LSM Newswire

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Celebrate Valentine's with the VSO and Tchaikovsky's Romantic Romeo & Juliet

Celebrate Valentineĺ─˘s with the VSO and

Tchaikovskyĺ─˘s Romantic Romeo & Juliet

Vancouver BC ĺ─ý The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra has the perfect Valentineĺ─˘s concert featuring the Romantic music of Bizetĺ─˘s Carmen, Tchaikovskyĺ─˘s Romeo and Juliet and pianist Ian Parker performing Ravelĺ─˘s exciting Piano Concerto. Concerts take place on February 14th at the Orpheum Theatre and February 16th at the Bell Performing Arts Centre. Maestro Bramwell Tovey wields his baton for this concert which also features the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra performing with the VSO in the Bizet and the Tchaikovsky.

Born in Vancouver to a family of pianistic powerhouses, Ian Parker proves that talent runs in the blood. With his fluid artistry and irresistible charm, Parker captivates audiences wherever he goes. A graduate of The Julliard School and First Prize winner of the 2001 CBC National Radio Competition and the Canadian National Music Festival, Parkerĺ─˘s talent was evident and he quickly rose to fame as a soloist who delights audiences internationally.

Established in 1930, the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra has a long history of offering the highest level of musical training for young musicians. Artistic Director, Roger Cole (who is also the VSOĺ─˘s Principal Oboist) explains that ĺ─˙after 78 years, the VYSO looks forward to not only making a difference in the lives of its members, but in the local and provincial community as well. Conducting the Senior Orchestra is truly a thrill ĺ─ý the superb artistic ability and sheer dedication that goes into making each one of our performances a success is evident on the face of each player.ĺ─¨


Musically Speaking & Surrey Nights Series

Saturday, February 14, 8pm, Orpheum Theatre

Monday, February 16, 8pm, Bell Performing Arts Centre

Bramwell Tovey, conductor

Ian Parker, piano

Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra

Nicolai The Merry Wives of Windsor: Overture

Aaron Young Acte-Automaton (Olympic Commission)

Ravel Piano Concerto in G Major
Bizet Carmen Suite
Tchaikovsky Romeo & Juliet

Tickets for February 14: $20-$56 (Senior, Student & Subscriber discounts available)

Tickets for February 16: $37 (Senior, Student & Subscriber discounts available)

Tickets available by phone at 604.876.3434 or online at

Special Thanks:

The VSOĺ─˘s Surrey Nights series has been endowed by a generous gift from Werner and Helga HłĆing.

Special Video Screen Presentations for the Musically Speaking series were created and produced by students and staff of Digital Video Productions at Columbia Academy.

Video Screen Sponsor: TELUS

Radio Sponsor: 103.5 QM/FM

The VSO is grateful to the Province of British Columbia for its support of the Olympic Commissioning Project.


Bramwell Tovey, conductor

A musician of striking versatility, Bramwell Tovey is acknowledged around the world for his artistic depth and warm, charismatic personality on the podium. Toveyĺ─˘s career as a conductor is uniquely enhanced by his work as a composer and pianist, lending him a remarkable musical perspective.

Tovey garnered a 2008 Grammy Award and a 2008 Juno Award for his recording with violinist James Ehnes and the Vancouver Symphony. Recently named Principal Guest Conductor for the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, he works frequently with the Toronto Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Royal Philharmonic and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestras, among many others. He has presided as host and conductor of the New York Philharmonicĺ─˘s Summertime Classics series at Avery Fisher Hall since its founding in 2004.

As a composer, he was honored with the Best Canadian Classical Composition Juno Award in 2003 for his Requiem for a Charred Skull. New works include a co-commission for the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonicsĺ─˘ 2008 summer seasons as well as a full-length opera for the Calgary Opera, The Inventor, to premiere in January of 2011.

Tovey has been awarded honorary degrees, including a Fellowship from the Royal Academy of Music in London, honorary Doctorates of Law from the universities of Winnipeg and Manitoba, and Kwantlen University College, as well as a Royal Conservatory of Music Fellowship in Toronto. In 1999, he received the M. Joan Chalmers National Award for Artistic Direction, a Canadian prize awarded to artists for outstanding contributions in the performing arts.

