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Magazine of the Vancouver Symphony

March 12 to April 25, 2016 Volume 21, Issue 4

Bramwell Tovey

VSO Music Director

The 2016 Spring Festival The War of the Romantics

VSO at the Movies Pixar in Concert and The Godfather

Chris Hadfield with the VSO


First Violins

Dale Barltrop, Concertmaster Nicholas Wright, Acting Associate Concertmaster Jennie Press, Acting Assistant Concertmaster Rebecca Whitling, Acting Second Assistant Concertmaster Mary Sokol Brown Mrs. Cheng Koon Lee Chair

Jenny Essers Akira Nagai, Associate Concertmaster Emeritus Xue Feng Wei Yi Zhou

Second Violins

Jason Ho, Principal Karen Gerbrecht, Associate Principal

Angela Schneider

Professors Mr. & Mrs. Ngou Kang Chair

Ian Wenham


Ariel Barnes, Principal

Beth Orson, Assistant Principal Karin Walsh

Matthew Crozier, Principal Gregory A. Cox, Acting Principal Andrew Poirier

Bass Trombone Douglas Sparkes

Beth Orson




English Horn

Arthur H. Willms Family Chair

Chair in Memory of John S. Hodge Peder MacLellan, Principal

Jeanette Jonquil, Principal Gerhard and Ariane Bruendl Chair David Lemelin Natasha Boyko

Aaron McDonald, Principal

Charles Inkman Luke Wook-Young Kim Cristian Markos

Mary & Gordon Christopher Chair



Stephen Wilkes, Assistant Principal Lawrence Blackman

Wayne & Leslie Ann Ingram Chair


Janet Steinberg, Associate Principal Zoltan Rozsnyai, Assistant Principal Olivia Blander


Dr. Malcolm Hayes and Lester Soo Chair

Roger Cole, Principal

Paul Moritz Chair

Jeanette Bernal-Singh, Assistant Principal Adrian Shu-On Chui Byron Hitchcock Daniel Norton Ann Okagaito Ashley Plaut Neil Miskey, Principal Andrew Brown, Acting Principal Emilie Grimes, Acting Associate Principal


Nezhat and Hassan Khosrowshahi Chair

Dylan Palmer, Principal Evan Hulbert, Associate Principal Noah Reitman, Assistant Principal David Brown J. Warren Long Frederick Schipizky §

Jim and Edith le Nobel Chair



Vern Griffiths, Principal

E-flat Clarinet

Martha Lou Henley Chair

David Lemelin

Tony Phillipps



Julia Lockhart, Principal Sophie Dansereau, Assistant Principal Gwen Seaton

Elizabeth Volpé Bligh, Principal


Orchestra Personnel Manager

Sophie Dansereau

French Horns

Piano, Celeste

Linda Lee Thomas, Principal Carter (Family) Deux Mille Foundation Chair

DeAnne Eisch

Oliver de Clercq, Principal Benjamin Kinsman §

Music Librarian

David Haskins, Associate Principal Andrew Mee

Head Electrician

Thomas Clarke

Michael & Estelle Jacobson Chair

Richard Mingus, Assistant Principal



Christie Reside, Principal Ron & Ardelle Cliff Chair

Nadia Kyne, Assistant Principal Rosanne Wieringa

Nadia Kyne

Hermann & Erika Stölting Chair

Estelle & Michael Jacobson Chair

Matthew Davies The Stage Crew of the Orpheum Theatre are members of Local 118 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.

Werner & Helga Höing Chair

Winslow & Betsy Bennett Chair

Larry Knopp, Principal Marcus Goddard, Associate Principal Vincent Vohradsky

W. Neil Harcourt in memory of Frank N. Harcourt Chair

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is a proud member of

Minella F. Lacson

Head Carpenter Paul McManus Brendan Keith

Piano Technician *Supported by The Canada Council for the Arts § Leave of Absence

allegro Magazine of the Vancouver Symphony

March 12 to April 25, 2016 Volume 21, Issue 4

Concerts MARCH 12, 14 / Air Canada Masterworks Diamond / . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Christopher Seaman conductor, Alexander Melnikov piano MARCH 16, 17, 20 / VSO Chamber Players / Brahms, Brass and Strings / . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Larry Knopp trumpet, Chris Mitchell trumpet, Dave Haskins horn, Andrew Poirier trombone, Peder MacLellan tuba, Rebecca Whitling violin, Emilie Grimes viola, Olivia Blander cello, Jason Ho violin, Jane Coop piano MARCH 21 / Specials / Pixar in Concert / . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Gordon Gerrard conductor, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra MARCH 30 / Specials / The Godfather Live / . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Justin Freer conductor, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra MARCH 31 / Tea & Trumpets / Czech Masters / . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Gordon Gerrard conductor, Christopher Gaze host, Jennie Press violin APRIL 1, 2 / London Drugs VSO Pops / Rocket Man with Chris Hadfield / . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 John Morris Russell conductor, Chris Hadfield guitar/vocals, UBC Opera Ensemble APRIL 3 / Specials / Victoria Symphony: 75th Anniversary Tour / . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Tania Miller conductor, Stewart Goodyear piano, Victoria Symphony APRIL 7 / Specials / Spring Festival: Concert 1 / Setting the Stage / . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Bramwell Tovey conductor, Sarah Fryer mezzo-soprano, Jeanette Jonquil clarinet, Grace Huang piano, Christopher Gaze actor, Dean Paul Gibson actor APRIL 9 / Specials / Spring Festival: Concert 2 / Beethoven’s Ninth / . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Bramwell Tovey conductor, Jeanette Jonquil clarinet, Monica Huisman soprano, Sarah Fryer mezzo-soprano, David Pomeroy tenor, Alfred Walker bass, UBC University Singers and Choral Union, Graeme Langager chorus director APRIL 11 / Specials / Spring Festival: Concert 3 / Wagner Versus Brahms / . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Bramwell Tovey conductor APRIL 16 / Specials / Spring Festival: Concert 4 / The Conservatives: Brahms Requiem / . . . . . . . . . 51 Bramwell Tovey conductor, Tracy Dahl soprano, James Westman baritone, Phoenix Chamber Choir, UBC University Singers, Vancouver Cantata Singers, Graeme Langager chorus director APRIL 18 / Specials / Spring Festival: Concert 5 / . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 The Progressives: Wagner’s Ring Without Words / Bramwell Tovey conductor APRIL 22, 23, 25 / Classical Traditions / Surrey Nights / . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Kazuyoshi Akiyama conductor, Gilles Vonsattel piano APRIL 24 / Vancouver Sun Symphony at the Annex / Sublime to (Slightly) Silly / . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Gordon Gerrard conductor 4 allegro


Pixar in Concert


Chris Hadfield

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VSO Musician Profile: Jennie Press

The Godfather

In this Issue

The Orchestra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Allegro Staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Government Support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Message from the Chairman . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 and the President Patrons’ Circle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 VSO School of Music . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Symphony Ball . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Advertise in Allegro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 VSO Stradivarius Legacy Circle . . . . . . . . . 36 VSO Friends . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Corporate Partners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 At the Concert / VSO Staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 Board of Directors / Volunteer Council . . . 70 VSO Upcoming Concerts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72


Bramwell Tovey


Gilles Vonsattel

We welcome your comments on this magazine. Please forward them to: Vancouver Symphony, 500–833 Seymour Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 0G4. Allegro contact and advertising enquiries: / customer service: 604.876.3434 / VSO office: 604.684.9100 / website: / Allegro staff: published by The Vancouver Symphony Society / editor/publisher: Anna Gove / contributors: Don Anderson / orchestra photo credit: Johnathon Vaughn / art direction, design & production: bay6creative inc. Printed in Canada by Web Impressions Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written consent is prohibited. Contents copyrighted by the Vancouver Symphony, with the exception of material written by contributors.

Allegro Magazine has been endowed by a generous gift from Adera Development Corporation.

@VSOrchestra allegro 5

The Vancouver Symphony Society is grateful to the Government of Canada and the Canada Council for the Arts, Province of British Columbia and the BC Arts Council, and the City of Vancouver for their ongoing support. The combined investment in the VSO by the three levels of government annually funds over 28% of the cost of the orchestra’s extensive programs and activities. This vital investment enables the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra to present over 150 life-enriching concerts in 16 diverse venues throughout the Lower Mainland and Whistler, attract some of the world’s best musicians to live and work in our community, produce Grammy® and Juno® award-winning recordings, tour domestically and internationally, and, through our renowned educational programs, touch the lives of over 50,000 children annually.

Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia

Gregor Robertson, Mayor of Vancouver

Thank you!



Messages from the VSO Chairman and President

Dear Friends,


Spring is an exciting time at the VSO! Not only is our Spring Festival right around the corner (April 7th to April 18th), it is also the time of year when Music Director Bramwell Tovey announces the VSO’s plans for our upcoming 98th Season. Subscribers have received a new Season brochure in the mail, with an invitation to renew their subscriptions, and the opportunity to purchase tickets first to the wide variety of exciting specials, including the long-awaited return of great pianist Emanuel Ax.

As a concert-goer, you know the wonderful work the VSO does within the concert hall, but did you know the important role that we play to ensure music is prevalent throughout our community and within our schools?

The 2016/2017 Season contains a treasure trove of classical masterpieces, by composers such as Mahler, Bruckner, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, Debussy, Tchaikovsky, Verdi, and many more. We are also pleased to continue the annual VSO Spring Festival, as well as our Traditional Christmas Concerts, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons at the Chan Centre, and a diverse and entertaining VSO Pops series. The season also includes several programs for children and their families in the Elementary School Concerts, Kids' Koncerts and Tiny Tots. By becoming a VSO subscriber, you are assured of securing the best seats at the very best prices. Season brochures are available in the lobby or simply call us at 604.876.3434, or online at to learn the many benefits of subscribing. As we look forward to the excitement of the remainder of our 97th Season and our 98th and 99th Seasons to come, we have already begun the planning for our 100th Anniversary Season in 2018/19. We will be the first major symphony orchestra in Canada to achieve and celebrate this milestone! Perhaps you have an idea to help us celebrate this milestone — if you do, we would love to hear from you. Please enjoy today’s concert.

Recognizing provincial government plays a key role in our work, in January the VSO and VSO School of Music co-hosted the Honourable Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport, and Cultural Development at Pyatt Hall to talk with cultural leaders about the importance of the creative sector. In the November and February, the VSO performed our annual school concerts that brought 25,297 students from over 490 schools and home schools. Our education team meticulously prepared study guides and prepped teachers for two programs: grade 4–7 students "Symphonic Sketches of Canada: New Horizons and Hockey" and K–3 students "Magnificent Melodies.” My favourite moment was watching several elementary school students gape in awe as they entered the Orpheum, and one whispering to the other “no one told us we were going to hear music in a castle.” But our work extends far beyond the Orpheum concerts and by season end we expect to reach in total 50,000 young people with approximately 100 in-school visits and kids and family concerts that reach from infant to adult. I’m also pleased to share that based on the success of its inaugural year, the VSO Institute at Whistler ( will take place June 26-July 5, 2016. This 10–day unique mentoring experience for musicians 15–25 years old, offers a collaborative musical environment alongside a world class symphony o rchestra in one breath-taking location. All of this important work, in addition to your attendance and financial support is what helps assure our future. Sincerely,

Fred G. Withers Chair, Board of Directors

Kelly Tweeddale President

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Concert Program A IR C A N A D A M A S T ERW OR K S D IAMO N D OR P H EU M , 8P M

Saturday & Monday, March 12 & 14


Christopher Seaman conductor Alexander Melnikov piano BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major, Op. 73, Emperor I. Allegro II. Adagio un poco mosso III. Rondo: Allegro


WALTON Symphony No. 1 in B-flat minor

I. Allegro assai II. Presto, con malizia III. Andante con malinconia IV. Maestoso – Brioso ed ardentemente


Free to ticketholders, 7:05pm to 7:30pm, in the auditorium.


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Christopher Seaman conductor

With a long and distinguished career in the US, Christopher Seaman was Music Director of the Rochester Philharmonic until 2011 and was subsequently named Conductor Laureate. During his thirteen-year tenure he raised the orchestra’s artistic level, broadened its audience base and created a new concert series. The 2015/16 season includes engagements with the North American symphonies of Cinncinati, Baltimore, Rochester, Vancouver, Milwaukee, and Hawaii. Christopher also opens the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra’s season and makes debuts with Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra, and the Orquestra Filarmônica de Minas Gerais in Brazil. In May 2009, the University of Rochester made Christopher an Honorary Doctor of Music, and in 2013 the University published his first book, Inside Conducting, illustrating his wealth of experience as a conductor and teacher. Christopher is particularly known for his interpretations of early 20th century English music, Bruckner, Brahms and Sibelius. He has served as Course Director of the Symphony Services International Conductor Development Programme in Australia for many years, and has worked with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Alexander Melnikov piano Alexander Melnikov graduated from the Moscow Conservatory under Lev Naumov. His most formative musical moments in Moscow include his early encounter with Sviatoslav Richter, who thereafter regularly invited him to festivals in Russia and France. Known for his often unusual musical and programmatic decisions, Alexander Melnikov discovered a career-long interest in historically informed performance practice at an early age. Alexander Melnikov’s association with the label harmonia mundi arose through his regular recital partner, violinist Isabelle Faust, with whom he has recorded violin sonatas of both Beethoven and Brahms. Melnikov’s 10 allegro

recording of the Preludes and Fugues by Shostakovich was named by the BBC Music Magazine as one of the 50 Greatest Recordings of All Time. Along with Isabelle Faust, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Pablo HerasCasado and the Freiburger Barockorchester, Melnikov recorded a trilogy of CDs featuring the Schumann Concertos and Trios; the second installment, featuring the Piano Concerto and the Piano Trio No. 2, was released in September 2015.

