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OriginO Kids Concerts

Carnival of the Animals

March 7, 2021 2:00 PM

Join Maestro Otto Tausk for a walk on the wild side! Saint-Saëns' humorous Carnival of the Animals and Bohuslav Martinů’s playful La Revue de Cuisine are both full of music that moves you; music that sometimes goes a little … wild. The choreography of dancer Ralph Escamillan brilliantly links music, motion, and imagination.

Featuring pianists Adam Sun and Jonathan Weng, star pupils from the VSO School of Music.

Otto Tausk, conductor 

Adam Sun, piano 

Jonathan Weng, piano 

Ralph Escamillan, choreographer/dancer  

‍ 

Saint-Saëns: Carnival of the Animals 

Martinů: La Revue de Cuisine 

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.

www.ottotausk.nl

Adam Sun, piano

Adam Sun, 16, is a student at the VSO School of Music. He started learning piano with Irina Faletski when he was 7 years old, and, throughout the years, has performed at various concerts, festivals, and competitions in British Columbia, such as the Canadian Music Competition. In 2020, Adam was the Runner-Up in the VSO School of Music Future of Excellence Competition, Senior Division. He enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate and work with his teacher, Sergei Saratovsky, performing Grieg's Piano Concerto. Adam enjoys collaborating with other musicians. He has often been inspired by his teachers and fellow students, strongly believing that learning and performing music should be a shared experience.

Jonathan Weng, piano

Jonathan Weng, 12 years old, Taiwanese-Canadian pianist and composer, has been playing piano since the age of 4.  Jonathan made his piano debut at New York’s Carnegie Hall at the age of 7 and his orchestral debut with the orchestra of Musicfest Perugia, Italy at the age of 10. Jonathan has won numerous awards in international and local competitions. Therefore, he was invited to attend awards ceremonies and performed at renowned concerts halls. Jonathan appears with the VSO as the Runner-Up of the 2020 VSO School of Music Future of Excellence Competition, Junior Division.    Jonathan is also an active composer and his music composition works have been performed by Standing Wave ensemble, symphony orchestra and professional musicians at the Sonic Boom festival held by Vancouver Pro musica,.  In addition, one of Jonathan’s music compositions was awarded “Second Degree Diploma“ in International Category at the Golden Key Music Festival in Vienna, Austria.  Also, as a winner of Young Composer’s competition, Vancouver 2019, Jonathan’s  symphony orchestra work was performed by VAM symphony Orchestra and was premiered at the Orpheum theatre.   Aside from music, Jonathan enjoys playing golf, swimming and skiing.

FakeKnot, Dance/Choreography

FakeKnot creates inclusive performance works that strive to understand the complexities of identity and culture through costume, sound, technology and the body. Artistic director Ralph Escamillan gathers his breath of experience as a dancer in street, commercial and contemporary dance to create a truly unique choreographic perspective, while also questioning his identity as a queer person of color. More information about FakeKnot and Ralph Escamillan here.

PROGRAM NOTES:

Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 –1921)

Animals spring to life in the satirical suite Le carnaval des animaux (Carnival of the Animals) by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns. The work is scored for 11 players, including two pianists. Each short tableau represents a different character, with each instrument receiving its moment to shine. While the piece was originally written in 1886, it wasn’t published until much later because Saint-Saëns feared the “fun” piece would damage his reputation as a “serious” composer. It is now one of his best-loved works!

The 14 movements are:

- Introduction and Royal March of the Lion

The strings and pianos play a stately theme, with the chromatic scales in the piano depicting a lion’s roar.

- Hens and Roosters

The high strings and piano represent the pecking of the hens. The clarinet plays a crowing solo over top.

- Wild Donkeys (Swift Animals)

The two pianists play sweeping runs, representing two dziggetai, or Mongolian donkeys, which are renowned for their great speed.

- Tortoises

This humorous movement has the strings playing a very slow rendition of the can-can, but infused by Saint-Saëns with a poignant depth.

- The Elephant

The double bass depicts the heavy, pompous elephant. Like “Tortoises”, this movement is also a musical joke, since Saint-Saens takes light, fast music by Berlioz and Mendelssohn, and gives it to the lowest instrument in the orchestra.

- Kangaroos

The pianos play a “hopping” theme to show the playful kangaroo.

- Aquarium

The piano and glass harmonica (often played by celesta or glockenspiel) gives this a magical feel as the flute and strings play a slow, languorous melody over top.

