Hamilton, ON – The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra (HPO) is proud to announce the 18-19 Season. Through vibrant colour and boisterous energy, your live, professional orchestra draws on the vivid imagery, compelling stories and passion of people of different cultures and eras to share with the Hamilton community. The 18-19 Season promises to be dynamic, immersive and exciting, in the way that only a live, professional orchestra can.

The season kicks off with the return of Canadian cellist Cameron Crozman on Gemma Conducts Brahms and Canadian pianist Andre Laplante on Beethoven & Mozart. Darcy Hepner returns as arranger and guest conductor for From the Beatles, With Love, a concert featuring orchestral Beatles arrangements and Hamilton vocal talent.

Glorious Bach draws a grand conclusion to the 2019 Composer Festival with conductor and Bach expert Ivars Taurins. This concert features our own Concertmaster Stephen Sitarski and Associate Concertmaster Lance Ouellette as soloists.

The HPO is pleased to welcome author Roch Carrier to narrate his classic tale set to music by Composer-in-Residence Abigail Richardson-Schulte on Home for the Holidays: The Hockey Sweater, and we welcome the Dancers from the Hamilton Academy of Performing Arts to perform on Ravel & Stravinsky. Music Director Gemma New brings the season to a close with Mahler’s Fifth.

New this season! HPO introduces OFF THE MAINSTAGE. We have partnered with some of your favourite galleries, authors and artists for intimate and innovative performances throughout the community. For the first time, subscribers can purchase tickets for any of these performances along with their mainstage packages. See a listing of OFF THE MAINSTAGE performances following the 18-19 Mainstage Season below.


Opening Night: September 15, 2018
Gemma Conducts Brahms

Gemma New, Conductor
Cameron Crozman, Cello

Beethoven: Leonore Overture No. 3
Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor
Brahms: Symphony No.1

Music Director Gemma New opens the 18-19 Season with passionate works that reveal the inner drama of the artist. Canadian cellist Cameron Crozman returns to Hamilton in a performance of Elgar’s Cello Concerto while works by Beethoven and Brahms make for a visceral program spanning from mercurial moments to heroic heights.

October 20, 2018
Beethoven & Mozart

Jacques Lacombe, Conductor
Andre Laplante, Piano

Gluck: Dance of the Furies from Orphée et Euridice
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4
Hétu: Antinomie
Mozart: Symphony No. 41 (Jupiter)

Internationally-celebrated Canadian conductor Jacques Lacombe makes his HPO debut on this concert that traverses the worlds of gods, heroes and magical beasts. Canadian pianist Andre Laplante returns to Hamilton to perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4. Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 radiates the joy of the god Jupiter through triumphant bursts of colour.

November 10, 2018
From Broadway to Tin Pan Alley

Gemma New, Conductor
Doug LaBrecque, Vocalist
Bach Elgar Choir, Guest Artist
Royal Hamilton Light Infantry Band, Guest Artist

Selections by Scott Joplin, Irving Berlin and George Gershwin, along with wartime favourites.

To mark the centenary of the Great War, we turn to the vivacious and popular music of the early 1900s. Tenor Doug LaBrecque brightens the stage with his impeccable vocal stylings and flair for the music of early Broadway, Tin Pan Alley and golden age jazz. We proudly honour our community’s military personnel and their families with this nostalgic music of soldiers and their sweethearts.

December 15, 2018
Home for the Holidays: The Hockey Sweater

Gemma New, Conductor
Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Guest Artist
Roch Carrier, Narrator

Featuring holiday favourites and Abigail Richardson-Schulte’s The Hockey Sweater

This winter classic returns to Hamilton! Gather with family and friends to share in the warmth and music of the holiday season. Roch Carrier joins Gemma New and the HPO to narrate his classic Canadian tale The Hockey Sweater set vividly to music by Composer-in-Residence Abigail Richardson Schulte. Audience members are encouraged to wear their favourite hockey jersey.

January 19, 2019
Glorious Bach

Ivars Taurins, Conductor
Stephen Sitarski, Violin
Lance Ouellette, Violin

Selections by J.S. Bach including Concerto for Violin, Orchestral Suite No. 3, and music from The Well-Tempered Clavier.

Hamilton’s Bach Festival closes with an evening of music that demonstrates the exquisite themes and textures of Johann Sebastien Bach. Baroque expert Ivars Taurins journeys off the beaten path to highlight his favourite works of the great composer. Discover the genius that places Bach at the pinnacle of Baroque artistry and among the most revered composers of all time.

February 16, 2019
From The Beatles, With Love

Darcy Hepner, Conductor

We’re sending all our loving to you! The music of the Fab Four returns to the HPO in time for Valentine’s Day. Experience your favourite Beatles songs arranged for live orchestra in collaboration with Hamilton artists. This fun concert experience reminds us that love is all you need.

