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Assante Vancouver Centre Stars Series

Bach & Beethoven with Ehnes and Tausk

October 16, 2020 7:30 PM

James Ehnes, violin & leader

Otto Tausk, conductor

Bach: Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor

Beethoven: Symphony No. 7

James Ehnes performs Bach’s gorgeous First Violin Concerto in A minor while Maestro Tausk picks up where we left off in our BeethovenFest, celebrating the great master’s 250th anniversary with the Symphony No. 7 in A Major.

James Ehnes, violin

James Ehnes has established himself as one of the most sought-after violinists on the international stage. Gifted with a rare combination of stunning virtuosity, serene lyricism and an unfaltering musicality, Ehnes is a favourite guest of many of the world’s most respected conductors including Ashkenazy, Alsop, Sir Andrew Davis, Denève, Elder, Ivan Fischer, Gardner, Paavo Järvi, Mena, Noseda, Robertson and Runnicles. Ehnes’s long list of orchestras includes, amongst others, the Boston, Chicago, London, NHK and Vienna Symphony Orchestras, the Los Angeles, New York, Munich and Czech Philharmonic Orchestras, and the Cleveland, Philadelphia, Philharmonia and DSO Berlin orchestras.

Recent orchestral highlights include the MET Orchestra at Carnegie Hall with Noseda, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig with Shelley, San Francisco Symphony with Janowski, Frankfurt Radio Symphony with Orozco-Estrada, London Symphony with Harding, and Munich Philharmonic with van Zweden, as well as his debut with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Lincoln Center in spring 2019. In 2019/20, Ehnes is Artist in Residence with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, which includes performances of the Elgar Concerto with Luisi, a play/direct programme leg by Ehnes, and a chamber music programme. In 2017, Ehnes premiered the Aaron-Jay Kernis Violin Concerto with the Toronto, Seattle and Dallas Symphony Orchestras, and gave further performances of the piece with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

Alongside his concerto work, James Ehnes maintains a busy recital schedule. He performs regularly at the Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, Symphony Center Chicago, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Ravinia, Montreux, Chaise-Dieu, the White Nights Festival in St Petersburg, Verbier Festival, Festival de Pâques in Aix, and in 2018 he undertook a recital tour to the Far East, including performances in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. As part of the Beethoven celebrations, Ehnes has been invited to perform the complete cycle of Beethoven Sonatas at the Wigmore Hall throughout 2019/20. Elsewhere Ehnes performs the Beethoven Sonatas at Dresden Music Festival, Prague Spring Festival, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, at Aspen Music Festival (as part of a multi-year residency) and at Bravo Vail Festival during his residency week also including the Violin Concerto and Triple Concerto with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Runnicles. In 2016, Ehnes undertook a cross-Canada recital tour, performing in each of the country’s provinces and territories, to celebrate his 40th birthday.

As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with leading artists such as Andsnes, Capucon, Lortie, Lugansky, Yo-Yo Ma, Tamestit, Vogler and Yuja Wang. In 2010, he formally established the Ehnes Quartet, with whom he has performed in Europe at venues including the Wigmore Hall, Auditorium du Louvre in Paris and Théâtre du Jeu de Paume in Aix, amongst others. Ehnes is the Artistic Director of the Seattle Chamber Music Society.

Ehnes has an extensive discography and has won many awards for his recordings, including a Grammy Award (2019) for his live recording of Aaron Jay Kernis’ Violin Concerto with the Seattle Symphony and Ludovic Morlot, and a Gramophone Award for his live recording of the Elgar Concerto with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Sir Andrew Davis. His recording of the Korngold, Barber and Walton violin concertos won a Grammy Award for ‘Best Instrumental Soloist Performance’ and a JUNO award for ‘Best Classical Album of the Year’. His recording of the Paganini Caprices earned him universal praise, with Diapason writing of the disc, “Ehnes confirms the predictions of Erick Friedman, eminent student of Heifetz: ‘there is only one like him born every hundred years’.” Recent releases include sonatas by Beethoven, Debussy, Elgar and Respighi, and concertos by Walton, Britten, Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Strauss, as well as the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Andrew Manze, which was released in October 2017 (Onyx Classics).