Ludwig van Beethoven b. Bonn, Germany / baptized December 17, 1770 d. Vienna, Austria / March 26, 1827

Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major, Op. 73, Emperor There are longer concertos than Beethoven’s No. 5 – the Two by Brahms, Tchaikovsky’s Second and Busoni’s, for example – but none quite so grand. Other composers have tried to create a work of matching scope, power and brilliance, but he alone has possessed the necessary combination of heart, head and mind. He composed the ‘Emperor’ Concerto (the source of the nickname is unknown) between 1808 and 1809, against the backdrop of Napoleon Bonaparte’s rise to the zenith of his power. Beethoven had once admired the ‘Little Corporal’ for his early devotion to the humanitarian ideals of the French Revolution. Once Bonaparte crowned himself Emperor of France in 1804, Beethoven’s attitude changed instantly to scorn. He struck Napoleon’s name from the title page of his Third Symphony, a work he had planned to dedicate to him. In May 1809, French troops besieged and captured Vienna. During the period when Beethoven was at work on this concerto, their regular artillery bombardments were chipping away at the last shreds of his hearing. He fled to his brother’s house and covered his ears with pillows to reduce the noise. Rather than reflecting his distress, the concerto is proud and defiant. Perhaps he intended it as a hopeful vision of Bonaparte’s ultimate defeat, or a manifesto praising the virtues of the common man over those of a dictator. The première, delayed by the continuing Napoleonic wars, took place in Leipzig on

November 28, 1811. For the first time, the increasingly deaf Beethoven was not the soloist in the first performance of one of his piano concertos. Friedrich Schneider did the honours instead. Just like the Fourth Concerto, it won only modest success. The Vienna debut, with Beethoven’s pupil Carl Czerny at the keyboard, was an even greater fiasco. Exasperated with the uniformly hostile press, Beethoven countered, “And now, criticize as long as you choose; even if sometimes it irritates me slightly, like a gnat-bite, it ends up turning into a great joke; cri-cri-ti-ti-ci-c-ze-ze – but not to all eternity, for that you cannot do!” The ‘Emperor’ marked a major shift in character from its immediate predecessor. No. 4 begins quietly, almost modestly. In the ‘Emperor,’ Beethoven wheeled out the big guns right off the top. After the commanding opening flourish, the first movement proper unfolds with unhurried majesty. There are no solo cadenzas anywhere in the concerto, Beethoven having lost patience with the liberties soloists had taken with those he had provided for his previous concertos. In its own, serene way, the slow movement is every bit as assured as the first. A simple bridge passage, its magic undimmed no matter how many times you hear it, leads to the exuberant finale.

Sir William Walton b. Oldham, England / March 29, 1902 d. Ischia, Italy / March 8, 1983

Symphony No. 1 in B-flat minor With time and experience, Walton added a deep vein of warmth to the jazz-inflected cheekiness and crackling energy that made him famous in the 1920s. This mature style found a lasting welcome in the concert halls of the world.

His personal life played a significant role, not only in the symphony’s character but in the extended period of its creation. Around 1930, he fell deeply in love with Baroness Imma Doernberg, a young, beautiful widow. By the time she left him, with much bitterness, during the summer of 1933, he had completed the symphony’s first three movements. Left in a fragile emotional condition, he was unable to put the sketches for the finale into satisfactory shape. Meanwhile, conductor Sir Hamilton Harty had scheduled the premiere for March 1934. After the date passed, he and Hubert Foss persuaded Walton to allow the three movements to be performed on their own. They were heard in London on December 3, 1934. They made a strong impression, but the lack of the emotional resolution that the finale would provide left many listeners (and the composer) dissatisfied. Two things proved crucial to the completion of the symphony. One was the stimulus of deciding to incorporate baroque-style fugal passages in the finale. The other was the arrival of a new love interest, Alice Wimborne. The symphony was heard complete for the first time on November 6, 1935, with Harty conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Seething with rage and tension, the opening movement regularly borders on brutality. It is driven by a strong rhythmic pulse and sports spectacular brass writing. A darting danse macabre of a scherzo follows. Walton summed up its nature with the unusual tempo marking Presto, con malizia (very fast, with malice). He offered an oasis of repose in the cool lyricism of the third movement. Resolution of the symphony’s traumas comes with the heartening opening bars of the finale. They raise the curtain on an invigorating, busily textured movement. In the majestic coda, Walton bolstered the orchestra with additional percussion to lend the celebrations extra punch.  ■

In 1931, the immense success that the twenty-nine-year-old composer won with the oratorio Belshazzar’s Feast established him as the brightest young star of British music. His publisher, Hubert Foss, suggested that Program Notes © 2016 Don Anderson he solidify his reputation by composing an abstract, large-scale work for orchestra alone. Walton set to work on a symphony in the summer of 1932.

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Concert Program





Wednesday, March 16, 7:30pm Thursday, March 17, 7:30pm Sunday, March 20, 2pm



ARNOLD Brass Quintet No. 1 Larry Knopp trumpet Chris Mitchell trumpet Dave Haskins horn Andrew Poirier trombone Peder MacLellan tuba SCHNITTKE String Trio Rebecca Whitling violin Emilie Grimes viola Olivia Blander cello INTERMISSION

BRAHMS Piano Quartet in C minor, Op. 60 Jason Ho violin Emilie Grimes viola Olivia Blander cello Jane Coop piano


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Concert Program S P EC IA L S OR P H EU M , 7P M

Monday, March 21 Gordon Gerrard conductor RANDY NEWMAN Fanfare / Toy Story ©1995 Walt Disney Music Company

THOMAS NEWMAN Finding Nemo ©2003 Pixar Music and Wonderland Music Company, Inc.

MICHAEL GIACCHINO Ratatouille ©2007 Pixar Talking Pictures and Walt Disney Music Company

RANDY NEWMAN A Bug’s Life ©1998 Pixar Talking Pictures and Walt Disney Music Company

THOMAS NEWMAN WALL•E ©2008 Pixar Music and Wonderland Music Company, Inc.

RANDY NEWMAN Toy Story 2 ©1999 Pixar Talking Pictures and Walt Disney Music Company

RANDY NEWMAN Cars ©2006 Pixar Talking Pictures and Walt Disney Music Company

MICHAEL GIACCHINO Up ©2009 Pixar Talking Pictures and Walt Disney Music Company


MICHAEL GIACCHINO The Incredibles ©2004 Pixar Talking Pictures and Walt Disney Music Company

RANDY NEWMAN Monsters, Inc. ©2001 Pixar Talking Pictures and Walt Disney Music Company


©2011 Pixar Talking Pictures and Walt Disney Music Company


Gordon Gerrard conductor

©2010 Pixar Talking Pictures and Walt Disney Music Company

For a biography of Gordon Gerrard, please refer to page 20.

©2012 Pixar Talking Pictures and Walt Disney Music Company

Presentation licensed by Disney Music Publishing and Buena Vista Concerts, a division of ABC Inc. © All rights reserved

PATRICK DOYLE Brave RANDY NEWMAN Monsters University ©2013 Pixar Talking Pictures and Walt Disney Music Company

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The Vancouver Symphony gratefully acknowledges the generosity of these community leaders whose ongoing annual support makes it possible to present 150 passionate performances and inspiring education and community programs every year. Thank you for your loyalty and commitment to the VSO’s ongoing success. GOLD BATON CLUB Gifts from $50,000 and Up Mr. Alan and Mrs. Gwendoline Pyatt* MAESTRO'S CIRCLE Gifts from $35,000 to $49,999 Heathcliff Foundation* The R & J Stern Family Foundation Gifts from $25,000 to $34,999 Mary and Gordon Christopher Foundation* Dr. Peter and Mrs. Stephanie Chung Lagniappe Foundation Mr. Gerald McGavin, C.M., O.B.C. and Mrs. Sheahan McGavin* McGrane-Pearson Endowment Fund* CONCERTMASTER'S CIRCLE Gifts from $15,000 to $24,999 The Christopher Foundation (Education Fund) Mrs. Margaret M. Duncan Martha Lou Henley* Mr. Fred Withers and Dr. Kathy Jones Anonymous* Gifts from $10,000 to $14,999 Larry and Sherrill Berg Mr. and Mrs. G. A. Cooper The Gudewill Family In Memory of John Hodge* Werner (Vern) and Helga Höing* Ms. Sumiko Hui Yoshiko Karasawa Mrs. Irene McEwen* Mr. Brian W. and Mrs. Joan Mitchell André and Julie Molnar Tom and Lorraine Skidmore Arthur H. Willms Family* Gordon W. Young Anonymous (2)

PRINCIPAL PLAYERS Gifts from $7,500 to $9,999 Mrs. Joyce E. Clarke Dave Cunningham Kenneth W. and Ellen L. Mahon* Mollie Massie and Hein Poulus* Gifts from $5,000 to $7,499 Dr. and Mrs. J. Abel Hans and Nancy Alwart Eric and Alex Bretsen Gerhard & Ariane Bruendl Etienne Bruson Philip & Pauline Chan Ian and Frances Dowdeswell Mohammed A. Faris Elisabeth and David Finch Debra Finlay Cathy Grant Mr. and Mrs. Sam Gudewill Hillary Haggan Paula and Doug Hart Diane Hodgins Kaatza Foundation Hank and Janice Ketcham Dr. Marla Kiess* Judi and David Korbin Sam and Anita Lee Doug and Teri Loughran The Lutsky Families Bruce and Margo MacDonald Roy Millen and Ruth Webber Mirhady Family Fund, held at Vancouver Foundation Fred R. Pletcher & Beverley G. Ellingson Joanne and Stanis Smith Maestro Bramwell Tovey and Mrs. Lana Penner-Tovey* The Tuey Charitable Foundation* Dean and Kelly Tweeddale Mrs. Jane Wang

Dr. Rosemary Wilkinson Anonymous (2) BENEFACTORS Gifts from $3,500 to $4,999 Jeff and Keiko Alexander* Ann Claire Angus Fund, held at Vancouver Foundation Kathy and Stephen Bellringer* George and Janice Burke Prof. Kin Lo* Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Menten* Christine Nicolas Fei Wong Gifts from $2,500 to $3,499 Anako Foundation Nicholas Asimakopulos The Ken Birdsall Fund Dr. and Mrs. J. Deen Brosnan Marnie Carter* Edward Colin and Alanna Nadeau Count Enrico and Countess Aline Dobrzensky In Honour of Jocelyn Morlock Ms. Judy Garner Heather Holmes Olga Ilich Herbert Jenkin Gordon and Kelly Johnson Don and Lou Laishley Bill and Risa Levine M. Lois Milsom Joan Morris in loving memory of Dr. Hugh C. Morris Vince and Noella Ready Bernard Rowe and Annette Stark Dorothy Shields Wallace and Gloria Shoemay Mrs. Mary Anne Sigal Mel and June Tanemura*

For more information about the Patrons' Circle and the exclusive benefits associated with this program, please contact Mary Butterfield Director, Individual & Legacy Giving at

604.684.9100 ext. 238 or email 16 allegro

Mr. and Mrs. David H. Trischuk Michael R. Williams Bruce Munro Wright Dr. and Mrs. Edward Yeung John Hardie Mitchell Family Foundation Anonymous* Anonymous PATRONS Gifts from $2,000 to $2,499 P. Carnsew and D. Janzen Ben and Beth Cherniavsky Leslie Cliff and Mark Tindle Dr. A. Douglas and Mrs. Anne Courtemanche Jean Donaldson In Memory of Betty Howard Mr. Hassan Khosrowshahi, O.B.C. and Mrs. Nezhat Khosrowshahi* Hugh and Judy Lindsay In Tribute of late Johnny Loh Violet and Bruce Macdonald Nancy and Frank Margitan Maurice and Vi Roden Ian and Jane Strang Bella Tata* Denis Walker Anonymous* Anonymous (5)

Gifts from $1,500 to $1,999 Olin and Suzanne Anton Gordon and Minke Armstrong Derek and Stella Atkins Mr. R. Paul and Mrs. Elizabeth Beckmann Roberta Lando Beiser* Nathan Brine Mrs. May Brown, C.M., O.B.C.* Ms. Louise M. Cecil Dr. Kam and Katie Cheung Mr. Justice Edward Chiasson and Mrs. Dorothy Chiasson* Leanne Davis and Vern Griffiths Barbara J. Dempsey Sharon F. Douglas Darren Downs and Jacqueline Harris Nancy and Alain Duncan Rafael and Miryam Filosof Dennis Friesen for Gwen Mrs. San Given Anna and Alan Gove Marietta Hurst* Michael and Estelle Jacobson* Signe Jurcic C.V. Kent in memory of Vivian Jung Drs. Colleen Kirkham and Stephen Kurdyak

Uri and Naomi Kolet in honor of Aviva’s New York Ordination Christopher Loh Hank and Andrea Luck Nancy Morrison Mrs. Louise Pronovost Dal and Muriel Richards Dr. Robert S. Rothwell* Dr. William H. and Ruthie Ross Mrs. Joan Scobell David and Cathy Scott Dr. Peter and Mrs. Sandra Stevenson-Moore L. Thom Garth and Lynette Thurber Dr. Hamed Umedaly and Dr. Susan Purkiss Nico & Linda Verbeek* Dr. Brian Willoughby Eric and Shirley Wilson Dr. I. D. Woodhouse Nancy Wu Anonymous (4)  ■ * Members of the Patrons’ Circle who have further demonstrated their support by making an additional gift to the Vancouver Symphony Foundation’s endowment fund.

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Concert Program S P EC IA L S OR P H EU M , 7PM

Wednesday, March 30 Justin Freer conductor/producer Brady Beaubien co-founder/producer Jennifer Wootton production associate David Hoffis sound engineer/ production supervisor Ed Kalnins video playback The Godfather movie will be presented in its entirety with one intermission.


Justin Freer conductor/producer

American conductor/producer Justin Freer has established himself as one of the West Coast’s most exciting musical voices and has quickly become a highly sought-after conductor and producer of film music concerts around the world. Mr. Freer earned both his B.A. and M.A. degrees in Music Composition from UCLA, where his principal composition teachers included Paul Chihara and Ian Krouse. In addition, he was mentored by legendary composer/conductor Jerry Goldsmith. Freer is the Founder and President of CineConcerts, a company dedicated to the preservation and concert presentation of film, TV and media music set to picture with whom he has produced, curated and conducted full length music score performances live with film for such titles as Gladiator, The Godfather, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and It’s a Wonderful Life. An upcoming production is a celebration of 50 years of music, television and film, titled Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage.  ■

I Have But One Heart (sung in the film by Al Martino, portraying the character Johnny Fontaine) NINO ROTA The Pickup

CARMINE COPPOLA Connie's Wedding NINO ROTA The Halls of Fear Sicilian Pastorale Love Theme from the Godfather The Godfather Waltz Apollonia The New Godfather The Baptism The Godfather Finale “THE GODFATHER” film licensed by PARAMOUNT PICTURES Photographs by Steve Schapiro Motion Picture, Artwork, Photos © 1972 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved. Classification: MPA-C 18A – strong violence & coarse language. Persons under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. allegro 19

Concert Program


Thursday, March 31

Czech Masters Gordon Gerrard conductor Christopher Gaze host Jennie Press violin DVORˇÁK Carnival Overture DVORˇÁK Slavonic Dance, Op. 72, No. 8 ◆


GLUCK Iphigenie en Aulide: Overture DVORˇÁK Romance in F minor JANÁCˇEK Lachian Dances

I. Old Fashioned

SMETANA The Bartered Bride: Overture DVORˇÁK Symphony No. 8 in G minor

I. Allegro con brio

TEA & COOKIES served in the lobby one hour before each concert. Tea compliments of Tetley Tea.

