Coming off last year’s hugely successful 75th anniversary season and cross-Canada tour, the Victoria Symphony is ready to hit the ground running for its 2016/17 offerings.
“The artistic level is high, the energy level is high, everybody’s on a high,” said Kathryn Laurin, executive director. “It’s a great way to kick off the year.”
The season also marks the last hurrah for Victoria Symphony conductor Tania Miller, who has helmed the orchestra for 14 years.
“It’s going to be a bittersweet times,” Laurin said. “Tania has done an amazing job with the orchestra and we’ll be sorry to see her go… She’s been an absolute pillar and has raised the artistry of the orchestra significantly.”
The first Pops concert of the season happens on Saturday, October 1 when the symphony saddles up for Wild, Wild West, a selection of music from westerns, which is sure to leave you riding off into the sunset with a smile on your face. From The Yellow Rose of Texas to Shenandoah to the theme from The Magnificent Seven, guest conductor Timothy Hankewich will keep them doggies rollin’. Costumes are encouraged.
On the more classical side, Austrian composer Joseph Haydn is the focus of the season, with a bit of a mini Haydn festival going on with the symphony’s Classics series. On October 16, virtuoso flautist Susan Hoeppner will solo for Haydn’s Flute Concerto, and on November 20, principal cellist Brian Yoon will tackle Haydn’s cello concerto and other works for Haydn’s Surprise.
In what’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser, Jim Witter returns to the symphony to sing the works of 1960s folk duo Simon and Garfunkel, a show that’s promising to be a “groovy trip down memory lane.”
For a unique experience, the Victoria Symphony will be playing a Remembrance Day concert, titled Lest We Forget, at the Bay Street Armoury on November 10. This tribute to those who have sacrificed in conflict will be filled with orchestral and choral music, poetry and stunning visuals, all buoyed by the acoustics of the armoury.
“We have a range of musical offerings that we think will appeal to many different ages and demographics,” said Laurin. “So we’re really excited about our season.”