The Vancouver Symphony is Back

The Vancouver Symphony is Back
Published on July 22, 2021

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Is Back!

Announcing the first concerts of the 2021-2022 Season


We’re Back! Gala Performance
Back To The Future In Concert
Fred Penner with the VSO

  • September 18: Maestro Otto Tausk opens the season with We’re Back! Gala Performance at the Orpheum Theatre with full live audience
  • Sept 24/25: Back To the Future In Concert with Live Orchestra perfectly captures the spirit of the times
  • Oct 3: Beloved children’s entertainer Fred Penner joins the VSO to welcome families back to the Orpheum Theatre Tickets on sale to the general public this Friday, July 23

(Vancouver, BC – July 22, 2021) Today, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) announced the return to full audiences and a unique set of four concerts to open the 2021-22 concert season. The performances start September 18, 2021 with We’re Back!, a gala performance featuring Maestro Otto Tausk leading Tchaikovsky’s 5th Symphony, a collection of audience favourites, and music from new voices. Then on September 24 and 25, the VSO performs Back To The Future In Concert, the perfect way to welcome audiences back to the experiences we love. On October 3, the beloved children’s entertainer Fred Penner welcomes families back to the Orpheum with his message of love and positivity through music. The Cat Came Back – and so can you!

VSO Music Director Otto Tausk commented, “We have all come through a most challenging and strange year. The progress in BC on vaccination and reopening is fantastic. Now, we turn a page in our lives and return to the things we love most. For me and the musicians of the VSO, that means making music with you. We have a triumphant season planned that starts with a very special opening gala performance. We will play some favourite music by Beethoven, Berlioz, Massenet and Tchaikovsky, and feature two of the most creative voices in Canada today: Barbara Croall and Dinuk Wijeratne. This is one of those concerts that we will look back on twenty years from now as the start of a whole new chapter in our lives.”

VSO President & CEO Angela Elster commented, “BC’s incredible progress on vaccination and reopening plans give us great hope and confidence that we will hit Phase 4 on September 7, permitting full audiences. We are working closely with our partners at Vancouver Civic Theatres and following guidance of the Provincial Health Officer to reopen in a safe yet ambitious manner. The return to full audiences is critical for the success of our orchestra and the performing arts. We thoroughly encourage people to do their part, get the second shot, and be ready to confidently and safely join us this fall for an incredible reopening celebration.”

Tickets go on sale this Friday, July 23, to the General Public. Presales to VSO Donors and Enews Subscribers start today.


The VSO’s Reopening Concerts

We’re Back! Gala Performance

Saturday, September 18, 2021 at 8:00pm
The Orpheum Theatre

Maestro Otto Tausk and the full Vancouver Symphony Orchestra take you on an emotional journey of return to the historic Orpheum Theatre. With celebration, meditation, an eye to the future, and nod to our past, we open a season like no other with this very special gala performance. Featuring Beethoven’s Fidelio Overture, excerpts from Massenet and Berlioz, compelling new Canadian voices Dinuk Wijeratne and Barbara Croall, and closing with Tchaikovsky’s powerful 5th Symphony. Do not miss this once-in-a-lifetime season-opening gala performance.

Dinuk Wijeratne – Yatra
Beethoven – Fidelio Overture
Berlioz – Symphonie fantastique: Un Bal
Massenet – Meditation from Thaïs (Nicholas Wright, violin)
Barbara Croall – Innenohr
Dvořák – Slavonic Dances Op.72 No.2 & 7
Tchaikovsky – Symphony No. 5

Otto Tausk, conductor
Nicholas Wright, violin

Learn More:


Back to the Future In Concert

Friday, September 24, 2021 at 7:00pm
Saturday, September 25, 2021 at 2:00pm
The Orpheum Theatre

Power up your DeLorean… recharge your flux capacitor… and get ready to celebrate the return to life as we knew it! It’s an unforgettable movie classic as you’ve never seen and heard it before. Back to the Future, starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, and Crispin Glover, is the 1.21-gigawatt blockbuster that topped the 1985 box office chart, spawned two wildly successful sequels and stamped an enduring imprint on pop culture. Enjoy it live-in-concert with the VSO playing composer Alan Silvestri’s thrilling score while the film plays on the big screen above.

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Fred Penner with the VSO

Sunday, October 3, 2021 at 2:00pm
The Orpheum Theatre

Beloved children’s entertainer Fred Penner joins the VSO to welcome back families to the Orpheum this fall. For more than 25 years, Fred has shared his message of joy and inspiration with children of all ages. Don’t miss Fred Penner live in concert with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in a must-see program of big-hearted music and boundless positivity.

Learn More:



Your Health & Safety Are Our Number One Priority

In preparation for the reopening, the VSO is working closely with Vancouver Civic Theatres, the manager of the Orpheum Theatre, to prepare plans for safe operations in Phase 4 of BC’s Reopening Plan. Guideline updates from the Provincial Health Office are being monitored closely and we will publish health & safety protocols for concert attendance in late August.

We do know that the best thing you can do to protect your own health and safety, and ensure you can enjoy concerts with confidence, is to ensure you get your second vaccine dose as soon as possible.

Introducing the VSO App & No-Touch Ticketing

To support no-touch ticketing, the VSO has launched a new mobile ticket App, now available in Apple and Android stores for free download (search Vancouver Symphony). The App will hold audience members digital tickets going forward. To use the app, audience members simply select print-at-home or mobile tickets at checkout on and tickets will automatically appear in the app. Ticket purchases are also directly available in the app. The free app download is available at

Buying tickets for a group? No problem. Simply share the individual tickets directly with your friends from the app.

At the concert hall we are adopting hands-free scanners. You can simply open the VSO app on your mobile device, select your tickets, and pass them under the scanners.

No-Questions-Asked Ticket Returns

We know that there will continue to be uncertainty this season and that the need to change plans may arise quickly. We will continue our current policy of free returns and exchanges through to the end of December 2021.

Ready for Anything

We are very excited to welcome full audiences to the Orpheum when we enter Phase 4 in September. However, if we have learned one thing this pandemic, it is that things can change at any moment. Should we not achieve 100% capacity in September, we will operate on a last-in-first-out policy to determine access to concerts. This means that the last purchasers of tickets, will be the first orders that we will have to change, should purchases exceed capacity limits.

Box Office Update

Please note that the VSO Box Office is currently operating on a skeleton staff. Our phone room remains closed for inbound calls. You can contact the customer service by emailing or leaving a message at 604-876-3434. Ticket purchases are available online at 24/7 and via the new VSO App.



Neil Middleton – 604-313-0738,