Conductor De Clara leaving the Oakville Symphony

De Clara conducting Oakville Symphony
Conductor De Clara leaving the Oakville Symphony

Over the past 23 years with the Oakville Symphony, Maestro De Clara’s work has enriched the cultural life of many Oakville residents, whether they be musicians, patrons or young children hearing classical music for the first time.

From the start of his tenure, Mr De Clara fostered partnerships with other arts groups such as the Tempus Choral Society, the Mississauga Choral Society, the Oakville School of Ballet, the Oakville Choir for Children and Youth and the Oakville Suzuki Association. Always keen to engage children with classical music, Roberto introduced the Young People’s Concert, and the popular Family Christmas Concert which was sold out for both performances at the Oakville Centre this year.

De Clara - Roberto, Oakville Symphony, Conductor

Maestro Roberto De Clara conducting. Photo courtesy of the Oakville Symphony

Under Mr De Clara, the Young Artists Award program has grown from two young musicians in 1998 to the current group of eight, offering a bursary and mentorship by professional musicians during a season playing with the orchestra.

During the Symphony’s 50th anniversary in 2018, Mr De Clara noted that in the previous 20 years the orchestra performed about 300 different works by more than 90 different composers in the main series of concerts alone. To achieve that, he led nearly 700 rehearsals and conducted approximately 270 concerts, an impressive achievement for a community orchestra.

A gifted story-teller, Mr De Clara has endeared himself to the audience with his anecdotes about composers and symphonies, his friendly post-concert chats with guest artists, and his speaker series called, “Not Just the Score”. He invariably attends our kids’ mini-concerts held in the lobby of the Oakville Centre, taking pleasure in the children’s awed reactions as they meet Symphony musicians get close to their orchestral instruments.

Mr De Clara’s decision to leave the Oakville Symphony was a difficult one, but made in the knowledge that the Oakville Symphony is in a strong position, both financially and artistically. With the 50th anniversary behind us, and after almost 25 years with the orchestra, he feels that the time is right.

We look forward to staying in touch as he pursues other interests beyond the summer of 2021.

Anna Hewitt, President of the Oakville Symphony Board of Directors


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