Guitar music soothes audience

Jeremy Cook 1

The audience attending  Music in the Park was undeterred by rain on the evening of Thursday August 16, moving to the rain venue at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre eager to hear locals Jeremy Cook and Brian Highley perform two sets on guitar.

Jeremy created a relaxing atmosphere for the first half of the program, displaying considerable talent both as a classical guitarist and as an arranger and composer of instrumental pieces. Jeremy Cook 2Acknowledging his meditative style of playing, he joked “I won’t mind if you nod off. Really.”  Jeremy varied between familiar classics such as Greensleeves, considered “an old song” in Shakespeare’s day, and some of his own soft jazz and blues compositions. He also brought new interpretation to some sacred music, particularly hymn tunes such as the Welsh Hyfrydol.

Brian Highley 2Brian Highley plugged in at intermission and delivered an emotional performance of  covers ranging from  60s folk to light rock such as Into the Mystic by Van Morrison, Simon and Garfunkel’s The Boxer, Neil Young’s Harvest Moon, and I’m on Fire by Bruce Springsteen.  Particularly affecting was his rendition of Steve Earle’s Goodbye, perhaps outdoing Earle himself with a heart-wrenching interpretation of the lyrics.

The audience comfortably filled the space in “Big Blue”, a mix of ages from toddlers to seniors. Musically there was something for everyone from traditional to modern, religious to secular, old faves to new tunes. Despite the wet weather outside, there were plenty of smiles inside. These two gents created a wonderfully calming and relaxed mood that stayed with listeners for their journey home.

Brian Highley 1The last concert of the season is Jazz Out West on Thursday August 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the Oliver Visitor Centre (historic CPR Station). Rain venue Quail’s Nest Arts Centre, 5840 Airport Street. Bring a lawnchair or blanket, a picnic and a donation (suggested: $3 per person). Bottled water and desserts available for purchase by donation. ,

The Oliver Community Arts Council gratefully acknowledges the support of their corporate sponsor for this summer programme: Valley First Credit Union. Please continue to support their Feed the Valley initiative with your donations of food items for the Oliver Food Bank.

Bolshoy deemed "brightest and best" in classical guitar

review by Bob Park

The solo guitar performance by Daniel Bolshoy was billed by South Okanagan Concert Society’s executive as an event “not to be missed.” And were they ever right about that! It had been 25 years since the concert society last had a classical guitarist on stage. Last Friday night they made up for that “oversight” by bringing us the brightest and best.  

There are always potential challenges inherent in planning any concert. For this one, consider this: 200 people in a “substitute concert hall”, a whole program of music by composers that 99 percent of the audience had never heard of, and a single, quiet, unamplified, acoustic guitar.  How would it go over? The short answer: extremely well!

Daniel Bolshoy had us spell-bound throughout the evening. He worked magic on his newly acquired high-tech German-made guitar, of which even the slightest whisper of a strum could be heard at the back of the hall. The audience listened, as with bated breath, not wanting to miss a single phrase, a single note. Rare are performers who perfect the vibrato, slides and changes of tone on the guitar so as to create and maintain a singing quality. Daniel Bolshoy is such a performer.

He drew us into to the lyrical world of Sainz de la Maza, Karmon, and Barrios and, after two hours of pure delight, left us on our feet, asking for more.  Daniel’s program began with a musical tribute by the composer, Eduardo Sainz de la Maza, to a series of poems by the Spanish poet Juan Ramon Jimenez, “Platero y Yo”. A man and his donkey: the simple joys of life and memories. Daniel’s gift to us, we were soon to discover, was not just his beautiful playing. He also has the ability to set us up for the music by telling us lively little stories about the composers at the time that  each piece came into being.  We were fascinated. And we listened. The first half continued with five more compositions by Sainz de la Maza, including a  variety of evocative titles.  When Daniel introduced “Homage to Toulouse-Lautrec” by referencing the recent hit movie, “Midnight in Paris,” the audience nodded and smiled. The first half concluded  with Sainz de la Maza’s best known piece: Campanas del Alba, “Bells at Dawn”.  The rapid fire guitar-playing technique called “tremolo”, which allows a guitarist to imitate a singing vocal line, came off  so smoothly that the audience sat hushed for a moment, not wanting to break the lyrical spell.

