Game Changers including Itzhak Perlman and Thorgy Thor, along with other guests such as Paul Brandt just a few of the great performances in store for the CPO’s 2019/2020 season

In the thick of what is currently an exciting season for the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, with upcoming events including Hawksley Workman with orchestra and a showing of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers with orchestral accompaniment in May, the CPO today launched its 2019/2020 season which honours Game Changers — visionaries who have broken new ground, musical influencers and those who have undoubtedly shaped the course of music.

Some of those who will join the CPO over the next year include: world-renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman on Sept. 21; Thorgy Thor, a talented musician and performer known to most from RuPaul’s Drag Race hitting the stage Nov. 16.; Jeannette Sorrell, artistic director of early music ensemble Apollo’s Fire on Dec. 6 and 7; and Katherine Chi, acclaimed pianist and first woman to win the prestigious Honens Prize performing May 29 and 30, 2020.

Other highlights of the season include the CPO’s popular films with live orchestra, presented in partnership with the Calgary International Film Festival, which include a Halloween presentation of Ghostbusters on Oct. 25 and 26, followed by Halloween Party that Friday night. A screening of Mary Poppins will also take place Oct. 11 and 12, the Harry Potter series continues with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on March 12 and 13, 2020, and Star Wars fans can look forward to Star Wars: A New Hope featuring the amazing score by John Williams on May 15 and 16, 2020.

The CPO’s holiday programming next season will feature music director Rune Bergmann teaming up with trumpeter Jens Lindemann for Holiday Pops with Rune + Jens on Nov. 29 and 30. Holiday favourite Handel’s Messiah will once again be performed on Dec. 6 and 7, and Paul Brandt brings his Country Christmas to town Dec 10, 11 and 12.

Beethoven will also feature prominently this next season, when the CPO will feature five concerts pairing a Beethoven symphony with a piano concerto, beginning with Symphony No. 1/Piano Concerto No.1 taking place on Feb 14, 2020 and ending June 12 & 13, 2020 with Symphony No. 5/Piano Concerto No.5.

Of course there are the classics to look forward to, which include Amanda Forsyth performing her father Malcolm’s Electra Rising cello concerto on Oct 18 & 19, and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition will be performed April 17 & 18, 2020.

The CPO will again be offering up a good dose of popular music, starting with the ABBA tribute band Arrival performing Sept. 13 & 14. The CPO will also showcase the theme songs from James Bond films on Nov. 1 & 2, and a tribute to Aretha Franklin will take place on Feb. 21 & 22, 2020. You can catch Broadway Hits on April 24, 2020,and the Best of Billy Joel & Elton John June 5 & 6, 2020.

It’s a fantastic season ahead, check out their full season schedule.

(Photo of Itzhak Perlman courtesy Lisa Marie Mazzucco.)

Kari Watson is a writer and former Listings Editor of FFWD Weekly, and has continued to bring The Culture Cycle event listings to Calgary through theYYSCENE. Contact her at