The Stratford Symphony Orchestra prepares for the return of live concerts this spring


The Stratford Symphony Orchestra hopes to generate excitement for its planned return to the stage this spring by airing its A Stratford Celebration concert on Rogers TV in March.

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Last October, when the Stratford Symphony Orchestra performed to half-capacity audiences in their first live concert since the start of the pandemic, it was to be a celebration of a return to normalcy and recovery. more performances to come.

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Dubbed A Stratford Celebration, all indications at the time were that the Stratford Symphony Orchestra would continue to perform live at concerts scheduled over the following months. Although rising COVID-19 cases and a province-wide lockdown in January prevented those plans from coming to fruition, the local symphony is now gearing up for its triumphant return to the stage at Avondale United Church. this spring.

To build excitement for this return to live performance, Rogers TV will be showing A Stratford Celebration on TV and online on March 5, 6, 10, 12 and 13.

“We want to remind the community that we exist and while we haven’t been able to do a lot of in-person concerts, that’s about to change,” said Craig Thompson, board member of the orchestra and executive producer of Ballinran Entertainment, the company that filmed and produced the live concert last fall. “We were lucky enough to be able to attend an in-person concert at Avondale Church in October…thinking it was our return to normal health guidelines.

“Of course, all that has changed. Our season was supposed to kick off in January. We had our New Year’s Gala and a gig with The Bookends scheduled for February, and both had to be scrapped.

A Stratford Celebration includes music by composers Georges Bizet, Antonín Dvořák, Vincenzo Bellini, Igor Stravinsky and Erich Wolfgang Korngold, and features an appearance by acclaimed baritone soloist and Stratford resident Phillip Addis.

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Fans can check local cable Rogers TV broadcast schedules or visit and select the Waterloo region to watch the concert online.

Although exact dates have yet to be announced, Stratford Symphony Orchestra executive director Chris Sharpe said there will be two live concerts at Avondale United Church – one at the end of April and one in mid-June – with all recommended pandemic protocols in place.

Hosted by CBC Music’s Tom Allen, the first is a concert originally postponed two years ago and titled Classical Good Time Variety Show. It will include short works by Bizet, Richard Wagner and Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, as well as a horn concerto by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with the symphony orchestra’s principal horn player, Andrew MacDonald.

The Stratford Symphony Orchestra’s second live concert this spring will feature local Celtic band The Bookends as part of the orchestra’s annual celebration of Celtic music.

“Our seasons generally run from fall to spring, so I would call that an interrupted season,” Thompson said, adding that the Stratford Symphony Orchestra’s next full season is expected to begin in the fall.

For more information about the Stratford Symphony Orchestra, to join the mailing list, and to purchase tickets for upcoming live concerts as they become available, visit


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