The second half of the program began with “Next Year”, a series of 5 short pieces written for Daniel by the American composer Michael Karmon.  Each depicts a different aspect of life in Jerusalem, combining a sense of history, awe and modern realities of the 3,000 year-old city. Unusual, fascinating music, creating a taste for more. The program concluded with works by arguably the greatest guitarist of the 20th century, the Paraguayan-Guarani Indian composer Augustin Barrios Mangore.  Daniel explained how this composer’s music, so popular among guitarists today, languished in obscurity due to the overarching influence of Andres Segovia—the dominant classical guitar recitalist of the time. Out of jealousy, Segovia bad-mouthed Barrios at every opportunity. Barrios, a poverty-stricken, homeless, musical genius spent a life-time travelling all over Latin America, giving concerts and composing, but never getting the financial backing or promotional support he needed to achieve the success he was due.  A full, but in many ways also a tragic, life. Now, just as every pianist knows and admires Chopin, so does every guitarist know and admire Barrios.  It feels like a vindication when someone like Daniel shares the music by this genius with audiences far and wide.

The last piece in the program, “La Catedral”, presents enormous challenges to any performer. Daniel, with the exceptional powers of concentration and outstanding technical skills needed for the long and difficult stretches in the piece, did full justice to Barrios. A triumphant end to the program. We were treated to two encores, before the enthusiastic audience finally let Daniel leave the stage.  Barrios’ last composition, “An Alm for the Love of God”, was followed by Sainz de la Maza’s arrangement of Steven Foster’s well-known “Swanee River”, which combined shades of Ravel, Django Reinhardt, and Debussy. For me, it was a perfect ending to a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Judging by the strength of the standing ovation and by the record-setting CD sales in the foyer, Oliver concert-goers agreed!

The South Okanagan Concert Society has one more concert lined up for this season.  Music lovers, mark your calendars! The Penderecki String Quartet will be playing on Friday, Feb.24th at 7:30 at Oliver Alliance Church, whose support to the temporarily “homeless” SOCS has been tremendous, and is much appreciated by one and all. Early Bird ticket sales for next year will again be available.

Bolshoy deemed “brightest and best” in classical guitar

review by Bob Park

The solo guitar performance by Daniel Bolshoy was billed by South Okanagan Concert Society’s executive as an event “not to be missed.” And were they ever right about that! It had been 25 years since the concert society last had a classical guitarist on stage. Last Friday night they made up for that “oversight” by bringing us the brightest and best.  

There are always potential challenges inherent in planning any concert. For this one, consider this: 200 people in a “substitute concert hall”, a whole program of music by composers that 99 percent of the audience had never heard of, and a single, quiet, unamplified, acoustic guitar.  How would it go over? The short answer: extremely well!

Daniel Bolshoy had us spell-bound throughout the evening. He worked magic on his newly acquired high-tech German-made guitar, of which even the slightest whisper of a strum could be heard at the back of the hall. The audience listened, as with bated breath, not wanting to miss a single phrase, a single note. Rare are performers who perfect the vibrato, slides and changes of tone on the guitar so as to create and maintain a singing quality. Daniel Bolshoy is such a performer.

He drew us into to the lyrical world of Sainz de la Maza, Karmon, and Barrios and, after two hours of pure delight, left us on our feet, asking for more.  Daniel’s program began with a musical tribute by the composer, Eduardo Sainz de la Maza, to a series of poems by the Spanish poet Juan Ramon Jimenez, “Platero y Yo”. A man and his donkey: the simple joys of life and memories. Daniel’s gift to us, we were soon to discover, was not just his beautiful playing. He also has the ability to set us up for the music by telling us lively little stories about the composers at the time that  each piece came into being.  We were fascinated. And we listened. The first half continued with five more compositions by Sainz de la Maza, including a  variety of evocative titles.  When Daniel introduced “Homage to Toulouse-Lautrec” by referencing the recent hit movie, “Midnight in Paris,” the audience nodded and smiled. The first half concluded  with Sainz de la Maza’s best known piece: Campanas del Alba, “Bells at Dawn”.  The rapid fire guitar-playing technique called “tremolo”, which allows a guitarist to imitate a singing vocal line, came off  so smoothly that the audience sat hushed for a moment, not wanting to break the lyrical spell.

The second half of the program began with “Next Year”, a series of 5 short pieces written for Daniel by the American composer Michael Karmon.  Each depicts a different aspect of life in Jerusalem, combining a sense of history, awe and modern realities of the 3,000 year-old city. Unusual, fascinating music, creating a taste for more. The program concluded with works by arguably the greatest guitarist of the 20th century, the Paraguayan-Guarani Indian composer Augustin Barrios Mangore.  Daniel explained how this composer’s music, so popular among guitarists today, languished in obscurity due to the overarching influence of Andres Segovia—the dominant classical guitar recitalist of the time. Out of jealousy, Segovia bad-mouthed Barrios at every opportunity. Barrios, a poverty-stricken, homeless, musical genius spent a life-time travelling all over Latin America, giving concerts and composing, but never getting the financial backing or promotional support he needed to achieve the success he was due.  A full, but in many ways also a tragic, life. Now, just as every pianist knows and admires Chopin, so does every guitarist know and admire Barrios.  It feels like a vindication when someone like Daniel shares the music by this genius with audiences far and wide.

