Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and some “Classical Sax” in Surrey are on the calendar for Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s 2020-21 concert season.
Details about the VSO’s five-concert “Surrey Nights” and other series were announced Monday (March 9), with subscription packages now on sale via vancouversymphony.ca. Single-concert tickets will go on sale this summer.
The orchestra’s 2020-21 season is Otto Tausk’s third as Music Director, and the planned concerts in Vancouver will feature Stuart Copeland from The Police, Paul Shaffer and West Side Story, among others.
At Bell Performing Arts Centre, the Surrey series will kick off Sept. 24 with Tausk conducting Beethoven’s most famous composition, with soprano Simone Osborne, mezzo-soprano Susan Platts, tenor Lucas van Lierop and baritone Scott Brooks as guest soloists.
Up next, British-Australian saxophonist Amy Dickson will be featured in a “Beethoven & Prokofiev plus Classical Sax” concert on Oct. 16. “Maestro Tausk invites you to discover the classical saxophone with the remarkable Amy Dickson, a musician who will entrance you with her sense of phrase and gorgeous tone,” according to a concert description posted to the VSO’s website. “A VSO debut bookended by two wonderful first classical symphonies.”
In a Dec. 4 performance, pianist Yoav Levanon will play “Rachmaninoff and Gershwin Rhapsodies” with the VSO. “The completely charming 16-year-old piano phenom (Yoav) will astound with a pair of beloved rhapsodies. The concert opens with an orchestral rhapsody, full of East-European folk melody. Picking up the folk and rhapsodic feel, Bartók’s astounding Concerto for Orchestra closes with a punch.”
The Jan. 4 concert in the series, dubbed “Debussy, Piazzolla and Fung,” will feature conductor Karen Kamensek and VSO principal flautist Christie Reside. “Debussy’s evocative La mer is featured in a program of melodies, references, and remixes. Piazzolla is famous for having a foot in both latin and classical worlds. Vivian Fung, an audience favourite, writes a new work for VSO Principal Flautist Christie Reside, mixing together influences from around the world.”
The next Surrey Nights series closes on May 7, 2021, with “Pomp & Circumstance,” billed as a “delightful English program” featuring the music of Elgar, Walton and Britten, including The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra.
This year, on May 8, the Surrey Nights 2019-20 series ends with “Beethoven 8 Plus Symphonic Mandolin”. Chilean conductor Paolo Bortolameolli meets Israeli mandolinist Avi Avital in a concert “of energetic works inspired by the magic of Italy. Beethoven’s 8th is perhaps his most experimental symphony, written in a style that harkens back to earlier composers while barely concealing a radical restructuring of the symphonic form. Likewise, Giovanni Sollima’s new Mandolin Concerto, written for Avital, mashes up musical styles from baroque to rock’n’roll to charming effect.”
Meantime, the VSO “Specials” in Vancouver next season include Itzhak Perlman (Jan. 14), a screening of the film West Side Story with live orchestra (Oct. 9/10) and another featuring the Elton John biopic Rocketman (Jan. 29/30).
The VSO Pops series includes concerts by Stewart Copeland and a screening of the film Singin’ in the Rain, among others.