Saturday, January 28, 2012

Niagara Symphony presents a couple of winter bonuses

Here we are in the dead of winter, or what is passing for winter in Niagara this season, and you feel the need to get out of the house and hear some great music, right?  Well, the Niagara Symphony has you covered on a couple of fronts in the coming days, so we'll cover both of those this week in the column.

First of all, this Sunday afternoon at 2:30 the Niagara Symphony presents a Bonus Masterworks concert with not one, but two Thachuks on stage.  Maestro Bradley conducts, of course, and his twin brother Steven is the guitar soloist on the Guitar Concerto by Antonio Vivaldi.  So don't be concerned if you appear to be seeing double on Sunday afternoon.  Also on the programme is the Symphony No. 44 by Franz Joseph Haydn, In Memoriam Alberto Guererro by R. Murray Schafer, and one of my all-time favourite works by Tchaikovsky, the lovely Serenade for Strings.

There is also a special price for the concert, since a lot of regular patrons will be down south at this time of year, so the Symphony wisely chose to offer a specially-discounted price to get people through the doors, and hopefully more than a few newcomers as well.  Just $ 25 gets you a seat to the concert and even birthday cake afterwards to celebrate the Niagara Symphony's 64th birthday.  Not a bad deal when you consider what a trip to Toronto, Buffalo or even Hamilton would cost at this time of year.  So save the trip and consider supporting your Niagara Symphony, why don'tcha?

As always, I will be in the lobby before, after and at intermission with lots of great music you might just want to take home with you, so be sure to stop by and take a look and say hello.  One of the interesting new items I have with me, by the way, is a fabulous new EMI Classics box set of 50 discs covering 150 ballets, titled oddly enough, A Festival of Ballet.  You can grab it now before it shows up on the website in February.

Tickets should still be available for the Sunday concert, so either purchase them at the box office prior to the concert or call the box office in advance at 905-688-5550, ext. 3257.

On another front, In This Life - Chantal Kreviazuk makes its broadcast debut on HBO Canada and The Movie Network this coming Monday evening, January 30th at 6:45 pm.  It will also air on HBOC HD at 6:45 pm and HBOC 2 HD at 8:45 pm.  The one-hour documentary runs throughout the week and celebrates the life and career of renowned singer Chantal Kreviazuk, including footage of her exclusive engagement last summer with the Niagara Symphony, performing at the outdoor theatre at Jackson-Triggs Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake.  I remember when this concert was announced and it garnered a lot of attention at the time, so this promises to be an interesting look at one very special artist as she connects with her audience on many levels.

The Niagara Symphony is at the half-way mark of what is shaping up to be a reasonably well-attended season, so that is good news.  One of the mandates of Maestro Thachuk was to grow the audience, and perhaps we are starting to see those efforts begin to bear fruit.

See you at the Symphony!

January 28th, 2012.

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