Press Release, May 15, 2013

The York Symphony Orchestra welcomes back Brazilian conductor Rafael Luz to the podium for its next series of concerts, celebrating “French Impressions.”  Mr. Luz, who was last featured with the YSO in April of 2012, has conducted and taught in his own country as well as in New York City, and is currently completing his Doctoral studies in conducting at the University of Toronto.


The concerts will feature a YSO favourite, York region native Andrew Ascenzo, to play Saint-Saens’ Cello Concerto #1. Andrew recently completed his Undergraduate and Master's Degrees in Cello Performance at the University of Toronto under the tutelage of Shauna Rolston, while also studying jazz improvisation with Matt Brubeck. In addition to his duties as principal cellist of the U. of T. Orchestra, Andrew has appeared as a soloist with several orchestras in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area, including the York Symphony, The Sneak Peak Orchestra, and the York Chamber Ensemble. When he’s not playing classical music, Andrew is also a member of the popular Toronto based rock band You, Me, Baxter & Phil, which was formed in the fall of 2009.


In addition to the concerto, Maestro Luz will lead the orchestra in one of the best known “impressionist” pieces in the repertoire, Debussy’s dreamlike “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun.”


To round out the program, Mr. Luz has chosen two more familiar works from French composers: the lively 2nd Suite of incidental music for L’Arlésienne by Georges Bizet, and one of the masterworks of the romantic canon, César Franck’s powerful Symphony in D Minor.


The concerts are Saturday, May 25th at 8 pm at the Trinity Anglican Church in Aurora, and Sunday May 26th at 7:30 at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts.


Tickets for May 25th may be purchased by calling 416 410-0860; for Sunday May 26th, call 905 787-8811 or go online at

Tickets will also be available at the door of both venues.