Superb Sibelius and Great Schubert

Concert Information

Performance dates
Simon Rivard, conductor
Elina Vähälä, violin
Symphony Nova Scotia
On the program

Sibelius: Rakastava (The Lover)
Sibelius: Violin Concerto
Schubert: Symphony No. 9 “The Great”

Sibelius’ Violin Concerto is a sweeping, deeply romantic showstopper, and one of the most popular violin works in the world – and Finland’s Elina Vähälä is “a fluent, stylish and gifted musician whose brilliant technique is matched by an abundant spirit, sensitivity and imagination” (Chicago Tribune). Now, experience this fusion of Finland’s finest live with Symphony Nova Scotia, in a moving concert that also features Sibelius’ tender, sorrowful Rakastava and Schubert’s massive, majestic, and final symphony, “The Great.”

Elina Vähälä, strings masterclass
Wednesday, January 23, 2019 • 5 pm
Dalhousie Arts Centre, Room 406

To learn more about our masterclasses, please contact D’Arcy Gray at

These masterclasses are presented in partnership with the Dalhousie Fountain School of Performing Arts. For more information, and for a complete schedule of their offerings, please visit their website here.

About the Artists

Simon Rivard, conductor

Simon Rivard is one of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s 2017 “30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians under 30”. He is the newly appointed Resident Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra. He is concurrently serving as the Associate Conductor of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra.

In 2018, he was invited to participate in the first Conducting Mentorship Program at the Verbier Festival Academy (Switzerland). In addition to being mentored by Valery Gergiev and Derrick Inouye, he acted as assistant conductor to Sir Simon Rattle, Gianandrea Noseda, Marc Minkowski, and Gábor Tákacs-Nagy. At the conclusion of the Verbier Festival, he was awarded a Special Prize to help him pursue his mentorship with Gergiev and Noseda.

During the TBSO’s 2017/18 season, he conducted over 30 concerts with the orchestra and chorus. Throughout the season, he has been an advocate for collaboration with Indigenous artists, as well as local arts organizations. Also in 2017, he stepped in for Jean-Philippe Tremblay as Music Director of the Orchestre de la Francophonie, leading successful performances in Montréal, Québec, and Ottawa.

Social transformation through music plays a significant role in his professional life. He has been associated with the Orchestre des jeunes de l’Ontario français – an orchestra for young francophones from all over Canada – since August 2017. He has also worked at the Fondation du Dr Julien, an organization offering free music lessons to socioeconomically disadvantaged children in Montréal. In 2015, he travelled to a Haiti orphanage with a team of professionals to offer three weeks of music, arts, and theatre lessons to the children.

He studied Violin Performance with Anne Robert and Orchestral Conducting with Raffi Armenian at the Montréal Conservatory of Music. He completed an MMus in Orchestral Conducting at McGill University under Alexis Hauser and Guillaume Bourgogne. He was also taught by Louis Lavigueur, Harold Farberman, Apo Hsu, Raymond Harvey, Johannes Schlaefli, Kenneth Kiesler, Jean-Philippe Tremblay, and Jean-Sébastien Vallée.

He received support from the Millenium Excellence Awards, Sibylla Hesse Foundation, Jeunesses Musicales du Canada, McAbbie Foundation, Schulich School of Music (Wayne-Riddell and Gerald-Wheeler prizes), and Verbier Festival. Simon Rivard is represented by Boulev’art Artists’ Management.

Pre-concert chat

Join us for a FREE pre-concert chat at 6:45 pm in the Sculpture Court (just outside the Rebecca Cohn auditorium).

Ticket info

Single tickets are on sale now! You can also save up to 35%, reserve the best seats in the house, and enjoy a great set of benefits with a ticket package. Click here to learn more about ticket packages or call the Dalhousie Arts Centre Box Office at 902.494.3820 to book your tickets today.