Robert Franz

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Robert Franz at the Windsor Symphony Orchestra
Robert Franz at the The Art Gallery of Windsor
Robert Franz at the Windsor Symphony Orchestra and The Art Gallery of Windsor.
Photos: Colin Sharpe
In his third season as Music Director, Robert Franz and the Windsor Symphony Orchestra are poised to be among southwest Ontario’s artistic leaders. Energized by the move to its new home at the Capitol Theatre, the WSO is developing key partnerships throughout the community, re-crafting the education programs to better serve students, and building bridges with diverse audiences. In February, Orchestras Canada voted the WSO’s Wright Flight performance as one of the “coolest” concerts in Canada.
The 2015-16 season will introduce three new mini-festivals that include performances by the WSO and guest artists, as well as activities throughout the community. The festivals begin in September with a celebration of Windsor’s French roots with an opening night concert devoted to some of the greatest French music ever written. In winter, the WSO will host an Italian opera festival with a concert performance of La Boheme mirrored by a new creation, Pat and Emilia. It tells the tale of two remarkable Windsor artists, soprano Emilia Cundari and photographer Pat Sturn. In April, Mozart, one of the world’s most beloved composers, will be honored with a two week celebration.
The WSO has expanded its educational opportunities with high school offerings that include side-by-side experiences for ensembles attending its concerts. The entire core of the WSO will reach out to its youngest audience members with appearances at their elementary schools. These two initatives allow Franz and the WSO to cater programs to the specific needs of each student population. In addition, a new program will be launched that offers adults the opportunity to sit in on a rehearsal on stage and then move into the hall to hear a performance of the same work. This “inside out” view of the orchestra offers an enhanced experience for both the performers and audience members.
Following last season’s success of the world premiere of Chris Hadfield’s concert of works written in space, the WSO will bring two new Toronto-based pops acts to the orchestral stage. The band of firefighting brothers, Firesound makes their orchestra debut after winning the first season of “Canada Sings”. In the spring the ladies of Broadsway join Franz and the WSO for an evening of tight harmonies and brilliant wit.