Magazine of the Vancouver Symphony
November 17, 2016 to January 18, 2017 Volume 22, Issue 2
Emanuel Ax legendary pianist performs with the VSO
Vivaldi's Four Seasons a timeless classic at the Chan Centre
VSO Pops: Soul Unlimited Alexey Yemtsov
VSO Kids' Koncerts: Wall to Wall Percussion
Vancouver Symphony Orchestra BRAMWELL TOVEY MUSIC DIRECTOR KAZUYOSHI AKIYAMA CONDUCTOR LAUREATE WILLIAM ROWSON ASSISTANT CONDUCTOR* Marsha & George Taylor Chair
Nicholas Wright, Acting Concertmaster Jennie Press, Acting Assistant Concertmaster Rebecca Whitling, Acting Second Assistant Concertmaster Jae-Won Bang Mary Sokol Brown Mrs. Cheng Koon Lee Chair
Jenny Essers Akira Nagai, Associate Concertmaster Emeritus Xue Feng Wei Yi Zhou
Jason Ho, Principal Karen Gerbrecht, Associate Principal
Jim and Edith le Nobel Chair
Jeanette Bernal-Singh, Assistant Principal Cassandra Bequary Adrian Shu-On Chui Byron Hitchcock Daniel Norton Ann Okagaito Ashley Plaut
Neil Miskey, Principal Andrew Brown, Acting Principal Emilie Grimes, Acting Associate Principal Dr. Malcolm Hayes and Lester Soo Chair
Stephen Wilkes, Assistant Principal Lawrence Blackman
Matthew Davies Angela Schneider
Professors Mr. & Mrs. Ngou Kang Chair
Ariel Barnes, Principal
JOCELYN MORLOCK COMPOSER-IN-RESIDENCE MARCUS GODDARD COMPOSER-IN-ASSOCIATION
Roger Cole, Principal
W. Neil Harcourt in memory of Frank N. Harcourt Chair
Beth Orson, Assistant Principal Karin Walsh
Wayne & Leslie Ann Ingram Chair
Nezhat and Hassan Khosrowshahi Chair
Paul Moritz Chair
Janet Steinberg, Associate Principal Zoltan Rozsnyai, Assistant Principal Olivia Blander
Gregory A. Cox, Acting Principal
Andrew Poirier, Acting Bass Trombone
Chair in Memory of John S. Hodge
Jeanette Jonquil, Principal Gerhard and Ariane Bruendl Chair Alexander Morris, Natasha Boyko Mary & Gordon Christopher Chair Assistant Principal Charles Inkman Bass Clarinet Alexander Morris Luke Kim Cristian Márkos Bassoons Julia Lockhart, § Basses Principal Dylan Palmer, Sophie Dansereau, Principal Acting Principal Evan Hulbert, Gwen Seaton, Associate Principal Acting Assistant Principal Noah Reitman, Assistant Principal Contrabassoon David Brown Sophie Dansereau J. Warren Long French Horns Frederick Schipizky Oliver de Clercq, Principal Flutes Second Horn Christie Reside, Principal
Arthur H. Willms Family Chair
Peder MacLellan, Principal
Aaron McDonald, Principal
Vern Griffiths, Principal Martha Lou Henley Chair
Elizabeth Volpé Bligh, Principal
Linda Lee Thomas, Principal Carter (Family) Deux Mille Foundation Chair
Orchestra Personnel Manager DeAnne Eisch
Music Librarian Minella F. Lacson
Werner & Helga Höing Chair
Nadia Kyne, § Assistant Principal Lara Deutsch, Assistant Principal Rosanne Wieringa §
David Haskins, Associate Principal Andrew Mee
Winslow & Betsy Bennett Chair
Piano Technician Thomas Clarke
Michael & Estelle Jacobson Chair
Richard Mingus, Assistant Principal
Ron & Ardelle Cliff Chair
Nadia Kyne §
Estelle & Michael Jacobson Chair
Hermann & Erika Stölting Chair
The Stage Crew of the Orpheum Theatre are members of Local 118 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.
Larry Knopp, Principal Marcus Goddard, Associate Principal The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is a proud member of
*Supported by The Canada Council for the Arts § Leave of Absence
allegro Magazine of the Vancouver Symphony
November 17, 2016 to January 18, 2017 Volume 22, Issue 2
In this Issue
Musician Profile Roger Cole
The Orchestra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Allegro Staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Government Support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Message from the Chairman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 VSO AGM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Vancouver Symphony Foundation . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Patronsâ€™ Circle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 VSO Musician Profile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 VSO School of Music . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 VSO Stradivarius Legacy Circle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 VSO Car Lottery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Corporate Partners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
We welcome your comments on this magazine. Please forward them to: Vancouver Symphony, 500â€“833 Seymour Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 0G4. Allegro contact and advertising enquiries: vsoallegro@ yahoo.com / customer service: 604.876.3434 / VSO office: 604.684.9100 / website: vancouversymphony.ca / Allegro staff: published by The Vancouver Symphony Society / editor publisher: Anna Gove / contributors: Don Anderson / orchestra photo credit: Johnathon Vaughn / art direction, design & production: bay6 creative 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.
At the Concert / VSO Staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Board of Directors / Volunteer Council . . . . . . . . . 63 Upcoming Concerts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 4 allegro
Concerts NOVEMBER 17 / Tea & Trumpets / From Russia with Love / William Rowson conductor . . . . . . . . . . 9 Christopher Gaze series host NOVEMBER 18, 19 / London Drugs VSO Pops / The Best of Broadway / . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Stuart Chafetz conductor, Kathy Voytko vocalist, Ted Keegan vocalist, Ron Remke vocalist, Richard Todd Adams vocalist, Steve Hanna drums /percussion NOVEMBER 20 / OriginO Kids’ Koncerts / Wall to Wall Percussion / . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 William Rowson conductor, Vern Griffiths percussion NOVEMBER 26, 28 / Goldcorp Masterworks Gold / Anu Tali conductor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Alexey Yemtsov piano NOVEMBER 30, DECEMBER 1, 4 / VSO Chamber Players / Music of the Masters / . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Yi Zhou violin, Byron Hitchcock violin, Cristian Márkos cello, Warren Long bass, Ann Okagaito violin, Emilie Grimes viola, Luke Kim cello, Andrew Brown viola DECEMBER 3, 5 / Mardon Group Insurance Musically Speaking / Westminster Savings . . . . . . . . . 29 Surrey Nights / Mikhail Agrest conductor, Simone Porter violin DECEMBER 16, 17 / Specials / Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with Mark Fewer / . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Mark Fewer leader/violin, Roger Cole oboe JANUARY 5 / Tea & Trumpets / Fireworks! / William Rowson conductor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Christopher Gaze series host, EnChor JANUARY 6, 7 / London Drugs VSO Pops / Ellis Hall – Soul Unlimited / . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 John Morris Russell conductor, Ellis Hall piano/vocalist JANUARY 8 / OriginO Kids’ Koncerts / Enchantment Theatre Company: The Firebird / . . . . . . . . . . 46 William Rowson conductor, Enchantment Theatre Company JANUARY 11, 12, 15 / VSO Chamber Players / From Dawn to Dusk / Christie Reside flute . . . . . . 49 Vern Griffiths marimba, Alexander Morris clarinet, Jeanette Jonquil clarinet, Nicholas Wright violin, Karen Gerbrecht violin, Emilie Grimes viola, Cristian Márkos cello JANUARY 14, 15, 16 / Goldcorp Masterworks Gold / Westminster Savings Surrey Nights / . . . . . . 51 Otto Tausk conductor, Simone Lamsma violin JANUARY 18 / Specials / Emanuel Ax with the VSO / . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Bramwell Tovey conductor, Emanuel Ax piano
Alexey Yemtsov 5allegro allegro5
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
FRED G. WITHERS
the VSO Chairman and President
Thank you for joining us for today’s concert.
Even though an orchestra is the great sum of its parts, we are fortunate to have an ensemble of musicians that are ambassadors to our community both on the stage and off. The VSO has embarked on an ambitious project to capture musician profiles to share the many talents of our orchestra with the community at large. You can not only hear the musicians tell their story in their own voice, but find many of the profiles featured in Allegro from seasons past. Visit vancouversymphony.ca/orchestra/musicianprofiles/ and please share via social media with your fellow music-lovers. I encourage you to experience the intimate setting of Pyatt Hall on November 30-December 4 to hear our VSO Chamber Players concerts, programmed entirely by our musicians, celebrating the music of Verdi, Haydn, Rossini and Beethoven.
