Picnic and a Piccolo: Free VSO Symphony in the Park this Sunday

vso symphony in the park

Image courtesy of VSOrchestra | Facebook.com

For years, composers have admitted to being inspired by nature when writing some of their most famous symphonies. For example, Beethoven once confessed that he often preferred the company of a tree to that of a man, and some of his best ideas came to him on his daily outdoor walks (the “Pastoral” Symphony among them). Mozart composed everywhere from a stage-coach to a workroom but his favorite workspace was an open garden.

So, it is no surprise that the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra likes to take it outside every once and awhile. In fact, they’ve been hosting their free Symphony in the Park events for 27 years (!), delighting local audiences in one of the best outdoor concert venues in the Lower Mainland.

This Sunday, July 10, 2016 the Vancouver Symphony will be returing to Deer Lake Park in Burnaby for their annual free Symphony in the Park concert, which is sure to attract huge crowds of music lovers to Burnaby for an evening of excellent entertainment.

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Picnic and a Piccolo: Free VSO Symphony in the Park this Sunday

Date Idea: Seeing the VSO for Cheap

Sourced from the VSO

Sourced from the VSO

When I was single, one of my favourite solo dates was going to see the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO). I’d get a seat in the upper balcony and let the swells of the music wash over me in my blissful solitude. It was exhilarating, almost as if the Orchestra was playing just for me.

I’ve gone on dates with romantic interests to the VSO and, over the course of our relationship, my boyfriend and I have also gone a few times. Each outing, we had a lovely evening together (far better than our usual staying at home and vegging). Neither of us are musical experts (despite my decade of piano lessons), but we enjoyed hearing the intricacies of each of the pieces on the program and marvelling at the genius of the soloists who played.

A little known fact is that the VSO can actually be an incredibly affordable date. I’m always urging more people to go since there’s a misconception that it’s a spendy treat. If you follow these tips, you can see amazing live symphony performances for $30 or less per person. Given that a movie ticket can cost up to $23.50, the VSO is a really good deal.

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Date Idea: Seeing the VSO for Cheap

Get tickets to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra for $15

Images courtesy of Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

Images courtesy of Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

Are you 35 or under? Kind of interested in classical music? Always wanted to go to the symphony but never got around to it?

Also, are you on a tight budget?

If so, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra has a deal for you. The VSO – one of Canada’s largest and oldest symphonies – is offering a unique “all-access” pass for people ages 35 or under or full-time students. Sign up and you can nab tickets to one of the VSO’s more than 150 yearly concerts for the bargain price of $15. (A shout-out to Vancouver is Awesome’s “Cheap Stuff” column for putting this on our radar.)

The TD All-Access Pass is meant to give young people a chance to experience live classical music at a fraction of the usual costs. Anyone who meets the criteria can sign up for a free membership. Then, you’re able to purchase up to two tickets per concert for just $15 each. Tickets can be for any section, excluding the dress circle (i.e. the front-row seats).  Continue reading:
Get tickets to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra for $15

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