru and the haunting meditation of the forests with Christopher Thornborrow’s Ghosts of Trees. Bekah Simms reflects on climate change in Remnant Shoreline. The ghost stories of China are the influence of Alexina Louie’s Demon Gate, creating a dark and stormy atmosphere. 

Intimate & Immersive: Undreaming Sleep’s Bright Land 
Thursday, May 4, 2023 at 7:30pm 

The Cotton Factory 

Gemma New, Conductor 
Amy McIntosh, Multimedia Artist 

Robert Rival: Scherzo for Chamber Orchestra “Crème Brûlée”                                       
Christina Volpini: As within, so without                                                     
Scott Good: Variations for Chamber Orchestra                                       
Adam Scime: Undreaming Sleep’s Bright Land                   

Gemma New and the orchestra collaborate with multi-media artist Amy McIntosh for a vivid evening of contemporary music at The Cotton Factory. We begin with the light-hearted wit of Robert Rival’s Scherzo for Chamber Orchestra. Christina Volpini’s As within, so without offers a moment of soft contemplation of shadows and light and musical structures are explored with Scott Good’s Variations for Chamber Orchestra. We end with Adam Scime’s invigorating and psychedelic Undreaming Sleep’s Bright Land. 

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About the HPO: For over a century, the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra has presented orchestral music and education programs with a mission to enrich the wellbeing of the greater Hamilton region. Music Director Gemma New and the professional musicians of the HPO present dynamic orchestral performances ranging from standard classical repertoire to popular music and world premieres by living composers. As one of Canada’s leading professional orchestras, the HPO has proudly contributed to the shaping of Hamilton’s cultural landscape and continues to uphold values of high calibre, inclusive and accessible orchestral music and education for all. 

Media Contacts: 

Megan Nourse 
Marketing and Communications Manager 
Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra 
905.526.1677 x 209 

Published July 13, 2022
Kyla Lacroix Bardsley 
Marketing and Communications Coordinator 
Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra 
905.526.1677 x 211