Starting with a solo, CPO works toward crescendo with concerts

CPO cellist Arnold Choi will join CPO assistant concertmaster Donovan Seidle on violin in the first recorded CPO concert since the pandemic occurred. Darren Makowichuk / DARREN MAKOWICHUK/Postmedia

Share Adjust Comment Print

After months of being mostly silenced, classical music will again rise from the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.

It won’t be in-person concerts — just yet — but small groups of musicians are gathering to perform and record. These mini-concerts will be shared weekly online, beginning Oct. 3. A new concert video will be released each weekend, with the number of musicians gradually increasing from a duet to trios, quartets and quintets up to chamber groups and small ensembles. The eventual goal is to have all 66 CPO musicians playing together again on stage.

The first performances will be pre-recorded in the orchestra’s Rehearsal Hall but will later move to the Jack Singer Concert Hall where the CPO hopes to slowly add audience members as well.

“I’m extremely excited that we’re finally back on stage,” said music director Rune Bergmann from his home in Norway. “Since it’s not possible for everyone to be together in the concert hall right now, we’re using the top-quality streaming platform we developed over the last five years to reach all of you at home. This series will be very interesting for our audience — you get the opportunity to hear some of the greatest chamber music ever written, as well as some pieces you may not have heard before. These smaller concerts also shine a spotlight on the talent we are so lucky to have in Calgary.”

Calgary violinist Donovan Seidle, who is also the CPO assistant concertmaster, will play the first pre-recorded concert for the CPO in October. SunMedia

To allow for flexibility in the program as social distancing guidelines evolve, details for each concert will be announced one month at a time. All of the October performances have been announced and can be found at calgaryphil.com.

The first recorded concert features two Calgary musicians — CPO assistant concertmaster Donovan Seidle on violin and principal cellist Arnold Choi. The program includes music from Bach, Chan, Eckhardt-Gramatté and Halvorsen.

Viewers need to register in advance at calgaryphil.com beginning Sept. 22, and those able are encouraged to make a donation to the orchestra.

“We have heard over and over again how much comfort music has brought people over the past six months and how much they appreciate our virtual performances,” said Paul Dornian, CPO president and CEO. “In return, we have received tremendous support from our loyal audience and the community. We want to honour that contribution by making these concerts accessible to everyone — we don’t want anyone to miss out due to financial hardship or because they have to remain in isolation.”

 

Comments