Powerful works spanning two centuries and two continents will open the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra 2017-18 season.
The Romance and Revolution concert, on Saturday, Oct. 7, at the Red Deer College Arts Centre, is the first of seven concerts in a jam-packed fall, winter and spring of music. Executive-director Chandra Kastern said the last RDSO season was bumped up by one concert, and patrons enjoyed it so much, seven shows are planned again for this year.
The season will be off to a rousing start at next week’s show, with trumpeter Richard Scholz as the featured soloist. Scholz, the principal trumpeter for the RDSO, will tackle the virtuosic Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra by composer John Estacio, the 2017 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Distinguished Artist Award winner.
RDSO music director Claude Lapalme said the Edmontonian was commissioned by 10 orchestras across Canada to compose this work to expand upon the available catalogue of contemporary music for trumpets. Estacio’s new concerto begins with a story-telling movement called Triton’s Trumpet, continues with a lyrical Ballad, and concludes with a rondeau, described as a “romp.”
The “wonderful, cinematic piece is a major addition to the trumpet repertoire and it will be played forever,” predicted Lapalme. “I love the piece I really do! I think it’s huge that we’re doing this.”
The music director calls Scholz, also an extra with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, a commanding, dynamic player, who can bring the required colour and flourish to Estacio’s “very picturesque” concerto.
Also on the program is Ludwig van Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, a dramatic work inspired by a 16th-century nobleman who sacrificed his life to fight oppression. Beethoven’s powerful musical statement became the theme of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.
And Robert Schumann’s Symphony No. 2 will be performed in the second half of the evening. Lapalme said the joyful work was written with deep feeling, “like opening the door to beautiful sunshine… There’s something almost heroic about it.”
The rest of the RDSO season will run from classical and sacred, to pops selections. Some highlights include two Christmas concerts — Handel’s Messiah, as well as a show featuring Central Alberta jazz performers Eric Allison, Cheryl Fisher and Morgan McKee.
In January, Wu Man, the American pipa player in Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, will be the soloist for the Postcards from Asia concert. It is being co-produced by the Toronto Symphony and focuses on new works from Edmonton composer Vincent Ho and Red Deer’s Lapalme.
“I think people will be very pleased,” said the conductor.
Starting this fall, local music lovers under age 30 can order lower-cost tickets. Please see www.rdso.ca.