In their second show of the season, the Sidney Classical Orchestra welcomed three brilliant soloists from across the water and the border to perform four compositions whose roots stretch back as early as 1721, proving that even the passage of centuries cannot dull their shining notes.
Whether it’s Fauré’s haunting and slightly melancholy fantasy for flute Op. 79, the sweet and steady cadence of Bach’s piano concerto in F minor, or Haydn’s passionate and breath-quickening violin concerto No. 1 in C major, even the most fledgling of classical fans were moved.
Violinist Nancy DiNovo has been a member of the St. Louis, Toronto and Boston Symphony Orchestras, is a founding concertmaster of the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, and is making the trip from Vancouver to perform.
Flautist Alberta Brown is travelling from Chicago, where she recently completed her masters in music from DePaul University, and has won numerous awards over her still-growing career.
And Susan de Burgh, who performed Bach’s piano concerto in F minor, started off the evening in a neat echo of the orchestra’s beginnings. De Burgh was the orchestra’s very first soloist when the group was first established more than 20 years ago.
Nancy, Alberta and Susan combined their talents to breathe life and passion into Bach’s Brandenburg concerto No. 5 in D major, a sprightly and romantic medley for piano, violin and flute.
“It’s not very often you get three soloists,” says artistic director Stephen Brown. “There’s lots of variety.”
Growing since its inception in 1992, the Sidney Classical Orchestra started off as a “very good amateur orchestra,” adds Brown. “Then about ten years ago we upped the ante.”
The group expanded their board, started applying for grants and soon were able to hire professional union musicians on a regular basis.
Today, the quality of the orchestra is superb, with roughly half the members also belonging to the Victoria Symphony.
“The rest are teachers who could play with the symphony if they wanted, they’re very talented, but they prefer to teach,” says Brown.
The orchestra draws talent like moth to the flame, with the upcoming show’s soloists a perfect example.
For more information, visit sidneyclassicalorchestra.com.