A Symphonic Symposium: Sources, Symptoms & Solutions – SOLD OUT

The symphony is the backbone of orchestral music, and one of the most well-known and well-loved forms of classical music. But when, where, why and how did it evolve? On the surface the symphony appears to be merely a form of entertainment, but like all great art, it was, and is, much more. How did it reflect socio-political structure, culture and values, and how can it relate to our fast-paced 21st-century lives today?

In this seminar, we will delve into the evolution and development of the symphony, from the early days in the aristocratic 18th century, through the expressive Romantic 19th century, the soul-searching 20th century, to the present day. In essence, the symphony is a reflection of human life itself. As we listen to legendary recordings throughout the seminar, we will explore and discuss basic form and structure, the composer’s objectives, background and insight, as well as interpretation.

The seminar will open ears and enlighten minds to the possibilities and power of the symphony, resulting in a greater understanding, enjoyment … and love.

Learn more about the seminar in Rick’s blog post A Musical Microcosm of the World.


Gustav Mahler conducting
Gustav Mahler Conducts his Symphony no. 1 in D-major
by Theo Zasche

“A symphony must be like the world—it must embrace everything.”

– Gustav Mahler, 1907


Register Online

For 14 years, Rick Phillips was the host and producer of SOUND ADVICE, heard nationally every weekend on CBC Radio. Now he’s a busy writer, reviewer, teacher, speaker, music tour host and frequent seminar leader at Toronto Pursuits. Rick has always been fascinated by the evolution of the symphony and its raisons d’être—from aristocratic entertainment to high art, always encompassing the human experience. http://www.soundadvice1.com

Symphony No. 3 “Eroica” by Ludwig van Beethoven

Symphonie Fantastique by Hector Berlioz

Symphony No. 4. by Pyotr Tchaikovsky

Pre-seminar listening is optional. Those who are interested can prepare by listening to the symphonies above, and to symphonies by any composer from any period.

Register Online

Ask a Question

Back to Toronto Pursuits Main Page


Toronto Pursuits 2017