The last piece in the program, “La Catedral”, presents enormous challenges to any performer. Daniel, with the exceptional powers of concentration and outstanding technical skills needed for the long and difficult stretches in the piece, did full justice to Barrios. A triumphant end to the program. We were treated to two encores, before the enthusiastic audience finally let Daniel leave the stage.  Barrios’ last composition, “An Alm for the Love of God”, was followed by Sainz de la Maza’s arrangement of Steven Foster’s well-known “Swanee River”, which combined shades of Ravel, Django Reinhardt, and Debussy. For me, it was a perfect ending to a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Judging by the strength of the standing ovation and by the record-setting CD sales in the foyer, Oliver concert-goers agreed!

The South Okanagan Concert Society has one more concert lined up for this season.  Music lovers, mark your calendars! The Penderecki String Quartet will be playing on Friday, Feb.24th at 7:30 at Oliver Alliance Church, whose support to the temporarily “homeless” SOCS has been tremendous, and is much appreciated by one and all. Early Bird ticket sales for next year will again be available.

Solo guitar to work its magic Friday January 27

by Marion Boyd, South Okanagan Concert Society

Excitement ! Delight! A tiny bit of smug pride! Glee! That’s how the South Okanagan Concert Society executive is feeling as they announce Daniel Bolshoy, solo guitarist, will be on stage at the interim Oliver Alliance Church venue Friday, January 27th at 7:30 pm. Daniel has been a mega hit with his charismatic stage presence, his charming ability to communicate with the audience and the ability to coax utter magic from his guitar. The lucky coincidence that he has recently been appointed to head the guitar department at the newly created Vancouver Symphony School of Music means he is living for one year in Vancouver and close enough to be lured to the Okanagan.

The intimate atmosphere and acoustics of the Alliance Church venue are perfect to showcase a fine musician known for the expressiveness of his style. Critics say Daniel “immerses himself in his music, physically projecting the depth of its emotion while his virtuosity flows as if it were an instinctive force.”

Tickets are on sale at Beyond Bliss Esthetics in Oliver, Imperial Office Pro in Osoyoos and at the door. The best buy is a flexible pass for four admissions for only $60. The admissions can be used separately or in combination. Single admission is $20 and young people age 17 and under are welcome to attend concerts free.

Call Maureen at 495-7978 to arrange for transportation by van if you are worried about winter driving conditions and know you can’t miss this performance.

Daniel Bolshoy is a Russian-born, Israeli-raised Canadian and a renowned guitarist who is regularly praised for engaging the audience between pieces with biographies to introduce composers, and more importantly, with the story behind the piece itself. He has an uncanny intimacy with his instrument and an aggressive multi-layered quality to his style so that with closed eyes it is easy to imagine more than one player on stage.

Daniel’s recitals are frequently broadcast on the CBC. He appears on four CD recordings and he teaches guitar at Concordia University in Montreal and offers master classes internationally. He will soon be touring Russia and he continues to perform in Canada’s most prestigious venues, including the Glenn Gould Studio, the Toronto Centre for the Performing Arts, the National Art Centre and Vancouver’s Chan Centre.

One warning. There will only be one performance. When the Kallisto Trio held the audience breathless at their performance before Christmas and the word of that incredible concert spread through our towns, those who missed out lamented their loss. Daniel Bolshoy is capable of creating another magical evening to refresh the soul. Be careful. Don’t be one of those who only wishes they had been there. Be one of those sitting enthralled as his music works its magic.

Editor’s Note: This talented young performer is sure to appeal to the child or teen in your life. Planning to go? Bring along your favourite young person (s) for free!  Let them catch the excitement of a live concert!

Kallisto Trio harmonizes November 25

 The South Okanagan Concert Society brings the Kallisto trio to Oliver on Friday November 25th. Their tagline “Classical Mastery with Pop Personality and Latin Spice” describes their technique and repertoire to a T.

