There are plenty of ways to celebrate 75 years of music-making with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra this weekend.



An “UnTuxed” dress rehearsal Friday, a marquee performance Saturday evening followed by a 1940s canteen dance party into the wee hours of the morning.  

“It has indeed been a wonderful season,” says WSO Music Director Daniel Raiskin, who acknowledges the receptive audience, outstanding soloists and, of course, the symphony musicians who have contributed to the dynamic concert year.  

One of the most iconic works in the repertoire, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 is on the program to conclude the orchestra’s season.  

“This symphony is, perhaps, one of the most outstanding achievements in the history of all classical music, and all music, and all humanity all together,” says Raiskin.  

Famous for its use of choir in the final movement, singing the triumphant poetry of Friedrich Schiller adapted by Beethoven from the “Ode to Joy,” the work is both radical and radiant, embodying the ideals of the Enlightenment, taking listeners on a journey from tragedy to triumph.  

“Many people forget that the symphony is not just the last movement,” remarks Raiskin. “There’s another 45 minutes of absolutely sublime music before that, that leads into that song of songs, into that choir of choir, into that celebration of joy.”  

In addition to Beethoven’s Ninth, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra welcomes one of the nation’s biggest stars, Jan Lisiecki for his WSO debut.  

One of the great interpreters of Chopin’s music, Lisiecki performs the Concerto No. 1 in E minor for Piano & Orchestra, Op. 11.  

“I couldn’t imagine a better pair for Beethoven's Ninth than Chopin’s concerto," says Raiskin, noting the energy, romance and seemingly limitless possibilities ahead of the then 18-year-old composer. 

“This is for me, in a way, symbolic because I still think there is a whole lot of life in front of the WSO to conquer and fill with absolutely remarkable pages of its history.”  

Join the WSO Friday for an “UnTuxed” open dress rehearsal with soloists Marie-Josée Lord, soprano, Catherine Daniel, mezzo-soprano, Charles Reid, tenor, and Michael Nyby, baritone, along with the CMU Festival Chorus, directed by Dr. Janet Brenneman beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are just $25. 

A sold-out Saturday concert takes place at the Centennial Concert Hall with an after-party planned for 10 p.m.  

“Ode to Joy” concert ticket holders can celebrate with the WSO after the concert for $50 (with a $25 tax receipt) and the public can join for $75 (with a $50 receipt issued). Soundcheck members can join the party for $25.  

Details and tickets available at: