Wednesday, March 5, 2014

St. Petersburg - Courage with the Vancouver Island Symphony

The Vancouver Island Symphony presents
St. Petersburg - Courage
Guest Artists: Michael Kim, Piano
Stevan Paranosic, Trumpet
Conductor: Pierre Simard
Saturday, March 22, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
Port Theatre, Nanaimo
Tickets: 250-754-8550

Envision the passion, courage, romance and exotic beauty of Russia’s cultural capital, seat of three revolutions.  On Saturday, March 22 the Vancouver Island Symphony, under the baton of the illustrious Pierre Simard, continues this season’s world-wide musical tour with a journey to St. Petersburg in an intimate concert of notable Russian works filled with heart-melting stories.

Joining the VI Symphony for this stunning and poignant performance are Michael Kim, Canadian pianist, international concert soloist and recording artist, and Stevan Paranosic, principal trumpet with the VI Symphony and member of The Victoria Brass.

Feel the passion - with Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky, based on Songs for Children, and one of the most popular of Anton Arensky’s compositions. Passion and romantic tenderness of heart are presented by the strings of the orchestra as they exude Arensky’s wistful tribute to his own icon, Tchaikovsky.

Experience the courage - with Piano Concerto No. 1 for Piano, Trumpet and String Orchestra. This was originally an experiment by Dmitri Shostakovich in 1933 to create music with a neo-baroque combination of instruments. In and out of favour with the Russian Communist regime, Shostakovich spoke through his music, often with cheeky humour, and the Concerto No. 1 is certainly not without his unique voice.

Says Michael Kim, “I always jump at the chance to perform this Piano Concerto No. 1, because it has a really rare combination of trumpet and piano. It also combines the typical Shostakovich rhythmic and yet biting sarcastic comment about life in Russia at the time. With the Russian folk and dance elements it’s also fun, with even some rag time at the end. It has the clarity and transparency of a Mozart concerto, but also the deep moody Russian element.”

Says trumpeter Steven Paranosic, “Although it is a piano concerto there are moments where the trumpet gets to shine. It is written for a Bb trumpet, the preferred instrument of the Russian sound, which is broader and more strident. When I was a student, one of my professors said, ‘It’s simple… there are really only three things the trumpet must do: sing, dance and fanfare!’ This work brilliantly showcases the trumpet with all three styles – quirky dance-like interjections in the first movement, soulful lamenting in the second, and dazzling, almost sardonic fanfares in the last. The challenge for the trumpet is to not only meet the technical demands of the piece but approach each moment with complete musicality.”

Enjoy the romance - Alexander Borodin, a doctor, chemist, composer and dedicated husband, was an advocate for women’s rights and founder of the School of Medicine for Women in St. Petersburg. While his music was a secondary career, his compositions, like the Nocturne, filled with romantic charm, love, and enticing melody and harmony, are very familiar to audiences today.

Relish exotic beauty – Igor Stravinsky took inspiration from French 17th and 18th-century music for the traditional and soothing ballet Apollon Musagรจte, a story of Apollo, the Greek god of music, visited by three muses - dance and song, mime, and poetry. Exotic beauty permeates the music and the ballet, and, when the ballet was originally performed in 1928, the original exotic costumes were designed by Coco Chanel.

Come aboard for a journey to the wondrous city of St. Petersburg. Tickets are available by calling 250-754-8550

For more information visit:
Passport to Great Entertainment – Keeping Music LIVE!


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