VSO

Alexander Toradze Plays Prokoviev’s Third Concerto with VSO

The Vancouver Symphony’s 2017-2018 season continues with a concert featuring music by all-Russian composers on Nov. 4 and 5. The orchestra, conducted by Maestro Salvador Brotons, also welcomes piano soloist Alexander Toradze, a specialist in Russian repertoire, playing Prokofiev’s powerful third concerto. The program opens with Mussorgsky’s Persian Dances and ends with two suites from Stravinsky ballets, The Fairy’s Kiss and The Firebird Suite. Concluding the first half will be Toradze’s performance of Prokofiev’s Concerto No. 3.

Alexander Toradze is universally recognized as a masterful virtuoso in the grand Romantic tradition. With his unorthodox interpretations, deeply poetic lyricism, and intense emotional excitement, he lays claim to his own strong place in the lineage of great Russian pianists. He graduated from the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow and became a professor there. In 1983, he moved permanently to the United States. Toradze regularly appears with the world’s leading orchestras and is friends with such renowned conductors as Valery Gergiev, Esa Pekka Salonen, Yukka Pekka Saraste, Mikko Frank, Paavo and Kristian Järvi, Vladimir Jurowski, and Gianandrea Noseda. Recent engagements include the BBC philharmonic and Swedish Radio Orchestras under Gianandrea Noseda, the London Symphony, and the Marinsky Orchestras under Valery Gergiev.

Performances are Saturday, Nov. 4, at 3 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. at Skyview Concert Hall, located at 1300 N.W. 139th St. in the Salmon Creek area of Vancouver. Tickets run from $10 for students to $50 for VIP seating and are available for this concert and all 2016-2017 events at vancouversymphony.org or by calling 360-735-7278. In the meantime, you can watch this video of Toradze rehearsing Prokofiev Concerto No. 3 with the Paris Orchestra at Salle Pleyel, conducted by Mikko Franck:

Piano Extravaganza at the Kiggins

The Vancouver Symphony Chamber Music Series is back for its highly anticipated seventh season filled with familiar favorites and new surprises for music lovers of every age and the return of our live music-to-film series. The first concert of 2017-2018 is a Piano Extravaganza at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 22, at Vancouver’s historic Kiggins Theatre. As part of this innovative program of piano virtuosi, the audience will be treated to two-piano groupings and even a rousing conclusion of all the pianists playing at the same time on the same stage.

The audience will enjoy the rich sounds of grand pianos on the Kiggins stage with world-class pianists Cinda Redman, Elena Vozheiko-Wheaton, Kathy Edsill-Charles, Kathryn Hobbie and Dr. Michael C. Liu. Among the pieces to be performed are Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story for two pianos, Georges Bizet’s Carmen Fantasy for two pianos, Arthur Benjamin’s Jamaican Rumba for two pianos, and selections from Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite Op. 46 for two pianos.

All performances are at the Kiggins Theatre at 1011 Main St. in Vancouver. Prices per concert are $25 for adults and $10 for students. Tickets are available for these and all 2017-2018 events at vancouversymphony.org or  by calling 360-735-7278. Chamber Music Series season ticket packages are also available for $120 for six concerts, $100 for five concerts, or $80 for four concerts.

VSO Plays Bach, Beethoven & Brahms

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is honored to welcome piano virtuoso Orli Shaham and Marcelo Lehninger, Music Director of the Grand Rapids Symphony, to Skyview Concert Hall for a Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms in not one but two spectacular performances: 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21, and 7 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 22.

The concert begins with Bach’s Suite No. 3 in D Major, BWV 1068, which includes the beloved Air on the G String, followed by Beethoven’s famous symphony No. 8 in F Major—one of the final compositions of his “heroic decade.” Shaham takes the stage with Maestro Lehninger and the orchestra to deliver an explosive finale performance of Brahms’ monumental piano concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major, Op 83.

