Hamilton, ON – Under the artistic leadership of Music Director Gemma New in her final season as Music Director, the HPO is thrilled to announce our 23-24 concert season. This season, we are presenting nine live, full orchestra concerts on our mainstage at FirstOntario Concert Hall, as well as concerts and musical events in the community and in classrooms across the Hamilton region. This will be a season of incredible guest artists, orchestral masterworks and contemporary gems for all to explore.   

“I am immensely proud to welcome you to the HPO’s 2023-24 Season, where we embark on a journey of discovery, together,” says Gemma New. “Featuring familiar works by legendary composers, established living composers and brand-new works from our Composer Fellows, there are countless compelling creative journeys weaved throughout our mainstage concert series. Stories of life’s precious moments and relationships are told through each program and shared through a talented slate of guest artists and our own HPO musicians as soloists.” 

This season begins with Gemma New conducting Mendelssohn’s “Scottish” Symphony, Schumann’s Piano Concerto with Canadian soloist Tony Siqi Yun, and a world premiere from Hamilton native and the HPO’s first composer fellow (2018/19), Liam Ritz. In October, James Kahane conducts the orchestra in an exploration of musical friendships with our own Principal Oboe, Aleh Remezau is soloist in Vaughan Williams Oboe Concerto. Jacob Joyce conducts in November when we will hear Dvořák and Sibelius’ Violin Concerto with another Canadian soloist Kerson Leong. We celebrate the holidays in December with Abigail Richardson-Schulte’s The Hockey Sweater along with other festive favourites performed with the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, the Hamilton Children’s Choir and guest conductor Kalena Bovell. We look forward to premieres from HPO composer fellows Kathryn Knowles and Paul Kawabe in the fall of 2023. 

The new year soars with a rock symphony tribute to iconic Freddie Mercury and The Music of Queen with your HPO! February features HPO soloist, Principal Horn Jessie Brooks, performing Strauss’ Horn Concerto No. 1 with Caleb Young conducting. For our Composer Festival in March, we celebrate North American composers with a concert of Barber, Copland, and Canadian composer Elizabeth Raum’s Violin Concerto performed by her daughter Erika Raum, with French Canadian conductor Jean-Marie Zeitouni on the podium. Mateusz Moleda conducts in April when Calgary’s piano prodigy Kevin Chen joins us for Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concert No. 3. The Mainstage Season comes to a triumphant close with Gemma New conducting Beethoven’s ninth symphony featuring over 120 singers and soloists Carla Huhtanen, Lauren Segal, Lawrence Wiliford and Alexander Dobson. 

Off-the-mainstage, we look forward to bringing our collaboration with the Bach Elgar Choir back for two December concerts of Handel’s Messiah. We’re also excited to have Gemma New conducting Intimate & Immersive on May 1, our concert of contemporary works by living composers elevated by multimedia installations by a local artist.  

In the 23-24 season, the HPO undertakes an international search for a new Music Director. “As we embark on a search for a new Music Director, we will build on the artistic priorities and reputation we have achieved in Gemma’s tenure with the HPO. We have assembled a committee of musicians, board members, community leaders and management to lead the search, and patrons will have the opportunity to see and hear from these candidates as they guest conduct in our 2023-24 season. We expect to announce our new Music Director in May 2024.” says HPO Board Chair, Heather Beale. 


Subscription Packages 

  A-Level B-Level C-Level D-Level 
9-Concert Package ADULT $585 $495 $342 $252 
SENIOR $540 $450 $288 $198 
7-Concert Package ADULT $455 $385 $266 $196 
SENIOR $420 $350 $238 $168 
5-Concert Package ADULT $350 $300 $200 $150 
SENIOR $325 $275 $175 $125 
3-Concert Package ADULT $210 $180 $120 $90 
SENIOR $195 $165 $105 $75 

NOTE: Prices do not include applicable tax or the venue fee of $3.50 per ticket. 

*35 & Under subscription packages offers options for concertgoers ages 18-35. Get your choice of any 23-24 mainstage concerts in a 6- or 3-concert package. Visit hpo.org for more information. 

