Matt McKenzie photo BREAKING THROUGH TO BEETHOVEN: Pianist Amy Zanrosso

Matt McKenzie photo BREAKING THROUGH TO BEETHOVEN: Pianist Amy Zanrosso

A Sparkling Opening Concert

Symphony of the Kootenays launches season with Amy Zanrosso, Cvetozar Vutev, familiar works and new music

Yme Woensdregt

The Symphony of the Kootenays opened its 2016–2017 season with a sparkling concert which featured some familiar works and some new music.

The concert opened with a wonderful piece in two contrasting moods by Edmonton composer Allan Gilliland. Written to celebrate the installation of the new pipe organ in Winspear Centre, “Always Be True” opened with loud flourishes in percussion and brass—a fanfare to start the season. The second section featured the strings playing an idyllic chorale, quiet and meditative, the tone of the string section warm and inviting.

Vivaldi’s “Autumn” from the Four Seasons featured the orchestra’s new concertmaster, Cvetozar Vutev. He succeeds Wendy Herbison, who retired at the end of last season. Vutev plays a violin which dates from the time of Vivaldi. It’s a familiar piece to many in its depiction of peasants celebrating a bountiful harvest.

Amy Zanrosso, native of Castlegar and who has played throughout Canada and the US, took the stage as the soloist in Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto. It’s a difficult and revolutionary work, and the orchestra rose to the occasion. The string ensemble played well, and responded to Ms. Zanrosso’s pianistic brilliance with an answering passion. The Concerto was in turns dramatic, playful, brooding and rollicking. Ms. Zanrosso played with an infectious joy, her body dancing with the music, and brought the Concerto to a joyful completion in the last movement.

Cvetozar Vutev was introduced as the Symphony of the Kootenays new concertmaster, Sunday, Oct. 16, at the Symphony’s Key City Theatre concert. Barry Coulter photo

I anticipated that the Beethoven would be the highlight of the concert. Not so. The musicians outdid themselves in the single work of the second half, Nikolai Rimsky–Korsakov’s orchestral suite “Scheherazade”. It is based on the Persian collection of stories called “A Thousand and One Nights”. The Sultan marries a different virgin each night, only to behead her the next morning to ensure she doesn’t cheat on him. Scheherazade knows this history; she enchants the Sultan with a new tale each night, leaving it unfinished so that her husband will let her live another day to hear how it ends. The suite tells four of those stories.

The orchestra played beautifully. The expanded brass, woodwind and percussion sections meant that the orchestra could fill the Key City Theatre with a beautiful, large, rich sound. This virtuosic piece requires the best from players in every section, and the orchestra responded with verve and an obvious love for this music. Vutev was featured again, the solo violin representing Scheherazade as she tells her stories to the Sultan. His sweet tone brought the beautiful princess to life.

It was a grand opening to another season. Kudos to Maestro Jeff Farragher and the musicians of the orchestra. It remains a gem in the heart of the Kootenays, and we are indeed blessed to be the home of such a cultural treasure.

The next concert will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the television show, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. You won’t want to miss that concert.

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

1914
It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

Cranbrook Arts has opened the doors of their  new gallery space to the public with their inaugural exhibit, Kootenay’s Best.
‘Kootenay’s Best’ opens Cranbrook Arts’ new gallery

This exhibit has been in the works for the past several months and features the work of more than 50 emerging and established artists from across the Kootenays

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Most Read