Gordon Gerrard conductor CHRISTOPHER GAZE



Gordon Gerrard is a respected figure in the new generation of Canadian musicians. His passion and his dedication to producing thrilling musical experiences have endeared him to his fellow musicians and the public alike. After two successful seasons as Assistant Conductor of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Gordon has been promoted to the newly created post of Associate Conductor. He has been appointed as Music Director of the Regina Symphony Orchestra effective July 2016. This season, Gordon will lead the VSO in concerts on the Masterworks, Tea & Trumpets, and Kids’ Koncerts series. This season Gordon returned to Calgary Opera to lead their production of Lakmé in November, and he made his debut with The National Ballet of Canada in their production of The Nutcracker. Guest appearances this season include two Masterworks concerts for the Regina Symphony Orchestra as well as debuts with the Victoria Symphony and the Sudbury Symphony. 

Christopher Gaze host

Jennie Press violin

Christopher is best known as the Founding Artistic Director of Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival. He hosts the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra's ever popular Tea & Trumpets series and has hosted their annual Christmas concerts for over 20 years.

Jennie Press began her violin studies at the age of three in St. John's, NL. She made her solo debut with the Newfoundland Symphony at thirteen and has since had solo appearances with several symphonies and chamber orchestras in Canada and the United His many honours include Canada’s Meritorious States. Ms. Press spent one year at the Walnut Hill School in Natick, MA as a student of Eric Service Medal, Honorary Doctorates from UBC Rosenblith. She earned a Bachelor of Music & SFU, the Mayor’s Arts Award for Theatre and degree and subsequently earned a Master of the Order of British Columbia. Earlier this year, Music degree as a full scholarship recipient Christopher played Frosch in Die Fledermaus from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, for Vancouver Opera, and he recently directed MD as a student of Victor Danchenko. She also the world premiere of C.C. Humphreys’ spent one year as an Artist Diploma candidate Shakespeare's Rebel, part of Bard's 2015 under full scholarship at the Glenn Gould season. School in Toronto, ON as a student of Atis Christopher plays a leading role in British Bankas. Ms. Press is currently Acting Assistant Columbia as an advocate for the arts in general, Concertmaster of the Vancouver Symphony and his passionate dedication to Bard on the Orchestra and was formerly a member Beach has fuelled its growth into the largest of the first violin section of the CBC professional Shakespeare festival in Western Radio Orchestra.  ■ Canada, with attendance of over 100,000.

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Concert Program L ON D ON D RU G S V SO P O P S OR P H EU M , 8P M

Friday & Saturday, April 1 & 2 Rocket Man with Chris Hadfield JOHN MORRIS RUSSELL

John Morris Russell conductor Chris Hadfield guitar/vocalist UBC Opera Ensemble STRAUSS Also Sprach Zarathustra HOLST The Planets: Jupiter HOLST The Planets: Mars DVORˇÁK Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, New World CHRIS HADFIELD/EVAN HADFIELD Beyond the Terra CHRIS HADFIELD Space Lullaby CHRIS HADFIELD/ED ROBERTSON Is Somebody Singing? JOHN WILLIAMS Duel of the Fates from Star Wars INTERMISSION






COURAGE Theme from Original Star Trek TV Series GIACCHINO Theme from Star Trek 2009 HOLST The Planets: Venus BOWIE/CHRIS HADFIELD Space Oddity (Hadfield lyrics) DAVE HADFIELD Big Smoke

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John Morris Russell conductor

John Morris Russell is Conductor of the Cincinnati Pops, Music Director of the Hilton Head Symphony and Conductor Laureate of the Windsor (ON) Symphony Orchestra. In the 2015–16 season he also became Principal Pops Conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. As a guest conductor, Maestro Russell has led many of North America’s most distinguished ensembles, including the orchestras of Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Dallas, Minnesota, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Boston Pops, the New York Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. With his position in Cincinnati, John Morris Russell leads sold-out performances at Music Hall and at the Riverbend Music Center. He led that orchestra on their first-ever Florida tour in the 2014/2015 season and has had two recordings released with the Cincinnati Pops: Home for the Holidays and Superheroes! Mr. Russell received a Master of Music degree in conducting from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from Williams College in Massachusetts.

Chris Hadfield guitar/vocalist Through his twenty-one-years as an astronaut, three spaceflights and 2600 orbits of Earth, Colonel Chris Hadfield has become a worldwide sensation, harnessing the power of social media to make outer space accessible to millions and infusing a sense of wonder into our collective consciousness not felt since humanity first walked on the Moon. A heavily decorated astronaut, engineer, and pilot, Colonel Hadfield's many awards include receiving the Order of Canada, the Meritorious Service Cross, and the NASA Exceptional


Service Medal. He was named the Top Test Pilot in both the US Air Force and the US Navy, and has been inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame. He is the author of two internationally bestselling books, An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth and You Are Here, and has been commemorated on Canadian postage stamps, Royal Canadian Mint coins, and on Canada’s newest five dollar bill (along with fellow astronauts Steve MacLean and Dave Williams).

UBC Opera Ensemble The University of British Columbia Opera Ensemble was founded by Canadian lyric coloratura Nancy Hermiston in 1995. Beginning with a core of seven performers, Miss Hermiston has built the program to a 90-member company, performing three main productions at UBC every season, seven Opera Tea Concerts, and several engagements with local community partners. The Ensemble’s mission is to educate young, gifted opera singers, preparing them for international careers. The 2015/2016 Season included Manon, Eine Nacht in Venedig and will conclude in June with Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer's Night Dream. In celebration of UBC’s Centennial, The Ensemble has presented concerts in China, Czech Republic and Germany. They will also be travelling to the Czech Republic this summer performing Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte with the European Music Academy. The Ensemble has had an extensive collaboration with the Vancouver Symphony and appreciate the opportunity to perform again with this wonderful orchestra, its guest conductors and of course, its very own maestro, Bramwell Tovey.  ■

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On January 21, 2016, the VSO held the 26th Annual Vancouver Symphony Ball. Thanks to the generous support of our dedicated sponsors, live and silent auction contributors, donors, volunteers, and the tireless efforts of our planning committee, $750,000 was raised to support the VSO’s performances and education initiatives this season. The VSO and Vancouver Symphony Ball Committee extend their gratitude and sincere thanks to the following for their generosity and in-kind contributions.


AJ McLean, Co-Chair Karin Smith, Co-Chair Nezhat Khosrowshahi, Honorary Chair Margaret Brodie Mary Ann Clark Debra Finlay Laura Hansen Diane Hodgins Andrea Jacob Lori Joyce Barbara-Jo McIntosh Christian Martin Maria Menten Kim Spencer-Nairn Colin Upright Bart Vanstaalduinen Fred Withers OUR HEARTFELT THANKS

Anita Alberto Photography Arthur Murray – A Franchised Dance Studio Bacci’s bay6 creative Leah Bickford Toni & Hildegard Cavelti

Chris Loh Photography Countess Aline Dobrzensky Gearforce Maestro Gordon Gerrard Greenscape Design & Décor Granville Island Florist Innovation Technologies Eric Jiang Judi Korbin Sebastien Le Goff Peter Legge Nichloas LeRose Marquis Wine Cellars Stuart McFadden Nasco Productions Pedersens Event Rentals Chef Blair Rasmussen Vince Ready Ian & Jane Strang Thomas Haas Chocolates Tom Lee Music Upright Décor Rentals & Event Design Vancouver Convention Centre Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Vancouver Symphony Volunteers VSO School of Music – Sinfonietta Sarah Yang



Arthur H. Willms & Mary Ann Clark



Beedie Development Group Dentons Canada LLP Genus Capital Management Ledcor Group Mercedes-Benz Canada Alan & Gwendoline Pyatt Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Vancouver Spectra Energy Silver Wheaton Fred Withers & Dr. Kathy Jones


McCarthy Tétrault

Anthem Properties Borden Ladner Gervais LLP Bosa Properties Inc. Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP Centerplate at Vancouver Convention Centre HSBC Bank Canada Image Group Inc. Korn Ferry KPMG LLP McCarthy Tétrault RBC Royal Bank Scotia Wealth Management – Greyell Portfolio Management Stikemen Elliott LLP TELUS TitanStar Capital Corp. Tim Wyman, TD Wealth Wilson M. Beck Insurance DÉCOR SPONSOR


Chubb Insurance Company of Canada and AON

Norburn Lighting & Bath Centre

Concert Program S P EC IA L S OR P H EU M , 2P M

Sunday, April 3

Victoria Symphony: 75th Anniversary Tour Tania Miller conductor Stewart Goodyear piano Victoria Symphony MICHAEL OESTERLE Entr’actes GRIEG Concerto in A minor for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 16


I. Allegro molto moderato II. Adagio III. Allegro moderato


COPLAND Appalachian Spring STRAVINSKY The Firebird (Ballet Suite, 1919) I. Introduction II. L’oiseau de feu et sa danse; Variation de l’oiseau de feu III. Ronde des princesses IV. Danse infernale du roi Katschei V. Berceuse VI. Final


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Tania Miller conductor In 2015/2016 Tania Miller celebrates her thirteenth season as Music Director of the Victoria Symphony, a position that she has occupied with great distinction and growing acclaim. As the first Canadian woman to be Music Director of a major Canadian symphony orchestra, Tania Miller and the Victoria Symphony have celebrated the orchestra’s 75th anniversary in 15/16 by touring Canada with performances in Ottawa, Québec City Toronto and Vancouver. She has been a driving force behind new growth, innovation and quality for the Victoria Symphony, and has gained a national reputation as a highly effective advocate and communicator for the arts.

under the direction of Heiko Mathias Forster, was released on April 14th of 2015 on the Steinway and Sons label.

Victoria Symphony Formed in 1941, the Victoria Symphony is celebrating its 75th anniversary season as one of Canada’s premiere performing arts organizations. Under the direction of vibrant Music Director Tania Miller, the VS performs for more than 140,000 audience members every year. The Victoria Symphony is proud of its commitment to fostering the growth of Canadian music and a dedication to community involvement through musical education.

The 34 core musicians of the Victoria Symphony perform over 50 diverse concerts She obtained her doctoral and master’s each season, including regular collaborations degrees in conducting from the University of with local opera and dance companies. In Michigan. Recently Maestra Miller received an addition to the regular season, a two-week honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Royal summer season ends with the extraordinarily Roads University in Victoria in recognition of popular Victoria Symphony Splash, a concert her exemplary work as a leader and for her performed on a barge in Victoria’s picturesque extraordinary artistic achievements in the inner harbour attended by 40,000 people community. She lives in Vancouver with her annually. Highlights of the 75th anniversary husband and two boys (8 and 10). season include performances with Yo-Yo Ma, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and a 75th Anniversary piano Legacy Tour.

Stewart Goodyear

Proclaimed as "a phenomenon" by the Los Angeles Times and "one of the best pianists of his generation" by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Stewart Goodyear is an accomplished young pianist whose career spans many genres — concerto soloist, chamber musician, recitalist, and composer. Mr. Goodyear began his training at The Royal Conservatory in Toronto, received a bachelor's degree from Curtis Institute of Music, and completed a master's degree at The Juilliard School. Known also as a composer, he has been commissioned by orchestras and chamber music organizations, and performs his own solo works. His recordings of the complete Beethoven sonatas and Diabelli Variations are released on the Marquis Classics label. Mr. Goodyear's new recording of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 and 3, with the Czech National Symphony 30 allegro

Michael Oesterle b. Ulm, Germany / June 29 1968

Entr’actes Michael Oesterle writes: The Intermission at a concert can seem like nothing so much as a circus: wading through aisles filled with treacherous spiked heels, untoward ramps, and colourful costumes while juggling coats and bags: standing in line for overpriced cocktails while walking a tight-wire of pleasantries and awkward social interludes. But when the your imagination remains captured by the performance, all these distractions recede into a background of a Toulouse-Lautrec-ish reality. The music itself tugs at your thoughts, pulling you in and out of the present with snatches of remembrances drawn from another time. The present may become a poignant counterpoint, lending

a nostalgic sense of loss for the quality of existence which made this music, in all its artistic innocence and exuberance, possible. The title Entr’acte is an idea lifted from the interlude (Intermezzo to Act III) of the same name in Bizet’s Carmen. My piece reflects wistfully on the instantly memorable operatic overtures of the 19th and early 20th century orchestral repertoire, and is inspired by the vibrant orchestrations of Henry Brant.

Edvard Grieg b. Bergen, Norway / June 15, 1843 d. Bergen, Norway / September 4, 1907

Concerto in A minor for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 16 Though German trained, Edvard Grieg always knew that the spiritual basis for his composition was diametrically opposed to the tenets of German Romanticism. He worked throughout his career to create a perfect amalgam of German technique and Norwegian sensibility, and he became an international star on the strength of his efforts. The A minor Piano Concerto is quite a youthful work. Written in 1868 when Grieg was only twenty-five, it is an almost flawless blend of Romantic formal construction and of Norwegian melody and harmony. Interestingly, a cornerstone of his Leipzig training was the Mendelssohn style of orchestration, which Grieg used out of necessity at first. Even here, he was determined to be original, and avoided publication of the Concerto until shortly before his death, achieving, through constant revision, a type of orchestration all his own. In spite of having its only existence in manuscript for the first thirty-five years of its life, the A minor Concerto proved to be both immediately popular (outside of Germany) and extremely durable. The first performance took place in Copenhagen on April 3rd, 1869. The soloist Edmund Neupert wrote Grieg several days later, "On Saturday, your divine Concerto resounded in the great hall of the Casino. The triumph I achieved was tremendous. Even as early as the cadenza in the first part, the public broke into a real storm. The three dangerous critics, Gade, Rubinstein and Hartmann, sat in the stalls and applauded with all their might."