Our purpose at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is to enrich and transform lives through music. We strive to fulfill this purpose through a wide diversity of programming and initiatives — reaching audiences of all ages and ethnicity. We are proud to present two sets of Elementary School Concerts in November and February this season. Over 400 schools and home school groups from throughout the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley and as far afield as Nanaimo and Hope will be bringing over 25,000 children to hear the Orchestra perform at these weekday morning concerts. Demonstrating the important contribution that our musicians make to our community, our November school concerts titled Wall to Wall Percussion are produced, performed and hosted by Vern Griffiths, our Principal Percussionist. We are very grateful to Industrial Alliance Pacific for generously sponsoring this series, and to TELUS for being our Premier Education Partner. The VSO maintains thirteen distinct educational programs that reach over 50,000 children annually. In addition to the Elementary School Concerts, we are proud to present the Sunday afternoon Kids' Koncerts Series. There is still time to subscribe to this series, and to treat your children or grandchildren to the joys of classical music. And of course, if you or any of your loved ones would like to begin or continue study of a musical instrument, the exciting VSO School of Music is right next door to the Orpheum Theatre! Lessons are available from VSO musicians for students of any age and ability. Detailed information can be found at vsoschoolofmusic.ca. Upcoming on February 9th is the 27th Annual Symphony Ball — an evening of fine dining, camaraderie and dancing. Tickets to the Symphony Ball are available at the VSO offices — please plan to join us! Thank you to our many volunteers who work year around to plan this exquisite evening — and to our many Symphony Ball sponsors who help ensure the success of this major fundraising initiative. On behalf of the Board of Directors, Maestro Tovey, our musicians, staff and volunteers, we thank you for your commitment to the VSO and send our best wishes for the holiday season. Sincerely yours,
Fred G. Withers Chair, Board of Directors
Now that the days have grown shorter, it is an excellent time to head inside and celebrate the season with joyful repertoire appropriate for audiences of all ages. On December 2nd and 3rd, our youngest and young at heart audiences will be joined by a brass trio to herald in the holidays as part of our Tiny Tots concerts held in the Vancouver Playhouse and Anvil Centre. And as tradition will have it, the VSO Christmas Concerts will return to six different venues throughout the Lower Mainland from December 8 to December 18 featuring Christopher Gaze as narrator and a potpourri of holiday favorites. We welcome back former concertmaster Mark Fewer for Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in the Chan Centre on December 16 and 17. These performances have traditionally sold-out, so reserve your seats early! Perfect for the new year, on January 18, we welcome back pianist Emanuel Ax in a special engagement with the VSO featuring two piano concertos by Mozart and Beethoven. The last time Emanuel Ax performed with the VSO was over twenty years ago, so this will be a special evening with Maestro Tovey on the podium, the orchestra, and one of the piano legends of our time. I hope to see you there!
Kelly Tweeddale President, VSO & VSO School of Music allegro 7
T E A & T R UMP E TS O RPHE U M , 2 P M
Thursday, November 17 From Russia with Love William Rowson conductor Christopher Gaze host GLINKA Ruslan and Ludmila Overture TCHAIKOVSKY Eugene Onegin: Polonaise LIADOV The Enchanted Lake MUSSORGSKY/RAVEL Pictures at an Exhibition: Great Gate of Kiev
TCHAIKOVSKY Sleeping Beauty Suite, Op. 66a
No. 2, Adagio No. 5, Valse
Le Coq d'or: Wedding March
Firebird: Infernal Dance, Berceuse and Finale TEA & COOKIES served in the lobby one hour before each concert. Tea compliments of Tetley Tea.
VISIT THE SYMPHONY GIFT SHOP FOR CD SELECTIONS
conductor Conductor William Rowson is rapidly establishing a reputation as one of Canada's most versatile emerging talents. Known for his intimate knowledge of the standard repertoire as well as his facile handling of new works, Rowson recently won the position of Assistant Conductor of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Bill grew up in musical family, starting the violin at age three in his hometown of Saskatoon. He began conducting at the Curtis Institute of Music and since then, has been a frequent guest of many of Canada’s leading ensembles. In the 2015 /16 season, Rowson returned as the Resident Conductor of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra’s ‘What Next’ Festival, conducting five Canadian operas in one week, in concert. Also an accomplished composer, Bill was a finalist for the position of RBC Composer-in-Residence with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. His film score for the feature length film Big Muddy has been showcased at the Toronto International Film Festival. allegro 9
Christopher Gaze host Christopher Gaze 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 its annual traditional Christmas concerts for over 20 years. His many honours include Canada’s Meritorious Service Medal, Honorary Doctorates from UBC and SFU, the Mayor’s Arts Award for Theatre and the Order of British Columbia. In 2015, he directed the world première of C.C. Humphreys’ Shakespeare's Rebel. Christopher plays a leading role in British Columbia as an advocate for the arts in general, and his passionate dedication to Bard on the Beach has fuelled its growth into one of the largest professional theatre companies in Canada, drawing more than 1.5 million patrons since its inception in 1990. ■
Notice is hereby given that
The 2016 Annual General Meeting of the Vancouver Symphony Society Will be held on
Tuesday, November 29, 2016 5:00pm in Pyatt Hall at the VSO School of Music 843 Seymour Street, Vancouver
Concert Program L ON D ON D RU G S VSO P O P S OR P H EU M , 8P M
Friday & Saturday, November 18 & 19 Stuart Chafetz conductor Kathy Voytko vocalist Ted Keegan vocalist Ron Remke vocalist Richard Todd Adams vocalist Steve Hanna drums /percussion
CONCERT INCLUDES SELECTIONS FROM: KATHY VOYTKO
RICHARD TODD ADAMS
VISIT THE SYMPHONY GIFT SHOP FOR CD SELECTIONS VSO POPS SERIES SPONSOR
VSO POPS RADIO SPONSOR
RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN Oklahoma The King and I South Pacific LLOYD WEBBER Phantom of the Opera Jesus Christ, Superstar Evita SCHONBURG Les Miserables LERNER & LOEWE My Fair Lady BERNSTEIN West Side Story
Stuart Chafetz conductor
Kathy Voytko vocalist
Stuart Chafetz is a conductor with a dynamic podium demeanor and a refined sense of audience engagement. Increasingly in demand with orchestras across the continent, this season Chafetz will be on the podium in Seattle, Washington, D.C. (National Symphony Orchestra), Phoenix, Atlanta, Milwaukee and others.
Kathy Voytko was most recently seen in the original Broadway cast of Tuck Everlasting. She also performed in the 2014 Tony Award-winner for best musical, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. She made her Broadway debut in the original cast of the 2002 Oklahoma! revival, and then the Tony Award-winning Nine starring Antonio Banderas and Chita Rivera. She played Ariadne in The Frogs opposite Nathan Lane at Lincoln Center. She also appeared on Broadway in The Pirate Queen, and the Pulitzer Prizewinning Next to Normal.
He previously held posts as resident conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and associate conductor of the Louisville Orchestra. As principal timpanist of the Honolulu Symphony, Chafetz would also conduct the annual Nutcracker performances with Ballet Hawaii and principals from the American Ballet Theatre. He previously led numerous concerts with the Maui Symphony and Pops. In the summers, Chafetz spends his time at the Chautauqua Institution, where he conducts the annual Fourth of July and Opera Pops. Chafetz holds a bachelor’s degree in music performance from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and a master’s from the Eastman School of Music.
Kathy has been a featured soloist with symphonies across North America, and as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera, and as Eva in Evita. Kathy sang at Carnegie Hall in Showboat, and in the live concert recording of Kristina, (reprised at the Royal Albert Hall in London). She is married to John Cudia, and they are the proud parents of Alena and Evelyn.
Ted Keegan vocalist
Richard Todd Adams vocalist
Ted Keegan has been seen as the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera, on Broadway, the National Tour and Phantom, the Las Vegas Spectacular. Ted has performed the role in over 24 states across the country and has appeared as The Phantom on the Today Show on NBC. He has performed unpublished Gershwin at the opening of the Gershwin Room at the National Archives in Washington, DC. Ted has sung Gershwin with Audra McDonald and Marin Mazzie. He has appeared as a soloist at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall.
Richard Todd Adams is one of a handful of American actors to have portrayed The Phantom, Jean Valjean, and Javert. A graduate of The Juilliard School, he began his career starring as Raoul with both the Los Angeles and national touring companies of The Phantom of the Opera. He made his Broadway debut in 2005 in Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Woman in White, and appeared again on Broadway in Boublil and Schoenberg's The Pirate Queen.
A few of the orchestras Ted has sung with include the Detroit, Portland, Pittsburgh, Ottawa, Baltimore, Fort Worth, Edmonton and Indianapolis symphonies as well as the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center. Ted made his Broadway debut in the highly acclaimed revival of Sweeney Todd. Other Broadway and National Tour credits include Cyrano: The Musical, Camelot with Robert Goulet, and Kander and Ebb's The World Goes 'Round.
Ron Remke vocalist Ron Remke was recently in the closing cast of the longest running show in Las Vegas, Jubilee! and was a featured soloist with the renowned 12 Irish Tenors. He also tours North America with Four by Four and Oh What a Night. Select theatrical credits include, Corny Collins in Hairspray (Baltimore Symphony Orchestra), Lead Tenor in The Producers (Westchester Broadway Theater, Pioneer Theater), Hugo in Aspects of Love, Captain Tarnitz in The Student Prince (Media Theater), Dance Captain of Kiss Me, Kate (US National Tour) and appearances at The Fulton Opera House, Marriott Lincolnshire, The Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, Struther’s Library Theater and Cortland Repertory among others. He has also worked with Sesame Street and Nickelodeon as a voice-over character artist and is the voice of Juan in No Dogs Allowed by Sonia Monzano (aka Maria from Sesame Street). His symphonic album entitled Broadway Classics is available on iTunes.
He won the 2008 Jeff Award for his portrayal of Javert in the Chicago production of Les Miserables. He then returned to the national tour of The Phantom of the Opera, this time to play The Phantom. He spent 2011–2013 playing both Jean Valjean and Javert on the 25th anniversary tour of Les Miserables. He can currently be seen on Broadway in Cats, where he stands by for the roles of Old Deuteronomy and Gus/Bustopher Jones.
