Remembrance Symphony

Vancouver Island SymphonyThe Vancouver Island Symphony is presenting Remembrance, conducted by Pierre Simard with guest artist Angela Cheng on piano, at 7:30 pm on Saturday, October 23, 2010, at the Port Theatre, Nanaimo. During this evening of Remembrance, the Vancouver Island Symphony will present great classical masterpieces, including the world premiere performance of The Long Road Back, a haunting work by Nanaimo composer and violinist James Mark. Weit ist der Weg zurück (The Long Road Back) was inspired by stories of heroic actions as told to Mark by his Opa, a soldier in the Second World War – on the German side.

Angela Cheng, an absolute star in the piano world, performs the immensely popular Piano Concert No. 21 by Mozart and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, which begins on a sombre note yet is filled with sweet remembrances of youth and joy. Says Cheng of the Piano Concerto No. 21 (nicknamed Elvira Madigan after the romantic Swedish film), “It is a fantastic piece; not only does it have the slow movement that became famous on its own, the outer movements have challenges for the piano and orchestra. The piece has everything in it – it is charming, light, delightful, and joyful.”

This is Cheng’s fourth appearance with the VI Symphony. She is a shining star on the world stage and has performed as a soloist with virtually every orchestra in Canada, and with orchestras in the US, Europe, and the Middle East. When not teaching at the Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio, she travels extensively to perform and remains linked to her family and teenage daughters through Skype. “It wasn’t long ago,” she explains, “when long distance calls from Italy cost a lot of money.”

While hooked up to new technology, Cheng is passionate about her traditional classical work. “I do love what I do. And I love coming back to Nanaimo, which is a beautiful part of the world. I have come to know members of the orchestra – and where to get my coffee in the morning.” When imagining the future Cheng says, “As I teach the next generation I hope I share the love I have of the music to help it grow and develop in their lives.”

The Remembrance – past, present and future – concert opens the Symphony’s 16th Concert Season and there will be pre and post-concert talks. To order tickets call 250-754-8550 or 250-754-0177.