Ehnes began violin studies at the age of five, became a protégé of the noted Canadian violinist Francis Chaplin aged nine, and made his orchestra debut with L’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal aged 13. He continued his studies with Sally Thomas at the Meadowmount School of Music and The Juilliard School, winning the Peter Mennin Prize for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Music upon his graduation in 1997. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and in 2010 was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada. Ehnes was awarded the 2017 Royal Philharmonic Society Award in the Instrumentalist category.

James Ehnes plays the “Marsick” Stradivarius of 1715.

jamesehnes.com

Otto Tausk, conductor

Dutch conductor Otto Tausk is the Music Director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, now in his third season. He is also the newly announced Chief Conductor of recently formed Phion Orkest van Gelderland & Overijssel. Until spring 2018, Tausk was Music Director of the Opera Theatre and Tonhalle Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen. He appears as a guest with such orchestras as Concertgebouworkest, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, Philharmonie Südwestfalen, Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestre symphonique de Québec, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Mariinsky  Orchestra, the orchestras of Perth, Tasmania, Auckland, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and BBC National Orchestra of Wales, with whom he made his BBC Proms debut in August 2018. He is a hugely respected musical personality in his native Holland, working with all its major orchestras and composers.

In the 2020/21 season, Tausk continues guesting relationships with orchestras such as Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Het Gelders Orkest, Norwegian Radio Orchestra and Turku Philharmonic Orchestra. In Vancouver, Tausk will lead an innovative reimagined season in response to COVID-19, showcasing the orchestra with a curated series of digital performances.

In the opera pit, he will conduct Michel van der Aa’s new opera ‘Upload’, with the world premiere at Dutch National Opera, plus further appearances with the other co-commissioning parties including Oper Köln. In St. Gallen, Tausk conducted the world premiere of ‘Annas Maske’, by Swiss composer David Philip Hefti, the Swiss premiere of George Benjamin’s ‘Written on Skin’, Korngold’s ‘Die Tote Stadt’ and other titles including ‘Don Giovanni’, ‘Die Entführung aus dem Serail’, ‘Eugene Onegin’, ‘West Side Story’, ‘Lohengrin’ and ‘Ariadne auf Naxos’.

Tausk has recorded with the Concertgebouworkest (Luc Brewaeys, and an animated version of Prokofiev’s ‘Peter and the Wolf’), Tonhalle Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen (Korngold and Diepenbrock), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (Mendelssohn) and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra (Gavin Bryars) amongst others. For the cpo label in 2011 Hans Pfitzner’s enchanting Orchesterlieder garnered international praise, not least the Classica France’s ‘Choc du mois’. His Prokofiev disc with Rosanne Philippens also received BBC Music Magazine Concerto Disc of the Month (2018).

Born in Utrecht, Otto Tausk initially studied violin and then conducting with Jonas Aleksa. Between 2004 and 2006, Tausk was assistant conductor to Valery Gergiev with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, a period of study that had a profound impact on him. In 2011 Tausk was presented with the ‘De Olifant’ prize by the City of Haarlem. He received this prestigious award for his contribution to the Arts in the Netherlands, in particular his extensive work with Holland Symfonia serving as Music Director 2007 to 2012. In reflecting on their work together in The Netherlands, Valery Gergiev paid particular tribute to Tausk on this occasion.

ottotausk.nl

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

Founded in 1919, the Grammy and Juno-award winning Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is the third largest orchestra in Canada, the largest arts organizations in Western Canada, and one of the few orchestras in North America to have its own music school.

Led by Music Director Otto Tausk since 2018, the VSO performs more than 150 concerts each year, throughout Vancouver and the province of British Columbia, reaching over 270,000 people annually. On tour the VSO has performed in the United States, China, Korea and across Canada.

The orchestra presents passionate, high-quality performances of classical, popular and culturally diverse music, creating meaningful engagement with audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

Recent guest artists include Daniil Trifonov, Dawn Upshaw, James Ehnes, Adrianne Pieczonka, Gidon Kremer, Renée Fleming, Yefim Bronfman, Itzhak Perlman, Bernadette Peters, Tan Dun, and more.

For the 2020-21 season the VSO has created the innovative streaming service TheConcertHall.ca, a virtual home for a virtual season, where more than forty performances will be released throughout the year.

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH

b. Eisenach, Germany / March 21, 1685

d. Leipzig, Germany / July 28, 1750

Violin Concerto in A minor, BWV 1041

Johann Sebastian Bach’s prowess as a keyboard player is well known. As a church musician much of his career was spent in the organ loft providing music for devotional use. But it is interesting to remember that J. S. Bach began his musical life studying violin with his father, and later his eldest brother. Reflecting on his father’s career, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach observed, ''In his youth and until the approach of old age, he played the violin cleanly and penetratingly, and thus kept the orchestra in better order than he could have done with the harpsichord…He understood to perfection the possibilities of all stringed instruments.''

Bach wrote countless cantatas and a great deal of organ music while serving in Weimar and Leipzig. But during one of his occasional hiatuses from those demands, he found time to indulge his interest in purely instrumental music, especially sonatas, suites and concertos. There are three violin concertos in the BWV catalogue (1041, 1042 & 1043 – the latter is the “Double Concerto”) and some others that are lost or only exist in a revision for keyboard.

The first of these known concertos has long been a favourite of James Ehnes, the soloist in this performance. He states, “This Bach A minor Concerto is a piece that many students learn as sort of a ‘rite of passage.’ If you study the Suzuki method it’s in one of the books of that, and I remember that’s how I first knew it. It’s a piece that I loved it then, and I love it now, and I’m sure that I’ll love it until the day I die. It’s always interesting, it’s always challenging, it’s always beautiful and there’s always something new to discover with it!”

Bach took his inspiration from the works of his near contemporary, the Venetian composer Antonio Vivaldi. In Bach’s hands, the three contrasting movements present more of a dialogue between soloist and ensemble, in place of a dispute! In the opening movement, a recurrent theme is exchanged and varied by the musical forces. The stately middle movement is supported by a repeating bass line, while the third movement bounces along in a jaunty jig.

VIOLIN SOLOIST & LEADER

James Ehnes

VIOLIN I

Nicholas Wright, Concertmaster - Ron and Ardelle Cliff Chair

Timothy Steeves, Associate Concertmaster - William and Irene McEwen Chair

David Lakirovich, Assistant Concertmaster - Robert G. and Suzanne Brodie Chair

Xue Feng Wei

Rebecca Whitling

Yi Zhou

VIOLIN II

Karen Gerbrecht, Acting Principal

Jeanette Bernal-Singh, Acting Associate Principal - Jim and Edith le Nobel Chair

Ashley Plaut, Acting Assistant Principal

Cassandra Bequary

Adrian Shu-On Chui

Carina Vincenti

VIOLA

Andrew Brown, Acting Principal

Katrina Chitty

Jacob van der Sloot

Isabelle Roland *

CELLO

Janet Steinberg, Associate Principal

Zoltan Rozsnyai, Assistant Principal

Olivia Blander - Gerhard and Ariane Bruendl Chair

Natasha Boyko - Mary and Gordon Christopher Chair

BASS

Dylan Palmer, Principal

Malcolm Armstrong

HARPSICHORD

Grace Huang *

* Extra musician

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN

b. Bonn, Germany / baptized December 17, 1770

d. Vienna, Austria / March 26, 1827

Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92  

In popular culture, Beethoven’s symphonies have their fair share of memorable moments: the “heroic” Symphony No. 3, the defiant “dit dit dit-duuuuhhh” opening of Symphony No. 5, and the “Ode to Joy” of the Symphony No. 9. However, during Beethoven’s lifetime, the Symphony No. 7 was exceedingly popular as a celebration of rhythm and propulsive power.