A consummate musician recognized for her grace, subtlety and vitality, Shaham has established an impressive international reputation as one of today’s most gifted pianists. She has been hailed by critics on four continents, including the New York Times, which called her a “brilliant pianist.” Shaham’s appearance is sponsored in part by a generous gift from Ann Bardacke and David Wolf.

Brazilian-born Lehninger is the newly-appointed Music Director of the Grand Rapids Symphony. He previously served as Music Director of the New West Symphony in Los Angeles, for which the League of American Orchestras awarded him the Helen H. Thompson Award for Emerging Music Conductors.

Tickets are $50 for reserved seatins, $37 for general admission, $32 for seniors, and $10 for students. Tickets are available online at www.vancouversymphony.org. Skyview Concert Hall is located at 1300 N.W. 139th in the Salmon Creek area of Vancouver.

Young Artists Competition (Rescheduled to Jan. 15)

The nine finalists in the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra‘s Young Artists Competition will compete in a live final round at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 15, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Vancouver. Edmund Stone of Portland’s 89.9FM All Classical Radio returns as master of ceremonies for this highly anticipated annual event.

Nine finalists chosen from the area’s most talented young musicians will compete in three categories: piano, strings and winds/brass. The concert is free and open to the public with no advance ticketing required. Michelle’s Piano Company has generously provided two grand pianos for this competition. The top winners in each of the three categories then perform with The Vancouver Symphony Orchetra at Skyview Concert Hall on April 22 & 23. In addition, students will receive a portion of over $5,000 in cash and prize money.

Over 60 young musicians aged 18 and under from Washington and Oregon submitted audition recordings to the VSO for a preliminary round. They were judged by a panel of professional musicians, with three finalists chosen in each category. Information about this and all 2016-2017 events can be found at vancouversymphony.org or by calling 360-735-7278.

VSO Plays Tchaikovsky, Glinka

Virtuoso violinist Mayuko Kamio, gold medalist of Moscow’s prestigious International Tchaikovsky Competition, will join the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra to kick off its 38th season with two spectacular performances at Skyview Concert Hall on Saturday, Oct. 1, and Sunday, Oct. 2. Conductor Salvator Brotons will return for his 26th consecutive season as the VSO’s music director and conductor.

This will be an all-Russian concert featuring masterworks by P.I. Tchaikovsky and Mikhail Glinka, with the full musical power of the 70+ member orchestra. Kamio will play Tchaikovsky’s Concerto in D Major for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 35. Bracketing Kamio’s performance will be a performance of Glinka’s Overture to Ruslan and Ludmila and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6.

The performances are at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1, and at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 2.  Skyview Concert Hall is located on the campus of Skyview High School at 1300 N.W. 139th St. in the Salmon Creek area of Vancouver. Tickets are available for this concert and all 2016-2017 events at vancouversymphony.org or by calling 360-735-7278.

VSO Plays Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto

Virtuoso violinist Mayuko Kamio, gold medalist of Moscow’s prestigious International Tchaikovsky Competition, will join the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra to kick off its 38th season with two spectacular performances at Skyview Concert Hall on Saturday, Oct. 1, and Sunday, Oct. 2. Conductor Salvator Brotons will return for his 26th consecutive season as the VSO’s music director and conductor.

This will be an all-Russian concert featuring masterworks by P.I. Tchaikovsky and Mikhail Glinka, with the full musical power of the 70+ member orchestra. Kamio will play Tchaikovsky’s Concerto in D Major for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 35. Bracketing Kamio’s performance will be a performance of Glinka’s Overture to Ruslan and Ludmila and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6.

The performances are at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1, and at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 2.  Skyview Concert Hall is located on the campus of Skyview High School at 1300 N.W. 139th St. in the Salmon Creek area of Vancouver. Tickets are available for this concert and all 2016-2017 events at vancouversymphony.org or by calling 360-735-7278.

Above image: Mayuko Kamio with her violin.

