Victoria Symphony will have a grand sendoff right here in Duncan for its first-ever cross-Canada tour.
The Cowichan Symphony Society continues its Diamond Jubilee Concert series with a performance by the Victoria Symphony as the orchestra sets off on its inaugural national tour, featuring the premiere of new work by composer Michael Oesterle and a return of Canadian pianist Stewart Goodyear to play Grieg’s Piano Concerto.
“We bring them to town every season but this is a very special concert,” said Ted Rhodes, president of the Cowichan Symphony Society. “In fact, after they leave us they’re flying to Quebec City to perform and they’ll be performing in Ottawa at the National Arts Centre and then on to the Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto as part of the Toronto Symphony Series.”
Now celebrating its 75th year, the Victoria Symphony’s first-ever national tour includes a repertoire that emphasizes their immense talent.
“This concert has really been designed to show off the orchestra in all its glory,” Rhodes said, adding that over the years “it’s been a great partnership between the Valley and Victoria.”
Pianist Goodyear began his training at the Royal Conservatory in Toronto, received his bachelor’s from Curtis Institute of Music and completed his master’s at the Juilliard School in New York. In 2012 and 2013 Goodyear performed all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas in one day at Koerner Hall, McCarter Theatre and the Mondavi Centre. His recording of this musical feat has received a Juno nomination for Best Classical Solo Recording.
“He’s a star Canadian pianist and it’s of course the Grieg Piano Concerto, which is well known and much loved by audiences,” Rhodes said. “We know the audience will love that.”
Conductor Tania Miller, now celebrating her 13th year as music director of the Victoria Symphony, will lead the orchestra. The first Canadian woman to be music director of a major Canadian symphony orchestra, Vancouverite Miller projects authority, dynamism and sheer love of the experience of making music, according to a press release from the Cowichan Symphony Society.
The show opens with Oesterle’s new work Entr’actes and Goodyear’s performance of Grieg’s Piano Concerto and the second half will showcase the virtuosity and versatility of the Victoria Symphony Orchestra with Copland’s Appalachian Spring and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite.
“Copland’s Appalachian Spring is fabulous and finishing with Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. Both of those pieces — the whole thing — requires a big orchestra,” Rhodes said. “It’s just a fabulous program.”
The show takes place Saturday, March 26 at 7:30 p.m. at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre in Duncan. Tickets are $40 or $25 depending on seating, and $5 for students or children under 10. Group tickets of 10 or more available for $25 each by contacting Rhodes at 250-715-0907 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For tickets visit www.cowichanpac.ca or call the theatre at 250-748-7529.