The symphony was composed in 1811 and premiered in Vienna on 8 December 1813. The event was a charitable concert to benefit soldiers wounded in the Napoleonic Wars at the Battle of Hanau, which had taken place six weeks earlier. Austrian and Bavarian forces had suffered great losses against Napoleon’s retreating forces. Beethoven had previously torn up his dedication of the “Eroica” Symphony to Napoleon. This time he shook a defiant fist at the French Emperor with a musical battle known as Wellington’s Victory. It was the novelty number on the program in that concert. The main attraction proved to be the Symphony No. 7 in A Major. The orchestra at the premiere included some of the greatest musical luminaries of the day, including Spohr, Hummel, Salieri, Meyerbeer, Romberg, Dragonetti, and Giuliani. The second movement Allegretto had to be immediately encored in the performance, and it proved so popular that it was frequently performed independently, sometimes even inserted in place of “less attractive” movements of Beethoven’s other works. The Seventh Symphony was repeated three times in the following 10 weeks and Beethoven himself referred to it as "one of the happiest products of my poor talents.”

It was Richard Wagner who famously described the symphony as a glorification of music in motion. "All tumult, all yearning and storming of the heart, become here the blissful insolence of joy, which carries us away with bacchanalian power through the roomy space of nature, through all the streams and seas of life, shouting in glad self-consciousness as we sound throughout the universe the daring strains of this human sphere-dance. The Symphony is the Apotheosis of the Dance itself: it is Dance in its highest aspect, the loftiest deed of bodily motion, incorporated into an ideal mold of tone."

Program Notes by Matthew Baird.

MUSIC DIRECTOR

Otto Tausk

VIOLIN I

Nicholas Wright, Concertmaster- Ron and Ardelle Cliff Chair

David Lakirovich, Assistant Concertmaster - Robert G. and Suzanne Brodie Chair

Jae-Won Bang

Mary Sokol Brown

Mrs. Cheng Koon Lee Chair

Xue Feng Wei

Rebecca Whitling

Yi Zhou

VIOLIN II

Karen Gerbrecht, Acting Principal

Jeanette Bernal-Singh, Acting Associate Principal - Jim and Edith le Nobel Chair

Cassandra Bequary

Carina Vincenti

John Marcus *

Cameron Wilson *

VIOLA

Andrew Brown, Acting Principal

Emilie Grimes, Acting Associate Principal

Katrina Chitty

Angela Schneider - Professors Mr. and Mrs. Ngou Kang Chair

Jacob van der Sloot

CELLO

Henry Shapard, Principal - Nezhat and Hassan Khosrowshahi Chair

Charles Inkman

Luke Kim- Dr. Malcolm Hayes and Lester Soo Chair

Cristian Márkos - Tim Wyman and Susan Gabe Chair

BASS

Evan Hulbert, Associate Principal

Noah Reitman, Assistant Principal

Malcolm Armstrong

FLUTE

Christie Reside, Principal - Ron and Ardelle Cliff Chair

Rosanne Wieringa - Michael and Estelle Jacobson Chair

OBOE

Roger Cole, Principal - Wayne and Leslie Ann Ingram Chair

Karin Walsh

Paul Moritz Chair

CLARINET

Jeanette Jonquil, Principal - Robert G. and Suzanne Brodie Chair

Michelle Goddard, Acting Assistant Principal - Taryn Brodie Chair

BASSOON

Sophie Dansereau, Assistant Principal

Gwen Seaton

HORN

Oliver de Clercq, Acting Principal

Andrew Mee, Acting Associate Principal

TRUMPET

Larry Knopp, Principal

Vincent Vohradsky - Neil Harcourt in memory of Frank N. Harcourt Chair

TIMPANI

Aaron McDonald, Principal

* Extra musician

Series Performances

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Bach & Beethoven with Ehnes and Tausk
This is some text inside of a div block.
Americana: Walker & Copland
More series performances to be announced.
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Subscribe now to make sure you have access to complete performances as they are released
Subscribe Now
Subscribe now to make sure you have access to complete performances as they are released

Assante Vancouver Centre Stars Series

Bach & Beethoven with Ehnes and Tausk

October 16, 2020 7:30 PM

James Ehnes, violin & leader

Otto Tausk, conductor

Bach: Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor

Beethoven: Symphony No. 7

James Ehnes performs Bach’s gorgeous First Violin Concerto in A minor while Maestro Tausk picks up where we left off in our BeethovenFest, celebrating the great master’s 250th anniversary with the Symphony No. 7 in A Major.