Steve Hanna drums /percussion
Steve “Stix” Hanna graduated from Indiana University with Bachelors and Masters degrees in Percussion STEVE HANNA Music Performance, having studied with Prof. George Gaber. Steve has toured nationally with Roger Williams, Johnny Mathis, the Houston Ballet, Henry Mancini, Andy Williams, and Grammy/Dove awarded vocalist, Sandi Patty. He is currently working with Hal Leonard Music Publishers as creative consultant, production coordinator, and performer with their highly successful instrumental play-a-long technique books, "Essential Elements." He is also associated with Pops Orchestra conductor, Jack Everly and the Symphonic Pops Consortium — performing with the Baltimore, Edmonton, Indianapolis, Vancouver, Pittsburgh, Naples, Milwaukee, NAC/ Ottawa, Atlanta, and Cleveland Orchestras this season. He will be touring this 2016 Christmas season with the Sandy Patty Holiday Tour! He is married to Marjorie Lange Hanna, principal cellist of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra... Life is Wonderful and Groovin'!! ■ allegro 15
Concert Program OR IG IN O K ID S ’ KO N C E RTS OR P H EU M T H EATR E , 2 P M
Sunday, November 20 Wall-to-Wall Percussion William Rowson conductor Vern Griffiths percussion SOUSA Washington Post March MILHAUD Percussion Concerto GREEN/CAHN Xylophonia MUSSORGSKY/RAVEL Pictures at an Exhibition: III Tuileries SAINT-SAËNS The Swan KHACHATURIAN Sabre Dance BIZET Carmen: Aragonaise WILLIAMS Star Wars: Main Title ANDERSON Sandpaper Ballet FREEDMAN Oiseaux Exotique: Conga TCHAIKOVSKY 1812 Overture SCHIFRIN Mission Impossible
KIDS' KONCERTS SERIES SPONSOR
VSO Instrument Fair
The OriginO Kids' Koncerts series continues with PREMIER EDUCATION PARTNER the popular VSO Instrument Fair, which allows music PREMIER EDUCATION PARTNER
THE VSO’S KIDS’ KONCERTS HAVE BEEN ENDOWED BY A GENEROUS GIFT FROM THE WILLIAM & IRENE MCEWEN FUND.
lovers of all ages (but especially kids!) to touch and play real orchestra instruments in the Orpheum lobby one hour before concert start time. All instruments are generously provided by Tom Lee Music. allegro 17
William Rowson conductor For a biography of William Rowson, please refer to page 9.
Vern Griffiths percussion Vern Griffiths has been the Principal Percussionist with the VSO since 1997, making this his 20th season with the orchestra. He is also a member of Standing Wave, Turning Point Ensemble, and has made chamber and solo appearances frequently for the past ten years with Music on Main. Vern earned degrees from UBC and the
Manhattan School of Music, and teaches at the UBC School of Music and VSO School of Music. He has been featured as a soloist with the VSO on several concert series, but most often on the Kids’ Koncerts series in Wall to Wall Percussion, a fun and interactive kids show that Vern wrote. Including a ‘kitchen’ concerto, a soliloquy about playing the triangle, a homemade instrument demo and jam session, and the audience-participation 1812 Overture, he has performed the show over 25 times with the Vancouver, Victoria, Winnipeg, and Toronto Symphonies. ■
Vancouver Symphony Foundation
Ensure the VSO’s future with a special gift to the Vancouver Symphony Foundation, established to secure the long term success of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. The Vancouver Symphony family extends its sincere thanks to these donors whose gifts will ensure that the VSO remains a strong and vital force in our community long into the future. $4,000,000 or more Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage Endowment Incentives Program $1,000,000 or more Ron and Ardelle Cliff Martha Lou Henley, C.M. Province of BC through the BC Arts Renaissance Fund under the stewardship of the Vancouver Foundation Alan and Gwendoline Pyatt The Jim Pattison Foundation $500,000 or more Werner (Vern) and Helga Höing Wayne and Leslie Ann Ingram $250,000 or more Carter (Family) Deux Mille Foundation Mr. Hassan and Mrs. Nezhat Khosrowshahi The Tong and Geraldine Louie Family Foundation Arthur H. Willms Family $100,000 or more Mary and Gordon Christopher Janey Gudewill and Peter Cherniavsky In memory of their Father Jan Cherniavsky and Grandmother Mrs. B.T. Rogers Malcolm Hayes and Lester Soo Michael and Estelle Jacobson S.K. Lee in memory of Mrs. Cheng Koon Lee
Katherine Lu in memory of Professors Mr. and Mrs. Ngou Kang William and Irene McEwen Fund Sheahan and Gerald McGavin, C.M., O.B.C. McGrane-Pearson Endowment Fund Nancy and Peter Paul Saunders Ken and Patricia Shields Whittall Family Fund $50,000 or more Adera Development Corporation Winslow and Betsy Bennett The Bruendl Foundation Mary Ann Clark Leon and Joan Tuey Rosemarie Wertschek,Q.C. $25,000 or more Jeff and Keiko Alexander Kathy and Stephen Bellringer Brazfin Investments Ltd. Robert G. Brodie and K. Suzanne Brodie Mrs. May Brown, C.M., O.B.C. Mrs. Margaret M. Duncan Mollie Massie and Hein Poulus Mrs. Gordon T. Southam, C.M. Maestro Bramwell Tovey and Mrs. Lana Penner-Tovey $10,000 or more Mrs. Marti Barregar Mrs. Geraldine Biely K. Taryn Brodie
Douglas and Marie-Elle Carrothers Mr. Justice Edward Chiasson and Mrs. Dorothy Chiasson Daniella and John Icke Dr. Marla Kiess Dan and Trudy Pekarsky Bob and Paulette Reid Nancy and Robert Stewart Beverley and Eric Watt Anonymous (2) $5,000 or more Charles and Barbara Filewych Stephen F. Graf Edwina and Paul Heller Marietta Hurst Kaatza Foundation Prof. Kin Lo Rex and Joanne McLennan Chantal O’Neil and Colin Erb Marion L. Pearson and James M. Orr In Memory of Pauline Summers Melvyn and June Tanemura Bella Tata / Zarine Dastur: In Memory of Shiring (Kermani) and Dali Tata Nico and Linda Verbeek Anonymous (1) The Vancouver Symphony gratefully acknowledges the support of those donors who have made a commitment of up to $5,000 to the Vancouver Symphony Foundation. Regretfully, space limitations prevent a complete listing.
Tax creditable gifts of cash, securities and planned gifts are gratefully received and your gift is enhanced with matching funds from the Federal Government.
Please call Leanne Davis, Vice President, Chief Development Officer at 604.684.9100 x 236 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more. allegro 19
G OL D C ORP M ASTE RWO R KS G O LD OR P H EU M , 8P M
Saturday & Monday, November 26 & 28 Anu Tali conductor Alexey Yemtsov piano ALFREDO SANTA ANA Ocaso RACHMANINOFF Piano Concerto No. 3
in D minor, Op. 30
VISIT THE SYMPHONY GIFT SHOP FOR CD SELECTIONS
I. Allegro ma non tanto II. Intermezzo: Adagio III. Finale: Alla breve
SIBELIUS Symphony No. 5 in E-flat Major, Op. 82
MASTERWORKS GOLD SERIES SPONSOR
NOVEMBER 26 CONCERT SPONSOR
MASTERWORKS GOLD RADIO SPONSOR
I. Tempo molto moderato II. Andante mosso, quasi allegretto III. Allegro molto
PRE-CONCERT TALKS Free to ticketholders, 7:05pm to 7:30pm, in the auditorium.
INVESTMENTS PROTECTION FREEDOM NOW AND IN RETIREMENT Visit sunlife.ca/moneyforlife Life’s brighter under the sun Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada is a member of the Sun Life Financial group of companies. © Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, 2016.
Anu Tali conductor
Described by the Herald Tribune as “charismatic, brilliant, energetic,” Anu Tali is one of the most intriguing young conductors on the international scene today, belonging to a new generation of artists who are constantly searching for fresh musical ideas. Born in Estonia, Anu Tali began her musical career as a pianist, graduating at the Tallinn Conservatory in 1991. She then trained as a conductor at the Estonian Academy of Music. In August 2013, Tali became Music Director of the Sarasota Orchestra in Florida. Alongside her duties in Sarasota, she continues in her role as Chief Conductor of the Nordic Symphony Orchestra, which she founded in 1997 together with her twin sister Kadri Tali, to develop cultural contacts between Estonia and Finland and to unite musicians from around the world. Today the Nordic Symphony Orchestra has members from fifteen countries, featuring musicians from some of the world’s leading orchestras. Tali appears regularly with orchestras worldwide, including Japan, France, USA, Sweden and Germany.
Alexey Yemtsov piano Alexey Yemtsov is one of the finest pianists of his generation in Australia, playing with powerful virtuosity, technical precision, and tender lyricism. He has toured extensively throughout China, Japan, Europe, Australasia and the United States, including a performance for former US President Bill Clinton. Winning First Prize and the President’s Prize in the Horowitz International Piano Competition at 12 years old, he went on to win First Prize in the International Prokofiev Competition, and was recorded live for the release of the Great Pianists of the Twentieth Century Collection (Polygram Classics). He also was a Major Prize Winner of the Pozzoli and UNISA International Piano Competitions. Alexey’s debut with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under Vladimir Ashkenazy was received with wide critical acclaim and standing ovations. Alexey has since
appeared with the Melbourne, Queensland, West Australian and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras with conductors such as Oleg Caetani, Sir Mark Elder, Lawrence Foster, Marko Letonja, Vladimir Verbitsky and Simone Young.
Alfredo Santa Ana b. Mexico City, Mexico / January 9, 1980
Ocaso Santa Ana is a Mexican/Canadian composer who has written music in Vancouver since 2003. His work has been performed across Canada by a number of ensembles including the NYO Canada, Standing Wave Ensemble, Orchestre de la Francophonie, the Victoria Symphony, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and most recently the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. From 2011 to 2014, Alfredo served as the inaugural Peter Wall Composer in Residence at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, where in addition to curating presentations on his music, he also collaborated with legendary choreographer and dancer Margie Gillis to create a work for dancer, flute, violin, and cello that has had performances in Montréal, Vancouver, and New York. Most recently, his music was performed by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw and members of the Music on Main All-Star Band. Ocaso was commissioned and premièred by the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, and was premièred during that group’s 2015 tour. The composer has provided the following note. The title Ocaso comes from the Spanish word for “dusk.” Although its meaning in Spanish is the same as in English, its use can also be used as a reference to old age, or what is sometimes called the twilight years of someone’s life. In writing this work, I spent a lot of time thinking specifically about this period of life while being engaged creatively, and even though the “dusk” of someone’s life is not an explicit theme in the music, it is the emotional backdrop that inspired and influenced how I approached the writing of this piece. Musically, the work contrasts allegro 23
dense rhythmic ostinatos – mostly in the strings – with long pedal tones that move at different rates. I find the resulting tension in the combination of these textures helped me generate musical material that could be orchestrated in both small and large scale instrumental contexts.