Three beautiful women have joined their voices and spirits to create Kallisto – an incomparable a cappella trio experience for listeners everywhere. Meshing the quirky approach of Bobby McFerrin with the stylish jazz harmonies of Manhattan Transfer into classical, Canadiana, folk and even rock ‘n roll, gives them a warm and inviting sound … with an edge. Described by audiences as ‘remarkable’ and ‘angelic, Kallisto draws inspiration from every ear of music history. The trio brings music from the Renaissance, Baroque and Romantic periods to life and then shifts effortlessly to jazz standards, pop hits, world music and gospel. This concert will also include some seasonal selections.

Fabiana Katz, Karen Mang and Catherine Laub, all highly regarded professional and musicians in their own right, are making waves with their artistry. They combine their knowledge, talent and skills to give their performances a depth and breadth witnessed in few ensembles. On stage their personalities play off one another perfectly – captivating and entertaining – while their flawlessly-tuned voices seem to effortlessly blend into one.

The trio spice up their performances with a variety of instruments, which they play with equal flair – guitar, accordion, electric bass, clarinet, recorders, djembe, claves, drums, shakers, tambourines, and a host of other percussion instruments.

The threesome also shares a common passion for creativity and showmanship. Kallisto’s shows raise the bar: every nuance of language, vocal colour and style seamlessly in place, every change in character brilliantly conveyed.

Give them a listen by clicking on their sample video at http://www.kallistotrio.com/ you’ll hear some jazz, Latin, pop, and Afro-American spiritual rhythms.

South Okanagan Concert Society presents
Kallisto Trio
Friday, November 25, 2011
7:30 p.m.
Oliver Alliance Church
Tickets:  $20 single performance
$60 four-way flex pass (savings of $5 per ticket!)
FREE for 17 yrs. and under

Already planning to be there? Bring your favourite young person (under 17) along! Expose them to some great music! You’ll be cultivating the next generation of concert goers — and it’s FREE!

Tickets available at Beyond Bliss, Oliver, Imperial Office Pro, Osoyoos, and at the door.

Look! It's an orchestra! It's an organ! No! It's … accordion!

by Val Friesen

Concerts just don’t get better than this. The South Okanagan Concert Society chose a world class accordionist, Alexander Sevastian, to open their four-concert season on Friday evening, October 28th.

From the moment he began Bach’s magnificent Toccata and Fugue in D-minor, filling the Alliance Church with organ resonance, consummate musician Sevastian held the full-house audience in rapt attention. His technical mastery of the bayan, the chromatic button accordion, allowed him to produce music now of sublime subtlety or now flooding the hall in magnificent splendour. Johann Sebastian would himself have marvelled at the colours Sevastian’s fleet fingers pulled from his instrument. Astonishing!

The three Scarlatti sonatas which followed, opened a window onto a crisp Italian morning as fresh it must have been three centuries ago, then transported us out into a glorious day, our hearts filled with the simple joys of being alive. Sevastian’s radiant playing of this delicate, transcendental music was a remarkable gift to his spellbound listeners.

The beautifully balanced program then took us into the unexplored territory of music from Sevastian’s Russian homeland, music composed for the accordion. The six movements of Vladislav Zolotaryov’s Chamber Suite evoked the coming of evening, then moonlight, a snowfall at night that you could feel as well as see, mysterious visions that tingled your spine and then the dark colours of gloomy sorrow, and closing with a romping Old Fairy Tale. A gallery of emotions, musical paintings, superbly played.

The first half of the program concluded with another Zolotaryov piece, the final movement of his Sonata No. 3—seemingly a musical setting of your worst pursuit nightmare, you frantically running to escape the relentless and terrifying phantoms at your heels. Amazing music magnificently played.

The second half of the program opened with another contemporary Russian piece, Semenov’s Don Rhapsody. Here, while drifting down the Don, the Russian countryside is brought to life much as Smetana did in The Moldau using evocative folk music to paint the scene. Beautiful shifting rhythms and moods.

The evening held much more of this enrapturing music that flowed through the medium of this sensitive artist. He inhabited the very soul of Tchaikovsky, transforming the written notes of October into the nostalgia of a summer love lost, lost. Sevastian swept us into a ballroom, swaying to the rhythms of von Weber’s Invitation to the Dance. He carried us to the haunting loneliness of the Russian Steppes and sent us to witness the swirling colours of Cossack dancing.

Who would have thought that accordion music could ever cast such a spell? Well, it did, and we have the Concert Society and its generous sponsors to thank for bringing such an outstanding event to our community. There are three more series concerts to come, and tickets are still available. Get one if you haven’t already. Your soul deserves it.

Tickets: $20 single ticket, $60 four-way flex pass (saves $5 per seat!), 17 yrs and under FREE. Available at Beyond Bliss (Oliver), Imperial Office Pro (Osoyoos), and at the door.

