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News Room

Media Release – Toronto, September 16, 2023 


The Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra will be presenting on Saturday, October 7, 2023, the first concert of our 2023/24 season subscription series.

When:  Saturday, October 7, 2023
Time: 8:00 PM
Where: P.C. Ho Theatre, Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto, 5183 Sheppard Avenue East. 

Martin MacDonald, conductor
Marion Newman, mezzo-soprano

Katie Agocs*                     Shenanigan (2011)
Christine Donkin*              Three Autumn Scenes (2011)
Bramwell Tovey*               Ancestral Voices (2017)
Dvorak                              Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, B. 178 New World

Our 2023-2024 season opens with three Canadian composers whose unique and expressive voices will be put on full display. Katie Agocs’ Shenanigan is full of buoyant energy, showing off the range of the orchestra capturing the essence of Atlantic Canada’s reels. Christine Donkin’s Three Autumn Scenes is beautifully descriptive, as we explore those first sounds and sights of a crisp autumn day. Written for acclaimed First Nations mezzo-soprano Marion Newman, Ancestral Voices is a powerful and thought- provoking song cycle written in the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation. Finally, Dvorak’s New World Symphony, one of the most famous symphonies of all time, is a sweeping drama inspired by his experiences during his stay in America.


CBSO’s Music Director, Martin MacDonald is one of Canada’s most dynamic and outstanding young conductors and has been awarded both the Heinz Unger Award and the Jean-Marie Beaudet Award for orchestral conducting. Martin has guest conducted extensively across Canada having worked with the orchestras of Toronto, National Arts Centre, Vancouver, Victoria, Kamloops, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Niagara, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Windsor, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland. He has served as a Cover and Guest Conductor for the National Ballet of Canada for several productions and has worked with the Minnesota Ballet, Atlantic Ballet, and Halifax Dance.

Our concerts take place in the acoustically superb and very comfortable P.C. Ho Theatre in the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto at 5183 Sheppard Avenue East. Tickets can be purchased online, or through the Box Office by phone at (416) 879-5566.

The Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra, founded by Clifford Poole and Neil Blair, has been delighting audiences with its impeccable musical quality, musical diversity and engaging programs since 1985. Under the baton of Martin MacDonald, the orchestra will present six concerts this season, including a subscription series of six concerts at the state-of-the-art P.C. Ho Theatre in the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto. As one of Toronto’s premier community orchestras, it provides affordable high-quality symphony concerts, often with internationally acclaimed soloists, allowing its members an exciting, welcoming performance environment and collaborations with other arts organizations. It is deeply entrenched in building culture in its local community and is known for creating performance opportunities for aspiring young musicians.

For more information about the Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra, please visit or contact; Wendy Limbertie – Director of Marketing and Outreach.


Presenting our 2023/24 Season

A Welcome Message from our Music Director



“I am excited to dive into my second season as Music Director of the Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra
with six unforgettable concerts that will transport you to new musical horizons. From timeless favourites by Beethoven, Dvorak, Mahler, and more; exciting works by Canadian composers; thrilling and dynamic soloists including young emerging talent from the next generation; to Walking Through the Fire, the new show from our friends Sultans of String, we have curated a diverse and thrilling season that celebrates the beauty and power of live symphonic music. Join us!”
– Martin MacDonald