Sergei Rachmaninoff b. Semyonovo, Russia / April 1, 1873 d. Beverley Hills, USA / March 28, 1943
Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30 In anticipation of his first visit to America, Rachmaninoff composed a new piano concerto. He played the solo part himself at the première of Concerto No. 3 in New York on November 28, 1909. It impressed neither audiences nor critics. They considered it too long, too complex, and less immediately attractive than his beloved No. 2, and other soloists found it too demanding. It lay under the shadow of No. 2 for many years, until increasing numbers of new, ever more virtuosic pianists brought it into the limelight. The opening movement begins with a leisurely theme suggestive of a melancholy Russian folk song. It appears simple, but it is remarkably haunting; it is also ripe for elaboration, and Rachmaninoff realizes its potential to the full. A solo cadenza of unprecedented power and difficulty crowns the movement. The slow second movement is an imaginative, wide-ranging theme and variations. A brilliant outburst from the soloist then heralds the dashing finale. This is a tour-de-force for all concerned, ending in a galvanizing, toccata-like section.
Jean Sibelius b. Hämeenlinna, Finland / December 8, 1865 d. Järvenpää, Finland / September 20, 1957
Symphony No. 5 in E-flat Major, Op. 82 Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony underwent the longest, most difficult gestation of all his works. He began composing it during the summer of 1914, with the goal of having it premièred as the centrepiece of a concert to be given in Helsinki in honour of his fiftieth birthday. He made slow progress, writing in his diary, 24 allegro
“It is as if God the Father had thrown down mosaic pieces from heaven’s floor and asked me to put them back as they were.” Nevertheless, the première took place as planned on December 8, 1915. What the audience members heard was much different from the work as it is known today. They reacted favourably, but the composer, who had completed it in some haste in order to meet the deadline, did not. The following year, he produced a revised version. Still not satisfied, he produced the definitive edition in the autumn of 1919. The very opening is rich with atmosphere: quiet, dreamy, like a forest before break of day. The music’s thematic fragments coalesce as the piece unfolds. Eventually a grandiose climax ushers in the brightly animated, scherzo-like second half of the movement. The second movement is a set of variations, as much on the opening rhythm as on any theme. Much of it is lightness personified. Only occasionally do clouds darken the sky.
“The very opening is rich with atmosphere: quiet, dreamy, like a forest before break of day.” The finale begins with little volume but much scurrying activity. The second theme is a noble melody introduced on the horns. In Sibelius’s diary, in an entry dated April 21, 1915, he stated that it represents a specific image: “Today at ten to eleven I saw 16 swans. One of my greatest experiences! Lord God, what beauty! They circled over me for a long time. Disappeared into the solar haze like a gleaming silver ribbon. Their call the same woodwind type as that of cranes, but without tremolo… A low-pitched refrain reminiscent of a small child crying. Nature mysticism and life’s angst! The Fifth Symphony’s finale-theme: legato in the trumpets!” After much energy is expended, the “swan” theme rides a torrent of sound to crown the symphony. Six mighty, broadly spaced chords (the bane of over-anxious or inattentive listeners) set the seal. ■ Program Notes © 2016 Don Anderson
VS O C H A M B ER P LAY E R S
ALAN AND G W EN DOL IN E P YAT T HALL
D R. H . N . M A C CO R KIN D ALE STAG E VS O S C H OOL OF MUSIC
Wednesday & Thursday, November 30 & December 1, 7:30pm EMILIE GRIMES
Sunday, December 4, 2pm Music of the Masters ROSSINI String Sonata No. 3 in C Major Yi Zhou violin Byron Hitchcock violin Cristian Mรกrkos cello J. Warren Long bass
HAYDN String Quartet. Op. 76, No. 6 Byron Hitchcock violin Ann Okagaito violin Emilie Grimes viola Luke Kim cello INTERMISSION
BEETHOVEN Eyeglasses Duo for Viola and Cello Andrew Brown viola Cristian Mรกrkos cello VERDI String Quartet in E minor Yi Zhou violin Ann Okagaito violin Andrew Brown viola Luke Kim cello
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Concert Program M A R D ON G R OUP IN SUR AN C E M U S IC A L LY S P E AKIN G OR P H EU M , 8P M
Saturday, December 3 W ES T M IN S T ER SAV IN G S S U R REY N IG H T S B EL L P ERF ORM IN G ARTS C EN T R E, S U RR EY, 8 P M
Monday, December 5
Mikhail Agrest conductor Simone Porter violin DVORˇÁK Othello Overture, Op. 93 BRUCH
Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26
I. Prelude: Allegro moderato II. Adagio III. Finale: Allegro energico
Orchestral Suite No. 3 in G Major, Op. 55
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I. Elegy II. Melancholy Waltz III. Scherzo IV. Theme and Variations
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Mikhail Agrest conductor
Russian conductor Mikhail Agrest studied at the St. Petersburg State Conservatoire with Ilya Musin and Mariss Jansons, followed by training at the prestigious Aspen Music Festival Academy with David Zinman and Jorma Panula. Prior to these, he studied the violin under Josef Gingold at Indiana University. Maestro Agrest then joined the Mariinsky Theatre. In 2003, he made his Metropolitan Opera debut with the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, followed by his Royal Opera House debut. Agrest has led productions at Swedish National Opera, Opera Australia, Finnish National Opera, and an award-winning production of Janác˘ek’s Jenu˚fa with English National Opera. During the 2016/2017 season, Maestro Agrest will conduct productions of Weinberger’s Švanda dudák and Verdi's La Traviata with Semperoper Dresden, and Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin with Finnish National Opera. Re-engagement invitations to collaborate with Seattle Symphony, Bremen Philharmoniker, Sudwestdeutsche Philharmonie Konstanz will feature during the season, and Maestro Agrest will also make his Canadian debut with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
The 2016/2017 season includes Ms. Porter’s debuts with the San Diego Symphony and Charles Dutoit, the Pittsburgh Symphony and Leonard Slatkin, and the New York Youth Symphony at Carnegie Hall. She also enjoys engagements with the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Vancouver, Indianapolis, Nashville, Utah, and Edmonton symphonies. Simone Porter plays on a 1745 J.B. Guadagnini violin on generous loan from The Mandell Collection of Southern California.
Antonín Dvorˇák b. Nelahozeves, Bohemia / September 8, 1841 d. Prague, Bohemia / May 1, 1904
Othello Overture, Op. 93 To Dvorˇák, “nature” meant more than woods and fields. It was the driving force behind life itself, and it contained both positive and negative elements. Early in 1891, he set out to compose an orchestral piece designed to express his views on it. The project evolved into a cycle of three overtures or symphonic poems, to which he gave the working title Nature, Life and Love.
To bind them together, he created a melody, a “nature” theme, which appears in each of them. He conducted their joint premières in Prague on April 28, 1892. By the time they were published in 1894, he settled on calling them In Nature’s Realm, Carnival, and Othello. Reflecting its source in Shakespeare’s intense play concerning unreasonable romantic violin jealousy, Othello is the dramatic heart of the Violinist Simone Porter has been recognized trilogy. It points ahead to the five symphonic as an emerging artist of impassioned energy, poems that would be Dvorˇák’s final works for musical integrity, and vibrant sound. After orchestra alone. After a brooding introduction, performing last season with Gustavo Dudamel it alternates music of fierce power (Othello’s and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the black, raging moods, perhaps) with tender LA Times declared Ms. Porter "on the cusp of interludes linked to the sweet, loving nature of a major career." Elsewhere, her performances his innocent wife, Desdemona. The conclusion have been described as "bold" (Seattle brings music of dark, despairing power. Times) and "virtuosic" (London Times), and at 19 years of age, Ms. Porter has already appeared with the New York Philharmonic, the b. Cologne, Rhine Province / January 6, 1838 Philadelphia Orchestra, Houston Symphony, d. house in Berlin Friedenau / October 2, 1920 and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and with Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26 renowned conductors including Yannick Although this concerto – Bruch’s most Nézet-Séguin, Nicolas McGegan, Ludovic enduringly popular composition – sounds Morlot, and Donald Runnicles. smooth and effortless, it followed a difficult
course to its final form. He began work on it in 1864. It won a favourable reception at its first public performance, which took place on April 24, 1866, in Coblenz, Germany, but it still left Bruch unsatisfied. He consulted with the widely-respected Hungarian violinist, Joseph Joachim. Joachim gave him a long, detailed evaluation. Relieved by this expert counsel, Bruch dedicated the concerto to Joachim. He took up some of Joachim’s suggested changes, to which he added second thoughts of his own. The debut of the revised edition – in Bremen, Germany, on January 7, 1868, with Joachim as soloist – drew a warm response from audience and composer alike. The first movement opens in an air of quiet, brooding melancholy before breaking out into a full-blown and impassioned allegro. It builds up to two major climaxes before dying away in emotional exhaustion. Bruch segues without pause into the heartfelt central adagio. This begins in a prayer-like atmosphere, then gradually gains both in activity and expressiveness. Bruch concluded the concerto with a propulsive, gypsy-flavoured finale. It anticipated the last movement of the concerto that Johannes Brahms wrote 10 years later, a work also dedicated to, and premiered by, Joseph Joachim. It’s definitely a dance, but in keeping with the concerto’s overall character, it’s still a rather serious one. The second theme has a noble contour, more elevated than heroic.
Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky b. Kamsko-Votkinsk, Russia / May 7, 1840 d. St. Petersburg, Russia / November 6, 1893
Orchestral Suite No. 3, Op. 55 Tchaikovsky’s skill at producing expert entertainment music found a superb outlet in his four suites for orchestra (which are not to be confused with the suites he drew from his ballet scores). He composed them over the years 1878 to 1887, between his Fourth and Fifth Symphonies. The first three consist
of completely original material, the fourth of orchestrations of piano and vocal works by Mozart. He began composing No. 3 shortly after the unsuccessful première of the opera Mazeppa in February 1884. Comfortably installed at his sister Alexandra’s estate near Kamenka in Ukraine, his thoughts turned first to the creation of a new symphony, but he decided on a suite instead, because of the creative freedom such a piece offered him. He completed it in July. When Hans von Bülow conducted the première in St. Petersburg the following January, it scored a huge triumph. During Tchaikovsky’s lifetime, it remained the most frequently performed of all his works for orchestra. The opening Elegy is an outpouring of sweet yearning. The suite’s sense of pathos deepens in the following Melancholy Waltz. It flirts with despair from beginning to end. The sun finally emerges in the third section, a lithe, bounding scherzo. It is not only one of Tchaikovsky’s most playful such creations, but one of his quietest as well – the dynamics hardly ever rise above a moderate level. The featured use of percussion and brass given the central portion a quasi-military flavour. The theme on which the concluding variations are based is a simple, insouciant idea suggesting numerous creative possibilities. Tchaikovsky loses no time in embarking on them. The early variations are quite brief, and they range seamlessly from the pensive to the vivacious. The last three are more elaborate, consuming about half the entire movement’s playing time. The first of these, which features a violin solo, is another melancholy waltz, though it’s not nearly as sad as the second movement of the suite. In the next variation, Tchaikovsky poured his heart out once again. But he did so this time with much more confidence than before, in a variation which ranks as one of the most deeply affecting of all his creations. With that emotional milestone passed, brass fanfares herald the movement’s finale, a sumptuous polonaise. For it, Tchaikovsky marshalled the full resources of the orchestra to make this a truly regal conclusion. ■ Program Notes © 2016 Don Anderson
MUSICIAN PROFILE SERIES: ROGER COLE VSO PRINCIPAL OBOE
“ Why do I like playing the oboe? Because
it's a job that comes with a hobby: making reeds.”
VSO house program from January, 1984
Roger Cole, VSO Principal Oboe, 2013
DAYS “ EARLY I was born in Seattle, Washington, and since
my father, Bill Cole, was the Principal Trumpet of the Seattle Symphony, I wanted to play the trumpet. My Mom was a pianist/organist, my sister Cindy a violinist, and both of my brothers played trumpet — but I just didn't have the embouchure for it. When I was twelve I heard a Leonard Bernstein Young Person's LP of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5. In the first movement there’s a famous solo and I asked my Mom, “What’s that instrument?” and when she replied that it’s an oboe, I said, “That's what I want to play!” From day one I had a beautiful Lorée-brand oboe and got to study with Bernard Shapiro, the principal in Seattle. Then I went to Yale to study with one of the really great American oboe teachers, Robert Bloom, who was in the NBC Symphony under Toscanini. He had studied with the great Marcel Tabuteau, who really perfected the “North American sound.” There's a real lineage there which I try to share with my own students, who are in effect the “great-grandchildren” of Tabuteau!
(front, centre) Vancouver Chamber Music Festival in Summer of 1987
During my undergraduate days I met Christopher Millard, a bassoonist at Curtis who was from Vancouver. One Christmas we played together in the New York String Orchestra(!), led by Alexander Schneider — they needed wind players. We became great friends and he subsequently became the Principal Bassoon of the VSO in 1975. He told me about an opening for Principal Oboe, I made the finals and played for Maestro Kazuyoshi Akiyama and all the principal winds and concertmaster Gerald Jarvis and they offered me the job! My very first VSO assignment was to do a two week Cross-Canada tour. After that “trial-by-fire,” Maestro Akiyama was impressed enough to offer me tenure, resulting in my now 41-year career in the VSO. PERSPECTIVE It was really the beginning of Maestro Akiyama's career as well. I was 22, so he was in his mid-30s and I think that the VSO went out on a limb appointing him, but he had so
much energy and unbelievable stick technique and incredible ears. If he didn't speak a lot of English, he didn't need to, because it was all shown through his conducting. We played one big piece after another which was perfect for me as well, because this was also MY first time through many of these works. Over the course of 11 years with Akiyama we covered a lot of repertoire.
much like a family. We spend so much time together, some of it stressful, and that’s when true colors are shown and the real fabric of a family is tested. I think we've done a great job in Vancouver of having a really good people join us, and with that reputation, people want to audition for the VSO.
After Maestro Akiyama we had Rudolf Barshai for a relatively short time — three years. Being a violist himself, his big influence on the orchestra was with the string section, and I saw a real change in the VSO string sound that remains today. But it was hard, I think, for him to connect with the community, and that’s a big part of the music director’s job. Our next music director, Sergiu Comissiona, was by then an elder statesman and if he wasn't so meticulous, perhaps, with the baton, he continued to shape the sound of the orchestra. He was a supreme colorist. He added a lot of the Eastern European repertoire including many Czech works, his French repertoire was fantastic, and his Mahler was great. We had him for 9 years, from 1991 to 2000, did an Asian tour with him, and made some wonderful recordings. Roger in 2010, at the Carmel Bach Festival in California, where he played Principal Oboe (1998-2012)
That brings me to Bramwell Tovey who has equally great strengths as both a musician and as an advocate for the VSO. One of the most important jobs for the music director is hiring new musicians. To get a job nowadays you can't just be good, you have to be exceptional, and then you have to be exceptional during that 10-minute audition! I think our audiences can really hear the orchestra is continuing to improve and for me, as a veteran, it sure keeps me on my toes! You need that blend of at least three generations within an orchestra, very
Roger with the VSO in 2016
EXTENDED FAMILY I have the best seat in the orchestra, in the middle, 10 metres from the conductor and I have learned so much from watching Bramwell Tovey and our guests. Outside of the VSO, I am also the artistic director and senior orchestra conductor of the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra. It's a job I love and this is my 14th season. We have four orchestras, with 285 young students from the age of 8 to 22. Right now, the VYSO is working on Stravinsky's Firebird Suite which we’ll perform November 27th. On May 14th we'll put on a big Canada 150 celebration at the Chan Centre and Maestro Tovey is writing a world premiere for us. We’re very excited that next season the students will have a side by side performance with the VSO pros and work with Maestro Tovey. The best part being in the VSO? During my second season my mom introduced me to Carolyn Canfield... who happened to have been in my mother’s 2nd grade class in Seattle. Carolyn was a first violinist in the VSO for 25 years. We were married in 1981 and have three grown sons: Andy, Spencer, and Charlie, a radio broadcaster, a professional drummer, and a mechanic, respectively.
Concert Program S P EC IA L S C H A N C EN T RE FO R T H E P ER F OR M ING ARTS, 8 P M
Friday, December 16 Saturday, December 17
Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with Mark Fewer Mark Fewer leader/violin Roger Cole oboe BIBER Battalia J.S. BACH
Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C minor, BWV 1060 MARK FEWER
I. Vivace II. Largo ma non tanto III. Allegro
Violin Concerto in D Major, RV 208 Il grosso Mogul
I. Allegro II. Grave III. Allegro
VIVALDI The Four Seasons Concerto No. 1 in E Major, RV 269 Spring
I. Allegro II. Largo e pianissimo sempre III. Danza pastorale: Allegro
Concerto No. 2 in G minor, RV 315 Summer ROGER COLE
I. Allegro non molto II. Adagio – Presto III. Presto
Concerto No. 3 in F Major, RV 293 Autumn
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I. Allegro II. Adagio molto III. Allegro
Concerto No. 4 in F minor, RV 297 Winter
I. Allegro non molto II. Largo III. Allegro
Mark Fewer leader/violin
Known for his exceptional versatility, violinist Mark Fewer has been described as “genrebending” (National Post), “intrepid” (Globe and Mail), “profound” (The WholeNote) and “freaky good” (The Gazette). His performance career has seen him tour worldwide in famous halls such as Wigmore, Carnegie, and Salle Pleyel, to smaller venues such as Le Poisson Rouge (NYC), Bartok House (Budapest) and The Forum (Taipei). He is a regular member of the Smithsonian Chamber Players (DC), where he performs on their priceless collection of decorated Stradivaris, and with whom he has made several critically acclaimed recordings. Mr. Fewer was appointed William Dawson Scholar at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University in September 2015, prior to which he was Artist-in-Residence at Stanford University, where he performed regularly as a member of the St. Lawrence String Quartet. He is a JUNO® and Prix Opus winner, a popular host of CBC’s This is My Music, and is the subject of an episode of People Uncut on the Biography Channel.
Roger Cole oboe Roger Cole was appointed Principal Oboist of the Vancouver Symphony by Maestro Kazuyoshi Akiyama in 1976. At age 22 he was the youngest principal player of the VSO. Today he is one of the oldest principal players. From 1976–2008 he was also the principal oboist of the CBC Radio Orchestra. Mr. Cole received his early musical training in Seattle, Washington and went on to become a scholarship student at Yale University and The Juilliard School where he studied with the renowned American oboist, Robert Bloom. Mr. Cole has participated in the summer music festivals of Aspen, Tanglewood, and Marlboro. He has recently taught, conducted and performed at the Marrowstone Music Festival (Bellingham, Wa.) and the PRISMA Music Festival (Powell River, BC) and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestral Institute at Whistler (VSOIW). He teaches at the University of British Columbia, the Vancouver Academy 38 allegro
of Music and the VSO School of Music. He has given master classes across North America and in Asia. He also has an active oboe studio at his home in North Vancouver.
Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber b. Wartenberg, Bohemia / August 12, 1644 d. Salzburg, Austria / May 3, 1704
Battalia Renowned as one of the greatest violinists of the seventeenth century, Biber was also a highly productive composer. He spent most of his career in Salzburg, Austria, in service to the city’s Archbishop – as would Mozart a century later. His composition Battalia (Battle) dates from 1673. He probably created it for the annual Carnival celebrations in Salzburg. It is fanciful program music of the type that was widely popular at the time. It includes references to folk airs and popular tunes of the day. Among the characters and scenes it depicts are a rowdy band of musketeers; the god Mars, in a spectacular violin solo; Bacchus, god of wine; a battle; and a concluding lament for the wounded.
Johann Sebastian Bach b. Eisenach, Germany / March 21, 1685 d. Leipzig, Germany / July 28, 1750
Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C minor, BWV 1060 In 1729, Bach added to his numerous responsibilities at the St. Thomas School in Leipzig by launching what proved to be a decade-long term as the supervisor of the Collegium Musicum (Musical Fraternity). The ranks of this volunteer ensemble were made up of talented university students and amateur performers, augmented on occasion with professional musicians. It blossomed under Bach’s expert direction, a development that gave him enormous satisfaction. For those concerts, Bach not only composed original works but adapted many previously existing ones. He created the original, violin-and-oboe edition of this concerto for the Collegium Musicum. That version has been lost, but his transcription for two
harpsichords survived. From it, musicologists have reconstructed what they believe to be its original scoring. The concerto’s opening and closing movements bustle with animation, while the slow middle movement offers an interlude of poised, placid nobility.
His reputation suffered a severe lapse in the years following his death. His music’s return to widespread currency dates only from the years following the Second World War. It returned to favour after two centuries of neglect thanks to the recording industry and the rise in popularity of the chamber orchestra.
During that down time, virtually the only piece to remain in the standard repertoire was the set of four violin concertos that he himself entitled The Four Seasons. It was published by Violin Concerto in D Major, the Dutch company Le Cène in 1725, although RV 208 Il grosso Mogul portions of it, at least, were undoubtedly written The exotic subtitle of this concerto appeared much earlier. It appeared as the opening third on a set of parts created by a copyist. It may of a set of 12 concertos bearing the overall title allude in some way to the court of the Grand Mughal, Akbar, whose reign during the sixteenth The Contest Between Harmony and Invention. In the title Vivaldi put face-to-face two opposing century saw the Mughal Empire of India reach musical tendencies: the time-honoured tradition the height of its power. Johann Sebastian of following the current rules of composition, Bach, thought so highly of this concerto that and the wish to give unrestrained play to he transcribed it for solo organ. He prepared the imagination. It is clearly the latter which similar arrangements of eight other Vivaldi prevails in The Four Seasons. pieces, including five concertos from Op. 3, L’estro armonico (Harmonic Invention). The “The original edition features first movement is filled with fiery energy. The quite elaborate explanations of remaining two sections almost resemble an excerpt from a Baroque opera. First comes an the music’s content... Although elaborate and meditative recitative featuring the author of these verses isn’t the soloist, then the finale, which relieves the music’s accumulated tension in lively, identified, it could well have humorous fashion. b. Venice, Italy / March 4, 1678 d. Vienna, Austria / July 28, 1741
The Four Seasons Vivaldi’s busy and highly productive career as composer, violinist and teacher drew its due share of acclaim. One measure of his success is the fact that Johann Sebastian Bach did him the honour of transcribing several of his concertos. In his General History of Music (1776-89), British musicologist Charles Burney wrote, “The most popular composer for the violin, as well as player on that instrument, during these times was Don Antonio Vivaldi...maestro di capella of the Conservatorio della Pietà in Venice.” Vivaldi played a major role in several significant musical developments, the rise of the concerto above all. His 500-plus concertos – he holds the record for the highest number, by a large margin – feature a wide variety of soloists. As you would expect, the lion’s share, more than 200, focus on the violin.
been Vivaldi himself.”
Its enduring popularity has been based to great degree on its nature as descriptive or programmatic music, an area in whose orchestral division Vivaldi was a major practitioner. He didn’t stop at just attaching an overall title. The original edition features quite elaborate explanations of the music’s content, including four sonnets, one for each concerto. Although the author of these verses isn’t identified, it could well have been Vivaldi himself. Some of his original manuscripts are even more explicit. The barking of the goatherd’s dog in the second movement of the Spring concerto, for example, is only identified in the viola part. Storms and other blustery weather recur throughout the score, blowing through gustily in spring, summer and winter. The Spring and Autumn concertos wrap up with festive rustic dances. ■ Program Notes © 2016 Don Anderson
T EA & T RU M P ETS ORP H EU M , 2P M
Thursday, January 5
Fireworks! William Rowson conductor Christopher Gaze host EnChor BERNSTEIN Candide: Overture HANDEL/HARTY Royal Fireworks HANDEL Zadok the Priest MUSSORGSKY Night On Bald Mountain TCHAIKOVSKY Eugene Onegin: Waltz GILBERT AND SULLIVAN
HMS Pinafore: Act 1, No. 9: When I Was A Lad
TCHAIKOVSKY 1812 Overture
William Rowson conductor
For a biography of William Rowson, please refer to page 9.
Christopher Gaze host
For a biography of Christopher Gaze, please refer to page 10.
EnChor CHRISTOPHER GAZE
TEA & COOKIES served in the lobby one hour before each concert. Tea compliments of Tetley Tea.
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EnChor is an auditioned SATB choir based in Vancouver, and directed by Gerald van Wyck. The choir was formed in the summer of 2007 by the late Dr. Diane Loomer, C.M. She felt there was a largely untapped well of experienced singers who had reached their 55th birthday and were still interested in performing high quality music. She formed EnChor to encourage "senior singers" to continue to use their talents, sharpen their brains and, in her words, “keep them off the streets on Friday mornings.” Within three years the choir’s reputation earned an invitation to Podium 2010, and subsequently to similarly important and distinguished choral festivals. EnChor draws on the strong musical background and depth of experience of its members to produce programs which please music aficionados as well as provide entertainment for all. The choir presents public concerts, as well as performances by special arrangement at private functions, assisted living facilities and hospices. EnChor has also performed at Vancouver's Bard on the Beach, and appears annually with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. ■
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, January 6 & 7
Ellis Hall – Soul Unlimited John Morris Russell conductor Ellis Hall piano/vocalist Ellis Hall Singers BEETHOVEN (ADAPTED BY WALTER MURPHY/ ARR. JEFF TYZIK) A Fifth of Beethoven
JOHN MORRIS RUSSELL
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Featuring Ellis Hall: SMOKIE ROBINSON Get Ready DAVID BOWIE Let’s Dance GEORGE HARRISON Something BOBBY SHARP Unchain My Heart HOAGY CARMICHAEL Georgia RAY CHARLES What’d I Say LEON RUSSELL A Song For You NORMAN WHITFIELD/BARRETT STRONG I Heard It Through The Grapevine INTERMISSION BRIAN HOLLAND/LAMONT DOZIER/ EDDIE HOLLAND How Sweet It Is NICHOLAS ASHFORD/VALERIE SIMPSON Ain’t No Mountain High Enough SAM COOKE A Change Gonna Come STEVIE WONDER Signed, Sealed, Delivered ELLIS HALL Keep Your Life Straight Ahead BRIAN HOLLAND/LAMONT DOZIER/ EDDIE HOLLAND I’ll Be There NORMAN WHITFIELD/BARRETT STRONG Just My Imagination ISSAC HAYES/DAVID PORTER Soul Man JACKIE WILSON Higher and Higher
WE TAKE PEOPLE PLACES. BUT IT’S MUSIC THAT TRULY MOVES THEM.
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DATE : OCTOBER 18, 2016 11:38 AM
John Morris Russell conductor Ellis Hall piano/vocalist
ÉPREUVE STUDIO #
John Morris Russell, consistently winning international praise for his extraordinary music-making and visionary leadership, is Conductor of the Cincinnati Pops, Principal Pops Conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic, Music Director of the Hilton Head Symphony, and Conductor Laureate of the Windsor (ON) Symphony Orchestra; he served as Windsor’s Music Director for many seasons.
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As a guest conductor, Maestro Russell has led many of North America’s most distinguished ensembles, including the Boston Pops, the orchestras of Cleveland, Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Dallas, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Louisville, Miami’s New World Symphony, the Oregon Symphony, Colorado Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, New York City Ballet, New York Pops, the New York Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
He is a seasoned and accomplished vocalist in possession of a powerful 5-octave range. He is a songwriter, arranger, producer and educator. Ellis’ first instrument was drums before he went on to master piano, keyboards, guitar and both upright and electric bass. Across a career of 40-plus years and counting, Ellis Hall has proven himself as an all-around performer that has entertained audiences on five continents. His reputation of excellence earned Ellis the moniker, “The Ambassador of Soul.” ■
John Morris Russell, who led Cincinnati on their first-ever Florida tour in the 2014/2015 season will conduct them in a Far East tour in 2016/2017. He has had four recordings released with the Cincinnati Pops: Home for the Holidays; Superheroes!; Carnival of the Animals and American Originals.
Through the ages, there have been a number of famous blind African American male entertainers in Gospel, Blues, Soul and Pop but few as unilaterally gifted as Ellis Hall. What other man can claim to have written 3,800 songs, sung at the funeral of Helen Keller at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York and before Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, Africa, been a member of Oakland Soul band Tower of Power and a lead voice for the animated California Raisins? Welcome to the unprecedented greatness of Ellis Hall.
