Local talent shines with RDSO

If there was an applause-o-meter at the Red Deer College Arts Centre, it would have gone off the dial as three local soloists performed during the RDSO’s Red Deer’s Got Talent concert.

If there was an applause-o-meter at the Red Deer College Arts Centre, it would have gone off the dial as three local soloists performed during the RDSO’s Red Deer’s Got Talent concert.

The Red Deer Symphony Orchestra delivered an emotionally charged program on Saturday night, featuring three talented young musicians who each got their start in Central Alberta.

First out of the gate was Red Deer violist Stephanie Galipeau, who trained with local teacher (and RDSO violinist) Louise Stuppard before continuing her post-secondary studies at the prestigious Julliard School of Music in New York, where she’s now a senior.

The Victoria Conservatory of Music graduate and recipient of many fellowships and scholarships performed Carl Philipp Stamitz’s gorgeously restrained Viola Concert in D Major

The neoclassical piece balances decorous passages with a sense of spareness, even austerity. Galipeau developed an interesting interplay with the orchestra as the composition traded her moody solos with more dramatic orchestral outbursts.

Precision and a controlled emotional range is required for this graceful concerto, and Galipeau delivered an elegant, tonally rich performance.

Camille Saint-Saens’s epic Cello Concerto in A Minor featured the bold, colourful playing of Red Deer-born Rylan Gajek-Leonard.

The cellist has played around the world — including at Carnegie Hall with his string quartet, with the National Youth Orchestra, and on entertainer Raffi’s 2009 children’s album. But Gajek-Leonard got his start with instructor (and RDSO cellist) Janet Kuschak before moving to B.C., and now majoring in music and mathematics at the Bard College Conservative of Music in New York State.

The difficult Saint-Saens piece runs the emotional gamut. RDSO conductor Claude Lapalme described it as being “happy, then there’s anxiety, and all of a sudden there’s a little lullaby in it, then it gets jolly with a touch of melancholy, then again it’s very active…”

Gajek-Leonard managed all the mood swings with gusto — he plays like a painter, throwing dashes of colour against canvas to evoke everything from joy to pathos.

His expressive performance with the orchestra earned him a standing ovation from the crowd at the end of the concert. I suspect this was also meant for the other talented young soloists, including Susanna Heystek of Rocky Mountain House.

The 17-year-old, who won the chance to play with the RDSO at the Red Deer Performing Arts Festival, and also studied with Stuppard, was the soloist on Ludwig van Beethoven’s Romance for Violin and Orchestra No. 2.

Heystek beautifully captured the wistful poetry of this dream-like work. The concert master for the Red Deer Youth Orchestra can be a delicate player, but she can also rise to the challenge of the more exuberant passages in this lilting Romance.

The evening started with the RDSO’s wind section performing the upbeat Harmonie For Wind Octet by Bohemian composer Franz Krommer. While the tuneful selection involved some astounding clarinet playing, it’s just as well it was first on the program.

These three young, locally trained soloists would have been hard acts to follow.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Marcus Golczyk, with Taco Monster, hands food to a customer during Food Truck Drive and Dash in the Westerner Park parking lot in Red Deer Friday afternoon. The drive-thru event will run every Thursday from 4-7 p.m. and Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. through June. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff
Food Truck Fridays, Food Truck Drive and Dash return in Red Deer

Red Deerians are able to take in a drive-thru food truck experience… Continue reading

Don and Gloria Moore, of Red Deer, are set to celebrate their 70th anniversary later this month. (Contributed photo)
Red Deer couple to celebrate 70th anniversary

Red Deer couple Don and Gloria Moore are set to celebrate their… Continue reading

Chris Scott, owner of The Whistle Stop Cafe, was put in handcuffs after an anti-restriction protest Saturday in the parking lot of the business. (Screenshot via The Whistle Stop Facebook page)
UPDATE: Central Alberta cafe owner arrested after anti-restriction protest

The owner of a central Alberta cafe, which was the site of… Continue reading

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer now has 911 active COVID-19 cases

Central zone has 2,917 active cases

FILE - A firefighter wears a mask as he drives his truck. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward, File
VIDEO: Flames rip through Edmonton-area seniors complex, but no fatalities

ST. ALBERT, Alta. — Fire has destroyed part of a retirement complex… Continue reading

Quebec Premier Francois Legault chairs a premiers virtual news conference as premiers John Horgan, B.C., Jason Kenney, Alberta, and Scott Moe, Saskatchewan, are seen onscreen, Thursday, March 4, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Several provinces bring in new restrictions as high COVID-19 case numbers persist

Several provinces are gearing up to tighten public health measures once again… Continue reading

Members of the RCAF take part in a Royal Canadian Air Force change of command ceremony in Ottawa on Friday, May 4, 2018. The Royal Canadian Air Force is hoping Canada will open its doors to military pilots from other countries as it seeks to address a longstanding shortage of experienced aviators. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
RCAF turns to foreign pilots to help with shortage as commercial aviators stay away

OTTAWA — The Royal Canadian Air Force is hoping Canada will open… Continue reading

An arrivals and departures information screen is seen at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport in Halifax on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The chief executive of Atlantic Canada's largest airport is hoping for COVID-19 testing for arriving passengers "sooner rather than later," as an added measure to combat the province's third wave of the virus. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Halifax airport CEO hopes for more on-site COVID testing ‘sooner rather than later’

HALIFAX — The chief executive of Atlantic Canada’s largest airport is hoping… Continue reading

Shoppers wear mask as they shop at a nursery & garden shop on Mother's Day weekend during COVID-19 pandemic in Wilmette, Ill., Saturday, May 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Tearful reunions mark second Mother’s Day under pandemic

Last Mother’s Day, they celebrated with bacon and eggs over FaceTime. This… Continue reading

Arizona Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet, standing, watches the game during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, April 14, 2021, in St. Paul, Minn. The Wild won 5-2. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)
Tocchet won’t return as coach of Coyotes after 4 seasons

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Arizona Coyotes and coach Rick Tocchet have mutually… Continue reading

Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella shouts at an official after a fight between Columbus Blue Jackets' s Gavin Bayreuther and Florida Panthers' Sam Bennett during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, April 19, 2021, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Tortorella out after 6 years as Columbus Blue Jackets coach

COLUMBUS, Ohio — John Tortorella is out as coach of the Columbus… Continue reading

A caribou grazes on Baffin Island in a 2008 file photo. A last-ditch attempt to save some of Canada's vanishing caribou herds is a step closer after a scientific review panel's approval of a plan to permanently pen some animals and breed them to repopulate other herds. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kike Calvo via AP Images
Parks Canada captive caribou breeding proposal gets OK from scientific review panel

JASPER, Alta. — A last-ditch attempt to save some of Canada’s vanishing… Continue reading

The smouldering remains of houses in Slave Lake, Alta., are seen in a May 16, 2011, file photo. The wildfire that is devastating large swaths of the northern Alberta city of Fort McMurray comes just five years after another blaze destroyed 400 buildings and left 2,000 people homeless in Slave Lake, Alberta. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ian Jackson
Ten years later: Five things to know about the Slave Lake wildfire

A wildfire burned about one-third of Slave Lake in northern Alberta in… Continue reading

Most Read