Subscription packages for the 23-24 mainstage season are on sale beginning May 25. Patrons build a package with 9-, 7-, 5-or 3-Mainstage concerts. Subscription packages offer patrons exclusive HPO benefits including up to 25% savings (compared to purchasing single tickets), priority seating or the same seats as past seasons, payment plan options and 10% off the purchase of single tickets and more. The more concerts you have in your subscription package, the more you save. Single tickets for all Mainstage events are on sale beginning August 15. 

When you purchase a 7 or 9 concert package by 11:59pm on June 30, your household will be entered to win 25% off your entire subscription order! Five lucky households in total will win, and these winners will be announced by July 7, 2023. 


All Mainstage performances take place at FirstOntario Concert Hall 

Gemma Conducts Schumann & Mendelssohn 
September 23, 2023 at 7:30pm 

Gemma New, Conductor 
Tony Siqi Yun, Piano

Liam Ritz: Scherzo*  
Schumann: Piano Concerto  
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3, “Scottish” 

Gemma New leads the orchestra in celebratory season-opener! Acclaimed Canadian pianist Tony Siqi Yun performs Schumann’s dreamy and dramatic Piano Concerto. Hamilton native Liam Ritz dazzles with Scherzo and we round out the evening with Mendelssohn’s vivid and beloved ‘Scottish’ Symphony. 

*World premiere 

Britten, Vaughan Williams & Elgar 

October 21, 2023 at 7:30pm 

James Kahane, Conductor 
Aleh Remezau, Oboe  

Britten: Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge ** 
Vaughan Williams: Oboe Concerto 
Kathryn Knowles (23-24 Composer Fellow): A Strange and Preposterous Affair
Elgar: Enigma Variations 

Join guest conductor James Kahane and the orchestra in an exploration of musical friendships. Britten’s Variations of a Theme of Frank Bridge honours the composer’s mentor and Elgar’s Enigma Variations shares a series of musical sketches inspired by those closest to him. HPO Principal Oboe Aleh Remezau takes centerstage as soloist in Vaughan Williams’ Oboe Concerto and we will also enjoy a brand-new work by 23-24 Composer Fellow, Kathryn Knowles. 

*World premiere 
**Players Choice 

Sibelius & Dvořák 

November 11, 2023 at 7:30pm 

Jacob Joyce, Conductor 
Kerson Leong, Violin  

Paul Kawabe (23-24 Composer Fellow): New Work*  
Sibelius: Violin Concerto 
Dvořák: Symphony No. 7 
Rising Canadian virtuoso Kerson Leong performs Sibelius’ haunting and mysterious Violin Concerto, which seeks beauty in the dark depths of Nordic winter. A new work by Composer Fellow Paul Kawabe reflects his grandparents’ experience as Japanese immigrants in the WWII era. Dvořák’s emotionally charged Symphony No. 7 overflows with intense patriotism for the composer’s birth nation. We welcome Jacob Joyce as guest conductor. 
*World premiere 

Holidays & the Hockey Sweater 
December 9, 2023 at 3pm – MATINEE  

Kalena Bovell, Conductor 
Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Guest Artists 
Hamilton Children’s Choir, Guest Artists 

Abigail Richardson-Schulte: The Hockey Sweater  
Selections of holiday favourites

An iconic Canadian story comes to the concert hall this holiday! The Hockey Sweater by Abigail Richardson-Schulte brings Roch Carrier’s beloved children’s book to life. Sing along to festive favourites performed with the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and the Hamilton Children’s Choir. 

The Music of Queen 
January 20, 2024 at 7:30pm 

Daniel Black, Conductor

We will rock you! Experience the legendary music of Queen performed with your Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. Featuring classic hits like Bohemian Rhapsody, Somebody to Love, and Under Pressure – this is a powerful rock symphony tribute to the iconic Freddie Mercury and one of world’s biggest bands. 

