HAMILTON, ON, May 30, 2024 – Today, the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra (HPO) unveils its 2024-25 Season, which celebrates its 140th anniversary and opens a new chapter in its history with the appointment of James S. Kahane as the new Music Director in September. To mark these monumental milestones, the HPO will present nine outstanding concerts on the mainstage at FirstOntario Concert Hall and a series of special events throughout the year to celebrate its deep roots in the community, pay tribute to its past and look to the future.  

“We are thrilled to present a diverse range of exciting musical programming that reflects the dynamic vision that is at the heart of the HPO,” said Kim Varian, Executive Director, HPO.  “Concert goers will experience beloved masterworks familiar to many, new discoveries, entertainment-style concerts, Canadian compositions, old friends, and rising stars. We will showcase talented musicians from the region as well as acclaimed Canadian musicians such as the renowned violinist James Ehnes and brilliant pianist Philip Chiu, winner of the 2023 JUNO award for Solo Classical Album of the Year.” 

Music Director James Kahane leads the HPO in the opening concert, Kahane Conducts Grieg & Sibelius, on September 21. This concert includes a world premiere by Composer-in-Residence Abigail Richardson-Schulte. In October, conductor Evan Mitchell joins the HPO for Music of the Movies: Tribute to John Williams, featuring music of beloved films such as Jaws, Harry Potter, and more. Romanian Canadian Conductor Andrei Feher returns to southwestern Ontario to lead the orchestra in Brahms Symphony No. 2, and mezzo-soprano Rebecca Cuddy in Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise and Ian Cusson’s Songs from the House of Death in November. In December, Hamilton favourite Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser returns to conduct our annual holiday concert joined by the Hamilton Children’s Choir and musicians of the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. 

An HPO familiar face returns in January when James Sommerville conducts Beethoven’s Seventh alongside Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 3, which he will also perform as soloist. HPO performs the music of James Bond in Shaken Not Stirred in February, conducted by Darcy Hepner. In March, pianist Jane Coop and conductor Earl Lee perform Ravel’s Piano Concerto and Pictures at an Exhibition. Violinist and early music specialist Aisslinn Nosky joins the musicians of the HPO in a program featuring the music of Handel, Haydn and Bach in April. This concert includes a touching tribute to HPO’s anniversary year with the performance of Haydn’s Symphony No. 94, which the HPO performed in 1884. The 2024-25 mainstage Season ends on a high note with acclaimed violinist James Ehnes taking the stage to perform Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in a program that also features a world premiere from Massimo Guida and Mahler’s First Symphony. 

“It is especially meaningful to join the HPO family in a year as special and significant as this one,” said incumbent Music Director James Kahane. “There could not be a better way for me to start my tenure than this exceptional anniversary season honouring the orchestra’s legacy in Hamilton and showcasing the outstanding talent and commitment of HPO musicians. We look forward to welcoming audiences familiar and new to our concert hall as we embark on a musical journey that will captivate us, inspire us and unite us.” 

The HPO is proud to announce the continuation of community programs inside and outside the concert hall. Our longstanding partnerships with the Hamilton and Burlington Public Libraries enable free ensemble performances, music appreciation talks for all ages and music storytelling workshops for kids at branches across both cities. The Seniors Connect program, which brings hundreds of older adults facing social isolation and other barriers to concerts throughout the season, fosters community connections and supports social wellbeing.  

HPO’s success in reaching deep into the community is the result of its long history of collaboration. It will continue to develop and expand outreach programs with social impact organizations, including YWCA Hamilton, An Instrument for Every Child, Centre for Skills Burlington, and Out of the Cold Hamilton. Similarly, the HPO will nurture partnerships with fellow arts organizations and local businesses to share musical experiences and strengthen community bonds, including collaborations this Season with The Westdale Cinema, Telling Tales Festival, Supercrawl, Festival of Friends, the Art Gallery of Hamilton, The Hamilton Music Collective, The Cotton Factory, McMaster LIVELab, and more. 

“Celebrating 140 years is a massive achievement of which we are very proud,” said Kim Varian. “Connecting through music and staying relevant within our community continue to be foundational priorities.”   

Subscription packages are on sale now at hpo.org.

Single tickets for all mainstage events and Handel’s Messiah will go on sale beginning August 19. 


All mainstage performances take place at FirstOntario Concert Hall  

Kahane Conducts Grieg & Sibelius  

September 21, 2024 at 7:30PM 

James S. Kahane, Conductor 

Philip Chiu, Piano 

Abigail Richardson-Schulte New Work  (World Premiere)  

Grieg Piano Concerto 

Sibelius Symphony No. 2 

Join us as the HPO opens a new season in grand style, celebrating 140 years in the city! JUNO Award–winner Philip Chiu will sweep you up in the thunderous passion of Grieg’s Piano Concerto. Music Director, James Kahane then leads the Orchestra in this season’s HPO 

“Musicians’ Choice”: Sibelius’ Second Symphony, a musical embodiment of hope and the resilience of the human spirit. Plus, a fresh commission by HPO Composer-in-Residence Abigail Richardson-Schulte! 

Music of the Movies: Tribute to John Williams 

October 19, 2024 AT 7:30PM 

Evan Mitchell, Conductor 

Get ready for a close encounter with film music’s most widely honoured living composer, John Williams! Experience the lush symphonic style of his critically acclaimed movie scores as performed by your HPO, including beloved selections from E.T., Jaws, Harry Potter and the 

Philosopher’s Stone, and Jurassic Park, as well as the iconic themes and music from the Star Wars space opera epic. 