The Concerto is formally derived from the equally famous concerto of Robert Schumann, achieving both a sense of newness and the inherent rightness of Schumann's masterful construction. It is a work of vision and of powerful evocation. The first movement, marked Allegro molto moderato, starts with a bold piano flight, leading to a magical interplay between soloist and orchestra. Making use of markedly contrasting themes, the music ranges from pellucid lyricism to martial rigour. A Lisztian cadenza is the real climax of the movement, demonstrating Grieg's profound love and understanding for the piano. The second movement, an Adagio, is more idyllic. Scored with real subtlety, the music presents a carefully balanced duet between piano and orchestra, using the profoundly evocative thematic material for which Grieg has become so renowned. The last movement, marked Allegro moderato molto e marcato — Quasi Presto — Andante maestoso, is even more richly evocative. Using the rhythms of the Norwegian dance, the Halling, it moves with real dash, transforming itself into a Springdans in 3/4 on its way into the coda. Darker, more dramatic episodes give added lustre to the movement, as does a tranquil central section of transcendent beauty.

Aaron Copland b. Brooklyn, New York, USA / November 14, 1900 d. Peekskill, New York, USA / December 2, 1990

Appalachian Spring Of Copland’s many important works, it could be said that the Appalachian Spring was initially, and still remains, the most successful. It was composed in 1943–1944, on a commission from the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Foundation on behalf of Martha Graham. Copland started working on the ballet score in June of 1943 in Hollywood, where he was completing the film score for North Star, but other projects kept him from Appalachian Spring until June, 1944; by which time he was lecturing at Harvard. In the summer, when the ballet was in rehearsal, Copland was in Mexico, working on his third symphony — a peripatetic career!

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Appalachian Spring was first performed on October 30th, 1944, by Martha Graham and her company in the new Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress, in Washington, D.C. The composer rushed back from Mexico to hear it, and soon found himself acclaimed on all sides for his wonderful score. New York audiences were even more enthusiastic some time later, and Copland soon became the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Music and of the Music Critics Circle of New York Award for the outstanding theatrical work of the 1944–45 season.

Modernism that had caught his attention. He was often the target of articles scorning his latest work while praising his last composition but one – a sure sign of innovative success. Revered by younger composers and by many musicians, Stravinsky achieved great things in his long and busy lifetime.

The Firebird was Stravinsky's first big hit, and it was the making of Diaghilev's Ballets Russe. The impresario Diaghilev had been toying with the idea of bringing true Russian art to Paris when he heard one of Stravinsky's earliest compositions, Fireworks. Diaghilev was so The ballet suite is justly famous for its strong aura of the Shaker spirit, brought about through impressed that he immediately commissioned Copland’s perfect assimilation of their musical Stravinsky to do the orchestration for some Chopin he was adding to Les Sylphides. Those idioms. In fact, it is hard on first hearing to tell pieces successfully completed, Diaghliev next where the Shaker melodies stop and Copland commissioned the music for The Firebird – starts! But close examination reveals that it is a Fokine adaptation of a Russian folk-tale. all Copland, with one great exception — the Stravinsky started working on it in the early noble hymn Simple Gifts. winter of 1909, completing his final draft score Appalachian Spring is divided into eight by mid-April 1910. The first performance took sections, played without interruption. The place on June 25th at the Opera in Paris; it was music depicts a pioneer celebration of a an immediate success. Stravinsky, Diaghliev new farmhouse in the early 1800’s. The slow and the Ballets Russe acquired instant fame. first section introduces the characters of the The magical story of The Firebird begins with ballet, and a hymn-like theme brings out their the young Knight Ivan capturing the Firebird, religious natures. The second section is much but hearing her pleas, releasing her. Ivan's faster — conveying a sort of religious elation. peregrinations lead him to the castle of King The third section is both ardent and tender, Katschei, a giant with green fingers who turns bringing the bride and groom to the fore. people into stone. Ivan is surrounded by a ring The fourth section is a dance for the revivalist of dancing princesses, the fairest of whom falls and his flock leading into the still faster fifth in love with him. Katschei appears, however, section; the dance of the bride. Section six restores the calm of the beginning. The seventh and in the course of his Danse Infernale prepares to turn Ivan into stone. In the nick section is made up of five variations on the hymn Simple Gifts, during which the bride and of time, the Firebird comes to Ivan's rescue, singing a magic Berceuse that sends everyone groom enact scenes from their daily life. The into a deep sleep. While Katschei is thus final section shows the bride taking her place with her neighbours, who soon leave the young immobilized, Ivan breaks the eggshell wherein the King's immortal soul is hid. Katschei couple alone in their new farmhouse. expires, and Ivan and the princess live happily ever after.

Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky

b. Oranienbaum, Russia / June 17, 1882 d. New York, New York, USA / April 6, 1971

The Firebird (Ballet Suite, 1919) Throughout his career, Igor Stravinsky was justly famous for being a composer who not only developed new trends in music, but also was pleased to master other developments in

The Firebird is a dazzling composition in which exciting melodies, adventurous harmonies and brilliant orchestrations combine to create a scintillating whole. Exotic but never unpalatable, it is Stravinsky's first masterpiece.  ■ Program Notes © 2016 Ronald Comber; The Victoria Symphony

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“ Let's start at the beginning —

a very good place to start...”

UP IN ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND, “ IandGREW started violin lessons when I was three. My uncle had taken notice of me copying my mother as she sang along to her records, and suggested I be enrolled in formal musical training. My parents put me into Suzuki violin lessons the next fall. My first teacher, Marjorie Costin was very focused on proper set up and posture, which was enormously helpful, and is something I try to instill in my own students. From the time I was ten until fourteen years old, I studied with Mark Latham, who had arrived in Newfoundland to play with the Atlantic String Quartet.

Mark spent many, many hours with me working on intonation and sound production. He was also an adventurer in spirit, and encouraged me to be brave. When he moved away I decided to spend a year at the Walnut Hill School for Fine Arts in Natick, Massachusetts as a student of Eric Rosenblith, (himself a student of Flesch & Thibaud). I was also fortunate to tour Chile and Argentina with 34 allegro

the New England Conservatory Youth Philharmonic, and to play at the world renowned Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires. That summer, St. John's acquired a new violin teacher — Dr. Nancy Dahn, who had been a student of Donald Weilerstein in Cleveland — so I returned home to study with her for my final two years of high school.

You can go home again Returning home was a good thing. I could still use the flak from my parents to keep practicing as much as I should. As a musician in Newfoundland, everybody knows everybody.

Violinist Mark Fewer (who I greatly admire for his versatility) was a few years ahead of me, but all the younger students knew him and looked up to him. He left Newfoundland to pursue his musical training and career, and immediately after high school I did the same. After finishing my undergrad and Masters at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland with Victor Danchenko (a former

student of Oistrakh), I moved to Toronto for one year to study with Atis Bankas as an Artist's Diploma candidate at the Glenn Gould Professional School. Mark Fewer was teaching at Glenn Gould at that time, which was fun, since I hadn't seen him in several years. I began taking orchestral auditions, got the job here, and came to Vancouver at the age of 24. Purely by coincidence, Mark started as VSO Concertmaster the same year, so it was nice to see that familiar face from my childhood leading the orchestra.

It's something I often felt discouraged from while studying classical music, so I enjoy having the opportunity to experiment with adding my ideas to different styles.

Variety is the spice of life I don't see any reason to stick to one genre of music. While classical music is and always has been my primary focus, I did start learning traditional fiddle music as a child. In fact, my first paying gig was as a fiddler at the Holiday Inn for a few summers starting when I was nine. Dressed in a Newfoundland tartan kilt and sash, I would play for tour buses arriving at the hotel, with a big Newfoundland dog by my side. I continued performing as a fiddler throughout high school, which lead to ccasional rock gigs with local bands. The addition of the violin added a bit of a Celtic/rock flavour, which I enjoyed "fiddling around" with. My second year at Peabody I started playing with Doc Scantlin's Imperial Palms Orchestra, a sixteen piece swing band, complete with Andrews Sisters-style singers and authentic 1940's RCA microphones. The first couple of gigs, I was lost, I wasn't familiar enough with swing rhythms to sight-read the parts, but a few gigs in I got the hang of it. I sort of envied the girls singing, with all of their costumes and fun little dances, so when one of the girls left the band I sang for the band leader, and was able to replace her for the next year. Singing jazz vocals wasn't a gig I ever thought I would have, but those were fun shows in which to perform. For the past few years I have been helping my partner, Murray Yates, with his recording business, Echoman Records. Murray is a composer, producer and engineer, and has clients of all genres coming to the studio from rock to country, Celtic to electronic dance. I add violin parts as needed, which gives me the opportunity to work on developing improvisation skills.

Author! Author! I wrote the majority of The Miserable Tales of Duster the Cat while I was living in Toronto about my own long haired ginger cat, Duster. Despite the title, he was actually a very happy cat, but incredibly vocal. We met at the SPCA in St. John's during a trip home to play Sarasate's Carmen Fantasy with the Newfoundland Symphony during my third year of university. I was sort of looking for a female cat, and until that point hadn't really been a fan of ginger cats, but while I was meeting one of his sisters, he jumped up and velcroed himself to my thigh. He was a show off from the very beginning, always finding ways to get in trouble, but somehow be entertaining at the same time. That's really what the book is about. It started off as a back and forth "conversation" I would have with him about his apparent misery since he spent so much time bellowing at me. I eventually expanded to longer "tales" of his exploits, and wrote them down purely for my own entertainment, with little thought to really sharing them with anyone. Of course I did occasionally share them, and those who read the poems seemed genuinely entertained by them, so I decided to add my own illustrations and have it printed. The book was finally released in February 2015, and is available through Amazon and at the VSO Gift Shop and the VSO School of Music.


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The Stradivarius Legacy Circle The Stradivarius Legacy Circle recognizes and thanks individuals in their lifetime for making arrangements for a gift in their will to the Vancouver Symphony Foundation—creating a lasting legacy of exceptional symphonic music and music education in our community. We sincerely thank our members for their foresight, generosity and commitment to the VSO's future. George Abakhan Janet M. Allan Renate A. Anderson K.-Jane Baker Lorna Barr Susan Boutwood Peter & Mary Brunold Dr. William. T. Bryson Ralph & Gillian Carder Mrs. Diana Gael Coomber Mr. and Mrs. G.A. Cooper Brigitte Daigle David & Valerie Davies Gloria Davies Julia Dodwell Sharon Douglas

Jackie Frangi Robert & Ann-Shirley Goodell Lorraine Grescoe W. Neil Harcourt in memory of Frank N. Harcourt In memory of John S. Hodge Renate R. Huxtable Wayne & Leslie Ann Ingram Margaret Irving Estelle & Michael Jacobson Mary Jordan Lorna Jean Klohn Dorothy Kuva Hugh & Judy Lindsay Dorothy MacLeod Robert Maxwell

Irene McEwen Piet Meyerhof Paul Richard Moritz Barbara Morris Martin O’Connor Sue M. Okuda Josephine Pegler Eleanor Phillips Marion Poliakoff Diane Ronan Louis Rosen Bernard Rowe & Annette Stark Shirley Sawatsky Dorothy Shields Mary Ann Sigal Doris Smit

Robert & Darlene Spevakow Dr. Barbara Iola Stafford* Elizabeth Tait Melvyn & June Tanemura Marsha & George Taylor Tuey Family Trust Robert & Carol Tulk David & Ruth Turnbull Ruth Warren Tessa Wilson Kelley Wong Bob Wood in memory of my parents, John & Hazel Wood Anonymous (4) *Estate

Bequests The Vancouver Symphony is grateful to have received bequests


from the following individuals.

$25,000 or more Dorothy Freda Bailey Phyllis Celia Fisher Margot Lynn McKenzie $500,000 or more $10,000 or more Jim and Edith le Nobel The Kitty Heller Kathleen Margaret Mann Alter Ego Trust Anna Ruth Leith $100,000 or more Kaye Leaney Brian William Dunlop $5,000 or more Steve Floris Howard and Jean Mann Anne de Barrett Allwork John Rand Clarice Marjory Bankes Hermann and Lawrence M. Carlson Erika Stölting Muriel F. Gilchrist J. Stuart Keate $50,000 or more Gerald Nordheimer Winslow Bennett Margaret Jean Paquin Audrey M. Piggot Ronald Albert Timmis Rachel Tancred Rout Mary Flavelle Stewart Jan Wolf Wynand $1,000 or more Eleanor Doke Caldwell

Jean Ethel Holler Bernard Van Snellenberg BEQUESTS TO THE VANCOUVER SYMPHONY SOCIETY $250,000 or more Ruth Ellen Baldwin $100,000 or more Reta Alden Dorothy Jane Boyce Roy Joseph Fietsch Hector MacKay $50,000 or more Fritz Ziegler $25,000 or more Dorothy M. Grant Lillian Erva Hawkins Florence Elizabeth Kavanagh Mary Fassenden Law

Geraldine Oldfield Alice Rumball Dr. Barbara Iola Stafford Anne Ethel Stevens Clayton K. Williams Dorothy Ethel Williams $10,000 or more Dr. Sherold Fishman John Devereux Fitz-Gerald Dorothea Leuchters Robert V. Osokin Elizabeth Jean Proven Freda Margaret Rush Doris Kathleen Skelton Sharone Young $5,000 or more Kathleen Grace Boyle Raymond John Casson Alfred Knowles Gordon McConkey

Evelyn Ann van der Veen Joan Marion Wasson $1,000 or more Phyllis Victoria Ethel Bailly Joyce Basham Doris May Bond Kathleen Mary DeClerq Betty Dunhaver Jean Haszard Grace Barbara Isobel Hooper Lewis Wilkinson Hunter Marjorie Lucille Keddy Annie Velma Pickell Jean Semple Kathleen Stemshorn Wilhelmina Stobie Marion Kathleen Laurette Whyte  ■

For further information on leaving a Legacy gift to the VSO please call Mary Butterfield, Director, Individual and Legacy Giving at 604.684.9100 ext. 238 or email

