The Okanagan Symphony Orchestra embarks upon its 60th season in the Valley this month, with concerts in Kelowna, Penticton and Vernon Oct. 18-20. (Photo - Capital News)

Okanagan Symphony Orchestra celebrates 60 years with three local shows

The OCO will perform in Kelowna, Penticton and Vernon this October

The Okanagan Symphony Orchestra and music director Rosemary Thomson have announced their concert dates celebrating the orchestra’s 60th anniversary in Vernon, Penticton and Kelowna.

Entitled Legends, the name of the opening concerts refers to the “Bonjour” Stradivarius cello that guest artist Bryan Cheng will be playing when he takes the stage.

Cheng has been named to the Top 30 Under 30 on CBC’s list of classical musicians.

He is described as owning “a depth of sensitivity and maturity that will secure him a distinctive place in the world of classical music.” He will be performing Antonin Dvorak’s cello concerto in B minor.

Also featured at the Legends program each night is OSO’s new concertmaster, violinist Rachel Kristenson. Kristenson will be performing a middle-eastern folk tale piece titled Rimskiy-Korsakov’s Scheherazade.

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Canadian composer John Estacio will have the honor of opening the shows with Frenergy, which he describes as a five-minute bar burner, percussive composition that will perfectly serve to kick start the OSO’s 60th anniversary season.

“I love all three works of this program because they are so visceral-breathtaking in virtuosity and heartbreaking in beauty,” said Thomson.

“One of my favourite moments is near the beginning of the symphonic suite Scheherazade, where Sinbad’s ship is depicted on the high seas and the orchestra is practically swaying from the rhythm of the sea. Thrilling!”

The OSO will play the Kelowna Community Theatre on Oct. 18, Penticton Cleland Theatre on Oct. 19 and the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Oct. 20.

Tickets for all shows are available online through the OSO website.

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