Canadian-Tunisian vocalist Rihab Chaieb will sing with the VSO during its “Carmen: Sounds of Spain” concert at Surrey’s Bell Performing Arts Centre next February. (Photo: rihabchaieb.com)

MUSIC

Surrey Nights: ‘Sounds of Spain’ and more as VSO returns with five-concert series

Orchestra at Bell theatre with ‘A Traditional Christmas,’ too

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra will perform five concerts during its Surrey Nights series this season, starting in October.

Details about the VSO concerts at Bell Performing Arts Centre this fall, winter and spring are posted to vancouversymphony.ca.

First up, on Oct. 11, is a concert titled Along the Danube: Strauss, Schubert, Brahms and Bartók – a concert mixing “irresistible Hungarian folk music with grand storytelling. Guy Braunstein brings his intimate sound to Hungarian composer Bela Bartók’s rich second Violin Concerto. Globe-trotting Viennese conductor Sascha Goetzel leads the VSO in charming musical tales from the Vienna Woods, featuring Richard Strauss and Franz Schubert.”

The series continues on Dec. 6 with Trinks Conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth. “Constantin Trinks won many fans on his previous visits to Vancouver,” says a post on the website. “His deft phrasing and attention to detail will let the drama of this program shine. Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel is a European Christmas classic. Paired with Tchaikovsky’s splendid 5th Symphony, this will certainly be a festive treat.”

Third in the series is Carmen: Sounds of Spain, on Feb. 7, 2020. “Maestro Tausk takes us on a musical tour of Spain with two works from Manuel de Falla and Bizet’s beloved Carmen Suite No. 1. Rising Canadian-Tunisian vocal star Rihab Chaieb will captivate you and de Falla’s comic ballet will have you dancing in the aisles. Viva la música!”

On Feb. 28, it’s time for Mendelssohn, Britten and a Surprising New Talent. “A concert of firsts: 13-year-old Alma Deutscher, a prodigy in the style of Mozart, wrote her first sonata at age seven and her first concerto at age 12. Mendelssohn was no slouch, playing his first concert at age nine. Canadian-born Stanley Dodds became the first member of the Berlin Philharmonic of Chinese descent. He now splits his duties between Principal Conductor of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, and playing second fiddle with the Phil — literally!”

The fifth and final concert in the series is called Beethoven 8 Plus Symphonic Mandolin, on May 8. “A striking duo: young Chilean conductor Paolo Bortolameolli meets Israeli mandolinist Avi Avital in a concert of energetic works inspired by the magic of Italy. Beethoven’s 8th is perhaps his most experimental symphony, written in a style that harkens back to earlier composers while barely concealing a radical restructuring of the symphonic form. Likewise, Giovanni Sollima’s new Mandolin Concerto, written for Avital, mashes up musical styles from baroque to rock’n’roll to charming effect.”

A five-concert subscription package sells for $185. All of these Friday-night concerts start at 8 p.m. at the Sullivan Heights-area theatre. For details, call the VSO box office at 604-876-3434.

As in previous years, the VSO’s Surrey Nights series is endowed by a gift from Werner and Helga Höing.

RELATED STORY: 20 Surrey student musicians given new award by longtime VSO backers.

Also this season, the VSO will return to the Bell with A Traditional Christmas, for two concerts on Saturday, Dec. 14 – first at 4 p.m. and again at 7 p.m.

Other VSO highlights this season include concerts in Vancouver featuring Susan Graham, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade, Lemony Snicket: The Composer Is Dead, The Celtic Tenors, Steven Page and Mozart’s “Eine kleine Nachtmusik.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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