Final VSO Season Concert at the Roundhouse: That was then, these are now

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The VSO presents its final Vancouver Sun Symphony at the Roundhouse Series concert of the season on May 17th: That was then, these are now. The VSO welcomes JoAnna Farrer as Guest Concertmaster for this performance. Maestro Bramwell Tovey conducts.

Roundhouse Community CentreSpeaking about his work featured on this concert, composer György Ligeti explains, “My Chamber Concerto for thirteen instruments was written in 1969/70 for members of the Viennese ensemble Die Reihe, with whom I was on friendly terms, and also for their conductor Friedrich Cerha, the leading Austrian composer of our time.” Ligeti continues, “This four-movement piece is a concerto in-as-much as all thirteen players are virtuoso soloists and are all treated as equals. In other words, we are not dealing with the usual type of concerto in which soli and tutti alternate but with a piece for thirteen concertante soloists.”

Canadian composer Jocelyn Morlock’s Music of the Romantic Era is, in the composer’s own words, “a frequently light-hearted and even irreverent piece that was born out a very serious concern that classical music is gradually disappearing from our lives.” The purpose of the piece was to “explore the humour, whimsy and energy of earlier music, and perhaps brush off a few cobwebs along the way.”

Former Olympic Commission Project composer Jordan Nobles expresses, “One of the ideas involved in the concept of Entropy is that nature tends from order to disorder in isolated systems. More energy is always required to create than to destroy. As Entropy increases, energy and order are lost. Degeneration is inevitable. The centre cannot hold.”

VSO Composer-In-Residence Scott Good’s …blood which flowed was composed for the ensemble “Belladonna”, a collection of woman musicians who gathered yearly to commemorate the Montreal Massacre of December 1989. Good explains, “The music is derived from the chant of Hildegarde Von Bingen O rubor sanguinis. It is intended as a meditation on non-violence.”

Famous American composer John Adams describes his Chamber Symphony as a mix of acrobatic cartoon scores and Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony. He goes on to say, “I realized suddenly how much these two traditions had in common. Chamber Music, with its inherently polyphonic and democratic sharing of roles, was always difficult for me to compose. But the Schoenberg symphony provided a key to unlock that door, and it did so by suggesting a format in which the weight and mass of a symphonic work could be married to the transparency and mobility of a chamber work.”

This Symphony at the Roundhouse concert is performed on Sunday, May 17th at 8pm – later the same day as the Beltone Symphony Sundays concert at the Orpheum at 2pm.

Tickets $27 (Student, Senior and Subscriber discounts available). Tickets available by phone at 604.876.3434 or online at


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