LSM Newswire

Thursday, September 4, 2008

VSO's New Season Is Coming Up Fast

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestras 2008/2009 Season begins September 27th

Vancouver, BC The 2008/2009 Season is just around the corner, and this year, the orchestra is getting tuned up not only for a long and exciting concert season with over one-hundred and forty performances, but also a major international tour to China, Korea and Macau. This Asia-Pacific Tour will include internationally-renowned violinist Hilary Hahn performing Tchaikovskys Violin Concerto on all six tour stops (Ms. Hahn also performs the Tchaikovsky in the Masterworks Diamond and Beltone Symphony Sundays series at the Orpheum October 4th through the 6th, the weekend before the tour begins). VSO Music Director Bramwell Tovey will of course conduct all tour performances.

This season, Maestro Bramwell Tovey has programmed a strong line-up of guest artists for Lower Mainland audiences, mixing the next generation of stars with long-established superstars and local favourites (a VSO programming hallmark), great classical repertoire both new and old, sizzling Symphony Pops, matinees, and a range of concerts for children and families. And the VSO once again takes its show in the road, with concerts performed in fourteen different venues throughout the Lower Mainland.

With many highlights sprinkled throughout, this will truly be a season to remember. The Asia-Pacific Tour represents a nice booked to a year of unprecedented success for the VSO, beginning with a GRAMMY Award, continuing with the JUNO Award, and building to a crescendo with record fundraising and ticket revenue in the 2007/2008 Season, with audiences increasing for the fourth consecutive year. Subscriptions are on track to increase again, something that bodes well for another exciting season for Vancouvers Symphony Orchestra and audiences throughout the Lower Mainland.

A few of the many Season repertoire highlights include:

Mahler Symphony No.6

Rachmaninoff Symphony No.3

Stravinsky Symphony of Psalms

Schumann Symphony No.1

Prokofiev Symphony No.5

Orff Carmina Burana

Britten War Requiem

Bartok Concerto for Orchestra

Bloch Schelomo: Hebraic Rhapsody

Shostakovich The Age of Gold Suite

Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.2

Alexina Louie Infinite Sky with Birds

Tchaikovsky Romeo & Juliet

Bernstein Halil for Flute and Orchestra

Liszt Fantasy of Motives from Beethovens Ruins of Athens

Stravinsky Petrouchka

Mozart Piano Concertos No.9 and No.12

Bramwell Tovey Urban Runway (co-commissioned by the New York Philharmonic and LA Philharmonic)

Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto

Beethoven Piano Concerto No.3

Elgar Violin Concerto

Jeffrey Ryan The Linearity of Light

Mozart Symphony No.31 Paris and No.36 Linz

Brahms all four Symphonies and all Concertos

The exciting line-up of classical guest artists includes many established stars and young up and comers:

Frederica von Stade soprano

Pinchas Zukerman violin

Hilary Hahn violin

Isabel Bayrakdarian soprano

Lynn Harrell cello

Louis Lortie piano

Joshua Bell violin

Duncan Riddell violin/conductor

Ingrid Fliter piano

Corey Cerovsek violin

Samuel Ramey bass-baritone

Kyoko Takezawa violin

Angela Cheng piano

Andrew Litton conductor

James Ehnes violin

Julia Fischer violin

Peter Donohoe piano

Avan Yu piano

Kenneth Slowik conductor/harpsichord

Benjamin Hochman piano

Nancy Argenta soprano

Mikhail Simonyon violin

Alexander Gavryluk piano

Ian Parker piano

Raphael Wallfisch cello

Bugs Bunny carrots

In addition to spectacular guest artists and conductors, the VSO is very proud to welcome three visiting orchestras in the upcoming season. Canadas National Arts Centre Orchestra travels from Ottawa with their legendary Music Director, Pinchas Zukerman; the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra accompanies Armenian-Canadian soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian; and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields celebrates their 50th anniversary on tour, with a stop on the Orpheum stage in Vancouver that includes violinist/leader Julia Fischer.

The 2008/2009 VSO Pops series is an outstanding one. The series features extraordinary Latin band Tiempo Libre; larger than life trumpet player/vocalist Byron Stripling; Three Broadway Divas and a salute to the great White Way; superstar trumpet player Allen Vizzutti; a tribute to the golden era of television with Five By Design; and a Gershwin Celebration. Of course, the VSO is very happy to continue its association with Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik, one of the most in-demand Pops conductors and arrangers in North America.

Matinee traditions continue to see audience growth every year: Symphony Sundays presents classical concerts in the afternoon, drawn from the main series classical series; and Tea & Trumpets, featuring VSO Assistant Conductor Evan Mitchell and narrator Christopher Gaze with tea and cookies served in the lobby one hour before each concert includes light classics mixed with narration.

Concerts for kids and families are always popular, with Tiny Tots for the little ones from toddlers to age four or five at both the Playhouse Theatre in Vancouver and the Terry Fox Theatre in Port Coquitlam, and Kids Koncerts, featuring the full orchestra and aimed at children from four/five to ten/eleven years of age.

And of course, a Symphony Season would not be complete without presentations of great Special Concerts and this upcoming Season contains a very Special line-up:

  • The Brahms Festival: all four Brahms symphonies and all of his concertos, performed over four concerts in January of 2009. This festival also features extraordinary guest artists James Ehnes (the VSOs GRAMMY partner), cellist Jan Vogler, and pianist Peter Donohoe. Maestro Tovey conducts all concerts

  • Joshua Bell in a concert of Latin music he will perform Lalos Symphonie Espagnole

  • Isabel Bayrakdarian and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra

  • Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, with violinist/leader Julia Fischer

  • Frederic von Stade and Samuel Ramey together with the orchestra in a concert featuring music by Gounod, Berlioz, Offenbach, Copland and Gershwin (a once-in-a-lifetime in Vancouver event, to be sure)

  • A Traditional Christmas in many venues around the Lower Mainland with Assistant Conductor Evan Mitchell and narrator Christopher Gaze of Bard on the Beach fame

  • Classical Mystery Tour the Music of the Beatles, with the VSO and original members of the Broadway hit Beatlemania

  • And now for something completely different: the VSO and Live Nation present a performance of Video Games Live, featuring the Vancouver Symphony and choir performing music and exclusive synchronized video clips of the most popular games from the past and present

  • And a brand new concert, on sale October 3rd at 10am: Bugs Bunny on Broadway! This sensational hit show sees the orchestra performing arrangements of the real classical music that formed the backbone of these extraordinary and groundbreaking cartoons, as they are shown on the big screen above the orchestra. See and hear Bugs and friends like youve never experienced them before!

Ticket Availability:

New Subscriptions can be ordered at any time through VSO Customer Service at 604.876.3434

Single concert tickets are on sale now through VSO Customer Service and online at

There are fifteen different subscription packages available, including a Make Your Own package option. Subscribing saves customers up to 30% over purchasing the same concerts individually, and gives customers guaranteed seating throughout the Season

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