January 23, 2024 – The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra (HPO) is proud to present Mozart, Strauss & Evangelista at 3:00pm on Saturday February 10 at FirstOntario Concert Hall. This Mainstage concert features HPO’s own Principal Horn Jessie Brooks playing Strauss’ Horn Concerto No. 1, one of the most difficult pieces written for horn. 

Jessie Brooks has held the position of Principal Horn of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra as well as Principal Horn of the National Ballet of Canada since 2017. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from McGill University in 1999 while studying with James Sommerville. She went on to complete her Master of Music degree from the University of Illinois in 2002. Jessie has played many Ed Mirvish Productions over the years: Spamalot, Billy Elliot, Cats, Little House on the Prairie, Sound of Music, Wizard of Oz as well as shows at the Stratford Festival: Man of La Mancha, Jesus Christ Super Star, Tommy, Crazy for You and most recently, Billy Elliot. Jessie maintains an active teaching studio in the Toronto area and has been a guest mentor at the National Academy Orchestra. 

“I am looking forward to playing the Strauss Horn Concerto No. 1 next month at FirstOntario concert hall. I am a huge fan of Strauss’ music. He really knew how to write for the horn from a young age. His father Franz Strauss, a leading horn player of his time, filled the house with the sound of the horn.” says soloist Jessie Brooks. “I first began working on this piece when I was sixteen years old and got to play the middle, slow movement with my high school orchestra. I am thrilled to be able to play the entire piece with my beloved Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra!” 

For this Mainstage concert we also welcome conductor Caleb Young. Caleb is a leading American conductor known for his incisive renditions of American music. A former mentee of legendary Finnish conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Young’s programming reflects both his fondness for American composers and his rigorous training in the European tradition. His conducting resumé includes a number of the world’s leading orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Finnish Chamber Orchestra, and Tapiola Sinfonietta. He makes his home in Berlin, currently serving as Guest Conductor for Engagement for the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. 

As part of concert week on Friday, February 9 at 11AM, get closer to the orchestra and the stories behind the music with HPO’s composer-in-residence Abigail Richardson-Schulte at Talk & Tea: Mozart and Strauss. Enjoy light refreshments while Abigail leads you on a captivating journey through the lives and music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Richard Strauss, and contemporary Spanish composer José Evangelista as well as a behind-the-scenes look at HPO’s rehearsal with guest conductor Caleb Young. 

Mozart, Strauss & Evangelista – Matinee 
February 10, 2024 at 3PM  

Caleb Young, Conductor 
Jessie Brooks, Horn 


  • José Evangelista, Airs d’Espagne pour orchestre à cordes
  • Strauss, Horn Concerto No. 1
  • Mozart, Symphony No. 40

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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. 

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Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra 
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Sarah Chadwick
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Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra 
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