The goal of the Toronto Summer Music Festival is to create an international summer Festival that presents chamber music concerts featuring world-renowned artists and an Academy that provides instruction at the highest level for emerging musicians at the threshold of their careers, thereby creating a unique environment for exceptional artists and music-lovers of all ages. In selecting the artists for the Festival, our Artistic Director Douglas McNabney seeks those who are not only exceptional performers but who are also internationally recognized pedagogues.
In the beginning, the Toronto Summer Music Festival (“TSMF”), previously operating as the Silver Creek Music Foundation, ran two pilot programmes in the summers of 2004 and 2005 including one- or two-week Chamber music workshops in piano, strings and percussion, and a mini series of public concerts featuring the Gryphon Trio, Scott St. John, Shauna Rolston, Lydia Wong and NEXUS.
In the summer of 2006, under the leadership of founding Artistic Director Agnes Grossmann, TSMF expanded our activities significantly, from the one or two single-week programmes offered in 2004 and 2005 to a full four-week programme that includes:
- a Festival with chamber music concerts and solo recitals complemented by pre-concert lectures; and
- an Academy with Master classes and workshops in Chamber music and Art Song, providing advanced study and performance opportunities for gifted graduate students and pre-professional performers.
This expansion has been highly successful, garnering both critical and public acclaim and contributing significantly to the international stature of Toronto as a centre for culture while providing a platform for Canadian and international artists. Our fundraising efforts have resulted in support from many sources including individual donors, foundations, government agencies and corporate sponsors. Attendance (of over 10,000 in 2010) is significant for a young organization and our audiences have been exceptionally enthusiastic and engaged with our professional and emerging artists building a community around TSMF. The Academy and Festival is governed by an ambitious Board of Directors, supported by an enthusiastic cadre of volunteers and managed by a professional staff.
In September 2010, we had a change in leadership at the Toronto Summer Music Festival with Agnes Grossmann passing the baton to our new Artistic Director, Douglas McNabney. As founding Artistic Director, Agnes Grossmann has given us five years of exceptional service, working tirelessly to help us transform an appealing idea into a leading musical destination. The Festival attracts world-class artists and Academy faculty, and boasts full concert houses, critical acclaim and gifted young musical acolytes from around the world. Douglas McNabney, one of Canada’s most active chamber musicians, brings an extraordinary combination of leadership experience, musical excellence, focus and imagination to Toronto Summer Music. We are thrilled to have his energy and ideas as we continue our transition, building on Agnes’ groundwork, from start-up to sought-after destination on the Festival concert and Academy circuit,”
Based on the success of the past five summers, Douglas McNabney created an equally ambitious Festival and Academy programme that took place from July 19 to August 13, 2011 at the University of Toronto and The Royal Conservatory. The sixth anniversary year programme was similar to the programs presented over the past five years. A four-week Festival featuring concerts, lectures, workshops and master classes, once again bringing together the finest local and international artists to mentor aspiring professional musicians and singers and perform for music loving audiences. In total, Toronto Summer Music presented 13 Mainstage Festival concerts, 10 pre-concert talks, 7 Mentors and Fellows concerts, 6 Public Outreach concerts, and 3 Masterclasses open to the public.
The Toronto Summer Music Foundation, by means of its Festival and Academy programs, provides music lovers with an opportunity to enjoy and deepen their knowledge of classical music by bringing audiences together with international artists and emerging professional musicians and singers for a successful round of concerts, lectures and master classes. No other musical programming of its kind is available in Toronto in the summer months, when artists of international stature come together to mentor young musicians and to give outstanding concerts in a series of public performances.