World renowned clarinetist James Campbell is returning to the Okanagan stage to show both his versatility and mastery of both the classics and jazz with the Okanagan Symphony. 

World renowned clarinetist James Campbell is returning to the Okanagan stage to show both his versatility and mastery of both the classics and jazz with the Okanagan Symphony. 

Clarinet is the hero of OSO’s next concert

World renowned clarinetist James Campbell joins 120 musicians with the Okanagan Symphony to perform An American in Paris.

It’s the piece with the famed clarinet line that inspired a movie starring the late, great  Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron and is now an award-winning Broadway musical.

This month, the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra (OSO) welcomes the Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra (OSYO) and world renowned clarinetist James Campbell to perform George Gershwin’s An American in Paris as part of its Heroes and Heroines concert.

“The OSYO will join us for our annual side-by-side (concert) to close this program with the toe-tapping infectious tunes from Gershwin’s An American in Paris. Come and see just how much rhythm we got. This concert will be fun, fun, fun,” said OSO music director Rosemary Thomson.

Along with Gershwin, the OSO will meld the classics with jazz, performing the Leonore Overture Nº 3 in C major immortalized in Beethoven’s opera Fidelio.

One of the world’s foremost clarinetists, Campbell is returning to the Okanagan stage to show both his versatility and mastery of both the classics and jazz, added Thomson.

“We pay tribute to Benny Goodman and other legends of the clarinet in (Allan) Gilliland’s Jazz Concerto for Clarinet Dreaming of the Masters 1.”

Originally from Leduc, Alta., Campbell has been a soloist with more than 60 orchestras, including the Boston Pops, the London Symphony, the London Philharmonic, the Russian Philharmonic, and the Montreal Symphony and has performed Copland’s Clarinet Concerto four times with Aaron Copland conducting.

He has performed in many of the world’s great concert halls, including New York’s Carnegie Hall, London’s Wigmore and Queen Elizabeth halls, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, Paris’ Theatre Champs-Elysées, Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Centre and Boston’s Symphony Hall.

He has also performed in five TV specials and on more than 40 recordings and has had more than 30 works commissioned.

Campbell received a Juno award for his album Stolen Gems and a Roy Thomson Hall Award and has also been awarded Canada’s Artist of the Year, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and the country’s highest honour, the Order of Canada.

He has appeared with more than 30 string quartets, including the Amadeus (when he replaced an ailing Benny Goodman on a tour of California), Guarneri, Vermeer, New Zealand, Fine Arts, Allegri and St. Lawrence Quartets.

The OSO’s Heroes and Heroine, Deloitte Masterworks IV, sponsored by TD Bank, takes place Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre. Tickets are available at the box office. Call 250-549-7469 or order online at www.ticketseller.ca.