It’ll be a mix of classical and folk music for the Chilliwack Metropolitan Orchestra’s winter concert, Tchaikovsky in America.
Loosely based on the story Tchaikovsky Discovers America by Susan Hammond, guests will be taken on Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s journey to New York where he assisted with the opening of Carnegie Hall in 1891.
“You’re treated to a bunch of Tchaikovsky works, but you’re also treated to some American folk music,” says maestro Gregory Johnson about CMO’s Jan. 27 matinée.
Returning to perform with the CMO is violinist Nancy DiNovo who is a member of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
Nancy is a “very high-professional level, world class soloist,” says Johnson. She will be performing the concert’s featured work, Tchaikovsky’s legendary Violin Concerto in D.
DiNovo has performed in the world’s major concert halls on three continents, with such conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Sir Colin Davis, Karel Ancerl, James Levine, Sir Neville Marriner, and Christopher Hogwood. She has also performed on tour in Japan and China with the VSO under the baton of both Sergio Commissiona and Bramwell Tovey.
“She’s an amazing musician and a great teacher who has invested a lot of time and energy into the CMO,” says Johnson. “It’s always a blessing to work with her.”
The second half of the performance, featuring the folk music, will complement CMO’s Tchaikovsky pieces.
You’ll hear Swan Lake, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, and Amazing Grace.
There’s also some of Brahms’ Hungarian dances, and some of Dvorak’s Slavonic dances, adds Johnson.
One of the most challenging aspects for the CMO’s 35-40 players has been the syncopation found in the Tchaikovsky works.
“Tchaikovsky’s rhythms are quite deceptive. He does a lot of syncopation where you’re not really on the beat.”
Syncopation, he describes, is where notes are intentionally played off-beat at the same time as the regular flow of rhythm.
“It kind of throws off the player, so it takes a lot of work to get that going,” says Johnson.
Tchaikovsky in America is the second concert in the CMO’s 2018/19 season. This is the second year the orchestra will be performing in the G.W. Graham theatre.
“It’s an amazing venue. The sound is to die for, there’s not a bad place to sit. The moment you step on stage is incredibly comforting. It fits us quite well,” he says.
“I think it’ll be an amazing concert, particularly with Nancy and with the music we have.”
Tchaikovsky in America is on Sunday, Jan. 27 at 3 p.m. at G.W. Graham theatre (45955 Thomas Rd.).
General admission is $25, seniors and youth are $15. Tickets available at The Book Man, Long and McQuade (cash only), King’s Music, and online at www.eventbrite.ca. For further information, please call 604-316-2729.