Concert Program S P EC IA L S : S P RIN G FE STIVAL OR P H EU M , 8P M

Thursday April 7

VSO SpringFest: Concert 1 SETTING THE STAGE Bramwell Tovey host/piano Sarah Fryer mezzo-soprano Jeanette Jonquil clarinet Grace Huang piano Christopher Gaze actor Dean Paul Gibson actor BRAHMS

Clarinet Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 120, No. 1


I. Allegro appassionato II. Andante un poco adagio III. Allegretto grazioso IV. Vivace



Five songs for Voice and Piano, Wesendonck Lieder

I. II. III. IV. V.

Der Engel / The Angel Stehe still / Be Still Im Treibhaus / In the Greenhouse Schmerzen / Sorrows Träume / Dreams





Bramwell Tovey, O.C.

host /piano Grammy® and Juno® award-winning conductor/ composer Bramwell Tovey was appointed Music Director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in 2000. Under his leadership the VSO has toured to China, Korea, across Canada and the United States. Mr. Tovey is also the Artistic Adviser of the VSO School of Music, a state-of-the-art facility and recital hall next to the Orpheum, the VSO’s historic home. His tenure has included complete symphony cycles of Beethoven, Mahler, Brahms as well as the establishment of an annual festival dedicated to contemporary music. In 2018, the VSO’s centenary year, he will become the orchestra’s Music Director Emeritus. During the 15/16 season Mr. Tovey’s guest appearances include the symphonies of Montreal, Melbourne, New Zealand, and Pacific Symphony, and the Philadelphia Orchestra and New York Philharmonic, reprising his programs with both at Bravo! Vail in summer 2016. The summer also includes returns to the Cleveland and Chicago symphonies and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In the winter of 2016 he will conduct Korngold's Die tote Stadt with Calgary Opera. In the 14/15 season Mr. Tovey made guest appearances with several US orchestras. In Europe he performed with the BBC Philharmonic and the Helsingborgs Symfoniorkester and he traveled to Australia on two separate occasions for engagements with the symphonies of Melbourne and Sydney. In 2003 Bramwell Tovey won the Juno® Award for Best Classical Composition for his choral and brass work Requiem for a Charred Skull. Commissions include the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, the Toronto Symphony and Calgary Opera who premiered his first full length opera The Inventor in 2011. A recording 38 allegro



of the work by the VSO with UBC Opera and the original cast was made for the Naxos label and will be released this season. In 2014 his trumpet concerto, Songs of the Paradise Saloon, was performed by the LA Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra, both with Alison Balsom as soloist. A talented pianist as well as conductor and composer, he has appeared as soloist with many major orchestras, including his own Pictures in the Smoke with the Melbourne and Helsingborg Symphonies and the Royal Philharmonic. Mr. Tovey is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in London, the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and holds honorary degrees from the universities of British Columbia, Manitoba, Kwantlen and Winnipeg. In 2013 he was appointed an honorary Officer of the Order of Canada for services to music.

Sarah Fryer mezzo-soprano British-Canadian mezzo-soprano Sarah Fryer has sung extensively in Europe and in North America. Career highlights include six years as a soloist at the Bayreuth Festival singing ‘Wellgunde’ in Das Rheingold and Götterdämmerung (James Levine) and ‘I Knappe’ in Parsifal (Giuseppe Sinopoli). In Canada, Sarah has performed as a soloist with top orchestras and choirs including the Toronto Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the Victoria Symphony, the Vancouver Bach Choir and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. She was a soloist for the VSO’s performances of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony as part of the celebrations surrounding the 2010 Winter Olympics, and a special guest in the VSO’s Last Night of the Proms special in 2012. In August 2013 Sarah was a soloist at the Freden Festival (Germany) performing Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder. Sarah’s recordings include the alto solo in the Rachmaninoff Vespers with the

Philharmonia Chorus and the Angel in Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra directed by David Hill.

Jeanette Jonquil clarinet Jeanette Jonquil has been the principal clarinetist in the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra since 2005. Before moving to Vancouver, she was the principal clarinetist in the Charleston Symphony Orchestra (South Carolina) where she was first featured as a soloist in her second month with the orchestra. Prior to that, she performed with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in Wellington and was also a member of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Jonquil is originally from Utica, New York where she began playing the clarinet in her school band program. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from Northwestern University and her Master of Music degree from Yale University. Her primary teachers were Russell Dagon and David Shifrin. Some of her other accomplishments include winning the Woolsey Hall Concerto Competition and the Daniel Nyfenger Memorial Prize for Excellence in Woodwind Playing (both at Yale) and winning first prize at the Coleman Chamber Music Competition in Los Angeles.

Grace Huang piano Praised by the Yorkshire Post for her “blend of power, delicacy and seductive swagger,” pianist Grace Huang has performed on stages in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Chile, Taiwan, UK and Canada. A critically acclaimed recitalist,

Grace has performed for music societies and festivals throughout England, including the Douglas Music Society and Ribble Valley International Piano Week. As a concerto soloist she has performed with numerous UK orchestras including the City of York Guildhall and Hallé Orchestras. Equally credited as a chamber musician, she has appeared in some of the UK’s top venues including London’s South Bank, the Bridgewater Hall and St. John’s Smith Square. She has been featured in the VSO Chamber Players Series and also collaborated with the Koerner Quartet in her native Vancouver. Her performances have been aired on Australian Broadcast Radio and BBC Radio 3.

Christopher Gaze actor For a biography of Christopher Gaze, please refer to page 21.

Dean Paul Gibson actor Dean Paul Gibson is an award-winning actor/ director who has had a long association with Bard on the Beach, along with many other companies in Vancouver and beyond. Last season he staged Mozart and Salieri for the VSO’s Springfest. Previously, he appeared in Stravinsky’s A Soldiers Tale, also for the VSO. DPG’s selected acting credits include: Earl of Warwick in Saint Joan for Arts Club; Andrew Undershaft in Major Barbara for A.C.T/TC coproduction; Falstaff and Cymbeline for Bard on the Beach; Vigil and The Drowsy Chaperone for Theatre Calgary. He originated the role of the Tailor in The Overcoat at Vancouver Playhouse.

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Court Orchestra of Meiningen, Germany. Between 1891 and 1894, he composed four pieces expressly for Mühlfeld: a trio for clarinet, cello and piano, a quintet for clarinet and strings, and two sonatas for clarinet and piano. The sonatas are quite different from each other, but they share a profound expressive depth and a concentrated style of workmanship. The first movement of No. 1 offers a satisfying balance of urgency and sweetness. The remaining It was the mid-1800s, and Beethoven’s towering movements are shorter and simpler in form and genius still loomed over the world of music. content: a songful, free-flowing andante that As composers tried to come to grips with the almost sounds like an improvisation; a graciously shadow cast by Beethoven’s works, a conflict dancing movement with a distinctively Viennese emerged — The War of the Romantics had flavour; and a vivacious, tuneful finale. begun. In one corner: Johannes Brahms, Robert/ Clara Schumann, and the Leipzig Conservatoire, Program Notes © 2016 Don Anderson founded by Mendelssohn. This “conservative” camp viewed Beethoven’s music as the unassailable, unchallengeable peak of music, b. Leipzig, Germany / May 22, 1813 and their compositions aspired toward this d. Venice, Italy / February 13, 1883 lofty ideal. In the other corner, the avant-garde Five songs for Female Voice and Piano, champions of “modern” music: Wagner and WVV 91, Wesendonck Lieder Liszt. These “progressive” composers felt that Mathilde Wesendonck, was a German poet Beethoven represented a new beginning in and author, and the wife of one of Richard music, and that it was their calling to continue Wagner’s patrons, the silk merchant Otto to push the boundaries forward from where Wesendonck. For a time Wagner and his wife Beethoven left off. Minna lived together in a small cottage on The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s 2016 the Wesendonck estate in Zurich. It has been Spring Festival explores the War of the speculated that Wagner and Mathilde had a love Romantics, one of the most important periods affair – at the very least they shared a mutual in classical music history, and a time when infatuation with each other for over five years, some of history’s greatest music was written During this time Wagner set aside his Ring Cycle and performed. The Festival kicks off with an to concentrate on the opera Tristan und Isolde, exploration of the conflict through the eyes which is built around a tragic love triangle. and writings of the two most prominent music He also set five of Mathilde’s poems to music critics of the time, Eduard Hanslick (battling on behalf of the Conservatives, Brahms, Schumann, (as Fünf Gedichte für eine Frauenstimme) and, in fact, two of the songs were considered by the Mendelssohn) and Richard Pohl (championing composer as "studies" for Tristan und Isolde: the New School, led by Liszt and Wagner). “Im Treibhaus” foreshadows the Love Duet of Actors Christopher Gaze and Dean Paul Gibson Act 2 and “Träume” is a pre-echo of the Prelude portray these critics as they spar with one another about the future and present of classical to Act 3. The published score did not identify the poet until the time of Mathilde’s death, music, alongside performances representing in 1902, and the set then came to be known each musical camp. as the Wesendonck Lieder. Along with the Siegfried Idyll, the songs are the most regularly performed of Wagner’s non-operatic works.  ■ He has also made numerous appearances in film and television. Dean recently returned from St. John’s, Newfoundland where he directed the Canadian première of Habib’s Unforgettable AllNight House Party. When not directing or acting, Dean is an instructor, adjudicator and workshop leader. He is a graduate of Langara’s Studio 58.

The War of the Romantics

Richard Wagner

Johannes Brahms b. Hamburg, Germany / May 7, 1833 d. Vienna, Austria / April 3, 1897

Clarinet Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 120, No. 1 Brahms was planning to stop composing, until his creative spark was rekindled by the artistry of Richard Mühlfeld, Principal Clarinet in the 40 allegro

Program Notes © 2016 VSO


Concert Program

Saturday, April 9


▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ ◆ ▼ ▼

Bramwell Tovey conductor Jeanette Jonquil clarinet Monica Huisman soprano Sarah Fryer mezzo-soprano David Pomeroy tenor Alfred Walker bass UBC University Singers and Choral Union Graeme Langager chorus director

VSO SpringFest: Concert 2 BEETHOVEN’S NINTH


Clarinet Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 120, No. 1

I. Allegro appassionato II. Andante un poco adagio III. Allegretto grazioso IV. Vivace





Allegro, ma non troppo, un poco maestoso Molto vivace Adagio molto e cantabile Presto – Allegro non troppo

Bramwell Tovey, O.C. host

For a biography of Maestro Tovey, please refer to page 38.

Jeanette Jonquil clarinet

For a biography of Jeanette Jonquil, please refer to page 39. UBC CHORAL UNION

Monica Huisman soprano



Dutch-Canadian soprano, Monica Huisman has been hailed as possessing a soprano voice that “embodies both flawless technique and dramatic impact” (Opera Canada). Ms. Huisman has delighted audiences from Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw to Guatemala City with the reputation of her “silken” voice “consistently crafting each note into a work of art” (Winnipeg Free Press). She has soared onstage in productions of Carmen, Marriage of Figaro, Cosi Fan Tutte, Don Giovanni, Cunning Little Vixen, La bohème, Magic Flute, Hansel und Gretel and Lakmé. allegro 41



Equally at home in concert repertoire Ms. Huisman has thrilled audiences in such works as Strauss’ Four Last Songs, Brahms’ Requiem, Haydn’s Creation and Vaughan Williams’ Sea Symphony. She was heard last season in Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang and Four Songs for Cello and Voice by André Previn with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, as well as Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Winnipeg Symphony. In 2015–2016, she returns to the Vancouver Symphony for the present performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, a work also on her schedule for the Regina Symphony and, at home in Winnipeg, she sings Messiah.

Sarah Fryer mezzo-soprano For a biography of Sarah Fryer, please refer to page 38.

David Pomeroy tenor Internationally acclaimed for his rich voice with thrilling top notes, Canadian tenor David Pomeroy is in the spotlight on some of the world's most important stages. Most recently he starred in both the Frankfurt and Calgary opera productions of Korngold’s Die tote Stadt, in Calgary led by Bramwell Tovey. Current season highlights include Janácˇek’s Glagolitic Mass with Nézet-Séguin and Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal, Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the Calgary Philharmonic and Les vêpres Siciliennes with the Royal Danish Opera. The Newfoundland native made his Metropolitan Opera debut in Les Contes d'Hoffmann under Levine and has sung leading tenor roles in Fidelio, Faust, Carmen, La bohème, Madama Butterfly, Filumena and Aida with Australian Opera, Vancouver Opera, Edmonton Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Stuttgart Opera, Manitoba Opera, New York City Opera and Pacific Opera Victoria, among others. He was featured in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Vancouver and Toronto symphonies and the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa.



Alfred Walker bass

This season, Bass Baritone Alfred Walker performs one of his most oft-performed roles, the title role of Der fliegende Holländer, with both Oper Köln and Seattle Opera (May 2016). He has been lauded by Opera News for his “inky bass-baritone and clear projection seemed ideally suited to the role, capturing this isolated man's passion with telling grief.” Other performances this season include the Four Villains in Les contes d’Hoffmann, (Komische Oper Berlin) Amonasro in Aida, (Utah Opera), New Japan Philharmonic for Bluebeard’s Castle, and the Caramoor International Music Festival as Pizarro in Fidelio. Other recent operatic engagements include Amfortas in Parsifal; Parsi Rustomji in Satyagraha (New York); Orest in Elektra (Milan, Berlin, Seattle Opera, San Sebastián); Allazim in Zaide (Aix en Provence, Vienna, London, New York); and Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde (Angers, Nantes, Dijon). The New Orleans native is the recipient of many awards, and a graduate of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Program.