- Characters with Long Ears

In this movement, violins make braying donkey noises. Music critics have speculated that it is meant to portray the braying of critics!

- The Cuckoo in the Depths of the Woods

The offstage clarinet depicts a faraway cuckoo bird in the still, quiet forest.

- Aviary

The flute leaps into virtuosic flight, while the strings imitate the background buzz of a jungle.

- Pianists

This humorous movement has two solo pianists practicing their scales for all to hear!

- Fossils

This movement references Saint-Saëns’ own Dance macabre, where xylophones depict skeletons playing card games. However, in this version, the percussionists quote old musical pieces, such as Mozart’s “Ah! vous dirai-je, Maman” (commonly known as “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”), the nursery rhyme “Au clair de la lune,” and Rossini’s opera The Barber of Seville, which are like musical fossils.

- The Swan

The cello soloist is the graceful swan, while piano represents the rippling water and the swan’s feet working hard underneath.

- Finale

This combines elements of all the previous movements, including the braying donkeys who try to have the last word.

Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)

Bohuslav Martinů lived in Paris during the so-called “Jazz Age” of the 1920’s and 30’s. His first major foray into combining jazz and dance with his classical style was La Revue de Cuisine in 1927. Translated as The Kitchen Revue, this one-act ballet chronicles a day in the life of kitchen utensils, based on a plot by Jarmila Kröschlová: The marriage of newlyweds Pot and Lid is threatened when the Whisk arrives on the scene, trying to seduce Pot. Dishcloth takes the opportunity to console Lid, but is challenged to a duel by Broom. However, Pot soon begins to pine for her husband, and embarks on a desperate search for him. In a fortuitous moment of deus ex machina, an enormous boot kicks Lid from the wings and onto the stage and Pot and Lid are happily reunited.

Martinů adapted his lighthearted, absurdist ballet to a four movement chamber suite, featuring the bluesy colours of the clarinet, trumpet, and piano along with bassoon, violin, and cello. It begins with a Prologue, setting the scene with a march, followed by a dramatic tango. The wild third movement, “Charleston,” is based on a popular dance style from the 1920s and depicts Dishcloth and Broom’s duel. The suite concludes with a Finale.

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STREAMING IN:

00
DAYS
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HOURS
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STREAMING IN:

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DAYS
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SEC

OriginO Kids Concerts

Carnival of the Animals

March 7, 2021

Join Maestro Otto Tausk for a walk on the wild side! Saint-Saëns' humorous Carnival of the Animals and Bohuslav Martinů’s playful La Revue de Cuisine are both full of music that moves you; music that sometimes goes a little … wild. The choreography of dancer Ralph Escamillan brilliantly links music, motion, and imagination.

Featuring pianists Adam Sun and Jonathan Weng, star pupils from the VSO School of Music.

Otto Tausk, conductor 

Adam Sun, piano 

Jonathan Weng, piano 

Ralph Escamillan, choreographer/dancer  

‍ 

Saint-Saëns: Carnival of the Animals 

Martinů: La Revue de Cuisine 

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.

www.ottotausk.nl

Adam Sun, piano

Adam Sun, 16, is a student at the VSO School of Music. He started learning piano with Irina Faletski when he was 7 years old, and, throughout the years, has performed at various concerts, festivals, and competitions in British Columbia, such as the Canadian Music Competition. In 2020, Adam was the Runner-Up in the VSO School of Music Future of Excellence Competition, Senior Division. He enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate and work with his teacher, Sergei Saratovsky, performing Grieg's Piano Concerto. Adam enjoys collaborating with other musicians. He has often been inspired by his teachers and fellow students, strongly believing that learning and performing music should be a shared experience.

Jonathan Weng, piano

Jonathan Weng, 12 years old, Taiwanese-Canadian pianist and composer, has been playing piano since the age of 4.  Jonathan made his piano debut at New York’s Carnegie Hall at the age of 7 and his orchestral debut with the orchestra of Musicfest Perugia, Italy at the age of 10. Jonathan has won numerous awards in international and local competitions. Therefore, he was invited to attend awards ceremonies and performed at renowned concerts halls. Jonathan appears with the VSO as the Runner-Up of the 2020 VSO School of Music Future of Excellence Competition, Junior Division.    Jonathan is also an active composer and his music composition works have been performed by Standing Wave ensemble, symphony orchestra and professional musicians at the Sonic Boom festival held by Vancouver Pro musica,.  In addition, one of Jonathan’s music compositions was awarded “Second Degree Diploma“ in International Category at the Golden Key Music Festival in Vienna, Austria.  Also, as a winner of Young Composer’s competition, Vancouver 2019, Jonathan’s  symphony orchestra work was performed by VAM symphony Orchestra and was premiered at the Orpheum theatre.   Aside from music, Jonathan enjoys playing golf, swimming and skiing.