Concert Program ORIG IN O K IDS' KO N C E RTS / ORP H EU M T H E ATR E , 2 P M
Sunday, January 8
T H E VS O IN C O LLABO R ATIO N W IT H EN C H AN TME N T TH E ATR E C OM PA N Y P RE SE N TS
William Rowson conductor Enchantment Theatre Company WILLIAM ROWSON
THE PRODUCTION CREW
Theatrical Adaptation by William Leach Director/Choreographer Leslie Reidel Production Design C. David Russell Mask/Puppet Design Jonathan Becker, C. David Russell Technical Director Jessica R. Wallace THE ENSEMBLE
ENCHANTMENT THEATRE COMPANY
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Shannon Rose Fitzsimons Firebird Puppeteer Sara Nye The Unicorn Adrian Plascencia Prince Ivan Jennifer Blatchley Smith The Princess Landis Smith The Evil Magician Kaschei GLINKA Ruslan and Ludmila: Overture RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Flight of the Bumblebee RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Snow Maiden: Dance of the Clowns STRAVINSKY The Firebird
This production is dedicated to the memory of our friend and colleague, William Leach. PREMIER EDUCATION PARTNER
PREMIER EDUCATION PARTNER THE VSO’S KIDS’ KONCERTS HAVE BEEN ENDOWED BY A GENEROUS GIFT FROM THE WILLIAM & IRENE MCEWEN FUND.
William Rowson conductor For a biography of William Rowson, please refer to page 9.
Enchantment Theatre Company Enchantment Theatre Company has produced original theatre for school groups and families since 2000, when it was established as a non-profit arts organization in Philadelphia. The company presents only original work based on classic stories from children's literature, using its signature blend of masked actors, pantomime, magic, largescale puppets, and original music. Building on the more than 30 years of theatrical experience of its artistic directors, Enchantment has quickly become known for high quality imaginative productions, not only in its home city but throughout the United States and the Far East.
Enchantment has toured its original productions all over the world, appearing each year in more than 30-40 states. The company has also toured the Far East six times, performing in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore. Enchantment has shared the stage with more than 65 orchestras nationwide in its special symphonic works that pair great stories with great music for the benefit of school and family audiences.â€‚ â–
VSO Instrument Fair
The OriginO Kids' Koncerts series continues with the popular VSO Instrument Fair, which allows music lovers of all ages (but especially kids!) to touch and play real orchestra instruments in the Orpheum lobby one hour before concert start time. All instruments are generously provided by Tom Lee Music.
Concert Program VS O C H A M B ER P LAY E R S
ALAN AND G W EN DOL IN E P YAT T HALL
D R. H . N . M A C CO R KIN D ALE STAG E VS O S C H OOL OF MUSIC
Wednesday & Thursday, January 11 & 12, 7:30pm Sunday, January 15, 2pm
From Dawn to Dusk RAVI SHANKAR L’Aube Enchantée Christie Reside flute Vern Griffiths marimba KAREN GERBRECHT
JOLIVET Sonatine for Flute and Clarinet Christie Reside flute Alexander Morris clarinet INTERMISSION
BRAHMS Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op. 15 Jeanette Jonquil clarinet Nicholas Wright violin Karen Gerbrecht violin Emilie Grimes viola Cristian Márkos cello
The extraordinary musicians of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra step off the Orpheum stage and into the intimate, state-of-the-art Pyatt Hall in the VSO School of Music to perform some of the greatest chamber music ever written.
WITH SUPPORT FROM
Concert Program G OL D C ORP M ASTE RWO R KS G O LD OR P H EU M , 8P M
Saturday & Monday, January 14 & 16 W ES T M IN S T ER SAV IN G S S U R REY N IG H T S B EL L P ERF ORM IN G ARTS C EN T R E, S U RR EY, 8 P M
Sunday, January 15 ◆
Otto Tausk conductor Simone Lamsma violin
WAGNER The Flying Dutchman: Overture SHOSTAKOVICH Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 77/99
I. II. III. IV.
Nocturne: Moderato Scherzo: Allegro Passacaglia: Andante Burlesque: Allegro con brio
RACHMANINOFF Symphonic Dances, Op. 45
I. Non allegro II. Andante con moto (Tempo di valse) III. Lento assai – Allegro vivace
PRE-CONCERT TALKS Free to ticketholders, 7:05pm to 7:30pm, in the auditorium.
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Otto Tausk conductor
As Music Director of the Symphony Orchestra and Opera Theatre St. Gallen, in Switzerland, Dutch conductor Otto Tausk has energised his musicians and singers to impressive levels earning him enthusiastic and critical acclaim. He is also a hugely respected musical personality in his native Holland working with all its major orchestras and composers. The 2016/17 season in St. Gallen will see Otto Tausk in the opera pit conducting Lohengrin, and a world première, Annas Maske, by Swiss composer David Philip Hefti. He will also guest conduct the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and, further afield, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (both with violinist Simon Lamsma) and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Choir, conducting Haydn’s Die Schöpfung. Tausk will also conduct the Orchestra of the Casa da Musica Porto (Portugal), the Dortmund Philharmonic and he ends St. Gallen’s 2016/17 season with another choral work, performing Alfredo Catalani’s Mass in E minor with the Prague Philharmonic Choir.
Simone Lamsma violin Hailed for her "brilliant... polished, expressive and intense" (Cleveland Plain Dealer) and "absolutely stunning" (Chicago Tribune) playing, Dutch violinist Simone Lamsma is respected by critics, peers and audiences as one of classical music’s most striking and captivating musical personalities. Highlights for the 16/17 season include debuts with the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington, National Arts Centre Orchestra Ottawa, Vancouver Symphony, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, RTE and Iceland Symphony, as well as return invitations to the London Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, Residentie Orchestra and Royal Flemish Philharmonic. In April 2017 she will perform the world première of Matijs de Roo’s Violin Concerto with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. This season will also mark her recital and orchestral debut in Japan. 52 allegro
A dedicated chamber musician, other recital appearances include Simone’s highly anticipated debuts in London’s Wigmore Hall and New York’s Carnegie Hall in March 2017. Simone plays the "Mlynarski" Stradivarius (1718), on generous loan to her by an anonymous benefactor.
Richard Wagner b. Leipzig, Germany / May 22, 1813 d. Venice, Italy / February 13, 1883
The Flying Dutchman: Overture Wagner patterned his early opera, The Flying Dutchman (1843), on the pioneering Romantic style of Carl Maria von Weber, rather than using it to make the type of innovations that would characterize his later works. A stormy voyage across the North Sea in 1839 planted in his mind the idea of a work based on the legend of the Dutch sea captain whose defiance of the Devil led to his being condemned to sail the seas eternally. Wagner adapted the story to permit the Dutchman hope of salvation. The vividly dramatic overture is a capsule digest of the full piece, presenting not only the principal musical themes but also a synopsis of the plot. The howling winds of a storm tossed seascape are easily heard, as are the rollicking dances of the sailors, and the tender sentiments that blossom between the Dutchman and Senta, the woman whose true love redeems his soul.
Dmitri Shostakovich b. St. Petersburg, Russia / September 25, 1906 d. Moscow, Russia / August 9, 1975
Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 77/99 Shostakovich lived through two dire artistic crises brought about by clashes between the Soviet government’s strict dictates and his need to express himself freely. The first began in 1936, when the Communist party newspaper, Pravda, published a withering critique of his opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. He remained persona non grata until the premiere of his Fifth Symphony the following year returned him to the good graces of the bureaucrats. In February 1948, at a special Communist Party congress, Shostakovich found himself back in trouble, charged with virtually the
same “offences” that had been levelled against him a decade earlier. The following month, he completed Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 77, which he had begun the year before. Sensing that if he presented so personal a work during the current political climate it would cause him further trouble, he put it aside, hoping for a more appropriate time to launch it. The death of dictator Joseph Stalin in 1953 ushered in a thaw in attitudes to artistic expression. The concerto received its belated premire on October 29, 1955, with David Oistrakh, the violinist for whom Shostakovich had composed it, as the soloist. By then Shostakovich had revised it slightly, and had given it a new catalogue number, Op. 99, in order to conceal the date of its composition. Reflecting the events surrounding its creation, it is a more shadowed and inward piece than Shostakovich’s only previous concerto, the first for piano (1932). For example, three of the earlier piece’s four movements are brisk and animated; that quality is reflected in only two sections of the violin work. Note, too that even they have an overlay of bitterness compared to the earlier piece, and that they are by far the briefest portions of the concerto. Violin Concerto No. 1 consists of a dreamlike yet anxious Nocturne; a bustling Scherzo; and a powerful, impassioned Passacaglia which leads, via an extended and highly demanding solo cadenza, to a raucous concluding Burlesque.
Sergei Rachmaninoff b. Semyonovo, Russia / April 1, 1873 d. Beverley Hills, USA / March 28, 1943
layered and spectacularly orchestrated work, as testified by numerous live performances and recordings. Rhythm plays a powerful role in it, but in terms of scale, quality of themes and ingenuity of development, it is much more a symphonic work than a balletic one. It continued his obsession with the Dies irae (Day of Wrath), a sombre melody drawn from the medieval plainchant Mass for the Dead. It appears several times in veiled form in the first Symphonic Dance. This movement begins quietly, expectantly, before introducing its bold, thrusting main subject. The long, floating melody of the central panel, unexpectedly voiced in the plaintive tones of the alto saxophone, is one of Rachmaninoff’s loveliest lyrical creations.
“Introduced by eerie, muted fanfares on trumpets and horns, whirling woodwind arabesques and a spectral violin solo...” Within the framework of a symphonic waltz, the second dance presents a haunted vision of the ballroom. Introduced by eerie, muted fanfares on trumpets and horns, whirling woodwind arabesques and a spectral violin solo, it turns on a troubled waltz tune first stated by English horn. The spirit of the dance never maintains itself for long. A mood of nostalgic reverie attempts to assert itself, only to be shattered by the return of the opening fanfares. They summon the ghostly dancers back to fulfill their destiny.