March 16, 2019
Debussy & Holst’s The Planets

Gemma New, Conductor
McMaster University Choir, Guest Artist

Debussy: Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun
Debussy: Nocturnes
Holst: The Planets

Unveil the lush musical portraits on this program, from Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun to Nocturnes. The distinctive qualities and characters of our solar system are revealed in Holst’s The Planets. From distant landscapes to the reaches of our galaxy, this program touches upon the beauty of worlds beyond our own.

April 27, 2019
Ravel & Stravinsky

Nathan Brock, Conductor
Stephen Sitarski, Violin

Rossini: The Barber of Seville Overture
Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor
Ravel: Tombeau de Couperin
Stravinsky: Jeux de Cartes

Join the HPO for an elegant evening of works and dances influenced by the style of Paris. Our own Concertmaster Stephen Sitarski performs Prokofiev’s witty and iconic Violin Concerto while Ravel’s Tombeau de Couperin explores Baroque dances through an impressionist lens. Stravinsky’s ballet Jeux de Cartes concludes this concert by playfully bringing a deck of cards to life.

May 11, 2019
Mahler’s Fifth

Conductor: Gemma New
Vivier: Orion
Mahler: Symphony No. 5

The season closes with a powerful evening showcasing the strength and intensity of the orchestra. Music Director Gemma New explores the distinctive sound worlds of Gustav Mahler and Canadian composer Claude Vivier. From delicate expressions of love to soaring moments of triumph, Mahler’s Symphony No.5 makes for a transformational experience.

From family concerts to chamber performances in galleries, and intimate concerts with Gemma New, OFF the MAINSTAGE gets you closer to your HPO.

This series brings together children and their parents, grandparents, family and friends in a fun and enriching musical experience. Featuring two concerts each season, the first is a one-hour themed concert and the second is a full-day of musical activities and a one-hour concert. This series is led by acclaimed Conductor Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser.

October 28, 2018
Halloween Spooktacular
McIntyre Performing Arts Centre, Mohawk College
Spend a musical afternoon with family and friends as your HPO presents a one-hour concert full of fun and spooky favourites.
Tickets from $10.

February 2, 2019
The Marz Homes Family Concert Experience
McIntyre Performing Arts Centre, Mohawk College
Children, family and friends experience a full-day of symphony-themed fun with the HPO. This event features a series of musical activities and an engaging, one-hour full symphony concert.
Tickets from $10. Family passes available.

Experience the natural pairing of visual arts and musical expression as HPO ensembles perform at art galleries across the region. Each 60-minute chamber concert is hosted by Composer-in-Residence
Abigail Richardson-Schulte and starts with a curator’s presentation of the gallery’s current art exhibition.

November 7, 2018 Gallery on the Bay
March 27, 2019 Art Gallery of Burlington
Tickets $15 each.

HPO’s Literary Series brings together the power of the written word with your city’s professional orchestra. Uniting the literary and musical arts in a multidisciplinary performance event, authors share their works live, with HPO musicians onstage to underscore their narrative.

November 29, 2018 Gary Barwin, Yiddish for Pirates
Tickets $25 each.

Music Director Gemma New presents a fresh, casual and cutting edge orchestral experience. In this unconventional format, concert-goers are seated around the orchestra only feet from the musicians. Each program includes music by contemporary composers and well-known artists. There will even be an opportunity to speak with the musicians and Gemma New.

March 6, 2019 The Studio at FirstOntario Concert Hall
May 23, 2019 The Studio at FirstOntario Concert Hall
Tickets $25 each.

The Mozart Effect: Live‚ĄĘ combines the orchestral music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with high definition video, special lighting and close-up live video capture of HPO musicians and the conductor in performance. This concert experience brings the live symphonic experience closer to the audience, acting as an introduction to live classical music for the uninitiated and a new adventure for the classical enthusiast.

January 26, 2019 Burlington Performing Arts Centre

Ticket Information

Subscriptions to the 18-19 Mainstage Season can be purchased in 9-, 7-, 5- or 3-concert packages. Subscribers can also add OFF THE MAINSTAGE performances to their subscription packages ahead of the general public. Subscribers can save up to 18% off single ticket prices, and packages start at as little as $69 (plus HST) for a 3-concert package. Subscriptions can be purchased by calling 905.526.7756.

Single tickets for the 18-19 Season go on sale July 1 and will be available online at, by calling 905.526.7756 or in-person at the HPO Box Office in FirstOntario Concert Hall at 10 MacNab Street South.

Twitter: @H_P_O

About the HPO: The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1884 as The Hamilton Orchestral Society and grew to become one of Canada’s major professional orchestras. Today, the HPO is a leader in Hamilton’s robust arts community where it provides professional orchestral services and music education programs to address the needs of the community. The HPO continues to commission and premiere works and is one of the artistic jewels of the Hamilton area. The combined musical talents of its artists continue to enrich the community and enhance the quality of life for its residents.

Media Contacts:

Christina Volpini
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra
905.526.1677 x226

Kim Varian
Director, Development and Communications
Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra
905.526.1677 x222