Victoria, BC – November 13, 2015
Canadian superstar violinist James Ehnes comes to Victoria to play Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole, and Victoria Symphony Music Director Tania Miller conducts Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 on November 21 & 22.
When Tania Miller and the music programming committee were planning the Victoria Symphony’s celebratory 75th anniversary season, James Ehnes was one of the first names mentioned as a guest to invite. Canadian Ehnes debuted with the Victoria Symphony in 1993 when he was still a teenager and has been back twice since then, playing Beethoven in 2009 and Sibelius in 2013. Labelled “the Jascha Heifetz of our day” (Globe and Mail), his 15/16 season includes performances with the Melbourne Symphony, the New York Philharmonic and the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg in addition to his two appearances in Victoria November 21 and 22.
For his Victoria Symphony appearance, Ehnes requested the Lalo Symphonie espagnole. Lalo, a French composer, wrote the work in 1874 for violin virtuoso Pablo de Sarasate; the Spanish influences and melodies in the work were designed to complement the colourful Spanish violinist de Sarasate. The Victoria public is sure to enjoy hearing James Ehnes’ brilliant take on this delightful work.
Tania Miller’s conducting experience with Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 began at her first serious competition in 2004. The Gustav Mahler Competition required young conductors to lead the Bamberg Symphony in an excerpt of the Mahler’s 5th – but they only found out which excerpt they were leading the night before their adjudication. This required extensive study of the entire 70-minute Symphony No. 5, a monumental task. (The competition was won by a then-relatively unknown conductor – Gustavo Dudamel.) Since then Miller has conducted bits of the work, but the performance on November 21 will be her first time leading it in its entirety. Miller said of the work:
“He takes us on a journey. Mahler is constantly searching for the meaning of life; how does man struggle with the challenges of life. Right at the beginning someone is hearing their own death march. In amongst all those thoughts are moments of nostalgia, memories, things that are part of your life. Mahler creates a world that moves from despair and darkness into celebration, joy and love.”
Maestra Miller will be on hand for pre-concert “Tania Talk” to offer insights into Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 in the west lobby of the Royal Theatre one hour before each concert. Admission is free for ticket holders.
To purchase tickets, pleas click here.