UBC University Singers

University Singers is the premier choral ensemble in the UBC School of Music. This 40-voice ensemble performs the most advanced and exciting music for chamber choir written in recent decades, as well as motets and other historically important works. The University Singers also performs with orchestra annually, including such works as Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Handel’s Messiah, and Brahms’ Requiem. The choir has won several awards, including the CBC National Choral Competition and the BBC International Choral Competition. The choir tours often, including local, North American, and international destinations. Previous choral experience, a strong ear, and music reading ability is encouraged for participation in this ensemble. The University Singers performs four feature concerts each year, as well as occasional run-out performances throughout the Vancouver area. The University Singers recently won first place among university choirs in the 2015 National Competition for Canadian Amateur Choirs. allegro 43

UBC Choral Union

Richard Mühlfeld, Principal Clarinet in the Court Orchestra of Meiningen, Germany. Between 1891 and 1894, he composed four pieces expressly for Choral Union is UBC’s largest choir. Boasting Mühlfeld: a trio for clarinet, cello and piano, over 150 singers, the Choral Union performs a quintet for clarinet and strings, and two major choral repertoire from beautiful pieces sonatas for clarinet and piano. of Renaissance music to dynamic modern compositions. As well, the Choral Union performs In 1986, the Los Angeles Philharmonic with the UBC Symphony Orchestra each year, commissioned the distinguished Italian including works such as Mozart’s Requiem, and composer Luciano Berio to orchestrate the piano Orff’s Carmina Burana. This ensemble is comprised accompaniment to the passionate, lyrical and of both music majors and non-music majors. The gracious Sonata No. 1 – thus creating a ‘clarinet Choral Union performs four concerts each year. concerto.’ Berio, a firm admirer of Brahms, created the transcription with due respect to Brahms’s style. He made two additions: a fourteen-bar orchestral introduction to the first movement, and chorus director five bars at the beginning of the second movement. Graeme Langager is the Director of Choral Activities at the University of British Columbia School of Music, and the Artistic Director and Conductor of the award-winning Phoenix Chamber (Arr. Gustav Mahler) Choir of Vancouver, Canada. Langager is a b. Bonn, Germany / baptized December 17, 1770 dynamic, and sensitive conductor and educator, d. Vienna, Austria / March 26, 1827 and is sought-after as a clinician, adjudicator, Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 and guest conductor. Langager has performed The evolution of this towering piece, one of the throughout Europe and across North America, supreme achievements of western art, spanned appearing in such venues as Carnegie Hall in more than three decades. Once Beethoven read New York, St. Peter’s in Rome, Stefansdom in Friedrich Schiller’s poem Ode to Joy in 1793, Vienna, and many others in Spain, Italy, France, he determined to set it to music. By mid-1823 Austria, and the Czech Republic. He has taught he had virtually completed Symphony No. 9. But for more than 20 years in universities and when he came to feel that it cried out for words colleges in both the United States and Canada, to express its goals more clearly, he decided that and is active also as a composer and arranger. his long-delayed rendezvous with the Ode to Joy had finally arrived. His setting became the new symphony’s finale, bringing voices into the world b. Leipzig, Germany / May 22, 1813 of the symphony for the first time. d. Venice, Italy / February 13, 1883 The Ninth was heard for the first time on May 7, Lohengrin: Prelude Act III 1824, in Vienna with Michael Umlauf conducting. Wagner’s opera Lohengrin (1850) takes place The composer sat in the midst of the orchestra, in Belgium during the tenth century. The saintly score in hand, in order to indicate the tempos he knight Lohengrin appears in answer to a prayer wished to be taken. The performance, which had from Elsa, daughter of the King of Brabant, for a been allotted only two rehearsals, was at best champion to defend her against a rival claim to the a mediocre one, yet it still drew an enthusiastic throne. The third and final act opens with a festive response from the audience. prelude, forecasting the happiness that Lohengrin The first movement begins quietly, but soon its and Elsa expect to enjoy once they are married. turbulent, intensely dramatic nature becomes clear. The conclusion is, if anything, even bleaker than the beginning. The following scherzo raised this type of piece, formerly a simple jest or dance, (Orchestrated Berio) to Olympian heights of drive and brilliance. At b. Hamburg, Germany / May 7, 1833 times, the energy level and driving rhythm push d. Vienna, Austria / April 3, 1897 the music close to the diabolical. The prayer-like Clarinet Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 120, No. 1 slow movement at last brings a sense of repose Brahms was planning to stop composing, until to the symphony. It consists of variations on two his creative spark was rekindled by the artistry of gloriously warm-hearted themes.

Graeme Langager

Ludwig van Beethoven

Richard Wagner

Johannes Brahms

44 allegro

What better way to celebrate the symphony’s hardwon contentment than by sharing it with the whole world? Yet Beethoven did not do so immediately. After the finale’s dynamic introduction, he proceeded to first review, then reject brief excerpts from the preceding movements. Cellos and basses then quietly state the finale’s principal theme, a melody whose very lack of guile made it completely appropriate to its function. It gathers momentum slowly, yet inexorably, until a reprise of the movement’s opening outburst set the scene for the baritone soloist’s entry. Beethoven’s setting of the Ode to Joy contains a tremendous variety of incident. Its kaleidoscope of episodes, in fact, make up an entire symphony in miniature. They include passages of almost frenzied choral celebration; a march-like tenor solo spiked with Turkish-style percussion; a brilliant fugue for orchestra alone; and the simple, affecting piety of the central call to faith in God. Finally, orchestra and chorus rush headlong to the exultant conclusion. By the close of the nineteenth century, orchestras (the string sections in particular) and the venues in which they played had grown considerably larger

than those used in Beethoven’s time. In 1900, the renowned composer and conductor Gustav Mahler reorchestrated certain passages in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, for a series of performances in Vienna. By increasing the number of woodwinds that Beethoven had called for, for example, and instructing them to play more loudly, he sought to ensure that they would be audible in balance with the strings. He used this revised score for the subsequent performances he gave of this work. His colleagues Alexander Zemlinsky and Arnold Schoenberg conducted it, as well. Recently it has been performed regularly and recorded. “You can argue whether Mahler was right or wrong,” writes musicologist David Pickett, “but I don’t think he went over the top. And he wasn’t trying to improve on Beethoven; Mahler rejected that word. He felt that you can’t make the music better, but you certainly can make it worse. When you look at his scores, you don’t suddenly come across a bit of blood and BandAids; there are no abrupt changes. Mahler very carefully adds and subtracts, bar by bar, to achieve an increase of clarity.”  ■ Program Notes © 2016 Don Anderson


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Concert Program


Bramwell Tovey, O.C. conductor/host

For a biography of Maestro Tovey, please refer to page 38.


Monday, April 11

VSO SpringFest: Concert 3 WAGNER VERSUS BRAHMS Bramwell Tovey conductor/host WAGNER Die Meistersinger: Overture WAGNER Tristan und Isolde: Prelude and Liebestod INTERMISSION

BRAHMS Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68

I. Un poco sostenuto – Allegro II. Andante sostenuto III. Un poco allegretto e grazioso IV. Adagio – Allegro non troppo, ma con brio


Richard Wagner b. Leipzig, Germany / May 22, 1813 d. Venice, Italy / February 13, 1883

Die Meistersinger: Overture Wagner was incapable of composing an opera that wasn’t on a grand scale – even a comedy. This ensured that The Mastersingers of Nuremberg is the longest, richest and most eloquent work of its kind. He created it between 1861 and 1867, and the first performance took place in Munich, Germany on June 21, 1868. The title characters are merchants and tradesmen, residents of the German city of Nuremberg during the sixteenth century. Their principal diversion is vocal music. To gain entry to their exclusive guild, applicants must demonstrate talent for both composing and singing, and are obliged to do so within strict, traditional guidelines. Wagner’s hero is the wise, gentle cobbler Hans Sachs, an actual historical figure. He aids the young nobleman Walther von Stolzing in winning two things: a place among the Mastersingers, and the hand of Eva, the woman he loves. Wagner introduced Die Meistersinger with a sonorous and emotionally heartening prelude. It is constructed on two sturdy, noble themes for the Mastersingers; an expressive theme representing von Stolzing, which he will incorporate into the Prize Song that gains him entry into the guild; and a scherzo-like tune for the comic villain, Beckmesser. At the climax, Wagner layers all these melodies together, in a display of contrapuntal ingenuity worthy of Bach. Tristan and Isolde: Prelude and Liebestod Wagner composed the opera Tristan und Isolde between 1856 and 1859. The first performance was given at the Court Opera in Munich, Germany on June 10, 1865. By 1857, Wagner had become totally exhausted by his intensive labours on the quartet of operas known as The Ring of the Nibelungs. He took a break after completing the second act of Siegfried, the third opera in the cycle. His plan was to refresh himself by composing one or two brief, easily-produced operas whose anticipated success would help prop up his shaky finances. Instead, his ‘rest period’ gave birth to two of his grandest works: the searing love-drama Tristan und Isolde, and the mammoth comic opera,

The Mastersingers of Nuremberg. He then proceeded to complete the Ring cycle. With its morbid storyline and lengthy periods of unresolved emotional and musical tension, Tristan is a seminal work for one direction that music would take, the one followed by Mahler, Schoenberg and Weill, among many others. Following his standard practice, Wagner created the libretto as well as the music. He based the plot on a medieval English legend. It tells of the all-consuming passion that develops, as the result of a love-potion, between Tristan, a Cornish knight, and Isolde, an Irish princess who is betrothed to Tristan’s uncle, King Mark. Their circumstances make it impossible for them to have a normal romantic relationship. It is only in death, with the cares and restrictions of earthly life behind them, that they can know true peace and fulfillment.

to light, for example, links it with Beethoven’s symphonic ideals, especially with those expressed in his Fifth (which is also set in the same key, C minor). Brahms concentrated the symphony’s dramatic elements in the first and last movements. He prefaced both with an introduction in slow tempo. The one that begins the symphony sets the sombre, dramatic mood that also characterizes the more vigorous but equally austere first movement proper. The following movement offers a restful interlude, one with scarcely a moment of contrasting drama. Even though the third movement is hardly a scherzo, it provides a breath of fresh, lighter air to balance what has preceded it. Brahms began his finale with a prelude that is nearly as stark in tone as the one that opened the first movement. Its fatalistic grumblings are dispelled by the arrival of the heartfelt chorale melody that is the principal theme of the finale’s main body. Brahms builds this movement with vast architectural and emotional skill, as it unfolds towards its grandly affirmative conclusion.  ■

This concert will present a two-part orchestral sequence that joins together the opera’s opening and closing moments. It also removes the voice of Isolde from the concluding section. The prelude is filled with restless romantic yearning and a tremendous sense of foreboding. Isolde performs the concluding Program Notes © 2016 Don Anderson Liebestod (Love-Death) after Tristan has died. In it, her farewell to life, she sings ecstatically of the vision she sees in her mind of the perfect love that awaits them in the afterlife.

Johannes Brahms b. Hamburg, Germany / May 7, 1833 d. Vienna, Austria / April 3, 1897

Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68 “I shall never write a symphony,” Brahms told conductor Hermann Levi. “You have no idea how the likes of us feel when we hear the tramp of a giant like him behind us.” The ‘him’ was Beethoven, and Brahms needed 20 years to compose a symphony he felt was worthy of comparison with the master’s. The première in 1876 confirmed in the composer’s mind that he possessed the necessary skills to follow in Beethoven’s footsteps as a great composer of symphonic music. Brahms’s admirers referred to the First Symphony as ‘Beethoven’s Tenth.’ Although Brahms may not have appreciated the comparison, it certain senses it is inescapable. His first symphony’s ground-plan of victory through struggle, of a journey from darkness allegro 49

Concert Program





VSO SpringFest: Concert 4 THE CONSERVATIVES: BRAHMS REQUIEM Bramwell Tovey conductor Tracy Dahl soprano James Westman baritone Phoenix Chamber Choir UBC University Singers Vancouver Cantata Singers Graeme Langager chorus director BRAHMS A German Requiem, Op. 45



Selig sind, die da Leid tragen Denn alles Fleisch, es ist wie Gras Herr, lehre doch mich Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit Denn wir haben hie keine bleibende Statt Selig sind die Toten

allegro 51

Valley in Carmina Burana, sings Messiah for the McGill Chamber Orchestra and ends his season in Trois Rivieres as Germont in La traviata. Last season, James Westman was featured in the VSO’s Springfest, performing with tenor Michael Colvin in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Mozart and Salieri and also singing the Serenade from Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Mr. Westman lives with his wife Nadine (Dini) and their two sons Liam and Hardy in Stratford, Ontario. TRACY DAHL


Bramwell Tovey, O.C. host For a biography of Maestro Tovey, please refer to page 38.

Tracy Dahl soprano Canada’s premiére coloratura soprano Tracy Dahl has appeared throughout her career with such opera houses as the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Teatro alla Scala (Milan) and the Théâtre du Châtelet (Paris). Her recent operatic engagements include last seasons’s concert performances of Candide with Bramwell Tovey and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra; Despina in Così fan Tutte with Canadian Opera Company; the title roles in Lucia di Lamermoor and Maria Stuarda with Pacific Opera Victoria; and Madame Mao in Nixon in China with Vancouver Opera. Her discography includes A Disney Spectacular with the Cincinnati Pops (Telarc), Glitter and Be Gay with the Calgary Philharmonic (CBC), A Gilbert and Sullivan Gala with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (CBC), and Love Walked In, a Gershwin collection with the Bramwell Tovey Trio (Red Phone Box Company).

Phoenix Chamber Choir The Phoenix Chamber Choir recently celebrated its 30th anniversary as one of Canada’s finest vocal ensembles, renowned for diverse and eclectic programming from the Renaissance to the contemporary, commissions from Canadian and international composers, and North American premieres of significant new works. Phoenix Chamber Choir won three awards in Choral Canada’s 2015 National Choral Competition for Amateur Choirs. Phoenix was winner and threetime finalist in the European Broadcasting Union’s Let The Peoples Sing competition; 13-time winner at the CBC National Radio Competition for Amateur Choirs; choir-in-residence at the Copenhagen Choir Festival and Banff Arts Festival 2000 (Banff Centre for the Arts); and featured performer at the National Conductors’ Symposium and World Symposium on Choral Music. Phoenix Chamber Choir is heard regularly on radio across North America, Europe and Australia.

UBC University Singers For a biography of the UBC University Singers please refer to page 43.

Vancouver Cantata Singers

Founded in 1957, the Vancouver Cantata Singers has become one of Canada’s preeminent, awardbaritone winning choral ensembles. The choir is known for Whether performing song, concert or opera its technical virtuosity, fine blend and exceptionally throughout the world, baritone James Westman’s high performance standards encompassing 500 passion and musicianship bring an extra dimension years of choral repertoire. VCS has been awarded to his performances. Combining opera and the Canada Council’s top prize in choral singing, concert appearances for 2015/2016, he begins the Healey Willan Grand Prize, more than any with Germont in the Canadian Opera Company other choir in the country. Led by artistic director production of La traviata. Brahms’ Requiem takes and conductor Paula Kremer since 2013,VCS him to Ottawa’s National Arts Centre Orchestra and also commissions new works from criticallyto the Vancouver Symphony, while Calgarians hear acclaimed composers, which have led to extremely him in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. He will be successful and innovative collaborations with heard in Bach’s Mass in B minor with Kitchener’s regional and international artists and ensembles. Grand Philharmonic Choir, tours the Okanagan

James Westman

52 allegro

Graeme Langager

chorus director For a biography of the Graeme Langager please refer to page 44.