Feher Conducts Brahms 

November 9, 2024 AT 7:30PM 

Andrei Feher, Conductor 

Rebecca Cuddy, Mezzo-Soprano 

Rachmaninoff Vocalise 

Ian Cusson Songs From the House of Death 

Brahms Symphony No. 2 

Join the HPO and conductor Andrei Feher with MĂ©tis mezzo-soprano Rebecca Cuddy as they plumb the emotional depths of Rachmaninoff’s “song without words”, and Ian Cusson’s moving song cycle setting texts by U.S. Poet Laureate and Muscogee Nation member Joy Harjo—an empowering exploration of love, relationships, and woman-ness. Then, revel in the warmth of Brahms’ sunny Second Symphony—a balm for the soul. 

Home for the Holidays 

December 14, 2024 at 7:30PM 

Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, Conductor 

Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra 

Hamilton Children’s Choir 

Get into the holiday spirit with this joyful and heartwarming concert featuring the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, now celebrating 60 years young! The Hamilton Children’s Choir will lend their beautiful voices—as will you!—to a curated playlist of beloved Christmas carols and contemporary festive favourites led by dynamic conductor Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser. It’s a Hamilton holiday tradition! 

Beethoven’s Seventh 

January 18, 2025 at 3:00PM  

James Sommerville, Conductor & Soloist 

Pierre Mercure Kaleidoscope 

Alice Ho The Phantom Bird of Han 

Mozart Horn Concerto No. 3 

Beethoven Symphony No. 7 

Rev up your new year with this HPO concert of brilliant orchestral works! James Sommerville is your guide on a vibrant journey from Pierre Mercure’s colourful symphonic fantasy, through Alice Ho’s animated tone poem that evokes the dazzling rebirth of a mythological bird, to Beethoven’s exhilarating Seventh Symphony. Sommerville also takes the spotlight as soloist in Mozart’s exuberant Third Horn Concerto. 

Shaken Not Stirred: HPO Performs the Music of James Bond 

February 8, 2025 at 7:30PM 

Darcy Hepner, Conductor 

Hamilton-based vocalists 

Nobody does it better than Bond… James Bond. Hamilton-native Darcy Hepner takes you on a thrilling adventure for your ears only through the iconic music of the James Bond films! Hamiltonian vocal stars bring the swagger and the romance of such Bond theme songs as License to Kill, Goldfinger and Skyfall. 

Pictures at an Exhibition 

March 22, 2025 at 7:30PM 

Earl Lee, Conductor 

Jane Coop, Piano 

Ravel Mother Goose Suite 

Ravel Piano Concerto in G Major 

Mussorgsky/Ravel Pictures at an Exhibition 

Immerse yourself in the sounds of your HPO performing vivid masterpieces of orchestral colour. Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite enchants with charming fairytale pieces evoked through radiant orchestration, which the composer also applies to Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition—a musical gallery tour of paintings that is a splendid showcase for the Orchestra’s musicians. At the heart of the concert, Jane Coop takes on Ravel’s virtuosic Piano Concerto in G Major. 

Nosky Performs Handel, Haydn & Bach  

April 12, 2025 at 7:30PM 

Aisslinn Nosky, Conductor & Soloist 

Handel Concerto Grosso Op. 3, No. 2 

J.S. Bach Violin Concerto in A Minor 

J.S. Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 

J. Haydn Symphony No. 94, “Surprise” 

Enjoy the scintillating textures and diverse instrumental sounds of three lively concertos by Handel and J.S. Bach, featuring notable Canadian violinist and early music specialist Aisslinn Nosky with musicians of the HPO. She also leads the Orchestra in Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 94—aptly nicknamed for its many musical twists and turns, it’s as much a sensation today as when the HPO performed it in 1884! 

James Ehnes Plays Tchaikovsky  

May 3, 2025 at 7:30PM 

James S. Kahane, Conductor 

James Ehnes, Violin 

Massimo Guida (24-25 Composer Fellow) New Work  (World Premiere) 

Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto 

Mahler Symphony No. 1 

Don’t miss the HPO’s rousing season closer! Hear the consummate artistry of eminent Canadian violinist James Ehnes in Tchaikovsky’s rhapsodic Violin Concerto. Then, experience the expansive sonic dramas of Mahler’s First Symphony, as the HPO takes you from a depiction of nature’s awakening in spring, through rustic dances and animals’ ironic funeral procession for a hunter, to a final confrontation with “all the world’s sorrow” that ends in blazing glory. 

For more information on the 2024-25 Season and a complete list of concerts, visit hpo.org. Media interviews and images are available on request.   

Twitter: @H_P_O  

Instagram: @HamiltonPhilharmonic  

Facebook: facebook.com/HamiltonPhilharmonic/  

YouTube: youtube.com/HamiltonPhilharmonic  


For 140 years, the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra has presented orchestral music and education programs with a mission to enrich the wellbeing of the greater Hamilton region. The HPO presents 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.  

The HPO is deeply committed to inclusivity, diversity, equity and accessibility in all programs, including symphony concerts (in-person and online); the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, administered by the HPO since 2021, and now the flagship music education program for young musicians in the region, closely linked to all community youth music education activities; 60+ community-based partner programs designed to meet the needs of diverse communities; music education performances, talks in schools and libraries; performances for children, youth and seniors; chamber music concerts in diverse neighbourhoods; lifelong learning and wellbeing events.  

In 2024 the HPO was proud to receive the Vida Peene Award from the Ontario Arts Council for artistic and organizational achievement. 

X: @H_P_O 
Instagram: @HamiltonPhilharmonic 
Facebook: facebook.com/HamiltonPhilharmonic/ 
YouTube: youtube.com/HamiltonPhilharmonic 

Media Contact: 

Sarah Chadwick
Marketing and Communications Coordinator 
Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra 
905.526.1677 x 211