Vancouver Symphony cellist joins OSO for Classic Beauty

Okanagan Symphony Orchestra welcomes Ariel Barnes, principal cellist of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, to the Vernon stage Nov. 22.

  • Nov. 18, 2015 8:00 p.m.
Ariel Barnes

Ariel Barnes

It’ll be a beauty of a show when the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra (OSO) welcomes Ariel Barnes, principal cellist of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, to the Vernon stage Sunday.

The music from this concert includes Dances of the Furies and Blessed Spirits from the opera Orfeo ed Euridice by Christoph Willibald Gluck; Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550; Variations on a Rococo Theme op. 33 by Tchaikovsky; and Luminous Light by Brent Lee.

“Classical elegance and courtly charm describe the music of Mozart’s era. Featuring music written in or inspired by the 18th century, this concert will be luminous and graceful, showing off the classic beauty of the era,” said OSO music director Rosemary Thomson.

“Guests will experience an evening of some of the most popular classics showcased by our talented professional orchestra and the exceptional Ariel Barnes on cello.”

Barnes is internationally recognized for his unique tone and passionate performances. He has been described as creating a “mesmerizing musical experience” by combining his “deep personal connection” (Toronto Live Music Report), and for having “luscious tone and technical prowess” (The Vancouver Sun).

Barnes is equally comfortable in musical languages from the Baroque period to music of our modern times. His performances range from evenings of unaccompanied Bach to world premieres of contemporary art music.

He has been hailed as a “rising star” by The Georgia Straight; “a musician of real stature” by The Vancouver Sun, and his solo and chamber music recordings have been nominated for a Juno award and two Western Canadian Music Awards.

One half of the contemporary music duo Couloir, Barnes is actively involved in the development of 21st century art music.  Couloir recently released its debut album Wine Dark Sea on Ravello Records, showcasing world premiere recordings of original compositions, written especially for the beautiful and rare combination of cello and harp (

As a winner of the 2012 Canada Council Instrument Bank Competition, Barnes has been awarded the use of the 1730 Newland Johannes Franciscus Celoniatus cello, built in Turin, Italy, for the next three years.

In January, 2013, Barnes was appointed principal cello of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

Tickets for the OSO’s Classic Beauty performance at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre starts at 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22. Tickets are available at the Ticket Seller box office in the centre or call 250-549-7469 or order online at

Thomson has also produced a short video as a brief pre-concert chat, which will outline one of the pieces performed this weekend. To view it, visit