About the KSO
The Kindred Spirits Orchestra (KSO) is a critically acclaimed auditioned-based civic orchestra performing at the Meridian Arts Centre (George Weston Recital Hall) and the CBC Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto, as well as at the Flato Markham Theatre and the Cornell Recital Hall. The KSO is an Ontario not-for-profit corporation and a registered public charity with the Government of Canada. The KSO business structure is based on a unique model that integrates the best practices of managing symphony orchestras in Europe, the USA, and Canada. In addition to performing concerts, the KSO offers several educational, community outreach, professional development and international cultural exchange programmes.
Between 2009 and 2011, the KSO presented 9 concerts at the Glenn Gould Studio, to an ever-growing audience and mostly sold-out house. Since 2011, the KSO has presented a concert series at the Flato Markham Theatre, in addition to an annual concert at the Glenn Gould Studio. As ardent supporter of contemporary music, the KSO established in 2011 a long-term partnership with the Markham Contemporary Music Festival. This annual event brings to life great pieces by illustrious international and Canadian composers, including Gary Kulesha, Brian Current, Larysa Kuzmenko, Kevin Lau, Constantine Caravassilis, James Campbell, Vincent Ho, John Williams, and Chan Wing-Wah.
In 2015, the KSO musicians donated a piano and an organ to the remote community of the Easter Island. These musical instruments, travelling 15,000 km by sea, arrived in 2016 for the inauguration of the first music school in the history of this distinct society. In 2017, the KSO gave a sold-out performance at the 3,200-seat Meridian Hall (Sony Centre for the Performing Arts) in Toronto at the first international concert-tribute to the Oscar-winning composer AR Rahman. In 2017 as well, the KSO, in conjunction with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, participated in Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations, by presenting a new work Rejuvenation written by Canadian composer Vincent Ho and featuring pipa player Wu Man and TV celebrity Yi Qin. In 2018, the KSO performed at a sold-out event in Toronto to mark the centennial of the foundation of Romania. In 2019, the KSO produced several large-scale performances with the Hong Kong Oratorio Society, the Vancouver Oratorio Society and the Toronto Classical Singers.
By 2018, the KSO audience continued to grow and the educational programs attracted patrons from across the GTA. In the same year, the KSO was invited by the City of Richmond Hill to present a series of concerts featuring renowned Canadian artists and international guest-conductors, composers and soloists. The first concert series at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts was a success and has become an annual event. These concerts are in addition to the concerts presented by the KSO at the Flato Markham Theatre and the CBC Glenn Gould Studio.
In 2019, the KSO forged a partnership with the International Music Festival and Competition, an annual series of events that provide young musicians with opportunities to perform, conduct and write music, while receiving professional guidance from leading experts in the classical music industry, in Canada.
During the 2020 pandemic, the KSO quickly evolved and, by leveraging digital technologies and the Internet, transitioned to offering live concerts via broadcast and stream and attracted patrons from as far away as the USA, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
In 2021, the KSO became the first orchestra in Canada to migrate to an environmentally conscious business operations, implement a digital music library, and replace paper-based music parts with iPad Pro tablets made available to all musicians.
The KSO gave the world, North-American and Canadian premières of several contemporary works. In 2014, the KSO gave the Canadian première of John Williams’ famed piece “On Willows and Birches” as well as the world première of James Campbell’s Concerto for Harp and Orchestra. In 2017, the KSO gave the world première of a Concerto for harp and orchestra by Hong Kong composer Chan Wing Wah. In 2019, the KSO gave the North American and Canadian première of Symphony No. 9 by Chan Wing Wah. In 2020, the KSO gave the world première of a Concerto for violin and orchestra by Canadian composer Werner Chan.
Educating the future audience for live classical music performances is one of the important roles that the KSO plays in the GTA. Through various educational programs, courses, and events, the KSO works together with thousands of children, adolescents, students, parents, life-long learners, teachers, educational leaders, public and private schools, colleges, and universities.
The KSO has been the recipient of numerous governmental awards. In 2013, 2015 and 2019, the KSO was presented with awards from the Government of Canada for the “extraordinary work of the Kindred Spirits Orchestra promoting Canadian music and Canadian composers as well as for the orchestra’s community outreach and educational programmes.” In the years between 2016 and 2023, the Government of Ontario has awarded 45 members of the KSO for their contribution to the development of arts and culture in the community.
The Kindred Spirits Orchestra strives to change lives through music’s extraordinary power to communicate, inspire, uplift, educate, and entertain. Through the presentation of evocative, dramatic, and passionate performances, the Orchestra brings together people from diverse communities, enriching their cultural lives and developing new audiences of all ages for orchestral music. The Orchestra performs an international repertoire, including Canadian contemporary music, and offers subscription series at the Flato Markham Theatre, the Meridian Arts Centre, and the CBC Glenn Gould Studio, in addition to community outreach and family concerts, educational programs and activities for children, senior citizens, and people with disabilities. Through a pursuit of innovation and technology, the Orchestra seeks to reduce the impact of its operations on the environment.
Corporate and Private Functions and Events
We offer a vast choice of repertoire (classical, operatic, Broadway and light classics) for a variety of corporate and private functions and events. Our string quartet and wind quintet has performed at Annual General Meetings, Employees and Volunteers recognition events, Christmas dinners, New Year’s Levees and celebrations, weddings, bar and bat mitzvah, corporate product launches, and more. Add a touch of class to your event and consider including a live music performance to your event. We will work with you on every detail and make a lasting impression on your event.
Cornell Recital Hall, 3201 Bur Oak Avenue, Markham, Ontario L6B 0T2
Kindred Spirits Orchestra rehearsals are held on every Tuesday from 7:15 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at Cornell Recital Hall, a 5,000 sq ft, state-of-the-art facility, entirely covered with maple wood, built-in projection screen, surround sound audio system, WiFi, digital recording studio, music library, and a leading edge dynamic acoustic system. The venue can also be used as a recital hall with 200 retractable seats. In addition, there are 2 smaller size studios adjacent to the hall, which are used for sectional rehearsals. There are also catering facilities, coat check and large storage space for our own Manhasset music stands, professional musicians chairs, complete system of risers, audio/video recording system, full set of percussion instruments, celeste, and a Steinway grand piano. Light snacks and refreshments are provided during the break.
Kindred Spirits Orchestra is an equal opportunity organization that complies with all federal and provincial laws in regards to discrimination against any person because of age, ancestry, color, disability or handicap, national origin, race, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.