VSO & Musical “Petting Zoo”

Guest conductor Daniel Boico leads the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra at its annual family-friendly free outdoor concert in downtown Vancouver’s Esther Short Park at 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 28. The concert, showcasing familiar and lively classical music, will feature a 70+ member orchestra with performances by singers from Opera Quest Northwest. The master of ceremonies will be OPB’s Conrad Wilson. Returning this year will be Beacock Music’s instrument “Petting Zoo,” where kids can play a wide variety of musical instruments under expert supervision starting at 5 p.m.

Boico—who has conducted both the Milwaukee and Chicago Symphonies and has served as the New York Philharmonic‘s Assistant Conductor—is currently the Associate General Conductor of the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra in Durban, South Africa. His musical sensitivity and keen ear have produced exciting performances with orchestras in the U.S., Europe, Central and South America, Africa, and Asia.

This concert is part of the Riverview Six to Sunset Concert Series, every Thursday evening in Esther Short Park through the end of August. Each concert features a different band or musical group. All concerts are free and food and beverages are available to purchase on site. Bring blankets and chairs and prepare for a musical evening under the open summer sky!

Steamboat Bill with the VSO Chamber Series

The VSO Chamber Series is going to the movies…with Buster Keaton and his classic silent film, Steamboat Bill, Jr. This special showing with live musical accompaniment is happening at the Kiggins Theatre at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 15, and it will be a lively end to the Chamber Series’ 2015-2016 season.

The film follows the adventures of Steamboat Bill, the captain of a paddle steamer that has seen better days. He eagerly awaits the arrival of his college student son, whom he has not seen since he was a baby. Expecting a big, husky man like himself to help him compete with a another brand-new, more luxurious riverboat, Bill is sorely disappointed with his slight, awkward offspring, and becomes outraged when he discovers that Bill, Jr., and his rival’s daughter are in love. Both business owners are determined to break up the relationship. What follows is a foiled prison break, a cyclone, and near-total destruction, all leading to a heroic water rescue and a happy ending.

Hot buttered popcorn, candy, nachos, pizza, soda, wine and beer can be enjoyed in the theater while watching the show. The Kiggins Theatre is located at 1011 Main St. in downtown Vancouver. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for students, available at vancouversymphony.org or 360-735-7278.

VSO Young Artists Competition

Eight finalists have been chosen in Vancouver Symphony Orchestra‘s Young Artists Competition. Now comes the exciting part: hearing them perform in concert at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 31, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 309 W. 39th St. in Vancouver. The concert is free and open to the public with no tickets needed.

The Master of Ceremonies will be Edmund Stone, host of the nationally syndicated show, “The Score.” The competition will be judged by a panel of professional musicians. The top three contestants will receive a portion of $5,000 in prize money and will perform with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Salvador Brotons at Skyview Concert Hall on April 9 & 10.

The competition is sponsored by the Anna C. MacAskill Schwab and Dwight Schwab, Sr. Charitable Foundation. Tickets for other Vancouver Symphony Orchestra concerts are on sale now at 360-735-7278 or www.vancouversymphony.org.

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra: Liszt, Prokofiev & Bartók

It’s time for Vancouver Symphony Orchestra‘s first concerts of 2016, two spectacular performances featuring works by Liszt, Prokofiev and Bartók. The VSO also welcomes noted pianist Dimitri Zhgenti to perform with them at Skyview Concert Hall at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 16, and at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 17. The concerts will feature the seventy-member orchestra, led by Maestro Salvador Brotons, now in his 25th consecutive season as music director and conductor. The performances will open with Franz Liszt’s Symphonic Poem No. 5: Prometheus, followed by Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 1, featuring Mr. Zhgenti. The entire second half will consist of Béla Bartók’s 20th century masterpiece, Concerto for Orchestra.