Mozart, Strauss & Evangelista
February 10, 2024 at 3pm – MATINEE 

Caleb Young, Conductor 
Jessie Brooks, Horn  

Jose Evangelista: Airs d’Espagne pour orchestre à cordes 
Strauss: Horn Concerto No. 1 
Mozart: Symphony No. 40 

Guest conductor Caleb Young leads the orchestra on Mozart’s iconic Symphony No. 40, anchoring this performance. From its ever-familiar opening bars to the angst and drama of the final movement, it is considered one of the composer’s greatest works. Spanish Canadian composer José Evangelista’s Airs d’Espagne pour orchestre à cordes highlights the warmth and whimsy of the strings. HPO Principal Horn Jessie Brooks is soloist for Strauss’ grandiose Horn Concerto No. 1 overflowing with energetic fanfare and romantic lyricism.    

Barber, Raum and Copland  
March 23, 2024 at 7:30pm 

Jean-Marie Zeitouni, Conductor  
Erika Raum, Violin  

Barber: Adagio for Strings 
Elizabeth Raum: Violin Concerto  
T. Patrick Carrabré: Chase the Sun  
Copland: Appalachian Spring 

Guest conductor Jean-Marie Zeitouni leads the orchestra through works by celebrated North American composers. Aaron Copland’s iconic and rejuvenating Appalachian Spring illustrates the themes of family, love and life this concert highlights. The soul-stirring melody of Barber’s evocative Adagio for Strings opens the performance on an introspective note, while T. Patrick Carrabré’s Chase the Sun brings a radiant energy. Celebrated Canadian composer Elizabeth Raum’s Violin Concerto features Erika Raum, the composer’s daughter. 

Rachmaninoff & Tchaikovsky  
April 20, 2024 at 7:30pm 

Mateusz Molęda, Conductor 
Kevin Chen, Piano  

Alison Yun-Fei Jiang: Flowing Waters  
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3 
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6    

The emotional heights and depths of life weave through this concert of celebrated works from the Romantic era. Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 brims with passion and inner turmoil. Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony creates a complex texture of emotions spanning light and dark. The symphonic poem Flowing Water by Alison Yun-Fei Jiang balances this program with a stunning melody that flows like ink on a page. We welcome Mateusz Molęda as guest conductor. 

Gemma Conducts Beethoven 9 
May 4, 2024 at 7:30pm  

Gemma New, Conductor 
Carla Huhtanen, Soprano
Lauren Segal, Mezzo-Soprano  
Lawrence Wiliford, Tenor
Alexander Dobson, Baritone 
Bach Elgar Choir, Guest Artists 
Strata Vocal Ensemble, Guest Artists
Masterworks of Oakville, Guest Artists

Andrew Balfour: Mamachimowin
Claude Vivier: Lonely Child
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9   

Celebrate Gemma’s nine years as Music Director with our orchestra and voices from across the city at this showstopping performance! More than 120 singers take the stage for Beethoven’s epic Symphony No. 9 with its iconic choral finale, Ode to Joy! Voices carry throughout this concert with Andrew Balfour’s remarkable Mamachimowin for orchestra and choir exploring the relationship between Canada and the First Nations. The late Claude Vivier’s Lonely Child, for orchestra and soprano, transports audiences to the shadowy realm between reality and imagination. 


Handel’s Messiah
Co-presented with Bach Elgar Choir 
December 16 at 7:30pm
December 17 at 3pm – MATINEE 

Melrose United Church 

Alexander Cann, Conductor 
Bach Elgar Choir, Guest Artists 

The HPO and the Bach Elgar Choir come together for Handel’s monumental work Messiah. 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
May 1, 2024 at 7:30pm 

The Cotton Factory 

Gemma New, Conductor 

Michael Maevskiy, New Work
Saman Shahi, Suspended Doorways
Quinn Jacobs, New Work
Ana Sokolovic, …and I need a room to receive five thousand people with raised glasses…  
Cecilia Livingston, Noyade
Cris Derksen, Rebellion
Brian Current, For The Time Being

Gemma New and the orchestra collaborate with a local multi-media artist for a vivid evening of contemporary music at The Cotton Factory.

Twitter: @H_P_O 
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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: 
Varinder Nandhra 
Marketing and Communications Manager 
Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra 
905.526.1677 x 205 
Kyla Lacroix Bardsley 
Marketing and Communications Coordinator 
Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra 
905.526.1677 x 211 

Published on May 25, 2023
Updated on August 21, 2023