Upcoming Concert: Kallisto Trio, a cappella,  Friday November 25th

Look! It’s an orchestra! It’s an organ! No! It’s … accordion!

by Val Friesen

Concerts just don’t get better than this. The South Okanagan Concert Society chose a world class accordionist, Alexander Sevastian, to open their four-concert season on Friday evening, October 28th.

From the moment he began Bach’s magnificent Toccata and Fugue in D-minor, filling the Alliance Church with organ resonance, consummate musician Sevastian held the full-house audience in rapt attention. His technical mastery of the bayan, the chromatic button accordion, allowed him to produce music now of sublime subtlety or now flooding the hall in magnificent splendour. Johann Sebastian would himself have marvelled at the colours Sevastian’s fleet fingers pulled from his instrument. Astonishing!

The three Scarlatti sonatas which followed, opened a window onto a crisp Italian morning as fresh it must have been three centuries ago, then transported us out into a glorious day, our hearts filled with the simple joys of being alive. Sevastian’s radiant playing of this delicate, transcendental music was a remarkable gift to his spellbound listeners.

The beautifully balanced program then took us into the unexplored territory of music from Sevastian’s Russian homeland, music composed for the accordion. The six movements of Vladislav Zolotaryov’s Chamber Suite evoked the coming of evening, then moonlight, a snowfall at night that you could feel as well as see, mysterious visions that tingled your spine and then the dark colours of gloomy sorrow, and closing with a romping Old Fairy Tale. A gallery of emotions, musical paintings, superbly played.

The first half of the program concluded with another Zolotaryov piece, the final movement of his Sonata No. 3—seemingly a musical setting of your worst pursuit nightmare, you frantically running to escape the relentless and terrifying phantoms at your heels. Amazing music magnificently played.

The second half of the program opened with another contemporary Russian piece, Semenov’s Don Rhapsody. Here, while drifting down the Don, the Russian countryside is brought to life much as Smetana did in The Moldau using evocative folk music to paint the scene. Beautiful shifting rhythms and moods.

The evening held much more of this enrapturing music that flowed through the medium of this sensitive artist. He inhabited the very soul of Tchaikovsky, transforming the written notes of October into the nostalgia of a summer love lost, lost. Sevastian swept us into a ballroom, swaying to the rhythms of von Weber’s Invitation to the Dance. He carried us to the haunting loneliness of the Russian Steppes and sent us to witness the swirling colours of Cossack dancing.

Who would have thought that accordion music could ever cast such a spell? Well, it did, and we have the Concert Society and its generous sponsors to thank for bringing such an outstanding event to our community. There are three more series concerts to come, and tickets are still available. Get one if you haven’t already. Your soul deserves it.

Tickets: $20 single ticket, $60 four-way flex pass (saves $5 per seat!), 17 yrs and under FREE. Available at Beyond Bliss (Oliver), Imperial Office Pro (Osoyoos), and at the door.

Upcoming Concert: Kallisto Trio, a cappella,  Friday November 25th

Think you know accordion? Think again.

Think you know accordion? Probably not like this! Think a whole orchestra in one instrument and dexterity worthy of a concert pianist.

The South Okanagan Concert Society presents
Alexander Sevastian, solo accordionist
Friday, Oct 28, 2011
Oliver Alliance Church
Tickets : $60 regular flex pass, $20 single ticket
Available at Beyond Bliss (Oliver)
and Inperial Office Pro (Osoyoos) 

This concert will blow you away — guaranteed!

Alexander Sevastian has won four International Accordion Competitions including the Oslofjord in Norway (1998), The Cup of the North in Russia (2000), the Anthony Galla-Rini Accordion Competition in the U.S.A. (2001) and The Coupe Mondiale in the U.S.A. (2007).

Alex was born in Minsk, Belarus and began his studies on the accordion at the age of seven. In 1991 he attended the Glinka Musical College in Minsk. His advanced studies took him to the Gnessin Academy of Music in Moscow where he received his Masters in Performance degree in 2002, studying with renowned performer and pedagogue, Friedrich Lips.

Alex began his professional career in Moscow in 1996, performing with the Russian Radio Orchestra, which he toured with as a soloist throughout Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Italy, and Japan. Alex also was a very active recitalist and chamber musician. Highlights of his career include appearances in the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, Glinka Capella Hall (St.Petersburg), Suntory Hall (Tokyo), Roy Thomson Hall (Toronto), and the Metropolitan Museum (New York). Recent solo engagements include recitals in Mexico, Italy, Portugal, Serbia, U.S.A. and Canada as well as appearances with several symphony orchestras.

