As well as making new violin and double bass appointments, the orchestra has just received a $14.7 million endowment from the Estate of H. Thomas and Mary Beck

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(l-r) Associate concertmasters Yolanda Bruno and Clare Semes, assistant principal second violin Luri Lee and associate principal second violin Kun Yan |

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As the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) begins its 2023/24 season, a number of string players take up new roles in the ensemble in a reshuffle of the violin sections, as well as with new appointments.

Yolanda Bruno and Clare Semes, former tutti violins, will both assume the role of associate concertmaster, lending support to concertmaster Jonathan Crow and acting as concertmaster for numerous programmes over the course of the season.

Additionally, former tutti violin Luri Lee will assume the position of assistant principal second violin after winning the audition for the role earlier this year.

’Yolanda, Clare, and Luri are exceptionally well qualified to help propel us forward as a collective,’ commented TSO music director, Gustavo Gimeno. ’Their talent, passion, and hard work are abundantly evident, and it was my sincere pleasure to promote them to their new roles with greater responsibility and leadership, in which I am certain they will excel.’

As well as the reshuffled violin sections, new appointments have been made in the orchestra’s string and brass sections. Kun Yan takes up the role of associate principal second violin; Christina (Jung Yan) Choi and Ah Young Kim join the violin; and Jesse Dale, Christopher Laven, and Mark Lillie have joined the double bass section. Renata Cardoso joins the trumpet section.

The TSO has also announced an endowment of $14.7 million from the Estate of H. Thomas and Mary Beck. The largest gift ever made to the organisation was announced at the orchestra’s AGM on 16 October. The gift brought the estate’s total giving to approximately $30 million, and the Beck Family’s giving in support of the TSO to more than $50 million. The amount has been invested by the Toronto Symphony Foundation to bolster the orchestra’s artistry, touring, audience development, and education and community-engagement initiatives in future years.

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