Pianist Ian Parker performs with the Vancouver Island Symphony Saturday (Oct. 22).

Pianist Ian Parker performs with the Vancouver Island Symphony Saturday (Oct. 22).

Moments of joy

Pianist Ian Parker plays the uplifting, yet heart-wrenching, composition of Tchaikovsky

The moments of despair amid joy, and those of happiness during sorrow, are well-acquainted in composer Peter Tchaikovsky’s work.

The Russian’s most famous piano concerto is a perfect example of the turmoil the composer felt during his career.

“It covers all the emotional values of the Romantic period,” said pianist Ian Parker, who performs Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Vancouver Island Symphony Saturday (Oct. 22).

He said Tchaikovsky’s melodic nature comes through in the piece, which may owe to his training as a violinist, as well as the composer’s ability to stir strong emotions from listeners.

“Pianists are more concerned about showing off the pyrotechnics of the instrument,” Parker said. “Tchaikovsky is more about ripping your soul out.”

In the first movement, traditionally the piano is given its grand entrance at the end of the section, but Tchaikovsky gives the instrument a moment to shine right away.

The second movement follows with a very innocent, pastoral sound, which Tchaikovsky shakes up by throwing in a jazzy moment before returning to the country sound.

The third is a non-stop train ride, said Parker.

“You can feel this intense, rhythmic quality,” he said.

The triumphant moments in the piece reflect the conflict within human emotion and represents the concert’s overall theme of genius and madness.

The symphony will also play Tchaikovsky’s Polonaise and Waltz from the opera Eugene Onegin; Schumann’s Manfred Overture and Symphony No. 3 (Rhenish).

It’s the symphony’s third concert featuring Parker as the guest artist. The relationship began under the symphony’s founding director, Marlin Wolfe, who had Parker play Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 18, in C minor, in 2005.

Two years later, Parker played Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue at current artistic director Pierre Simard’s very first concert with the symphony.

“That was the whole year they were trying different conductors,” Parker said. “The concert really put Pierre to the test and he just ate it up.”

The same can be said for Parker, who began playing piano at age three, under the tutelage of his father, Edward. Parker earned a master’s degree in music from Juilliard, North America’s premiere arts school and won the Sylva Gelber Career Grant from the Canada Council, awarded annually to the most talented Canadian artist.

He takes the stage with the Vancouver Island Symphony Saturday, 7:30 p.m., at the Port Theatre. Tickets $52; $49/seniors; $20/students. Please call 250-754-8550.

For more information, please visit www.vancouverislandsymphony.com.

arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Just Posted

Nanaimo RCMP had been asking for help locating a 43-year-old man whose family was ‘extremely worried.’ (Submitted photo)
UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP report man who had made ‘troubling’ comments has been found

43-year-old is receiving treatment he requires, say police

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

An event on the lawn of the B.C. legislature in Victoria on Tuesday to remember the 215 children whose remains were confirmed buried in unmarked graves outside a Kamloops residential school. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Canada’s racist systems cannot ever be forgiven

Teen letter writer from Nunavut calls for truth and reconciliation

Nanaimo is the first city in Canada to subscribe to the Chonolog environment photo-monitoring system, which allow residents to contribute photos of habitat restoration projects that are converted to time lapse sequences showing environmental changes. (Chris Bush/ News Bulletin)
Nanaimo residents invited to be citizen scientists by sharing habitat restoration photos

Nanaimo first city in Canada to sign up for Chronolog environment photo monitoring service

Regional District of Nanaimo is seeking input from the public for its transit redevelopment strategy. (News Bulletin file)
Public input sought as RDN works on transit redevelopment strategy

RDN wants to know where people want bus stops, shelters and pedestrian and cycling connections

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

City of Nanaimo council has approved amendments for an animal control bylaw requested by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. The bylaw includes language related to quail. (Wikipedia Commons photo)
Province asks for tweaks to Nanaimo’s animal responsibility bylaw

Ministry concerned bylaw wording could create municipal and provincial jurisdictional overlaps

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo hospital district seeks help from other districts for $1-billion project

Funding for Nanaimo Regional General Hospital patient tower discussed by committee

Stuffed toys, many with donations pinned to them, are piled in the Lions Pavilion at Maffeo Sutton Park at a vigil May 31 honouring the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were discovered outside a residential school in Kamloops. (News Bulletin file photo)
Thousands donated to child and family service agency following Nanaimo vigil

Toys and money donated to Kw’umut Lelum child and family services

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Most Read