FakeKnot, Dance/Choreography

FakeKnot creates inclusive performance works that strive to understand the complexities of identity and culture through costume, sound, technology and the body. Artistic director Ralph Escamillan gathers his breath of experience as a dancer in street, commercial and contemporary dance to create a truly unique choreographic perspective, while also questioning his identity as a queer person of color. More information about FakeKnot and Ralph Escamillan here.

PROGRAM NOTES:

Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 –1921)

Animals spring to life in the satirical suite Le carnaval des animaux (Carnival of the Animals) by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns. The work is scored for 11 players, including two pianists. Each short tableau represents a different character, with each instrument receiving its moment to shine. While the piece was originally written in 1886, it wasn’t published until much later because Saint-Saëns feared the “fun” piece would damage his reputation as a “serious” composer. It is now one of his best-loved works!

The 14 movements are:

- Introduction and Royal March of the Lion

The strings and pianos play a stately theme, with the chromatic scales in the piano depicting a lion’s roar.

- Hens and Roosters

The high strings and piano represent the pecking of the hens. The clarinet plays a crowing solo over top.

- Wild Donkeys (Swift Animals)

The two pianists play sweeping runs, representing two dziggetai, or Mongolian donkeys, which are renowned for their great speed.

- Tortoises

This humorous movement has the strings playing a very slow rendition of the can-can, but infused by Saint-Saëns with a poignant depth.

- The Elephant

The double bass depicts the heavy, pompous elephant. Like “Tortoises”, this movement is also a musical joke, since Saint-Saens takes light, fast music by Berlioz and Mendelssohn, and gives it to the lowest instrument in the orchestra.

- Kangaroos

The pianos play a “hopping” theme to show the playful kangaroo.

- Aquarium

The piano and glass harmonica (often played by celesta or glockenspiel) gives this a magical feel as the flute and strings play a slow, languorous melody over top.

- Characters with Long Ears

In this movement, violins make braying donkey noises. Music critics have speculated that it is meant to portray the braying of critics!

- The Cuckoo in the Depths of the Woods

The offstage clarinet depicts a faraway cuckoo bird in the still, quiet forest.

- Aviary

The flute leaps into virtuosic flight, while the strings imitate the background buzz of a jungle.

- Pianists

This humorous movement has two solo pianists practicing their scales for all to hear!

- Fossils

This movement references Saint-Saëns’ own Dance macabre, where xylophones depict skeletons playing card games. However, in this version, the percussionists quote old musical pieces, such as Mozart’s “Ah! vous dirai-je, Maman” (commonly known as “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”), the nursery rhyme “Au clair de la lune,” and Rossini’s opera The Barber of Seville, which are like musical fossils.

- The Swan

The cello soloist is the graceful swan, while piano represents the rippling water and the swan’s feet working hard underneath.

- Finale

This combines elements of all the previous movements, including the braying donkeys who try to have the last word.

Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)

Bohuslav Martinů lived in Paris during the so-called “Jazz Age” of the 1920’s and 30’s. His first major foray into combining jazz and dance with his classical style was La Revue de Cuisine in 1927. Translated as The Kitchen Revue, this one-act ballet chronicles a day in the life of kitchen utensils, based on a plot by Jarmila Kröschlová: The marriage of newlyweds Pot and Lid is threatened when the Whisk arrives on the scene, trying to seduce Pot. Dishcloth takes the opportunity to console Lid, but is challenged to a duel by Broom. However, Pot soon begins to pine for her husband, and embarks on a desperate search for him. In a fortuitous moment of deus ex machina, an enormous boot kicks Lid from the wings and onto the stage and Pot and Lid are happily reunited.

Martinů adapted his lighthearted, absurdist ballet to a four movement chamber suite, featuring the bluesy colours of the clarinet, trumpet, and piano along with bassoon, violin, and cello. It begins with a Prologue, setting the scene with a march, followed by a dramatic tango. The wild third movement, “Charleston,” is based on a popular dance style from the 1920s and depicts Dishcloth and Broom’s duel. The suite concludes with a Finale.

Learning Materials
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