Victoria, BC – This season our Explorations series begins with a program that discovers the similarities as well as the juxtaposition between sight and sound. From very real environmental concerns facing our society to abstract concerns that are more existential in nature; each piece is raw and captivating in its own unique way.
This piece is based on the life and work of Canadian experimental filmmaker Arthur Lipsett (1936-1986). Lipsett was a director of short, avant-garde films who used montage and found-footage to create immaculately edited works of incisive, satire: hyperreal portraits of society juxtaposed to reveal the beauty, comedy and depravity of contemporary life.
Under Bleak Skies
Composer Jennifer Butler wrote this piece thinking about the impact of humans on our oceans. We are constantly bombarded with news of symptoms warning that our oceans are in danger: higher PH levels, orca whale numbers dropping lower each year, fish populations that are near collapse, and the vast plastic gyre in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Under Bleak Skies is a musical lament for the ocean. In the beginning of the piece the sea is calm and two birds circle overhead. However, a feeling of alarm and panic gradually enters the musical texture, until all the instruments are sounding an alarm.
This is the World Premiere of the Hugh Davidson Fund (through the Victoria Foundatin) commissioned piece Confluence created by filmmaker Lindsay Dobbin and our own VS Composer-in-Residence Marcus Goddard. The film is of the meeting place of fresh and salt water. Located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of Lnu’k (Mi’kmaq), and about thirty minutes from K’jipuktuk (Halifax) along the Eastern Shore, these meeting waters are found in a tidal river that carries salt water in and out of a marsh. The film includes both a meditative-like calmness and a virtuosity of light, colour, and texture. The music is structured in three large sections that reflect on and interpolate Dobbin’s three part poem. The texture shifts very gradually from murmuring and gently sweeping lines to soloistic colours that kinetically refract in imitative bursts across the stage.
What makes one artistic decision better than another? Where does the music go from where it is right now? This is something that comes to mind when trying to understand the mind-boggling Many-world theory. It deals with a very large, perhaps infinite number of universes; and everything that could possibly have happened in our past, but didn’t, has occurred in the past of some other universe or universes.
Of course it is impossible to describe this in a piece for orchestra. But Manyworlds deals with many “parallel musics” where every music contains the seed of all the other musics. We can therefore travel from one music to another within a fraction of a second, and one musical situation can have one outcome one time, and later a totally different one. Hmm. Sounds like the description of a symphony? Well, maybe composers and quantum physicists are more similar than we think?
Victoria Symphony is joined by Ballet Victoria for the orchestra’s first pops concert of the 2019-20 season September 28 and 29, 2019
Principal Pops Conductor, Sean O’Loughlin, has created an electric program to launch the Victoria Symphony’s pops season, fusing music and dance and featuring the talented dancers of Ballet Victoria. A Fantasia of Dance is presented at the Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton St., Victoria, September 28, 2019 at 8pm and September 29, 2019 at 2pm.
Conducted by O’Loughlin, with choreography by Ballet Victoria Artistic Director Paul Destrooper, A Fantasia of Dance includes audience favourites from Rodeo, Appalachian Spring, Romeo and Juliet, and Fantasia, along with O’Loughlin’s own creation inspired by the best-selling book, The Art of Racing in the Rain. Concert highlights also include:
Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries
Debussy’s Clare de Lune
Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Prokofiev’s Dance of the Knights
Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain
Paul Destrooper has created original choreography for the concert, playing with the various genres of classical ballet, mixing traditional classical with neo classical style and adding contemporary choreography as well. “I’m focusing on the musical aspect of a work, playing with both melody and rhythm, as well as the dramatic accents and themes of each work”, he explains. “Some works are purely aesthetic and technical, while others develop some narrative content. The whole program is very entertaining and varied, and Ballet Victoria is thrilled to be working with the musicians of the Victoria Symphony.”
A Fantasia of Dance is presented Saturday, September 28, 2019 at 8:00 pm and Sunday, September 29, 2019 at 2:00 pm., at the Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street, Victoria. Tickets are $33 – $85 and are available from the Victoria Symphony Box Office at 250-385-6815.
Victoria, BC – The VS will join Maestro Kluxen on stage Monday, September 23 as they begin the 79th season of the Victoria Symphony. And the music…the demanding and stunning Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3 and Brahms Symphony No. 1.
With a reputation as being one of the most technically challenging piano concertos in the standard classical repertoire, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 is regarded as the best of his Piano Concertos. Honens International Piano Competition winner Geogory Tchaidze will make his debut with the VS performing this beautifully crafted and emotionally fulfilling concerto. Russian born Tchaidze has performed all over the world including Berlin, Shanghai, Brussels and with Pinkas Zukerman and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. The Ottawa Citizen praised his performance: “commendable clarity…unusually powerful a performance of so little ostentation.” Since 2016, he has been the artist in residence at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Belgium
under the direction of famed pianist Louis Lortie.