Johannes Brahms b. Hamburg, Germany / May 7, 1833 d. Vienna, Austria / April 3, 1897

A German Requiem, Op. 45 Brahms’s catalogue contains a good deal of choral music, both with and without accompaniment. Ein deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem) lies within the accompanied sector, as do a number of impressive shorter works such as Schicksalslied (Song of Destiny, 1868–71), Triumphlied (Song of Triumph, 1870–71), Nänie (Song of Lamentation, 1881), and Gesang der Parzen (Song of the Fates, 1882). His longest composition, the Requiem is the work that established his international reputation. It evolved over a period of several years. As early as 1854, he began a large-scale work. He eventually used two of its movements in his Piano Concerto No. 1, and a third evolved into the second movement of the Requiem.

The death of his beloved mother in 1865 spurred him on to complete the Requiem. He may also have intended it as a final gesture of respect to his mentor, Robert Schumann, who had died ten years earlier and whose list of unrealized projects (unbeknownst to Brahms until many years later) included a requiem sung in German. Brahms composed the greater part of his piece in Zurich, Switzerland, completing the first version during the summer of 1866. By that time it had acquired six movements and the title, A German Requiem. In this form, it was premiered, under the composer’s direction, at the cathedral in Bremen, Germany, on Good Friday, 1868. It won a great success, but Brahms was still not satisfied with it. During the following summer, he added yet another movement, the fifth, and the work finally stood finished. He feared that the title would be misinterpreted as indicating a work that he designed solely for the German people. Such was not at all his intention. He wished to address his Requiem to all humanity, not to any particular segment of it. It is solely the language of the text that is reflected in the title. Brahms assembled the words himself, drawing upon the Lutheran Bible. He selected verses from both the Old and New Testaments, drawing upon

the Psalms, the writings of the prophets, the Gospels, Epistles and the Book of Revelation. Language and text are only the most superficial of its unique qualities. In many respects, it differs from most other works of its kind. The requiem is a ritual specifically associated with the Roman Catholic faith. It is performed after someone’s death, and its text is sung in Latin. Traditional settings of this text are, in essence, prayers for the peaceful resting of the dead, who are threatened with the terrors of the Last Judgment. This latter concept is set forth most strongly in the Dies irae, the Day of Wrath section of the traditional requiem text. Brahms omits this portion completely, substituting a less fear-inducing, more uplifting view of the same concept. This exemplifies the contents and manner of the work as a whole. In his German Requiem, Brahms concentrated not on seeking forgiveness for those who have left this earth, but on offering consolation to those who are still here, mourning their departed loved ones. The piece’s unorthodox content was recognized from the beginning. The city fathers of Bremen, in fact, only gave permission for the premiere after Brahms agreed to allow, as a gesture to established beliefs, the performance of the aria, I Know That My Redeemer Liveth, from Handel’s Messiah, after the fourth movement of the German Requiem. That practice has seldom, if ever been repeated. The Brahms German Requiem long ago established itself, without the need for interpolations, as exactly what its composer intended it to be: heartfelt, universal gift of hope. The first movement (Selig sind, die da Leid tragen; Blessed are they who mourn), is pastoral in feeling,

with muted orchestration to match. The second (Denn alles Fleisch ist wie Gras; Behold all flesh is as the grass), opens in the manner of a funeral march, underpinned sombrely by timpani. Later the mood shifts completely, ending in a hymn of joy. The baritone soloist is featured in the following section (Herr, lehre doch mich; Lord make me to know), engaging in a dramatic dialogue with the chorus. This portion also ends positively, with a sturdy fugue for voices and orchestra. A glowing, joyful description of paradise is heard next (Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen; How lovely is Thy dwelling place). This radiant mood continues in the fifth movement (Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit; Ye now are sorrowful), the soprano soloist singing blissfully of the comforts offered by faith. In the following section (Denn wir haben hie keine bleibende Statt; Here on earth we have no continuing place), the baritone and chorus present Brahms’ vision of the Last Judgement. It is depicted here as less a trial than an act of passage to higher glories. The music develops into a bold, athletic allegro. It then concludes with a triumphant double fugue, in which Brahms pays his respects to such great masters of the Baroque era as Handel and Bach. The final movement (Selig sind die Toten, die in dem Herren sterben; Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord henceforth), returns to the peaceful, consoling mood of the first. In conclusion, it also takes up that opening section’s very themes, to bring the work full circle. The coda, with harp and woodwinds supporting the chorus, fades peacefully and contentedly into silence.  ■ Program Notes © 2016 Don Anderson

The second annual VSO Orchestral Institute at Whistler

June 26–July 5, 2016 Whistler, British Columbia

Study music in beautiful Whistler Resort!

Concert Program



Bramwell Tovey conductor

Monday, April 18

LISZT Les Préludes



Bramwell Tovey, O.C. conductor

For a biography of Maestro Tovey, please refer to page 38.

Franz Liszt b. Doborjan, Hungary / October 22, 1811 d. Bayreuth, Germany / July 31, 1886

Les Préludes In addition to serving as the mid-nineteenth century’s reigning piano virtuoso, Liszt made major contributions to the art of composition. None has been more influential than the creation of the symphonic poem. Drawing upon centuries-old practices of descriptive or programme music, this free-form genre of orchestral piece takes inspiration from such extra-musical sources as literature, painting, geography and philosophy. Les Préludes (The Preludes) is the third and the most frequently performed of Liszt’s thirteen symphonic poems. The process of

INTERMISSION Der Ring Ohne Worte (The Ring Without Words)

VISIT THE SYMPHONY GIFT SHOP FOR CD SELECTIONS composing and revising it stretched from 1848 to 1854. Its musical origins lie in an overture that he composed to introduce a choral setting of The Four Elements, verses by the French poet Joseph Autran. Six years later, he recast it as a symphonic poem. His quest for an appropriate programme for this second incarnation ended with Les Préludes, a poem by another French writer, Alphonse de Lammartine. Here is a synopsis: What else is our life but a series of preludes to that unknown hymn, the first and solemn note of which is intoned by death? Love is the glowing dawn of all existence; but what is the fate where the first delights of happiness are not interrupted by some storm…and where is the cruelly wounded soul which, on issuing from one of these tempests, does not endeavour to rest his recollection in the calm serenity of life in the fields?...When ‘the trumpet sounds the alarm,’ he hastens to the dangerous post, whatever the war may be… allegro 57

in order at last to recover in the combat full consciousness of himself and entire possession of his energy. Liszt’s symphonic poem opens with two pizzicato string chords, after which the violins introduce a simple, rising theme. Liszt derived all of this piece’s themes from this melody. This procedure helps bind together the piece’s wide variety of moods. They range from meditative, through dramatic, to pastoral, and finally to majestically triumphant. If at times this piece reminds you of a Wagner opera, remember that he was not only Liszt’s son-in-law but his creative soul mate, too.

Richard Wagner (Arr. Lorin Maazel)

b. Leipzig, Germany / May 22, 1813 d. Venice, Italy / February 13, 1883

Der Ring Ohne Worte (The Ring Without Words) In 1848, Wagner wrote the text for a mythological theatre piece called Siegfried’s Death. Recognizing that a great deal of further introductory material was required to tell the story adequately, he spent much of the following 24 years creating what expanded into a fifteen-hour, four-part operatic cycle, The Ring of the Nibelungs. He based the music on leitmotifs (leading motives), brief thematic fragments that represent characters, objects, places and ideas. Like the themes in a Liszt symphonic poem, they develop throughout the course of the score.

at this concert. “Of course the ‘Ring’ is conceived as a music-drama to be staged, sung and played,” he wrote. “For those, such as myself, who have been privileged to conduct it at Bayreuth and elsewhere, every dot of this ‘complete work of art’ is inviolable. Nonetheless, when Telarc Recordings proposed that I record a ‘Ring Without Words’ with the Berlin Philharmonic, I was intrigued by the challenge: could a symphony synthesis of the ‘Ring’ reveal the essentials of its code? I bolted the following criteria to my drawing board: “One: The synthesis must be free-flowing (no stops) and chronological, beginning with the first notes of Das Rheingold (The Rhine Gold) and finishing with the final chord of Götterdämmerung (The Twilight of the Gods). Two: The transitions must be harmonically and periodically justifiable, the pacing contrasts commensurate with the length of the work. Three: Most all of the music originally written for orchestra without voice must be used, adding those sections with a vocal line essential to a synthesis and only where the line is either doubled by an orchestral instrument, ‘imaginable’ or in the rare instance, when it can be reproduced by an instrument. Four: Every note must be Wagner’s own.

“Thus, we begin in the ‘greenish twilight’ of the Rhine, float up to the home of the gods, fall amongst hammering dwarfs ‘smithying’ away, ride Donner’s thunderbolt, The first complete performance of the crawl with the thirst-crazed Siegmund to ‘Ring’ took place in Bayreuth, Germany in the haven (temporary) of Sieglinde’s hearth August 1876, in the theatre that Wagner had and solace. In the ‘sound code’ we see his designed specifically for the performance of loving gaze, their fight, Wotan’s rage, the his works. One hundred and forty years later, cavalcade of Brünnhilde’s sisters, Wotan’s it and several of his other operas continue to farewell to his favourite daughter, Mime’s be staged there at an annual summer festival. fright, Siegfried’s forging of the magic sword, his wanderings through the forest, Orchestral excerpts from the ‘Ring’ began to his slaying of the dragon, the dragon’s be performed in concert early in its history. lament, day breaking `round Siegfried and Wagner fully approved of this practice, Brünnhilde’s passion, Siegfried’s Rhine as a practical method both of raising the journey, Hagen’s call to his clan, Siegfried music’s profile and providing income. In and the Rhinemaidens, his death and the the late 1980s, the distinguished conductor funeral music, immolation.”  ■ Lorin Maazel created the purely orchestral synthesis of the entire cycle that you will hear Program Notes © 2016 Don Anderson allegro 59


Friday & Saturday, April 22 & 23 S U R REY N IG H T S B EL L P ERF ORM IN G ARTS C E N TR E , S U R REY, 8P M

Monday, April 25 Kazuyoshi Akiyama conductor Gilles Vonsattel piano MENDELSSOHN

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Overture, Op. 21


Touch her soft lips and part, from Henry V

MOZART Piano Concerto No. 9,

in E-flat Major, K271, Jeunehomme I. Allegro II. Andantino III. Rondo: Presto



Symphony No. 2 in C Major, Op. 61



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Sostenuto assai – Allegro ma non troppo Scherzo: Allegro vivace Adagio espressivo Allegro molto vivace

Kazuyoshi Akiyama

conductor Born in 1941, Kazuyoshi Akiyama studied conducting under Hideo Saito at the Toho Gakuen School of Music. Akiyama has held prestigious posts such as Music Director of the American Symphony Orchestra (1973–1978) and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (1972–1985). During this time, Akiyama’s reputation spread to Europe and throughout North America, where he has been invited to conduct the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the NDR Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and many others. He is the recipient of numerous highly prestigious honors in Japan including the Person of Cultural Merit (2014) for his outstanding cultural contributions. Akiyama currently holds the title of Conductor Laureate at the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, the Kyushu Symphony Orchestra and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, as well as other positions with several Japanese orchestras. He has also been acting as Permanent Conductor and Music Director of the Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra since 1998. In 2014, he celebrated the 50th anniversary of his conducting career.

Gilles Vonsattel piano

Called a "wanderer between worlds" by the Lucerne Festival, Swiss-born American pianist Gilles Vonsattel is an artist of extraordinary versatility and originality. Comfortable with and seeking out an enormous range of repertoire, Vonsattel displays a musical curiosity and sense of adventure that has gained him many admirers. Mr. Vonsattel began touring after capturing the top prize at the prestigious 2002 Naumburg International Piano Competition. He went on to win numerous prizes in major international events such as the Cleveland and Honens competitions, and was the winner of the 2006 Concours de Genève and an Avery Fisher career grant winner. After studying with pianist David Deveau in Boston, Vonsattel

received his B.A. in political science and economics from Columbia University and his M.M. from The Juilliard School, where he worked with Jerome Lowenthal. He is Assistant Professor of Piano at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Gilles Vonsattel is a Steinway Artist.

Felix Mendelssohn b. Hamburg, Germany / February 3, 1809 d. Leipzig, Germany / November 4, 1847

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Overture, Op. 21 The precociously gifted Mendelssohn found himself drawn irresistibly into the colourful world of Shakespeare’s plays. He may be said to have reached his musical maturity in 1826, when, just 17, he composed an overture to the romantic comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The first performance was a private one, given by the Mendelssohn family orchestra just before Christmas. Both it and the public première, which followed the next February, won great successes. In it may be heard the magical atmosphere of fairy-land, the hustle and bustle of the play’s comic characters (including a graphic “hee-haw” representing the pompous tradesman Bottom after his head has been transformed into that of an ass!), and sweet yearning inspired by the young lovers.

