White Rock Concerts’ founder passes torch

WHITE ROCK/SOUTH SURREY — Classical music buffs on the peninsula have no doubt have heard of George Zukerman by now.

The founder of White Rock Concerts, a successful classical music series on the Semiahmoo Peninsula, has held the post as the organization’s artistic director since its inception in 1956.

Zukerman is passing on his position to internationally-renowned pianist-duo Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann after 58 years of service to the membership-based sold-out concert series.

Told to media in a presser on Friday morning, Erika Bennedik, the president of White Rock Concerts, announced that its “membership can feel confidence in the future of our society.”

In not too much haste to pass the torch, however, Zukerman has appointed the duo as associate directors as they make a two-year transition into the role. The Bergmann’s will assume full responsibility for the society’s artistic direction in the 2016-17 season.

“We wanted somebody who’s got, preferably, some practical experience in performing because and we wanted somebody local, that seemed to be coming from the audience, too. Wanted somebody who could fit in very well. Those were the most important items."

Bennedik said the decision to look for a replacement was catalyzed by Zukerman’s sudden illness this spring, which he has since recuperated from.

“I think what we’re most excited about is that they are performing artists with great reputations, lots of experience,” Bennedik said.

“They’ll dazzle us with their playing and their choices, and we’re already starting now to discuss the 16/17 (season). I will not be the one to make the decisions, but I have a few recommendations,” Zukerman joked. 

“Obviously he’s going to be a huge resource,” Elizabeth confirmed. “I don’t think it’s a clear cut-off date per se.”

Zukerman said one of his main accomplishments in the past few years is having an orchestra play for at least two shows per season, which, he attests, is more expensive than the big names they play behind.

White Rock Concerts’ 59th season kicked off last night with pianist John O’Conor at the White Rock Baptist Church.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Claiming she has COVID-19, stranger coughs in Cloverdale woman’s face

Clayton Heights woman will now self-isolate for the next two weeks

Police watchdog finds cops blameless for deaths in 2019 Surrey hostage-taking

Woman was killed as ERT officers fired on man holding a knife to her throat and ‘what appeared to be’ a gun in his hand

No, Delta police are not pulling over cars to check for social distancing

DPD dispelling rumour cops pulling over vehicles with two or more people, checking IDs, issuing fines

White Rock/South Surrey experts launch website of mental-health resources

Together White Rock/South Surrey aims to help ease the search for supports

B.C. couple celebrates 61st anniversary through seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

A look at some of the B.C. inventors creating life-saving tools in fight against COVID-19

Groups across B.C. are working together to create what they hope will help people affected by the pandemic

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

VIDEO: Dog missing in Lower Mainland since winter sees his family again for the first time

Aldergrove helped find Buster, says dad, who has now witnessed ‘the power of social media’

Some April Fool’s Day jokes bring much-needed laughter; others tone deaf to COVID-19

Police are warning the public not to use the ongoing pandemic as a punchline

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Most Read