Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Announces Edwin Outwater’s 10th and Final Season

This evening, February 10, 2016, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony announced the 2016/17 Season at the annual Season Launch Event held at the Conrad Centre for Performing Arts. Hosted by KWS Executive Director Andrew Bennett, the 2016/17 Season marks current Music Director Edwin Outwater’s 10th and final season. A celebration of Outwater’s work over the past decade, he has programmed music that is significant not only to him personally, but will stretch the orchestra artistically.

“The time I have spent as Music Director of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony has been one of the highlights of my life,” commented Outwater. “Over ten years, we have worked hard to create an orchestra for the 21st Century, maintaining the beautiful and glorious tradition of classical music and presenting it in ways that connect with more people than ever before. I’m so grateful that I’ve had such strong support from the musicians, administration, board, and audience to make my dreams a reality. I can’t wait to see and hear what’s next for this amazing orchestra but, for now, let’s celebrate!”

The Signature Series begins with Tchaikovsky’s fateful Symphony No. 4, also featuring pianist Natasha Paremski who joins the KWS led by Outwater for a performance of Rachmaninoff’s most challenging and thrilling concerto. Also on the roster for the season is Edwin’s completion of the full Beethoven Symphonic Cycle, when he conducts Beethoven’s Second Symphony. The program also features KWS Concertmaster Bénédicte Lauzière playing Korngold’s gorgeous Violin Concerto. Larry Larson also returns to the KWS stage as soloist to perform the world premiere of a trumpet concerto by Canadian composer John Estacio. A co-commission led by the KWS with 18 Canadian orchestras, this work will be played across Canada! The Signature Series also features talented soloists from around the world, including Chopin Medalist Charles Richard-Hamelin, violinist Benjamin Beilman and cellist Johannes Moser.  Guest conductors include Andrei Feher, Assistant Conductor of the Orchestre de Paris, New World Symphony Conducting Fellow Christian Reif and Michael Christie, Music Director of the Minnesota Opera.

Guest Conductor Lucas Waldin opens the Pops Series with Canadian skating superstar Kurt Browning for a program of the music from skating’s most memorable routines. Outwater returns to the Pops stage for a hilarious and star-studded program of musical jokes featuring soprano Measha Brueggergosman and pianist Stewart Goodyear. Also on Pops is a screening of Charlie Chaplin’s classic film Modern Times with soundtrack provided by the KWS. The ever-popular Yuletide Spectacular returns with The Snowman, along with many holiday tunes and the annual singalong.

Intersections returns as a single concert event this year with star cellist Johannes Moser playing Enrico Chapela’s Magnetar for electric cello and orchestra. Details of the concert, which will journey to the outer limits of time and space, will be released in the coming months.

KW Glee returns for another incredible concert with the KWS in January 2017. Winners of the Show Choir Canada National Championship, KW Glee is made up of local teenagers whose incredible talent and enthusiasm for song and dance are off the charts!

Edwin Outwater’s final conducting engagement as KWS Music Director is also the final Signature Series concert of the season. Titled Grand Finale, it will feature over 200 singers from both the Grand Philharmonic Choir and the famous Huddersfield Choral Society from the UK on stage for John Adams’ Harmonium, a stunning work based on the poetry of Emily Dickenson. Also on the program is Mahler’s First Symphony, ending the season with one of Outwater’s most beloved composers.

“Everyone at KWS is passionate that Edwin should complete his ten years on a high,” commented Bennett. “Special friends return to bid ‘au revoir’ and all sorts of music is featured which means so much to him and reflects his special relationship with this orchestra. But, characteristically, the season is not all about Edwin.  He has always taken care to create programs that appeal to everyone in our community, and his last season here is no exception.”

Baroque & Beyond continues in the curatorial format, with orchestra members Ian Whitman and Bénédicte Lauzière taking on roles as curators, programmers and hosts. Joining them are guest curators Christopher Rountree and Tafelmusik’s Aisslinn Nosky.

A Saturday morning tradition, Kinderconcerts, will be presented at the Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts, the Waterloo Region Museum and the Woolwich Memorial Centre. The Saturday afternoon Family Series, led by Assistant Conductor Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser shares the joy of orchestral music with the whole family, including a concert starring Paddington Bear™. Both series feature interactive pre-concert activities hosted by Music for Young Children that let audiences get up close to the music.

The KWS would like to thank the following sponsors:  Programming: Exel Research Inc.; Podium: BMO; Signature Series: Economical Insurance; Pops Series: Heffner Lexus; Family Series: Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc.; Baroque & Beyond Series: Karen Wilkinson; Assistant Conductor: Dr. Desta Leavine.


Kari Hueber,
Director of Audience Engagement
519-745-4711 ext. 267