Sir William Walton b. Oldham, England / March 29, 1902 d. Ischia, Italy / March 8, 1983

Henry V: Touch her soft lips and part The sterling entertainment that is actor/ director Sir Laurence Olivier’s film of Shakespeare’s Henry V (1944) gave wartime Britain a much-needed boost in morale. Amidst the bracing, fully-scored fanfares and flourishes of Walton’s Oscar-nominated score nestle the muted strains of Touch her soft lips and part. It accompanies the ruffian Pistol as he tenderly bids farewell to his ladylove, Mistress Quickly, before setting off to battle in France.

allegro 61

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart b. Salzburg, Austria / January 27, 1756 d. Vienna, Austria / December 5, 1791

Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-flat Major, K. 271, Jeunehomme After an apprenticeship spent creating piano concertos based on themes by other composers, and the Concerto for Three Pianos (1766), Mozart composed his first fully original piano concerto (known as ‘No. 5’) in 1773. He wrote his first great work in this form, Concerto No. 9, in Salzburg during January 1777. He intended it to display the artistry of a visiting French soloist, Mademoiselle Jeunehomme. Inspired by her virtuoso talents, his growing self-confidence and a desire to stretch himself, he created a concerto whose increased substance and individuality expressed his own personality, rather than the public’s taste, to a greater degree than ever before. It has several unique features. The piano enters almost immediately, to help present the cheeky opening theme, instead of waiting for the orchestra to complete the lengthy introduction typical of the period. The second subject is exceptionally warm-hearted. Muted violins introduce the slow movement, an expressive creation filled with pathos. Mozart authority Neal Zaslaw writes of it, “In this extraordinary C minor Andantino, the elegiac utterances of the soloist and the dramatic punctuation of the orchestra have the character of an accompanied recitative and aria, a type of music reserved in serious opera for moments of heightened emotion and flights of rhetorical expression.” Mozart concluded the concerto with a festive rondeau. The begins launches the movement, unaccompanied; introduces the full-scale, stately minuet that crops up as a pleasant surprise episode midway through; pours out a florid solo cadenza; then brings back the Rondeau theme to usher in the highspirited conclusion.

Robert Schumann b. Zwickau, Germany / June 8, 1810 d. Endenich, Germany / July 29, 1856

Symphony No. 2 in C Major, Op. 61 In 1849, Schumann told a friend, “I sometimes fear my semi-invalid state can 62 allegro

be divined from (Symphony No. 2). I began to feel myself again when I wrote the last movement, and was certainly better when I finished the whole work. All the same it reminds me of dark days.” Five years previously, the symptoms of the nervous disorder that had been bedevilling him since the late 1820s took on a new severity. By year’s end he suffered a complete nervous breakdown. On the advice of his doctor, he and his family moved from Leipzig to the quieter atmosphere of Dresden. After a period spent studying the music of Bach, he was at last able to resume composing. In September 1845, he wrote to his good friend Felix Mendelssohn, “Much drumming and trumpeting has been going on inside me for a few days; I do not know what will come of it.” It proved to be a new symphony, which was premiered in Leipzig under Mendelssohn’s direction on November 5, 1846. Slotted at the end of a lengthy program, it found only moderate success. Slightly revised and more advantageously situated, it won genuine acclaim two weeks later. Like Beethoven’s Fifth, it charts an emotional arc from conflict to victory. The movements are inter-related by recurrence of themes, including a ‘motto’ that appears in the brass during the slow introduction to the first movement. It returns later, amidst the turbulence of that same movement, and is heard again briefly in the second and fourth movements. The second movement is a dynamic scherzo that envelopes two contrasting trio sections, rather than one. The third movement is a lyrical adagio, combining deep personal feeling with exceptionally rich orchestration. The joyful finale sweeps away all the clouds that have been hanging over the symphony. The gentle theme that appears midway through comes from Beethoven’s song-cycle, To the Distant Beloved. It sets the words “take then these songs I have sung to you, beloved.” Schumann had previously quoted it, in praise of his wife Clara, in his Fantasy for Piano Solo of 1838. Its appearance here may represent a further tribute to her.  ■ Program Notes © 2016 Don Anderson

Concert Program



Sunday, April 24 Sublime to (Slightly) Silly Gordon Gerrard conductor JOHN REA Accident: Tombeau de Grisey ALICE PING YEE HO Dark Waters JORDAN NOBLES Equilibrium (World Première)



JUDITH WEIR Musicians Wrestle Everywhere FREDERICK RZEWSKI Les Moutons de Panurge


allegro 63

Gordon Gerrard conductor For a biography of Gordon Gerrard, please refer to page 20.

John Rea b. Toronto, Canada / 1944

Accident: Tombeau de Grisey Sought-after, multi-award-winning composer John Rea has written for all major genres. A professor of composition, music theory, and history at McGill University since 1973, he co-founded Les Événements du neuf, and Traditions musicales du monde, and was a member of the artistic committee of the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ) for 25 years. He was named composer of the year for the 2015/16 season for SMCQ’s Homage Series. Of Accident: Tombeau de Grisey, the composer writes: “In antiquity, an accident (accidentia) enjoyed an altogether different meaning than it does today since the concept depended upon substance (substantia), a metaphysical notion which in turn was a manifestation of essence (essentia)…Although this lexical scheme was intended to account for animate things, it also elucidates the nature of music at its most perfect embodiment — as matter is to form, substance (material) is to accident.” Accident is written in three sections, or actions, Happé (Struck), Effondré (Founder) and Défiguré (Disfiguration.) This final action refers to composer Gérard Grisey’s untimely death, and alludes to Grisey’s Partiels and to funeral music of Tristan und Isolde.

Alice Ping Yee Ho b. Hong Kong, China / 1960

Dark Waters Considered “among the most important composers writing in this country” (D. Ariaratnam, The Record), Alice Ho is a Hong Kong-born Canadian composer who has written in many genres and received numerous national and international awards, including the 2014 Prince Edward Island Symphony Composers Competition, 2014 K 64 allegro

itchener Waterloo Symphony Friendship Orchestral Composition Competition, 2013 Dora Mavor Moore Award “Outstanding Original Opera” and 2013 Boston Metro Opera International Composition Competition. Her work Glistening Pianos for two pianos (Centrediscs label) is nominated for the 2015 JUNO® Award Classical Composition of the Year. The composer writes of her work: “Dark Waters is an imaginary title that paints a mental picture of the mysterious ‘altered state’ of nature. By using the unique timbre of a woodwind quintet and strings, the music describes the vicious cycle or transformation of water. The quiet rumbling woodwind gestures against slow-moving sustained string lines represents a persistent energy, which is everlasting. This musical gesture is subdued at first but becoming increasingly volatile, and rises to an intense ‘tutti’ figure that symbolizes the unifying forces of destruction.”

Jordan Nobles b. Surrey, British Columbia / 1969

Equilibrium (World Premiére) Known for creating music filled with an “unearthly beauty” (Mondomagazine) that makes listeners want to “close (their) eyes and transcend into a cloud of music” (Discorder Magazine), Jordan Nobles has emerged as one of Canada’s finest composers. Recognized for his spacialized chamber and choral works, Jordan was named International Winner of the Sacra/ Profana Composition competition, the Polyphonos Choir Composition Competition, and the Vancouver Bach Choir’s Competition for Large Choirs. The composer writes “The state of equilibrium is reached in a system when all competing influences are balanced. Lately, I’ve been interested in creating static forms of music where the harmonic motion is extremely slow or even completely still… Equilibrium explores the world inside a single, massive, thirteen-note chord of stacked fifths, with each note of the chromatic scale

represented. Inside this chord the musicians are able to roam, choosing their own rhythms and their own melodic material, but never leaving the stillness of their designated harmonic world.”

Judith Weir b. Cambridge, England / 1954

Musicians Wrestle Everywhere British composer Judith Weir began her musical life as an oboist, and studied composition with Sir John Tavener, Robin Holloway and Gunther Schuller. A renowned composer of operas, symphonic works, and chamber music, in 2014 she became the first woman to hold the UK position Master of the Queen’s Music, succeeding Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. She won the Ivors Classic Music Award, and became Associate Composer for the BBC Singers, in 2015. Musicians Wrestle Everywhere, after the eponymous Emily Dickinson poem, is a joyous and energetic piece. It sallies forth sometimes gracefully, other times galumphing. The composer writes: “I started taking note of sounds that caught my ear as I walked around at home. At first I undertook this exercise in a satirical spirit, thinking of the pastoral tradition in music, from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons to Maxwell Davies. Where they heard trilling birds, rilling brooks and fragrant showers of rain, I heard wind turbulence from a nearby traffic intersection, Nigerian pop music out of a tower block, and wind chimes in the back garden of a crumbling squat.”

Frederic Rzewski b. Westfield, Massachusetts, USA / 1938

Les Moutons de Panurge Composer and pianist Frederic Rzewski began his studies in the USA, but moved to Italy in 1960, studying with Dallapiccola and working with Severino Gazzelloni as a contemporary-music performer. Now based in Belgium, Rzewski’s music has often been informed by global political concerns (notably The People United Will Never Be Defeated!, Coming Together, and De Profundis.) At times, his wide-ranging style includes graphic notation, improvisation, and whimsy. Among the most whimsical of Rzewski’s pieces, Les Moutons de Panurge is named after the character — and sheep — in Rabelais’ Gargantua et Pantagruel. Panurge was peeved at being overcharged by a sheep-seller, so he bought one, threw it overboard, and all the others followed like sheepish lemmings. Moutons is written for any number of musicians playing melodic instruments, plus nonmusicians (you, dear reader) who play along, making any loud sound they like, and following a leader, or not. Meanwhile, the musicians must play a fast, contorted melody without getting lost. But, “if you get lost, stay lost. Do not try to find your way back to the fold.” In short, there’s a good chance of pandemonium.  ■ Program Notes © 2016 Jocelyn Morlock

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For your enjoyment, and the enjoyment of others, please remember concert etiquette. Talking, coughing, leaning over the balcony railings, unwrapping candies, and the wearing of strong perfume may disturb the performers as well as other audience members. Ushers will escort latecomers into the auditorium at a suitable break in the performance chosen by the conductor. Patrons who leave the auditorium during the performance will not be re-admitted until a suitable break in the performance.


Hearing-impaired patrons may borrow complimentary Sennheiser Infrared Hearing System headsets, available at the coat-check in the Orpheum Theatre only, after leaving a driver’s licence or credit card.

Please turn off cell phones and ensure that digital watches do not sound during performances. Doctors and other professionals expecting calls are asked to please leave personal pagers, telephones and seat locations at the coat check.

Photography and video/audio recording of any kind are prohibited during the performance. Pictures taken pre-concert, at intermission, and post-concert are encouraged. Please feel free to tweet and post to Facebook or Instagram pre-concert, during intermission or after the concert @VSOrchestra. During the performance, please do not use your mobile device in any way.


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68 allegro

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Senior Vice President, Buildings, Stantec

Musician Representatives Larry Knopp Principal Trumpet

Elizabeth VolpĂŠ Bligh Principal Harp

Executive Director (Ret.), South Surrey & White Rock Chamber of Commerce

Executive Chairman, PrimaCorp Ventures Inc.

Honorary Life President

Director, Century Group Lands Corporation

President, Pacific Surgical Executive Vice-President and CFO Goldcorp Inc.

Managing Director, Global Mining Group CIBC World Markets

Board Members

Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Telus Corporation

Nezhat Khosrowshahi Gerald A.B. McGavin, C.M., O.B.C. Ronald N. Stern Arthur H. Willms

Monique Mercier

Eric Bretsen

Partner, International Tax Services Ernst & Young LLP

Vancouver Symphony Foundation Board of Trustees Ronald Laird Cliff, C.M., Chair Marnie Carter Richard Mew

Irene McEwen Gerald A.B. McGavin, C.M., O.B.C. Hein Poulus, Q.C.

Alan Pyatt Arthur H. Willms

Fred Withers Tim Wyman

VSO School of Music Society Board of Directors

Gordon R. Johnson, Chair Claire Hunter Fiona Lin Hein Poulus, Q.C. Patricia Shields

Eric Watt Arthur H. Willms

Louise Ironside


David Law

Ms. Curtis Pendleton Executive Director

Assistant Director

Operations & Facilities Manager

Jean Pirie Member Scott Jeffrey Registrar

Cathy Savard

Payroll/Accounts Payable

Vancouver Symphony Volunteer Council 2015/2016 Chair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Secretary . . . . . . . . . . . . Treasurer . . . . . . . . . . . . Member . . . . . . . . . . . . . Member . . . . . . . . . . . . . Member . . . . . . . . . . . . . Immediate Past Chair . . . Scheduling Concerts (all venues) . . . Gift Shop . . . . . . . . . . . .

70 allegro

Nancy Wu Marlies Wagner Gail Franko Paddy Aiken Azmina Manji Jean Pirie Sheila Foley Shirley Bidewell Barbara Morris

Lotteries in Malls . . . . . . . Gloria Davies Reception Shifts . . . . . . . . Gloria Davies Tea & Trumpets . . . . . . . . . Shirley Featherstone Marlene Strain Special Events Symphony of Style 2016 . . Paddy Aiken Azmina Manji Holland America Luncheon 2016 . . . . . . . . . Marlies Wagner

Membership Volunteer Hours . . . . . . . . Sheila Foley Manager, Gift Shop and Volunteer Resources Shirley Bidewell Tel 604.684.9100 ext 240 Assistant Gift Shop Manager Robert Rose

UPCOMING CONCERTS Highlights of the next issue of allegro... FAUST PLAYS BARTÓK

SAT & MON, APRIL 30 & MAY 2 8PM, ORPHEUM SUN, MAY 1 2PM, ORPHEUM Kazuyoshi Akiyama conductor Isabelle Faust violin* MOZART Don Giovanni: Overture BARTÓK Violin Concerto No. 2* DVORˇ ÁK Symphony No. 7 in D minor ISABELLE FAUST

VSO POPS: BROADWAY ROCKS FRI & SAT, MAY 6 & 7 8PM, ORPHEUM Steven Reineke conductor LaKisha Jones vocalist Christiane Noll vocalist Rob Evan vocalist UBC Opera Ensemble

Feel the energy and thrills of the Great White Way on the Orpheum stage, as the VSO, conductor Steven Reineke, and three of Broadway’s brightest stars lead you on a rockin’ Broadway revue. You’ll hear music from Dreamgirls, Phantom of the Opera, Hairspray, Chess, Mamma Mia, The Lion King, Jersey Boys, and more Broadway favourites! STEVEN REINEKE


MON, MAY 9 8PM, ORPHEUM James Ehnes violin Andrew Armstrong piano

One of Canada’s greatest classical artists and one of the world’s top violinists, (and the VSO's GRAMMY® and JUNO®-winning partner) James Ehnes performs in recital as part of his fortieth birthday recital tour. Hear this exceptional artist unplugged and on the Orpheum stage in a solo performance that includes a work written for James by Maestro Bramwell Tovey. JAMES EHNES

MAHLER’S TRAGIC SYMPHONY SAT & MON, JUNE 4 & 6 8PM, ORPHEUM Bramwell Tovey conductor


EDWARD GREGSON Dream Song (North American Première) MAHLER Symphony No. 6 in A minor, Tragic


15/16 VSO Allegro Issue #4  
15/16 VSO Allegro Issue #4