The second part of the concert features Brahms’ Symphony No. 1. Crafted over 23 years, the Symphony is related spiritually to the symphonies of Beethoven, while written in the Romantic musical language of Brahms. Tragic conflict, folk-like melodies and an intense passion build to a glorious and triumphant conclusion.
This concert will be a powerful opening to the VS season and not to be missed.
Single tickets are on sale now.
Victoria, BC – After decades of performances at its home base at the Royal Theatre, the Victoria Symphony has announced that it is being forced out of the Theatre due to exorbitant rental increases and curtailed access to booking dates.
Recent changes to rental fees and newly created priority scheduling policies and procedures developed by the Board of the Royal Theatre have created an untenable situation for the Victoria Symphony. “We have been forced to make some difficult decisions in the interest of our long term viability and sustainability,” says Chair of the Symphony Board Alan Hollingworth. “With the new policy our rent will increase by 100%, and combined with significantly reduced access to available dates in the Theatre we can no longer continue to offer our series of concerts.”
The Symphony will pull out close to 50% of its season offerings from the Royal and take them to the Farquhar Auditorium at the University of Victoria beginning in September 2019 and going forward. Effective September 2019 Saturday and Sunday Masterworks concerts will be presented at the University of Victoria, while Monday Masterworks will remain at the Royal Theatre. The Pops Series will remain at the Royal Theatre on Saturday and Sunday, with the Friday option now removed. The Christmas Special, Viennese New Years and Concerts for Kids will all take place at the University of Victoria.
Kathryn Laurin, CEO of the Symphony says, “We are counting on the understanding and continued support of our valued patrons to make this important transition with us. It will be challenging but certainly feasible.”
The Victoria Symphony is now in its 78th season and has been a long-standing contributor to a vibrant arts community in Victoria and the region, presenting over 60 different concert programs each year and providing a musical experience to over 18,000 school-aged students in Victoria and surrounding areas through its Education and Outreach programs.
More details on the transition will be forthcoming to patrons in the New Year.
Victoria, BC – Marcus Goddard, Associate Principal Trumpet with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, has joined the Victoria Symphony as the new Composer in Residence. His inaugural commission, Concerto for Trumpet, has its debut on November 3 with Principal Trumpet Ryan Cole performing the piece.
Goddard is the latest in a series of talented Canadian composers who have held the position of Composer in Residence with the Victoria Symphony including Jared Miller, Michael Oesterle and Victoria’s own Christopher Butterfield. Goddard will be developing music for the VS as well as leading workshops with aspiring young composers (14 – 21 years old) and providing feedback for composers during the Hugh Davidson Composer Readings where the orchestra will perform compositions from upcoming composers.
His Concerto for Trumpet, his first large-scale work for solo brass instrument, was inspired by both the strength of the trumpet’s fanfare figures and its cozy lyrical side. Elements of jazz can be heard throughout the colourful composition that Goddard describes as “an intense, seat-gripping ride.”
“While working on the concerto,” says Goddard, “I had frequent collaborative discussions with soloist Ryan Cole. Ryan’s observations and suggestions during these talks were a great way for me to stay connected to the integration of the entire piece and to create a work that truly leaps out of the instrument.”
Guest conductor Berhard Gueller returns to conduct Dvořák’s Czech Suite to open the concert. Composed in 1879, the richly melodic Suite is comprised of three movements named after folk dances and reflect Dvořák’s nationalistic style. Schumann’s joyous and effervescent Symphony No. 1 concludes the program.
Please join the Victoria Symphony in welcoming new Composer in Residence, Marcus Goddard.
Single tickets are available here.
Victoria, BC – 74 musicians will join Maestro Kluxen on stage Monday, September 17 as he begins his second season as the Music Director of the Victoria Symphony. The Symphony…Gustav Mahler’s majestic and spectacularly orchestrated Symphony No. 4.
Last played over 12 years ago, Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 reflects a short-lived spiritual period in his life; a gentle and beautiful symphony that is a delight to all. This piece combines Mahler’s love of nature, humour, scintillating orchestration, and a search for meaning amid the great questions of life into one masterful symphony. Additional horns, strings and brass musicians will take the stage to bring Mahler’s work to life. Support for this concert is provided by the Egon Baumann Music Foundation, celebrating Baumann’s life-long passion for the music of Mahler.