James Ehnes, violin

James Ehnes has established himself as one of the most sought-after violinists on the international stage. Gifted with a rare combination of stunning virtuosity, serene lyricism and an unfaltering musicality, Ehnes is a favourite guest of many of the world’s most respected conductors including Ashkenazy, Alsop, Sir Andrew Davis, Denève, Elder, Ivan Fischer, Gardner, Paavo Järvi, Mena, Noseda, Robertson and Runnicles. Ehnes’s long list of orchestras includes, amongst others, the Boston, Chicago, London, NHK and Vienna Symphony Orchestras, the Los Angeles, New York, Munich and Czech Philharmonic Orchestras, and the Cleveland, Philadelphia, Philharmonia and DSO Berlin orchestras.

Recent orchestral highlights include the MET Orchestra at Carnegie Hall with Noseda, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig with Shelley, San Francisco Symphony with Janowski, Frankfurt Radio Symphony with Orozco-Estrada, London Symphony with Harding, and Munich Philharmonic with van Zweden, as well as his debut with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Lincoln Center in spring 2019. In 2019/20, Ehnes is Artist in Residence with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, which includes performances of the Elgar Concerto with Luisi, a play/direct programme leg by Ehnes, and a chamber music programme. In 2017, Ehnes premiered the Aaron-Jay Kernis Violin Concerto with the Toronto, Seattle and Dallas Symphony Orchestras, and gave further performances of the piece with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

Alongside his concerto work, James Ehnes maintains a busy recital schedule. He performs regularly at the Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, Symphony Center Chicago, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Ravinia, Montreux, Chaise-Dieu, the White Nights Festival in St Petersburg, Verbier Festival, Festival de Pâques in Aix, and in 2018 he undertook a recital tour to the Far East, including performances in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. As part of the Beethoven celebrations, Ehnes has been invited to perform the complete cycle of Beethoven Sonatas at the Wigmore Hall throughout 2019/20. Elsewhere Ehnes performs the Beethoven Sonatas at Dresden Music Festival, Prague Spring Festival, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, at Aspen Music Festival (as part of a multi-year residency) and at Bravo Vail Festival during his residency week also including the Violin Concerto and Triple Concerto with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Runnicles. In 2016, Ehnes undertook a cross-Canada recital tour, performing in each of the country’s provinces and territories, to celebrate his 40th birthday.

As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with leading artists such as Andsnes, Capucon, Lortie, Lugansky, Yo-Yo Ma, Tamestit, Vogler and Yuja Wang. In 2010, he formally established the Ehnes Quartet, with whom he has performed in Europe at venues including the Wigmore Hall, Auditorium du Louvre in Paris and Théâtre du Jeu de Paume in Aix, amongst others. Ehnes is the Artistic Director of the Seattle Chamber Music Society.

Ehnes has an extensive discography and has won many awards for his recordings, including a Grammy Award (2019) for his live recording of Aaron Jay Kernis’ Violin Concerto with the Seattle Symphony and Ludovic Morlot, and a Gramophone Award for his live recording of the Elgar Concerto with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Sir Andrew Davis. His recording of the Korngold, Barber and Walton violin concertos won a Grammy Award for ‘Best Instrumental Soloist Performance’ and a JUNO award for ‘Best Classical Album of the Year’. His recording of the Paganini Caprices earned him universal praise, with Diapason writing of the disc, “Ehnes confirms the predictions of Erick Friedman, eminent student of Heifetz: ‘there is only one like him born every hundred years’.” Recent releases include sonatas by Beethoven, Debussy, Elgar and Respighi, and concertos by Walton, Britten, Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Strauss, as well as the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Andrew Manze, which was released in October 2017 (Onyx Classics).

