SYMPHONY CONCERT                                Maestra Rosemary Thomson and co-musical director of the Okanagan Youth Symphony Orchestra Dennis Colpitts take a final bow following a concert on Feb. 8. (Anita Perry photo)

SYMPHONY CONCERT Maestra Rosemary Thomson and co-musical director of the Okanagan Youth Symphony Orchestra Dennis Colpitts take a final bow following a concert on Feb. 8. (Anita Perry photo)

REVIEW: Okanagan Symphony Orchestra presents diamond jubilee concert

Event on Feb. 8 a side-by-side concert with Okanagan Youth Symphony Orchestra

By Anita Perry

This weekend, the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra celebrated its 60th anniversary with a diamond-studded concert of old and brand-new works.

This side-by-side concert with the Okanagan Youth Symphony Orchestra boasted the premiere of Ernst Schneider’s second piano concerto, as well as performances by OSYO Alumni oboist Kira Shiner, violinist Alicia Venables, cellist Nicholas Denton-Protsack, pianist Jana Luksts and composer Kolby Zinger-Harris.

The evening began with Kolby Zinger-Harris’s Three Views of the Okanagan.

It is always exciting to hear a new work and this piece did not disappoint.

An Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra graduate, Zinger-Harris wrote the piece as a tribute to the Okanagan Valley and the people in it.

From the first spine-tingling notes, it was clear this was music from a confident young composer. Excellent use of orchestral colour and clear development of ideas brought the music to life. Zinger-Harris is definitely a rising star to keep an eye on.

READ ALSO: REVIEW: Okanagan Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Amadeus is astonishing

READ ALSO: Okanagan Symphony Orchestra presents first concert in Legends series

The next work on this celebratory program was the premiere of Piano Concerto No. 2 by Penticton’s Ernst Schneider.

This work, seven years in the making, displayed Schneider’s meticulous approach and attention to detail.

Imbued with lovely lines, complex harmonies and intelligent orchestration, the concerto was well-crafted and satisfying.

The grand first movement, Allegro Moderato, shone with clear musical ideas, brimmed with dialogue between orchestra and soloist and boasted some very competent playing by another OSYO alumnus, pianist Jana Luksts.

The second movement, Scherzando, was impish and playful, bringing a chuckle from audience members at its conclusion.

The third movement, Largo, was the heart of the work with long wistful melodic lines and truly sensitive playing from Luksts.

The fierce opening of the final Allegro Moderato gave way to a determined, almost relentless drive toward the end with Luksts’s fingers flying over the keys. There was a tremendous sense of musical unity throughout the entire concerto that left the listener with a sense of having experienced something profound and honest.

The audience surged to its feet for a well-deserved standing ovation that brought the composer to the stage.

Antonio Salieri’s Triple Concerto in D major was the first piece after intermission with OSYO alumni Kira Shiner, Alicia Venables and Nicholas Denton-Protsack as soloists.

The three young musicians performed with excellent understanding of musical style.

Oboist Kira Shiner’s gorgeous warm tone lit her light runs and coloured her lyrical phrases in the second movement Cantabile.

Violinist Alicia Venables’s playing boasted beautiful, well-shaped phrases and sparkling runs.

Cellist Nick Denton-Protsack’s long phrases were sensitively drawn and his nimble interpretation of technical passages was a delight.

In a daring move appropriate for celebrating a significant milestone, Maestra Rosemary Thomson commissioned Denton-Protsack to “reimagine” the last theme and variations movement of the concerto.

This movement Iterations on a Theme began in Salieri’s 18th century musical language, then morphed into increasingly complicated and challenging writing that included multi-phonics for the oboe and microtonality for the strings.

The resulting mashup was a stimulating musical journey of the past joining the present, with a look toward the future.

For the final number of the evening, the OSO invited the Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra on stage to perform Tchaikovsky’s monumental work, the 1812 Overture.

Written in commemoration of the successful Russian defense against Napoleon’s invading Grande Armée in 1812, the 116-person orchestra created a suitably impressive sound.

Thomson effortlessly held the massive forces together, pulling the emotion and musical nuance from the musicians.

The 15-minute overture provided an appropriately rousing finale to this sparkling celebration of the Okanagan’s premiere orchestra. The audience surged to its feet for a, ovation.

Under the direction of Thomson, the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra has enjoyed unprecedented success.

This season alone has boasted several sold-out concerts. Thomson’s supportive and respectful relationship with the orchestra’s musicians has produced an ensemble that is highly professional and completely committed.

The Okanagan Youth Symphony Orchestra is a wonderful opportunity for children of all ages to experience the discipline and camaraderie of working in an extended team. And the OSO Educational Outreach Program brings the magic of the symphony orchestra to children who would not have the opportunity to experience orchestral music.

While Thomson would be quick to acknowledge the dedicated team that works tirelessly to bring these initiatives to fruition, the impetus, inspiration and energy all originate with her.

Anita Perry is a Summerland music teacher.

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The City of Vernon is sending a letter to the provincial government to request that church be deemed an essential service amid the pandemic. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Vernon mayor scolded for revealing stance on making church essential

Coun. Scott Anderson calls Cummings’ actions ‘arrogant’

Heather Barker. (File)
Manslaughter charge laid in Vernon woman’s 2018 death

Shaun Ross Wiebe, 43, faces manslaughter and assault charges related to the death of Heather Barker

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin makes preparations at Toronto’s mass vaccination clinic, Jan. 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
3 deaths, 234 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

One death connected to outbreak at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital, where 20 patients and 28 staff have tested positive

Kalamalka Secondary School staff and students have been warned to self isolate if showing COVID-19 symptoms after possible exposure on March 13, 2020. (Google Maps)
First case of COVID-19 in Coldstream school

Three more schools confirm positive cases

The City of Vernon’s Recreation Services is bringing back indoor walking at Kal Tire Place, with public skating also in the works over the Christmas holidays. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Vernon rec hard hit in pandemic

Cancellations and closures see expected drops in fourth-quarter report

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Zaudanawng “Jay-Dan” Maran in his Creston home. Hanging on the wall behind him is a logo of Kachin’s Manaw festival. Photo: Aaron Hemens
From Myanmar to Creston: The story of a refugee

In October 2007, Zaudanawng “Jay-Dan” Maran and his friends encountered a woman being sexually assaulted by two Myanmar soldiers.

Kamloops This Week.
48 COVID-19 cases and one death associated with outbreak at Kamloops hospital

One of the 20 patients infected has died, meanwhile 28 staff with COVID-19 are isolating at home

The scene of a serious crash on Highway 33 in Kelowna that killed one and severely injured two others on June 20, 2018. (File)
Driver found guilty of causing death, injury in 2018 Kelowna crash

Travis Ryan Hennessy will face sentencing at a later date

(Michael Rodriguez - Capital News staff)
Downtown stairwell fire suspicious, Kelowna RCMP say

Crews were called to Gotham Nightclub for a report of a stairwell fire

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Head Brewer Kody Rosentreter, owner Wes Greve and taproom manager Lisa Deleo celebrated North Basin Brewing’s grand opening Jan. 22 and 23, 2020. (Contributed)
Osoyoos’ first microbrewery celebrates grand opening

The brewery hopes to show that the Okanagan is more than just wine country

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran addresses media from the front steps of council chambers on March 23. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna, West Kelowna still looking to opt-out of speculation tax

Mayors say spec tax has missed the mark, revenue largely coming out of Canadians’ pockets

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Most Read