Alex and his family moved to Canada in April 2001. He joined the renowned Quartetto Gelato in 2002. In May 2003 he completed his advanced performance studies at the University of Toronto. In the fall of 2005 he became a Canadian Citizen. Alex made his debut with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in April 2008.

Turn up your speakers and listen to some of his virtuosic playing at http://www.quartettogelato.ca/alex.php  and the amazingly fast Minka Variations at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5JE6s9FeGc . Then pick your jaw up from the floor and go out and buy your tickets!

What’s up later in the South Okanagan Concert Society season?

Fri. Nov 25: Kallisto Trio, a capella female trio
Fri. Jan 27: Daniel Bolshoy, solo guitarist
Fri. Feb 24 : Penderecki String Quartet

Series financially supported in part by the Oliver Community Arts Council

Ingrid Inspires

The Oliver Community Arts Council presents
Music in the Park
Celtic Harp with Ingrid Schellenberg
Celtic, classical, and popular pieces
Thursday August 11
6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Oliver Visitors Centre “Riverside Patio”
(Rain venue: Quail’s Nest Arts Centre,
34274 – 95th St)
 
Suggested minimum donation $3
Bring a blanket or lawnchair.
Picnickers welcome. Dessert vendor on site.
 
The OCAC gratefully acknowledges the support of
Valley First Credit Union
for our summer concert series.
Non-perishable food donations to their Feed the Valley program are welcome or drop off at your local branch.

We also acknowledge the support of the BC Arts Council, the Province of BC, the Town of Oliver, the RDOS, and Oliver Parks and Recreation for all our programming.

Photo Credit: Heather Fink  (file photo 2010)

Classics to classy in 2011-12 Concert Series

The South Okanagan Concert Society winds up its current season this month with the Foothills Brass on Friday March 11, at the Frank Venables Auditorium at 8:00 p.m. (Scroll down for another article on the concert). 

As an added bonus, concert goers will get first dibs on season tickets for the 2011-12 season.  Flex passes are regularly $60 for four tickets, but there will be an early bird price of $50 from March 11 until the end of April. Season tickets will be available at the Foothills Brass concert and at Beyond Bliss (Oliver) and Imperial Office Pro (Osoyoos) from March 12 to April 30.

The musical offerings for next season are an appealing mix of voice and instrument, classics and classy.  

Friday, Oct 28, 2011: Alexander Sevastian, solo accordionist

Think you know accordion? Probably not like this! Think  a whole orchestra in one instrument and dexterity worthy of a concert pianist. This concert will blow you away — guaranteed! Alexander Sevastian has won four International Accordion Competitions including the Oslofjord in Norway (1998), The Cup of the North in Russia (2000), the Anthony Galla-Rini Accordion Competition in the U.S.A. (2001) and The Coupe Mondiale in the U.S.A. (2007).

Alex was born in Minsk, Belarus and began his studies on the accordion at the age of seven. In 1991 he attended the Glinka Musical College in Minsk. His advanced studies took him to the Gnessin Academy of Music in Moscow where he received his Masters in Performance degree in 2002, studying with renowned performer and pedagogue, Friedrich Lips.

Alex began his professional career in Moscow in 1996, performing with the Russian Radio Orchestra, which he toured with as a soloist throughout Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Italy, and Japan. Alex also was a very active recitalist and chamber musician. Highlights of his career include appearances in the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, Glinka Capella Hall (St.Petersburg), Suntory Hall (Tokyo), Roy Thomson Hall (Toronto), and the Metropolitan Museum (New York). Recent solo engagements include recitals in Mexico, Italy, Portugal, Serbia, U.S.A. and Canada as well as appearances with several symphony orchestras.

Alex and his family moved to Canada in April 2001. He joined the renowned Quartetto Gelato in 2002. In May 2003 he completed his advanced performance studies at the University of Toronto. In the fall of 2005 he became a Canadian Citizen.

Alex made his debut with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in April 2008. Turn up your speakers and listen to some of his virtuosic playing at http://www.quartettogelato.ca/alex.php and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5JE6s9FeGc

Friday, Nov 25, 2011: Kallisto Trio, a capella female trio

Their tagline “Classical Mastery with Pop Personality and Latin Spice”  describes their technique and repertoire to a T.

Three beautiful women have joined their voices and spirits to create Kallisto – an incomparable a cappella trio experience for listeners everywhere. Meshing the quirky approach of Bobby McFerrin with the stylish jazz harmonies of Manhattan Transfer into classical, Canadiana, folk and even rock ‘n roll, gives them a warm and inviting sound … with an edge. Described by audiences as ‘remarkable’ and ‘angelic, Kallisto draws inspiration from every ear of music history. The trio brings music from the Renaissance, Baroque and Romantic periods to life and then shifts effortlessly to jazz standards, pop hits, world music and gospel.

