Concertmaster Gwen Hoebig is joined by her family for two very special concerts


Angela Birdsell


The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra has announced its 2024/25 season. With plenty of classics, more matinées, exciting Live concerts, lots of movies, fantastic guest artists and collaborations with communities, there really is something for everyone at the WSO.

“The 2024/25 season marks my seventh year as Music Director of the WSO, and I have high expectations for this ‘lucky number’ season!” says Daniel Raiskin, WSO Music Director. “I'm thrilled about the astounding array of world-class artists who will join and inspire our orchestra and audiences.”

The Saturday Classics series continues to feature masterworks and renowned guest soloists conducted by Music Director Daniel Raiskin. The season opens with Manitoba’s own James Ehnes playing the violin and the viola. Also appearing are Armenian pianist Marianna Shirinyan and internationally recognized Anna Geniushene. And Canadian-born, Berlin-based cellist Bryan Cheng returns to wow WSO audiences once again. The series features Tchaikovsky’s passionate Symphony No. 6 and Mahler’s enchanting Symphony No. 4. The final Saturday Classics concert celebrates Concertmaster Gwen Hoebig featuring Debussy’s La Mer and Strauss’s Till Eulenspiegel.

The popular Thursday Classics series offers diverse programming, shorter concerts, pre-concert performances by musicians in the making, and post-concert Q&A lounges. Chopin Piano Competition-winning Canadian Charles Richard-Hamelin joins the WSO to play… Chopin, of course. Canadian guest conductor Tania Miller is joined by former WSO principal tuba player Chris Lee for Winton Marsalis’ Tuba Concerto. The third concert features a work by contemporary American composer Christopher Rouse and award-winning trumpet player Simon Höfele. World-renowned violinist Rachel Barton Pine performs the world premiere of the latest work by the WSO’s composer-in-residence, Haralabos [Harry] Stafylakis. This series ends with guest conductor Leslie Suganandarajah leading the WSO for Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony.

The UnTuxed series offers matinée performances of select works from each Thursday Classics concert, with informative and interactive discussions of those works from the stage.

New this season is a much-requested classical matinée series. For over fifty years, Shirley Loewen was a devoted patron of the arts and an ardent supporter of the WSO. Thanks to the generosity of her husband Bill and children Howard, Ann, Louise, Peter and Jen, the WSO is able to present the Shirley Loewen Sunday Classics series, dedicated to her memory. These matinées are a second chance to experience some of the season’s beloved Classics concerts.

James Ehnes. Photographed by Benjamin Ealovega.

And, by popular demand, The WSO continues its traditional holiday presentation of Handel’s Messiah, this season offering three performances at the magnificent Knox United Church.

About the 2024/25 season's Manitoba Liquor Marts Live at the WSO concerts, Jean Francois (JF) Phaneuf, the Director of Artistic Planning at the WSO, emphasizes, "From the unique blend of fashion and virtuoso violin with Thorgy Thor to the soulful melodies of Aretha Franklin performed by soloists Capathia Jenkins, to the iconic music of Queen performed by Finnish sensation Rajaton, each performance promises a distinctive and vibrant experience for our audiences!"

Brooklyn-born and raised singer/actor Capathia Jenkins sings the soulful songs of Aretha Franklin

The exciting BMO Night at the Movies with the WSO series features a blockbuster roster of iconic films on the big screen while the WSO plays the score LIVE! This year’s movies include Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, the 1925 silent movie version of The Phantom of the Opera, The Princess Bride, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.

The WSO plays the POPS like you remember!

The Manitoba Liquor Marts Live at the WSO Matinées series offers another new afternoon concert experience. These concerts are presented in POPS format, showcasing the talented WSO and local artists. Concert-goers can reminisce about 70 Years of WSO Pops, including a performance of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. They can celebrate A Prairie Christmas and explore the Orchestra Through the Ages with comedic notes sprinkled throughout by comedian Lara Rae.

Music lovers are encouraged to visit wso.ca, pick up a 2024/25 season brochure at one of this season's remaining concerts, or call the Box Office at 204-949-3999 to subscribe to their favourite series before May 31 for the greatest savings. Subscribing to the newsletter will ensure that WSO fans looking for single tickets will be first to find out when they go on sale.