Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Russia: Love It or Leave It

Russia: Love It or Leave It
Featuring Calvin Dyck, violin and Betty Suderman, piano
Sunday, January 25th, 1:30pm
United Mennonite Church
2277 Enns Road, Black Creek
Tickets: (250) 337-2204 or at the door $20/15

Virtuosic duo cooks up Russian passion

Take a bowl full of thrilling music, mix it with heart-gripping stories, add touches of passion, dashes of humour and sprinkles of outlandish hats, and you have the delicious Russia: Love It or Leave It” being presented at the United Mennonite Church, 2277 Enns Road in Black Creek, on Sunday, January 25 at 1:30 p.m.
The artists: Calvin Dyck, virtuosic violinist, gifted storyteller, wearer of many hats, and well-known in the area as the popular concertmaster of the Vancouver Island Symphony, will be joined by gifted and virtuosic pianist Betty Suderman in a program filled with beautiful, energizing and exciting music of Russia and the Ukraine.

A tasty program: From Gypsy and powerful Russian favourites to familiar classics, Calvin and Betty captivate the audience with the dramatic and tantalizing Dark Eyes; highlights from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet; the gentle Vocalise; passionate Lara’s Theme from Dr. Zhivago; music by Stravinsky and Beethoven; and Vehrlos und Werlassen.

Scrumptious stories: “Short vignettes between sets of music tell of the composers and their lives, the emotional tale of the Mennonite migration from Russia and the Ukraine, and our own personal family histories,” said Calvin as he excitedly explained how his and Betty’s families came to Canada, and how during his last tour of the Ukraine he nearly didn’t make it back to Canada with his golden violin. (But we’re not going to give that all away… you’ll have to go to the concert to find out how and why.)

“We want to reflect a bit on history, both to remember and to be thankful for this country,” added Calvin. “Most Canadians have a migration story – and so there is a connection here for most of us.”

A toe-tapping topping: Calvin (wearing the appropriate hat) and Betty conclude this luscious concert with the vibrant Czardas. “I just love Gypsy music,” said Calvin. “It’s in my blood!”

Tickets: $20 for adults, $15 for students, are available at the door or by calling (250) 337-2204.



Friendship: Ian & Beethoven - with the Vancouver Island Symphony

The Vancouver Island Symphony presents
Friendship – Ian and Beethoven
Guest Artist: Ian Parker, Piano
Conductor: Pierre Simard
Saturday, January 31, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
Port Theatre, 125 Front Street, Nanaimo
Tickets: 250-754-8550 www.porttheatre.com
Pre-Concert Talk

 “Continue to be my friend, as you will always find me yours.” – attributed to Beethoven

Cooking up a gourmet feast of music and friendship

Ian Parker is having fun! And when this popular international pianist comes to perform with the Vancouver Island Symphony at the Port Theatre in Nanaimo on January 31, for Friendship: Ian and Beethoven, he will be enjoying every moment, doing what he loves to do – play the piano like he’s presenting a gourmet feast. For if there’s anything the youthful, dynamic, flamboyant and expressive, globe-trotting Parker loves, it’s making music, cooking and sharing food and time with family - and friends.

“I feel so incredibly close to the VI Symphony and the Port Theatre,” says Parker. “On my first performance at the Port Theatre I remember having to test out their new piano for them.”

So, in their 20th celebratory season, focussed on friendship, the VI Symphony has invited one of their best friends. Parker’s magnetic charm, easy-going manner and amazing talent have captivated audiences at the Port Theatre for each of his guest appearances. Who could forget his sold-out raising-the-roof performance of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, or Tchaikovsky’s stunning Piano Concerto No. 1?

On January 31, Parker will play yet another brilliant piece of music with the orchestra, Mozart’s highly popular Piano Concerto No. 20. About the concerto Parker says, “Mozart, being the genius he was, never wrote his own cadenzas - he made them up on the spot. Beethoven had such passion and feeling about Mozart’s concerto that he actually wrote cadenzas for it; musicians usually create their own, but for this concerto they play Beethoven’s version - Mozart with a bit of Beethoven - and it’s just awesome!”

Parker, who in the past year has performed in Brazil and across North America, is really looking forward to this concert. “I’ve enjoyed playing with conductor Pierre Simard, and I’m excited about doing it again.”

Simard will also be conducting the VI Symphony for the world premiere of Mix Tape, written specifically for this concert by another VI Symphony friend, former composer-in-residence, and Nanaimo native, Jason Nett. As a grand finale, Simard will conduct Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 which is, in the composer’s own words, his ‘most excellent symphony.’

Ian Parker, Mozart, Beethoven, Jason Nett and the VI Symphony – ingredients for a most excellent gourmet feast of - music and friendship! And, if you have never experienced such delights before, come and taste-test - and feel the friendship. Tickets for this concert of camaraderie and delicious music (student $20, general $33-$59, eyeGO $5) are available by calling 250-754-8550. Then come and meet the delightful gourmet artist himself at the Pre-Concert talk.

For more information about Ian Parker and his amazing life visit: www.quillsquotesandnotes.com/ws-parker.htm and www.ianparker.ca.

About composer and Nanaimo native Jason Nett visit: www.quillsquotesandnotes.com/ws-nett.htm and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jason_Nett

For more information visit www.vancouverislandsymphony.com
Celebrate 20! – “An Awesome Party” – Keeping Music LIVE!