Ehnes began violin studies at the age of five, became a protégé of the noted Canadian violinist Francis Chaplin aged nine, and made his orchestra debut with L’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal aged 13. He continued his studies with Sally Thomas at the Meadowmount School of Music and The Juilliard School, winning the Peter Mennin Prize for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Music upon his graduation in 1997. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and in 2010 was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada. Ehnes was awarded the 2017 Royal Philharmonic Society Award in the Instrumentalist category.

James Ehnes plays the “Marsick” Stradivarius of 1715.

jamesehnes.com

Otto Tausk, conductor

Dutch conductor Otto Tausk is the Music Director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, now in his third season. He is also the newly announced Chief Conductor of recently formed Phion Orkest van Gelderland & Overijssel. Until spring 2018, Tausk was Music Director of the Opera Theatre and Tonhalle Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen. He appears as a guest with such orchestras as Concertgebouworkest, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, Philharmonie Südwestfalen, Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestre symphonique de Québec, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Mariinsky  Orchestra, the orchestras of Perth, Tasmania, Auckland, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and BBC National Orchestra of Wales, with whom he made his BBC Proms debut in August 2018. He is a hugely respected musical personality in his native Holland, working with all its major orchestras and composers.

In the 2020/21 season, Tausk continues guesting relationships with orchestras such as Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Het Gelders Orkest, Norwegian Radio Orchestra and Turku Philharmonic Orchestra. In Vancouver, Tausk will lead an innovative reimagined season in response to COVID-19, showcasing the orchestra with a curated series of digital performances.

In the opera pit, he will conduct Michel van der Aa’s new opera ‘Upload’, with the world premiere at Dutch National Opera, plus further appearances with the other co-commissioning parties including Oper Köln. In St. Gallen, Tausk conducted the world premiere of ‘Annas Maske’, by Swiss composer David Philip Hefti, the Swiss premiere of George Benjamin’s ‘Written on Skin’, Korngold’s ‘Die Tote Stadt’ and other titles including ‘Don Giovanni’, ‘Die Entführung aus dem Serail’, ‘Eugene Onegin’, ‘West Side Story’, ‘Lohengrin’ and ‘Ariadne auf Naxos’.

Tausk has recorded with the Concertgebouworkest (Luc Brewaeys, and an animated version of Prokofiev’s ‘Peter and the Wolf’), Tonhalle Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen (Korngold and Diepenbrock), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (Mendelssohn) and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra (Gavin Bryars) amongst others. For the cpo label in 2011 Hans Pfitzner’s enchanting Orchesterlieder garnered international praise, not least the Classica France’s ‘Choc du mois’. His Prokofiev disc with Rosanne Philippens also received BBC Music Magazine Concerto Disc of the Month (2018).

Born in Utrecht, Otto Tausk initially studied violin and then conducting with Jonas Aleksa. Between 2004 and 2006, Tausk was assistant conductor to Valery Gergiev with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, a period of study that had a profound impact on him. In 2011 Tausk was presented with the ‘De Olifant’ prize by the City of Haarlem. He received this prestigious award for his contribution to the Arts in the Netherlands, in particular his extensive work with Holland Symfonia serving as Music Director 2007 to 2012. In reflecting on their work together in The Netherlands, Valery Gergiev paid particular tribute to Tausk on this occasion.

ottotausk.nl

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

Founded in 1919, the Grammy and Juno-award winning Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is the third largest orchestra in Canada, the largest arts organizations in Western Canada, and one of the few orchestras in North America to have its own music school.

Led by Music Director Otto Tausk since 2018, the VSO performs more than 150 concerts each year, throughout Vancouver and the province of British Columbia, reaching over 270,000 people annually. On tour the VSO has performed in the United States, China, Korea and across Canada.