Skyview Concert Hall is located at 1300 N.W. 139th St. in the Salmon Creek area of Vancouver. Tickets are available for this concert and all 2016 events at vancouversymphony.org or by calling 360-735-7278. Tickets are $50 for reserved seats, $37 for general admission, $32 for seniors aged 62 and over, and $10 for students with current ID.

VSO Launches 37th Season

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (a.k.a. VSO) begins its 2015-2016 season with a free, family-friendly outdoor concert in downtown Vancouver’s Esther Short Park from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 6. The concert, featuring some of the most familiar and popular classical music ever, will feature a 70+ member orchestra led by guest conductor Nir Kabaretti and selections with members of Opera Quest Northwest. The master of ceremonies will be OPB’s April Baer.

This performance is part of Vancouver’s popular Riverview Six to Sunset concert series, which invites North Bank residents of all ages to enjoy free concerts in the park every Thursday evening from July 9 to Aug. 13.

Selections to be performed include highlights from legendary operas such as The Barber of Seville by Rossini, Carmen by Bizet, La Boheme by Puccini, Romeo and Juliet and Faust by Gounod, Cavalleria Rusticana by Mascagni and The Magic Flute by Mozart. The second half will feature a selection of symphonic dances, including Polovetsian Dances by Borodin, Slavonic Dance No. 8 by Dvořák, Hungarian Dance No. 5 by Brahms, Ritual Fire Dance from El Amor Brujo by de Falla, Blue Danube Waltz by Strauss and Waltz of the Flowers by Tchaikovsky. Also returning this year is the Beacock Music Petting Zoo, where kids can play a variety of musical instruments.

Above image: the VSO wows audiences from the stage under Esther Short Park’s gazebo.

VSO Chamber Series: Buster Keaton’s “The General”

The highlight of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s Chamber Series 2015 season is happening on stage and on the screen, beginning at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 3, at the Kiggins Theatre. You’ll see and hear Buster Keaton’s “The General”—considered by The American Film Institute to be one of the top 20 best movies ever—in sense-surrounding glory, accompanied by music that unfolds right along with the story.

“The General” is Keaton’s best-known work. It will be presented with a score conducted by pianist Rodney Sauer, who also arranged the music. Musicians playing at the concert will be Stephen Shepherd, violin; Dieter Ratzlaf, cello; Igor Shakhman, clarinet and Sarah Viands, trumpet. But here’s a bit about the movie:

Railroad engineer Keaton is rejected by the Confederate Army and by his sweetheart, Annabelle (Marion Mack). When Northern spies kidnap both Annabelle and The General (Keaton’s beloved steam engine), it sets in motion cinema’s most perfectly structured comic epic. This 1926 silent film is presented in a beautiful transfer from an archival print. The five-piece orchestra uses historic “photoplay music” to create an authentic, exciting, and compelling score echoing what was heard in movie theaters in the roaring 20s.

This concluding concert in the 2015 Chamber Series season provides the perfect opportunity for attendees to not only see this cultural cornerstone, in comfy reclining chairs and Art Deco opulence, but also to enjoy wine, soft drinks and refreshments at the beautifully renovated Kiggins. As a special incentive to see this extraordinary film, students will be admitted for $5 with a current school ID. To purchase tickets online now, click here.

The General

-4The highlight of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s Chamber Series 2015 season is happening on stage and on the screen, beginning at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 3, at the Kiggins Theatre. You’ll see and hear Buster Keaton’s “The General”—considered by The American Film Institute to be one of the top 20 best movies ever—in sense-surrounding glory, accompanied by music that unfolds right along with the story.

“The General” is Keaton’s best-known work. It will be presented with a score conducted by pianist Rodney Sauer, who also arranged the music. Musicians playing at the concert will be Stephen Shepherd, violin; Dieter Ratzlaf, cello; Igor Shakhman, clarinet and Sarah Viands, trumpet. But here’s a bit about the movie:

Railroad engineer Keaton is rejected by the Confederate Army and by his sweetheart, Annabelle (Marion Mack). When Northern spies kidnap both Annabelle and The General (Keaton’s beloved steam engine), it sets in motion cinema’s most perfectly structured comic epic. This 1926 silent film is presented in a beautiful transfer from an archival print. The five-piece orchestra uses historic “photoplay music” to create an authentic, exciting, and compelling score echoing what was heard in movie theaters in the roaring 20s.