Pervaded from the opening bars by the Dies irae, the finale seethes with manic, diabolical Symphonic Dances, Op. 45 energy. A lengthy, reflective and lamenting Rachmaninoff began work on this piece, his middle section provides contrast. With the final composition, in the summer of 1940. return of the opening material, a furious The première, at which Eugene Ormandy conflict breaks out between the Dies irae and conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra, a traditional Russian religious chant, Blessed took place on January 3, 1941. The largely is the Lord. As the chant wins through, an negative reception crushed Rachmaninoff. For Aleluya theme drawn from Rachmaninoff’s decades, the Symphonic Dances remained choral work Vespers rings out triumphantly. the stepchild of his major works for orchestra. At the end of the manuscript score, The last 25 years have witnessed a strong he inscribed, “I thank Thee, Lord.” ■ growth in appreciation of this moody, manyProgram Notes © 2016 Don Anderson
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Concert Program S P EC IA L S OR P H EU M , 8P M
Wednesday, January 18
Emanuel Ax with the VSO Bramwell Tovey conductor Emanuel Ax piano BEETHOVEN Wellington’s Victory, Op. 91 MOZART Piano Concerto No. 22 in E-flat Major, K. 482 I. Allegro II. Andante III. Rondo: Allegro
INTERMISSION EMANUEL AX
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major, Op. 73 Emperor I. Allegro II. Adagio un poco mosso III. Rondo: Allegro
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Bramwell Tovey conductor
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 Advisor of the VSO School of Music, a state-ofthe-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, the establishment of an annual festival dedicated to contemporary music, as well as the VSO Orchestral Institute at Whistler (VSOIW), a comprehensive orchestral training program for young musicians held in the scenic mountain resort of Whistler/Blackcomb. In 2018, the VSO’s centenary year, he will become the orchestra’s Music Director Emeritus.
In 2003 Bramwell Tovey won the Juno® Award for Best Classical Composition for his choral and brass work Requiem for a Charred Skull. His trumpet concerto, Songs of the Paradise Saloon, was performed in 2014 by the LA Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra, both with Alison Balsom as soloist. A recording of his opera, The Inventor, with the original cast, the VSO with UBC Opera will be released this season by Naxos.
“... Tovey won the Juno Award for Best Classical Composition... ” 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.
“His tenure has included complete symphony cycles of Beethoven, Mahler, Brahms, the establishment of an annual festival dedicated to Emanuel Ax contemporary music...” During the 16/17 season Mr. Tovey’s guest appearances include the symphonies of Rhode Island, Helsingborg, Boston, Chicago, Melbourne and Sydney, as well as the BBC Concert Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, the Royal Conservatory Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Summer programs will include a return to Vail with the New York Philharmonic, as well as performances at Tanglewood, Saratoga with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Hollywood Bowl. In the 15/16 season Mr. Tovey directed performances of Korngold’s Die tote Stadt, for Calgary Opera, as well as the symphonies of Montréal, Melbourne, New Zealand, the Pacific Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra and New York Philharmonic. He also led the première his work Time Tracks, a suite from his opera, The Inventor. 56 allegro
For over forty years, pianist Emanuel Ax has led an internationally acclaimed career as a recitalist, chamber musician and orchestral soloist. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds honorary doctorates of music from Yale and Columbia Universities. The recipient of seven Grammy® Awards, he is also a teacher on the faculty of The Juilliard School. Always a committed exponent of contemporary composers, Mr. Ax’s 16/17 season will feature two newly commissioned works. January will feature the world première of HK Gruber's Piano Concerto (with the New York Philharmonic & Alan Gilbert), followed in March by the European première (with the Berlin Philharmonic & Sir Simon Rattle). In recitals throughout the season, programs will include works by Schubert and Chopin partnered with Impromptus (2015-
2016) by Samuel Adams commissioned by Music Accord and inspired by Schubert. Born in modern day Lvov, Poland, Emanuel Ax moved to Winnipeg, Canada, with his family when he was a young boy, and subsequently to New York City. He captured the public’s attention in 1974 when he won the first Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Tel Aviv. A Sony Classical exclusive recording artist since 1987, recent releases include Mendelssohn Trios with Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman, Strauss' Enoch Arden narrated by Patrick Stewart, and discs of two-piano music by Brahms and Rachmaninoff with Yefim Bronfman. Mr. Ax resides in New York City with his wife, pianist Yoko Nozaki.
Ludwig van Beethoven b. Bonn, Germany / baptized December 17, 1770 d. Vienna, Austria / March 26, 1827
Wellington’s Victory, Op. 91 The shadow of French leader Napoleon Bonaparte falls across two of the works on this concert. Beethoven admired him at first, for his early devotion to the humanitarian ideals of the French Revolution. He had planned to dedicate his third symphony to him, but his attitude turned to scorn once Bonaparte crowned himself Emperor in 1804. The rambunctious composition that opens this concert owes its creation to Johann Nepomuk Mälzel. Half-inventor (he developed the metronome), half-showman, he delighted Viennese audiences with his scientific exhibitions and public extravaganzas. The device that Mälzel called the Panharmonicon was a combination mechanical military band and music box, powered by air forced through an enormous bellows. In 1813, he approached Beethoven to create a work for it. Pieces describing famous battles had been popular for years, so Mälzel proposed a work based on British commander Sir Arthur Wellesley (the future Lord Wellington’s) victory, on June 12 of that year, over Bonaparte’s French forces at Vitoria, Spain. The resulting work includes antiphonal trumpet and drum flourishes for each of the
opposing armies, spirited battle music, and quotations from familiar national airs. It concludes with a festive Victory Symphony. Difficulties in preparing the Panharmonicon to perform Wellington’s Victory led to the première being given in a hastily transcribed version for orchestra. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 received its first performance at the same concert. To the composer’s dismay, Wellington’s Victory won the greater ovation by far.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart b. Salzburg, Austria / January 27, 1756 d. Vienna, Austria / December 5, 1791
Piano Concerto No. 22 in E-flat Major, K. 482 On the surface, 1785 must have seemed a bright and successful year for Mozart. Emperor Joseph II had personally commissioned what proved to be Mozart’s masterpiece of comic opera, The Marriage of Figaro. Mozart composed this concerto while he was working on it. But signs of the tragic fate that lay in store for him were already making themselves felt. Viennese taste was moving away from him, aggravating his perpetual inability to manage his finances. Together with deteriorating health, this would make the remaining six years of his life a long descent into catastrophe.
“The result was an expansive... and truly glorious work.” Mozart hoped that this concerto would help reverse the decline in his fortunes. To this end, he made it as “listener friendly” as possible. The result was an expansive (it is the longest concerto he ever wrote) and truly glorious work. He completed it on December 16, 1785. He played the solo part at the première himself, either on that same day or shortly thereafter. It did not, alas, have any lasting effect upon his declining fortunes. Both of the themes upon which he based the first movement are exceptionally gracious, allegro 57
and the second bears an added degree of winsomeness. The slow movement, the most remarkable portion of the concerto, offers marked contrast. Set in a minor key and featuring muted strings, this theme and variations is not merely melancholy but borders on authentic tragedy. Rather than follow up on it with a carefree romp of a finale, Mozart shrewdly provided what was for him a relatively relaxed affair. This rondo’s recurring refrain resembles a country dance, heavy-footed but mischievous.
Ludwig van Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major, Op. 73 Emperor Beethoven composed the “Emperor” Concerto (the source of the nickname is unknown) in 1808 and 1809, against the backdrop of Bonaparte’s rise to the zenith of his power.
“Rather than reflecting his distress, the concerto is proud and defiant.” In May 1809, Napoleon’s French army first besieged, then captured Vienna. During the period when Beethoven was at work on this concerto, the 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-ci-ze-ze – but not to all eternity, for that you cannot do!”
“After the commanding opening flourish, the first movement proper unfolds with unhurried majesty.” 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 major 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. ■ Program Notes © 2016 Don Anderson
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UPCOMING CONCERTS Highlights of the next issue of allegro... ADRIANNE PIECZONKA SINGS STRAUSS
SAT & MON, JANUARY 21 & 23 8PM, ORPHEUM Bramwell Tovey conductor Adrianne Pieczonka soprano* R. STRAUSS Intermezzo: Waltz Scene R. STRAUSS Four Last Songs* R. STRAUSS Ein Heldenleben
VSO NEW MUSIC FESTIVAL
BRAMWELL TOVEY WITH JOCELYN MORLOCK
JANUARY 24 TO 29 6 CONCERT FESTIVAL THE 2017 VSO NEW MUSIC FESTIVAL explores new creations, contemporary composers, and partnerships with Early Music Vancouver, Pacific Baroque Orchestra, Hard Rubber Orchestra, and Standing Wave. Join us for an exciting celebration of music that is new, vibrant, vital, and on the cutting edge.
SOUNDS OF SIMON & GARFUNKEL FRI & SAT, FEBRUARY 10 & 11 8PM, ORPHEUM Michael Krajewski conductor A.J. Swearingen vocalist Jonathan Beedle vocalist
A.J. SWEARINGEN & JONATHAN BEEDLE
Michael Krajewski is one of the most accomplished Pops conductors in the world today, holding posts as Music Director of the Philly Pops, and Principal Pops Conductor in Atlanta, Jacksonville and Houston. He leads a program that features A.J. Swearingen and Jonathan Beedle, who have performed their remarkable tribute to legendary folk-rock artists Simon and Garfunkel to sold-out houses for over a decade.
GARRICK OHLSSON PLAYS BRAHMS FRI & SAT, FEBRUARY 24 & 25 8PM, CHAN CENTRE Bramwell Tovey conductor Garrick Ohlsson piano*
BRAHMS Hungarian Dance No. 4 in F-sharp minor BRAHMS Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major* BRAHMS Symphony No. 2 in D Major GARRICK OHLSSON
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