Fabiana Katz, Karen Mang and Catherine Laub, all highly regarded professional and musicians in their own right, are making waves with their artistry. They combine their knowledge, talent and skills to give their performances a depth and breadth witnessed in few ensembles. On stage their personalities play off one another perfectly – captivating and entertaining – while their flawlessly-tuned voices seem to effortlessly blend into one.

The trio spice up their performances with a variety of instruments, which they play with equal flair – guitar, accordion, electric bass, clarinet, recorders, djembe, claves, drums, shakers, tambourines, and a host of other percussion instruments.

The threesome also shares a common passion for creativity and showmanship. Kallisto’s shows raise the bar: every nuance of language, vocal colour and style seamlessly in place, every change in character brilliantly conveyed. 

Give them a listen by clicking on their sample video at http://www.kallistotrio.com/ you’ll hear some jazz, Latin, pop, and Afro-American spiritual rhythms.  

Friday, Jan 27, 2012: Daniel Bolshoy, solo guitarist

Daniel Bolshoy has performed in every major centre in Canada, establishing him as the country’s most visible concert guitarist. He is regularly praised for his friendly and informative spoken introductions, and progressive programming of solo and chamber music.

Mr. Bolshoy has performed for many prestigious festivals including the Ottawa and the Vancouver International Chamber Music Festivals, the Guitar-Gems International Guitar Festival in Israel, the Halifax Guitar Festival, the Elora Festival, the Guelph Spring Festival, the Festival des arts Boré-Art, and more.

Mr. Bolshoy’s recitals are frequently broadcast on CBC Radio, and he has also appeared in two documentary films for the Bravo! (TV) series: The Classical Now.

Among recent orchestral appearances are concertos by Rodrigo, Ponce, Kernis, and Castelnuovo-Tedesco with international orchestras: The Mexico City Philharmonic, the Toronto Philharmonia, the Edmonton Symphony, the Calgary Philharmonic, the Vancouver Philharmonic, the Beer Sheva Symphoniette (Israel), the Manitoba and Ottawa Chamber Orchestras. He has been invited to the jury of the Tabula Rasa Guitar Competition as well as concerto soloist in Ponce’s Concierto del Sur in an upcoming tour of Russia.

Daniel Bolshoy has four commercial CD recordings.

Mr. Bolshoy teaches guitar at Concordia University in Montreal and regularly offers masterclasses to guitar societies and educational institutions internationally. Daniel Bolshoy continues to perform solo and chamber music recitals in Canada’s most prestigious venues, including the Glenn Gould Studio, the Toronto Centre for the Performing Arts, the National Art Centre, and Vancouver’s Chan Centre.

Have a listen to http://www.danielbolshoy.com/en/audio-video.html to whet your appetite!

and rounding out the season with a grand flourish is…

Friday, Feb 24, 2012: Penderecki String Quartet

The Penderecki String Quartet, approaching the third decade of an extraordinary career, has become one of the most celebrated chamber ensembles of their generation. These four musicians from Poland, Canada, and the USA bring their varied yet collective experience to create performances that demonstrate their “remarkable range of technical excellence and emotional sweep” (Toronto, Globe and Mail).

The Quartet’s performing schedule takes them annually to the great concert stages of North and South America, Europe and the Far East. Recent appearances include New York (Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall), Madrid, Amsterdam (Concertgebouw), Prague, St. Petersburg, Rome, Belgrade, Zagreb, Paris, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Indiana University, Wieczory Arsenale Festival in Poland, Is Arti Festival in Lithuania, Rive-Gauche Concerti in Italy, the Festival Internacional de Musica in Venezuela, Casalmaggiore Festival and Incontri in Terra di Sienna in Italy, Musicarama Festival Hong Kong, and the Shanghai International Arts Festival. The PSQ appears extensively in Canada, giving numerous performances in all the major centres from coast to coast and participating in this country’s foremost concert series such as the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, Festival of the Sound, Banff Centre’s Music and Sound, Festival Vancouver and Music Toronto.

The Penderecki Quartet was founded in Poland in 1986 at the urging of the pre-eminent Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki. The To this day the Quartet is a devoted champion of the music of our time, and has performed a wide range of repertoire from Bach to Brahms, Bartók to Ligeti, Frank Zappa to John Oswald, as well as premiering over 100 new works from numerous composers.

