Christmas- and holiday-themed concerts in Vancouver

Rachel Barton Pine performs The Four Seasons as part of the VSO's holiday concert series. Photo courtesy Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

Rachel Barton Pine performs The Four Seasons as part of the VSO’s holiday concert series. Photo courtesy Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

Thinking of giving the (early) gift of music this holiday season, or just looking for a break from shopping? Either way, Vancouver has several options, including local roots-rock band the Sumner Brothers’ Annual Christmas Show and the Vancouver Chamber Choir performing music from the Vince Guaraldi Trio’s much-loved A Charlie Brown Christmas album.

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Christmas- and holiday-themed concerts in Vancouver

The Music of ABBA at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Sept 24

Photo credit: Akron Symphony Orchestra | Flickr

Are you ready to Waterloo?

The world’s top ABBA tribute band – which includes ABBA’s original drummer and guitar player – is set to take the stage with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra on September 24.   Get ready for orchestral versions of hummable, stuck-in-your-head-for-weeks hits including Mamma Mia, Chiquitita, Take a Chance on Me, Waterloo and many more.

Arrival from Sweden is the only band in the world with the exclusive rights to the ABBA name, costumes and original music.  Original ABBA guitarist Finn Sjoberg and original drummer Roger Palm are both members.  With the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and conductor Gordon Gerrard, they’ll breath new life into ABBA’s ’70s dance classics.

After IKEA, ABBA may well be Sweden’s best-known export.  Continue reading:
The Music of ABBA at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Sept 24

VSO Triumphantly Opens 2011/2012 Season

Photo: Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

Last night I had the great pleasure of seeing the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s (VSO) 2011/2012 Opening Weekend concert: Jim Kimura Parker Plays Rachmaninoff. Parker, an internationally-acclaimed pianist who has played twice for Queen Elizabeth II and is an Officer of The Order of Canada, is a born-and-raised Vancouverite (though he now lives in Houston). His return to Vancouver with the VSO was absolutely triumphant: at last night’s concert, the packed crowd at the Orpheum gave him a three-minute standing ovation!

Every year, my partner and I make it a priority to see at least one concert (if not more) at the VSO. We’re huge fans of classical music in particular—though the VSO does a much wider variety of performances than just the classics (for example, there’s their widely-popular A Traditional Christmas concerts every December)—and have always been utterly impressed by the artistry of our home-town symphony. Last night was no exception. In addition to ably accompanying Parker’s brilliant rendition of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3, the VSO brought the house down with a powerful performance of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5.

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VSO Triumphantly Opens 2011/2012 Season

Valentine’s Day with the VSO on February 14, 2011

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra at the Orpheum Theatre

When I was compiling my list of the Top 10 Things to Do on Valentine’s Day in Vancouver I missed one event that deserves press: the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s (VSO) special Valentine’s Day concert Beauty and Romance: Rachmaninoff and Dvorák.

I’ve written before about what a fan I am of the VSO; I last saw them in concert in September, when they kicked off their amazing 2010/2011 season, and I can’t wait to see them in action again.  Aside from the immense musical talent, a night at the VSO offers an opportunity to really feel like you’re out on the town. You get to dress up, roam the historic (and beautiful) Orpheum Theatre during intermission, and experience a cosmopolitan event that makes any date special—and that’s all doubly true on Valentine’s Day.

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Valentine’s Day with the VSO on February 14, 2011

A Night to Remember: Vancouver Symphony Orchestra 2010/11

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra at the Orpheum Theatre

Last night, my partner and I had the great pleasure of seeing the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) kick off their 2010/11 season with a concert featuring the extraordinary Canadian pianist Avan Yu. Together with Conductor Bramwell Tovey and the VSO, Yu’s brilliant rendition of Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto No. 5 was the highlight of the night and earned a spontaneous standing ovation—just one of the evening’s many thrills.

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A Night to Remember: Vancouver Symphony Orchestra 2010/11

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