This concluding concert in the 2015 Chamber Series season provides the perfect opportunity for attendees to not only see this cultural cornerstone, in comfy reclining chairs and Art Deco opulence, but also to enjoy wine, soft drinks and refreshments at the beautifully renovated Kiggins. As a special incentive to see this extraordinary film, students will be admitted for $5 with a current school ID. Tickets are $35, available online by clicking here.

Arnaldo Cohen Plays Liszt at VSO Concert

On Feb. 21 & 22, Skyview Concert Hall will come to life with the sounds of Arnaldo Cohen performing two of Liszt’s piano concertos, along with the world premiere of Salvador Brotons’ Syphony No. 6, “Concise.”

World-renowned Arnaldo Cohen will join the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra for two concerts at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 21, and 7 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 22. Concertgoers are invited to come one hour early to each concert for a free lecture by Maestro Brotons, discussing his new composition.

Skyview Concert Hall is located at 1300 N.W. 139th St., Vancouver. Tickets to these concerts, as well as all VSO performances, are available now at vancouversymphony.org or by calling 360-735-7278.

Arnaldo Cohen Plays Liszt at VSO Concert

On Feb. 21 & 22, Skyview Concert Hall will come to life with the sounds of Arnaldo Cohen performing two of Liszt’s piano concertos, along with the world premiere of Salvador Brotons’ Syphony No. 6, “Concise.”

World-renowned Arnaldo Cohen will join the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra for two concerts at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 21, and 7 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 22. Concertgoers are invited to come one hour early to each concert for a free lecture by Maestro Brotons, discussing his new composition.

Skyview Concert Hall is located at 1300 N.W. 139th St., Vancouver. Tickets to these concerts, as well as all VSO performances, are available now at vancouversymphony.org or by calling 360-735-7278.

Liszt Comes to Life

On Feb. 21 & 22, Skyview Concert Hall will come to life with the sounds of Arnaldo Cohen performing two of Liszt’s piano concertos, along with the world premiere of Salvador Brotons’ Syphony No. 6, “Concise.”

World-renowned Arnaldo Cohen will join the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra for two concerts at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 21, and 7 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 22. Concertgoers are invited to come one hour early to each concert for a free lecture by Maestro Brotons, discussing his new composition.

The program opens with the vivacious “Colas Breugnon” overture by Kabalevsky. Then, on to the main attractions: Brazilian-born piano virtuoso Cohen has won particular acclaim for his performance of the works of Liszt, and this weekend he’ll play not one but two Liszt concertos—the blazingly virtuosic first and the more intellectual second. The concert will with Maestro Brotons’s Symphony No. 6.

Skyview Concert Hall is located at 1300 N.W. 139th St., Vancouver. Tickets to these concerts, as well as all VSO performances, are available now at vancouversymphony.org or by calling 360-735-7278.

Brahms at the VSO

Ah, no one knows how to stir the heart like Johannes Brahms! The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra‘s Salvador Brotons will conduct the passionate work of wonder known as Brahms’ Symphony No. 3 in a performance on Saturday, Jan. 24, and Sunday, Jan. 25, at the beautiful Skyview Concert Hall. Maestro Brotons will also lead the orchestra in George Gershwin’s spicy classic Cuban Overture. If your heart needs even more stirring, consider this: you’ll also hear soprano Christina Kowalski singing Wagner’s romantic Wesendonck-Lieder.

