LSM Newswire

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

WSO Premiere Victor Davies Tuba Concerto

The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra An image used for spacing HERE has been stripped by your email client.
WSO Presents World Premiere of Victor Davies Tuba Concerto

December 16, 2008 On Friday, January 16 the WSO and Principal Tuba Chris Lee have the rare opportunity to present the world premiere of a tuba concerto: Victor Davies Concerto for Tubameister and Orchestra. Even more unique is the story behind the pieces creation.

Three years ago, The Winnipeg born Davies (composer of Transit of Venus for the Manitoba Opera) was contacted by a retired US Naval Commander about creating a concerto for his son, a professional tuba musician.

Commander Chip Sherman had spent years ferrying his son, JC, to lessons, concerts, rehearsals and competitions and he noticed that tuba players often played music written for cello, horn or other instruments and almost never played music written for tuba.

Sherman soon came to realize that there are relatively few concertos written for tuba, all of them with a markedly modern sound. As an avid supporter of the arts, Sherman decided the best remedy was to commission a work of his own for JC to play. The first name that popped into his head was Victor Davies.
I had heard [Davies] Mennonite Concerto on the radio in Alaska when I was there on a business trip more than 15 years ago, said Sherman. I had liked it enough to write down his name and purchase the music when I returned to Washington.

Many conversations between Davies and Sherman about the intentions for the work resulted in a concerto that skillfully showcases the tubas many voices and moods.

The second movement, Waltz for Franco, was written when JC's first son was born and shows the tuba in a serious lyrical mood, said Davies. And the third movement, Sancho Panza Goes to the Bull Fight, has a Latin flavour, not often associated with the tuba.

Accompanying the tuba concerto for this concert will be three works that are sure to be uplifting on a bitter winter evening: Beethovens Symphony No. 8, perhaps his most lighthearted work; Springs Promise by Canadian composer John Estacio and Gran duo concertante for violin and double bass by Giovannni Bottesini featuring Karl Stobbe and Meredith Johnson. WSO Assistant Conductor Rei Hotoda leads the orchestra.
The concert, entitled Beethoven 8, plays Friday, January 16 and Saturday, January 17 at 8pm at the Centennial Concert Hall. Tickets range from $26.25 to $61.00 and are available through the WSO box office (located inside the Concert Hall at 555 Main St.) at 949-3999, online at or at any Ticketmaster outlet.

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