The orchestra presents passionate, high-quality performances of classical, popular and culturally diverse music, creating meaningful engagement with audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

Recent guest artists include Daniil Trifonov, Dawn Upshaw, James Ehnes, Adrianne Pieczonka, Gidon Kremer, Renée Fleming, Yefim Bronfman, Itzhak Perlman, Bernadette Peters, Tan Dun, and more.

For the 2020-21 season the VSO has created the innovative streaming service TheConcertHall.ca, a virtual home for a virtual season, where more than forty performances will be released throughout the year.

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH

b. Eisenach, Germany / March 21, 1685

d. Leipzig, Germany / July 28, 1750

Violin Concerto in A minor, BWV 1041

Johann Sebastian Bach’s prowess as a keyboard player is well known. As a church musician much of his career was spent in the organ loft providing music for devotional use. But it is interesting to remember that J. S. Bach began his musical life studying violin with his father, and later his eldest brother. Reflecting on his father’s career, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach observed, ''In his youth and until the approach of old age, he played the violin cleanly and penetratingly, and thus kept the orchestra in better order than he could have done with the harpsichord…He understood to perfection the possibilities of all stringed instruments.''

Bach wrote countless cantatas and a great deal of organ music while serving in Weimar and Leipzig. But during one of his occasional hiatuses from those demands, he found time to indulge his interest in purely instrumental music, especially sonatas, suites and concertos. There are three violin concertos in the BWV catalogue (1041, 1042 & 1043 – the latter is the “Double Concerto”) and some others that are lost or only exist in a revision for keyboard.

The first of these known concertos has long been a favourite of James Ehnes, the soloist in this performance. He states, “This Bach A minor Concerto is a piece that many students learn as sort of a ‘rite of passage.’ If you study the Suzuki method it’s in one of the books of that, and I remember that’s how I first knew it. It’s a piece that I loved it then, and I love it now, and I’m sure that I’ll love it until the day I die. It’s always interesting, it’s always challenging, it’s always beautiful and there’s always something new to discover with it!”

Bach took his inspiration from the works of his near contemporary, the Venetian composer Antonio Vivaldi. In Bach’s hands, the three contrasting movements present more of a dialogue between soloist and ensemble, in place of a dispute! In the opening movement, a recurrent theme is exchanged and varied by the musical forces. The stately middle movement is supported by a repeating bass line, while the third movement bounces along in a jaunty jig.

VIOLIN SOLOIST & LEADER

James Ehnes

VIOLIN I

Nicholas Wright, Concertmaster - Ron and Ardelle Cliff Chair

Timothy Steeves, Associate Concertmaster - William and Irene McEwen Chair

David Lakirovich, Assistant Concertmaster - Robert G. and Suzanne Brodie Chair

Xue Feng Wei

Rebecca Whitling

Yi Zhou

VIOLIN II

Karen Gerbrecht, Acting Principal

Jeanette Bernal-Singh, Acting Associate Principal - Jim and Edith le Nobel Chair

Ashley Plaut, Acting Assistant Principal

Cassandra Bequary

Adrian Shu-On Chui

Carina Vincenti

VIOLA

Andrew Brown, Acting Principal

Katrina Chitty

Jacob van der Sloot

Isabelle Roland *

CELLO

Janet Steinberg, Associate Principal

Zoltan Rozsnyai, Assistant Principal

Olivia Blander - Gerhard and Ariane Bruendl Chair

Natasha Boyko - Mary and Gordon Christopher Chair

BASS

Dylan Palmer, Principal

Malcolm Armstrong

HARPSICHORD

Grace Huang *

* Extra musician

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN

b. Bonn, Germany / baptized December 17, 1770

d. Vienna, Austria / March 26, 1827

Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92  

In popular culture, Beethoven’s symphonies have their fair share of memorable moments: the “heroic” Symphony No. 3, the defiant “dit dit dit-duuuuhhh” opening of Symphony No. 5, and the “Ode to Joy” of the Symphony No. 9. However, during Beethoven’s lifetime, the Symphony No. 7 was exceedingly popular as a celebration of rhythm and propulsive power.