The second half of the concert is dedicated to Brahms’ lyrical 1883 Symphony No. 3, arguably the most finely crafted of his symphonies, which goes some way towards explaining its enduring popularity today. Symphony No. 3 is filled with conflicts and warm resolutions, turbulence and gentle sentiment, desolation and geniality and ends with a vision of twilight serenity.

Concert times are 3 p.m. on Saturday and 7 p.m. on Sunday. Skyview Concert Hall is located at 1300 N.W. 139th St. in Vancouver. Tickets—$25 for general admission or $10 for students with ID—are available at www.vancouversymphony.org or by calling 360-735-7278.

Above photograph: Is there a link between excessive facial hair and musical genius?

VSO Chamber Concert: Love Is in the Air

A cold rain blows through the Northwest, but inside the historic Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver, love will reign supreme at the first Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Chamber Series event of 2015, “Love Is in the Air.” The concert—to be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 11—will feature soprano Barbara Choltco and some of the most talented members of the VSO playing songs of love and romance. Concert selections will include

  • “Open Thy Heart” (Spanish serenade) by Georges Bizet
  • “Believe Me, If All Those Endearing Young Charms” by Donald Hunsberger and Wynton Marsalis
  • Duo for Violin and Viola by Bohuslav Martinů
  • Quartet for English Horn and Strings by Jean Françaix
  • “My Heart at Thy Dear Voice” from the opera “Samson et Dalila” by Camille Saint-Saens
  • “A Song from the Heart” by Eric Ewazen
  • Five Hebrew Love Songs by Eric Whitacre
  • Adagio and Allegro Op. 70 by Robert Schumann

General admission tickets are $25 per person or $10 for students with ID. Ticket packages are available from $60 to $120. Buy tickets online here.

Love Is in the Air

A cold rain blows through the Northwest, but inside the historic Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver, love will reign supreme at the first Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Chamber Series event of 2015, “Love Is in the Air.” The concert—to be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 11—will feature soprano Barbara Choltco and some of the most talented members of the VSO playing songs of love and romance. Concert selections will include

  • “Open Thy Heart” (Spanish serenade) by Georges Bizet
  • “Believe Me, If All Those Endearing Young Charms” by Donald Hunsberger and Wynton Marsalis
  • Duo for Violin and Viola by Bohuslav Martinů
  • Quartet for English Horn and Strings by Jean Françaix
  • “My Heart at Thy Dear Voice” from the opera “Samson et Dalila” by Camille Saint-Saens
  • “A Song from the Heart” by Eric Ewazen
  • Five Hebrew Love Songs by Eric Whitacre
  • Adagio and Allegro Op. 70 by Robert Schumann

General admission tickets are $25 per person or $10 for students with ID. Ticket packages are available from $60 to $120. Buy tickets online here.

2015 with the VSO

Just in time for you to wow the music-lovers on your list with tickets to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the VSO has announced its 2015 line-up of chamber music concerts. You can buy tickets for the VSO Chamber Music Series—as well as season tickets for the 2015 orchestra concerts or tickets for any individual concert—on the VSO website at www.vancouversymphony.org or by calling 360-735-7278. Four-concert packages are also available.

General admission for most concerts is $35, $50 for reserved seating, $30 for seniors, and $10 for students. All chamber series concerts will be performed and the beautiful (and extremely comfortable) Kiggins Theatre, located at 1101 Main St. in downtown Vancouver. Here’s what you can look forward to hearing:

  • Jan. 11, 2015: Love Is In the Air. A whole concert celebrating love and passion, featuring renowned soprano Barbara Choltco and the VSO’s talented musicians playing music by Bizet, Saint-Saëns, Schumann, and Eric Witacre.
  • March 8: Family Concert. This concert will be fun for the whole family and features local favorites the Columbia River Brass Band.
  • April 12: Signs of Spring with cellist Nancy Ives and pianist Cary Lewis.
  • May 3: “The General.” Buster Keaton stars in his greatest film, featuring live music accompanying this 1926 silent film classic.