Described by Fanfare Magazine as “an ensemble of formidable power and keen musical sensitivity”, the Penderecki Quartet’s large discography includes over 25 recordings. The Penderecki String Quartet saw some sparks fly at the 2010 JUNO Awards. They were involved in three nominations for recordings they made in the previous year.

Pick up your season pass before they disappear — like a song — into thin air!

Music in the Park continues in August

The poster below lists the August concerts. For the July concerts, scroll down the page, look under “latest posts” , visit the “Upcoming!” page, or use the search tool and enter “Music in the Park”.  

If the weather is foul, the concerts go on! Our rain venue is the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre at 34274 – 95th Street, Oliver (south of the RCMP and Fire Hall, and west across the strett from the Oliver airport).  For a map, search this site under “Quail’s Nest Arts Centre”.music-in-the-prk-august-web

South Okanagan Concert Society

The South Okanagan Concert Society (SOCS) puts on a series of four concerts per year with a particular focus on classical and world music. They strive for a mix of  well-known established performers, and edgy new talent.  Performances are generally held at the Frank Venables Auditorium (South Okanagan Secondary School) in Oliver, BC.

Tickets for the upcoming 2009-2010 concert series are already available. Flex passes are a great way to maximize the music! Each set earns you four admissions so you can see each concert as a single, or go to two concerts with a friend, or have a special evening out for four. Early bird flex passes are $45 until the end of April ($55 regular price).  Ticket vendor: Miss Molly’s Quilt Shoppe on Oliver’s Main Street. Single concert tickets may be purchased at the door for $20 each.

The 2009-2010 performers are:

duo-affiniteDUO AFFINITE
Friday, October 30, 2009

Guy Few on trumpet, corno and piano, and Nadina Mackie Jackson on bassoon create an irresistible combination of muscianship and engaging showmanship. Celebrated internationally as soloists, chamber musicians and recitalists, these two incredible musicians blend their ideas and spirits in this new recital concept. Trumpet and bassoon – the starting point – following the lead of Baroque tradition, the inspiration of 20th century composers and the voices of today. But there is so much more. Programming also includes piano, corno da caccia and voice. Join these two renowned musicians for an evening of musical magic.

“Few and Jackson play with polished tone, immaculate intonation, and infectious high spirits; it’s obvious they’re having a blast.”
All Music Guide, 2007

  

 

calvin-sideCALVIN DYCK AND THE GOLDEN VIOLIN
Friday November 27, 2009

Music and theatre are intertwined in the Golden Violin. The engaging script, costumes, backdrops and music draw the audience into the story. Violinist Cal;vin Dyck and pianist Betty Suderman take the audience on a journey, tracing the history of Calvin’s “golden violin”, a beautiful instrument crafted in 1807 by the Dutch violin maker Johannes Cuypers.

 “The audience was absolutely enraptured by his flawless interpretation…”
“Dyck and Suderman make a splendid ensemble as extraordinarily skilled musicians and actors.”
“He played with great skill and dexterity … sounding pure, crisp tones with a magnificent bowing technique.”
 – Daily News, Nanaimo

 
 
ezeadi2EZEADI ONUKWULU AND ONE HUMAN RACE
Friday, February 5, 2010

 Ezeadi’s charismatic presence, versatility and soothing voice have endeared him to audiences. Ezeadi is an innovator, motivator and  instigator in the African and World Music scene.

 Ezeadi’s music, based on traditional Igbo rhythms, evokes the spirit of highlife and afrobeat with a splash of funk, jazz, blues and reggae. The lyrics are prayers and appeals to universal consciousness and our conscience to make the world a better place for all.

His unique mastery of the pennywhistle, other instruments and vocal styling will take you to beautiful new places.

“This music uses gentle African rhythms and bubbling vocals to deliver peaceful idealism emphatically. It is new kind of African roots based world music cooked and ready to be served to the world from British Columbia.”  – The Province

 

vanchamberchoir1VANCOUVER CHAMBER CHOIR
Friday March 5, 2010

The Vancouver Chamber Choir is Canada’s outstanding profressional vocal ensemble. The choir impresses audiences with the depth and range of their repertoire and interpretive skills.

“… When it comes to unearthly beauty and awe-inspiring power, they’re a pretty fine mortal approximation of how celestial singers should sound.”  – North  Shore News

“Jon Washburn’s Choir remains at the forefront of Canadian vocal ensembles. ….“Canada’s leading professional vocal ensemble.”  –  Toronto Star

“…the choir’s performance… began with admiration and finally left you in awe.” – Vancouver Sun