Canadian soprano Leslie Ann Bradley will sing the final movement of Mahler’s Symphony as well as Alban’s Seven Early Songs. A veteran of both operatic and symphonic performances throughout North America, Bradley has been described as giving performances of “sweeping virtuosity and radiance…her brightness dazzled, her mid to lower range open-hearted and warm.” (Opera Going Toronto). Last performed by the VS in 1991, Berg’s Seven Early Songs, although composed under his mentor Schoenberg in a structured formal manner, retain a lyrical, sensitive tone that comes across as haunting and other-worldly as sung by the memorable Leslie Ann Bradley.
The concert opens with Danish composer Hans Abrahamen’s Nact und Trompeten, a reflection and memory of both modern music and music from the past and how they interact and unravel in today’s modern society.
This concert will be a powerful opening to the VS season and not to be missed.
Single tickets are on sale HERE.
Victoria, BC – CEO Kathryn Laurin announced the largest private donation in the Victoria Symphony’s history today, $1,000,000 gifted by Len Chapple and his late wife Dallas.
“Dallas and Len Chapple’s gift is unprecedented in the arts community and creates an extraordinary legacy for the Victoria Symphony,” said Laurin. “It’s a leadership gift and the largest private donation in the Symphony’s history, demonstrating the impact that classical music and the Symphony in particular, can generate within the community and the region.”
Dallas Chapple, known for her contributions to the community, served two terms on the Victoria Symphony Board of Directors. Her most recent term ended in September 2017, just a few months short of her passing in December 2017. The successful real estate agent frequently attended concerts and Victoria Symphony events and served as the chair for the Festival of Trees, Victoria Executive Management Club and Rotary Club of Oak Bay.
“Dallas had a passion for music,” said VS Board Chair Brian Butler. “She was a dedicated Board member, always happy to lend support or find a way to get things done. The Chapple donation reflects her passion for music and their spirit of philanthropy, and serves as an example for us all.”
Len Chapple, her husband of 37 years, joined Dallas in her enthusiasm for music and community. “We loved each other, and the Victoria Symphony was the other love in our lives. It’s as important to the city of Victoria as any other non-profit organization. I hope that others will take advantage and come to the Symphony to find their own love of music.”
The Victoria Symphony will be acknowledging the $1,000,000 over the next few seasons, recognizing the Chapples as season underwriters and underwriting the Christmas Pops concerts. “Christmas Pops was always one of Dallas’s favourites,” said Len.
The Victoria Symphony is thrilled and extremely grateful for their generous support.
Victoria, BC – The Victoria Symphony celebrates the diverse beauty of Canada’s spectacular soundscapes and landscapes in the 2017 New Music Festival. Featuring a wide variety of spatialized orchestral and choral works including music from Pulitzer and Grammy winning composer John Luther Adams, the festival is curated by VS Composer in Residence Jared Miller.
The first concert in the festival, Music for a Sacred Space, takes place inside the iconic Christ Church Cathedral. One of Victoria’s best-known landmarks, the cathedral provides a stunning background for this evening of beautiful and immersive music. Featuring spatialized choral music written especially for this venue, Music for a Sacred Space engages audiences in a remarkable opportunity to experience innovative and engaging music resonating throughout every corner of this magnificent architectural space. Performers will be stationed (and in some cases moving) throughout the space, appearing and disappearing as the music weaves its spell. The concert begins at 7:30pm on Wednesday, March 8 (pre-concert talk at 7pm.)
The second concert, Soundscapes and Landscapes, features an equally innovative program showcasing the Victoria Symphony under the baton of Music Director Tania Miller. In celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary, the orchestra will explore the unique regions that create the fabric of Canadian life. From the cosmopolitan bustle of cities like Toronto and Montreal to the quiet desolation of BC’s desert regions, our country is home to a vast variety of environments and their accompanying soundscapes.
Composers featured Pulitzer and Grammy winner John Luther Adams, Paul Frehner, Dorothy Chang, and John Kosrud as well as a world premier by VS Composer in Residence Jared Miller titled Lament of the Wind. This spatialized orchestral piece is inspired by the moving Hall of Names exhibit at the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem and features texts from farewell letters of several prisoners of the Holocaust and makes use of unconventional instruments like glass bottle sand slide whistles. The orchestra will be joined by renowned cellist Ariel Barnes, a celebrated performer and recording artist. Featuring both spatialized and staged orchestral pieces, this extraordinary concert will engulf the audience in a body of sound.
As an added bonus, the 2017 Hugh Davidson Composer readings are incorporated into festival. Guests will hear music created by aspiring composers and played by the VS for the first time. VS Composer in Residence Jared Miller and VS Music Director Tania Miller will provide ongoing feedback on the creations.
A festival pass for all events is available for purchase at the Victoria Symphony office for $25, or tickets to individual concerts are available for $15. VS subscribers receive a discount on individual tickets.