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Updated May 18, 2021

 

To our patrons, supporters and the Hamilton community,

Last summer, we reimagined how an orchestra could present concerts in an online environment, innovating our programming and format so that we could continue to share music with you. While we were privileged to share a number of concerts with you this past fall and winter, the current health conditions have created significant challenges for rehearsing and recording our concerts while maintaining a safe working environment for our musicians and staff.

In response to the extension of Ontario’s stay-at-home order to at least June 2, and after careful deliberations, the Board of Directors and leadership of the HPO have made the difficult decision to cancel the remaining online concerts of the 20-21 Season. Cancelled programs include online mainstage concerts, while online Talk and Tea broadcasts and two online student concerts have been filmed and will be broadcast in the coming weeks.

Ticket holders for online concerts will receive detailed information via email regarding next steps. Patrons may choose to convert the balance of their outstanding tickets to credit for the 21-22 Season, request a refund for outstanding concerts or donate the value of their remaining tickets back to the organization for a charitable tax receipt.

We are proud of all we achieved together despite the unpredictability of this past year. Supporting our musicians and staff has remained a priority; we have provided consistent work for our musicians and will pay them their contracted guarantees for the season. In addition to presenting five online mainstage concerts from September through January, we offered a robust portfolio of education and outreach programs in the community. Our videos for schools have been viewed by thousands of youth across our region and our telephone-based music appreciation program reached isolated seniors without internet access. We strengthened our partnership with the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and offered dozens of online performances and talks with our community partners including the Hamilton and Burlington Public Libraries, YWCA, City Housing and Centre for Skills Development.

All of these programs were made possible by the generosity of our donors, subscribers, ticketholders, sponsors and funders, and for this we extend a heartfelt thank you. Your support has contributed to our many successes this season and will aid in the long-term recovery of our organization. We are also grateful for the government’s support through pandemic relief funding. This was an important contribution to our operations this year.

Though this season will not go forward as planned, we know that shared music experiences are a valuable source of connection and inspiration and we are committed to sharing orchestral music with you once more in our 21-22 Season. We are taking time to plan and will announce our new season later this summer. The HPO is a resilient organization and we will persevere with support from you, our extraordinary community.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

 

Kim Varian, Executive Director

 

 

 

 

Gemma New, Music Director

 

 

 

 

Steve Lloyd, Board Chair

 

Options for Ticketholders

Ticket holders for online concerts will receive detailed information via email regarding next steps. Patrons may choose to convert the balance of their outstanding tickets to credit for the 21-22 Season, request a refund for outstanding concerts or donate the value of their remaining tickets back to the organization for a charitable tax receipt.

If you have questions, please email Heather Hollis at hhollis@hpo.org.

 

 

Cancelled 20-21 Online Mainstage Concerts

The Joy of Beethoven
Scheduled April 10, 2021

Haydn & Mendelssohn
Scheduled May 8, 2021

Beethoven’s Eighth
Scheduled May 22, 2021

Mozart & Prokofiev
Scheduled June 10, 2021

Intimate& Immersive: Earthshine
Scheduled June 16, 2021

Intimate & Immersive: Dragon Unfolding
Scheduled June 30, 2021

 

Online content in May and June 2021
In the weeks ahead, the HPO will continue to offer online interviews and at-home performances through digital channels.

Episodes of the Talk and Tea Series will be released to ticketholders through the month of June. These insightful music appreciation talks hosted by Abigail Richardson-Schulte with provide a historical overview of the Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras of music, as well as an introduction to music theory and Canadian contemporary orchestral music. Each talk features pre-recorded performances by the HPO string quartet, woodwind quintet and brass quintet.

Music Director Gemma New revisits performances of works in our 20-21 Season with composers and HPO musicians in a new limited video series hosted on YouTube, In Conversation with Gemma New. In three episodes released biweekly over May and June, Gemma and featured guests provide insight into the creation and interpretation of pieces featured in the HPO’s online concerts.

HPO musicians are also working collaboratively to release four remote full-orchestra performances. Each musician has recorded their individual parts from home to be edited together. Beginning June 8, these performance videos will be released weekly and include works by Juliet Palmer, Joseph Bologne, Mozart and Rossini. HPO musicians have been compensated for these performances.