Tyson’s “Quartette” returns to sing

by David Badger

Here It Is……

Cindy Church, Caitlin Hanford, Gwen Swick, and Sylvia Tyson are Quartette and they are coming HERE for Christmas. If you were lucky enough to catch them in an intimate concert setting two summers ago then you know just how good they are. We thought we could have sold that show out 2 or 3 times over back then, so we are moving to the big venue at Venables to give you the concert of the season. Medici’s, along with our co-sponsors, the Oliver Grandmothers for Africa are going to give you the concert of your life! 

Since their debut in 1993, the four members of Quartette have been both publicly and critically acclaimed for their lush harmonies and delightfully diverse repertoire. These incredibly talented women are seasoned singer/songwriters whose influences range from blues and gospel to folk and country to jazz and pop.

The ladies have two Christmas CDs under their belts, “A Quartette Christmas.” and “It’s Christmas!” They deliver a unique blend of Christmas music in their trademark harmonies in a show that is truly reverent. They are more than anything else, ultimate professionals. An evening with Quartette is always magical and oh so amazing. Come have one of those!

Quartette performs at the Frank Venables Theatre on Wednesday, December 7th at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $45 each and seating is assigned. Get yours quickly at the Venables box office, online at venablestheatre.ca or at Medici’s at 522 Fairview Road. 250-498-2228


Final concert will cap a great concert series

by Marion Boyd, South Okanagan Concert Society

Mark your calendar for Friday February 24th, when the Penderecki String Quartet performs in the final concert of the South Okanagan Concert Society winter season. In the second decade of an extraordinary career, this celebrated chamber ensemble’s performing schedule takes them annually to the great concert stages of North and South America, Europe and the Far East. Making up the prestigious quartet are Jeremy Bell, violin, Jerzy Kaplanek, violin, Christine Vlajk, viola, and Paul Pulford, cello. The quartet has collaborated with many eminent ensembles as well as with artists such as James Campbell and Janina Fialkowska who have thrilled audiences here in past years.

The concert will be at the temporary venue of the Oliver Alliance Church just north of Oliver at 7:30 pm. Tickets are on sale at Beyond Bliss Esthetics in Oliver, Imperial Office Pro in Osoyoos and at the door. This is the time to use up any remaining admissions on your flex pass and to bring your cheque book to catch the Early Bird prices for next season. Single admissions are $20 and students 17 and under are admitted free. This is a great opportunity to introduce the young musicians in your family to world class live music.

Sometimes people ask me why I love the concert series music so much. I decided to ask members of the audience what draws them. Here is what Brita Park told me:

“I’ve got this image of my recently immigrated parents in the early 50’s. My Dad had been working two jobs (16 hours a day) and had finally earned a bit more than was required for the daily food to feed a family of eight. My mother’s immediate thought was “New shoes for the kids!”. Too late! To her dismay, my father came home without the extra money. Instead he carried a beautiful record player and proudly chose one record from a stack of new LPs. The lively strains of a Strauss waltz filled the house, drifted over the porch and the orchard below. Father gallantly twirled my mother around the living room and we children joined in.

“Later my mother admitted that it was my father who had gauged the family needs correctly, not she. Our old shoes would have to do. It was the beautiful shared music of Strauss, Chopin, Mozart, Bach and Mendelssohn that lifted the family up, accompanying, sustaining, and delighting us through all our years of growing up.”

So come and share the beautiful music of the Penderecki String Quartet with others who love music. Allow yourself to be lifted up, sustained and delighted. Don’t be afraid of winter roads. Call Maureen at 250 495 7978 if you want to arrange transportation in the van. Join us. Come!

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!

Sleighbells and Song with Penticton Concert Band

Nothing says Christmas like a brass fanfare, children’s voices… and sleighbells. The popular Penticton Concert Band returns to Oliver as the headline act in a musical extravaganza “Sleighbells and Song” on Tuesday December 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the Frank Venables Auditorium.

Conductor Gerald Nadeau returns with his brass and woodwinds ensemble to put everyone in the spirit. Their repertoire spans the centuries with arrangements of traditional carols to the stirring Christmas Overture to the jazzy Santa Does Dixie.

Joining in the celebration are several local choral groups. The audience will be tempted to hum along with the children’s choir from the Seventh-Day Adventist School as they sing the toe-tapping spirituals Mary Had a Baby and Go Tell it on the Mountain, and chime in on Bells in the Steeple.

The Desert Airs, a local men’s a cappella group, will harmonize on Winter Wonderland, White Christmas, and Angels We Have Heard on High. A mixed quartet from the Adventist and Alliance churches perform My Sheep Were Grazing, Lo How a Rose and Rise up Shepherds and Follow.

There will be an opportunity for the audience to sing along with the brass and woodwinds on a couple of popular winter songs.

Host Stephanie Salsnek adds her trademark sparkle and banter to liven up the evening.

Tickets are $10 adults and $5 students, and are available at Handworks Gallery and Sundance Video on Main Street Oliver. The event is presented by the Oliver Community Arts Council.

For more information, photos, reviews and concert dates check out the prencticton concert band website at http://www.pentictonconcertband.ca/

Want to join the band in 2011? info@pentictonconcertband.ca