Ian Parker, piano

Magnetic, easy-going and delightfully articulate, Canadian pianist Ian Parker captivates audiences wherever he goes. He has appeared with the Buffalo Philharmonic, Calgary Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony, CBC Vancouver, Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom, Edmonton Symphony, Greenwich Symphony, Honolulu Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, Mobile Symphony, National Symphony, Quebec Symphony, and the symphonies of Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria, and Winnipeg, among others. One of the highlights of 2006 was Mr. Parkerĺ─˘s dazzling performance of Rachmaninovĺ─˘s second piano concerto and the Variations on a Theme by Paganini with the Jacksonville Symphony, both at the same concert and on short notice! The tour de force brought the house down in Jacksonville and marked the grand finale of the Jacksonville Symphonyĺ─˘s Classical Madness festivities.

An enthusiastic recitalist, Ian Parker has performed across the United States, Western Europe, Israel, and throughout Canada on tours with Debut Atlantic and Jeunesses Musicales du Canada. He made his Lincoln Center recital debut at the Walter Reade Theater in 2004 and moderates a new recital series in Vancouver for the introduction of young artists.

Mr. Parker was invited to collaborate with the internationally renowned Vogler Quartet during its twentieth anniversary tour in 2005-06 throughout the U.S. and Canada. Following the tourĺ─˘s tremendous success, he was invited to join them again for several concerts in the spring of 2006, as well as an extensive North American tour in the 2006-07 season.

First Prize winner at the 2001 CBC National Radio Competition, Ian Parker has also won the Grand Prize at the Canadian National Music Festival, the Corpus Christie International Competition and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Competition. At The Juilliard School, he received the 2002 William Petschek Piano Debut Award and, on two occasions, was the winner of the Gina Bachauer Piano Scholarship Competition. Heard regularly on CBC Radio, Mr. Parker has also performed live on WQXR (hosted by Robert Sherman) in New York.

Born in Vancouver to a family of pianists, Ian Parker began his piano studies at age three with his father, Edward Parker. He holds both the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, where he was a student of Yoheved Kaplinsky. While at Juilliard, the Canada Council for the Arts awarded him the Sylva Gelber Career Grant, which is given annually to the ĺ─˙most talented Canadian artist.ĺ─¨

Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra

The Vancouver Youth Symphony has a long, proud history in Vancouver, dating back to 1930. An amateur flautist named R. Cyril Haworth was the prime mover in forming the "Vancouver Little Symphony", first under the direction of the students themselves and later, under the baton of itĺ─˘s first Music Director, Mr. George Coutts. Mr. Coutts was known to be "one of the very best", "a fun kind of chap" and a Scottish trained, all round musician with talent and generosity as a community leader. The orchestra thrived and in 1938, the ensemble became an "educational project" of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the name was changed to "Vancouver Junior Symphony Orchestra". In 1945 the group was reorganized as an independent and became the "Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra". Today, the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra is a dynamic, independent organization that is recognized throughout Greater Vancouver for its very fine, multi level orchestral training programme.

VYSO musicians continue to proudly represent Vancouver locally, nationally and internationally. Many former VYSO musicians have gone on to acclaimed musical careers and there is never a shortage of current young VYSO musicians following in their paths. The Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra continues to offer the highest level of musical training, to nurture and develop young musicians for decades to come.

The VYSO helps to develop young musicians, both artistically and as individuals. Its programs, including performances, rehearsals, tours, and workshops, provide musicians with the opportunity to discover and realize their potential in a secure yet challenging environment. The orchestra conducts annual concerto competitions, the winners of which receive a cash prize and an opportunity to perform as concert soloists with the orchestra.

The VYSO is firmly committed to keeping its program accessible to young musicians, regardless of their financial and cultural background. In order to ensure that tuition fees remain affordable, the VYSO maintains a continuous and intense fundraising effort. Bursaries are available to assist students who might otherwise be unable to participate.

The VYSO also contributes to the community at large. It actively pursues opportunities to join with other community organizations in support of their youth programs. The VYSO regularly invites music students and senior citizens to enjoy its concerts as guests.

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