The symphony was composed in 1811 and premiered in Vienna on 8 December 1813. The event was a charitable concert to benefit soldiers wounded in the Napoleonic Wars at the Battle of Hanau, which had taken place six weeks earlier. Austrian and Bavarian forces had suffered great losses against Napoleon’s retreating forces. Beethoven had previously torn up his dedication of the “Eroica” Symphony to Napoleon. This time he shook a defiant fist at the French Emperor with a musical battle known as Wellington’s Victory. It was the novelty number on the program in that concert. The main attraction proved to be the Symphony No. 7 in A Major. The orchestra at the premiere included some of the greatest musical luminaries of the day, including Spohr, Hummel, Salieri, Meyerbeer, Romberg, Dragonetti, and Giuliani. The second movement Allegretto had to be immediately encored in the performance, and it proved so popular that it was frequently performed independently, sometimes even inserted in place of “less attractive” movements of Beethoven’s other works. The Seventh Symphony was repeated three times in the following 10 weeks and Beethoven himself referred to it as "one of the happiest products of my poor talents.”

It was Richard Wagner who famously described the symphony as a glorification of music in motion. "All tumult, all yearning and storming of the heart, become here the blissful insolence of joy, which carries us away with bacchanalian power through the roomy space of nature, through all the streams and seas of life, shouting in glad self-consciousness as we sound throughout the universe the daring strains of this human sphere-dance. The Symphony is the Apotheosis of the Dance itself: it is Dance in its highest aspect, the loftiest deed of bodily motion, incorporated into an ideal mold of tone."

Program Notes by Matthew Baird.

MUSIC DIRECTOR

Otto Tausk

VIOLIN I

Nicholas Wright, Concertmaster- Ron and Ardelle Cliff Chair

David Lakirovich, Assistant Concertmaster - Robert G. and Suzanne Brodie Chair

Jae-Won Bang

Mary Sokol Brown

Mrs. Cheng Koon Lee Chair

Xue Feng Wei

Rebecca Whitling

Yi Zhou

VIOLIN II

Karen Gerbrecht, Acting Principal

Jeanette Bernal-Singh, Acting Associate Principal - Jim and Edith le Nobel Chair

Cassandra Bequary

Carina Vincenti

John Marcus *

Cameron Wilson *

VIOLA

Andrew Brown, Acting Principal

Emilie Grimes, Acting Associate Principal

Katrina Chitty

Angela Schneider - Professors Mr. and Mrs. Ngou Kang Chair

Jacob van der Sloot

CELLO

Henry Shapard, Principal - Nezhat and Hassan Khosrowshahi Chair

Charles Inkman

Luke Kim- Dr. Malcolm Hayes and Lester Soo Chair

Cristian Márkos - Tim Wyman and Susan Gabe Chair

BASS

Evan Hulbert, Associate Principal

Noah Reitman, Assistant Principal

Malcolm Armstrong

FLUTE

Christie Reside, Principal - Ron and Ardelle Cliff Chair

Rosanne Wieringa - Michael and Estelle Jacobson Chair

OBOE

Roger Cole, Principal - Wayne and Leslie Ann Ingram Chair

Karin Walsh

Paul Moritz Chair

CLARINET

Jeanette Jonquil, Principal - Robert G. and Suzanne Brodie Chair

Michelle Goddard, Acting Assistant Principal - Taryn Brodie Chair

BASSOON

Sophie Dansereau, Assistant Principal

Gwen Seaton

HORN

Oliver de Clercq, Acting Principal

Andrew Mee, Acting Associate Principal

TRUMPET

Larry Knopp, Principal

Vincent Vohradsky - Neil Harcourt in memory of Frank N. Harcourt Chair

TIMPANI

Aaron McDonald, Principal

* Extra musician

Series Performances

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Bach & Beethoven with Ehnes and Tausk
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Americana: Walker & Copland
More series performances to be announced.
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