Members of the Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra rehearse for their upcoming performance at Malaspina Theatre on Nov. 23. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra goes ‘Basically Baroque’ to start new season

French horn player Keon Birney of the Vancouver Island Symphony is guest soloist

The Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra is kicking off its 2019-20 season with a performance that includes some lesser-known pieces by some well-known composers.

“We found that in the past audiences and players have just loved this baroque concert idea,” director Karl Rainer said. “It’s sort of a clear sound, fresh, accessible music. So we’re almost making this a yearly thing.”

Among the composers included in the Basicially Baroque program at Malaspina Theatre on Nov. 23 are Bach, Vivaldi, Purcell and a new discovery for Rainer, Italian composer Bononcini.

Deviating from the theme is the inclusion of Mozart’s Concerto in E flat major for French Horn and Orchestra. The composition will feature Vancouver Island Symphony French horn player Keon Birney in his first performance as chamber orchestra guest soloist.

“He’s just relocated to town here so we love making use of people who are local” Rainer said. “And I’ve known Keon for a while. He’s a great guy and a wonderful musician and he sounds fantastic.”

Birney said he’s played movements from the Mozart concerto since he was a child, but this is the first time he’ll be performing it as a professional in its entirety. He said when Rainer asked him which composition he wanted to play, “I couldn’t think of a better piece than this because it’s just been a big part of my French horn career from a student up until now.”

He described the piece as beautiful and elegant and “right in the sweet spot” of the range of the instrument, meaning it doesn’t go too high or too low.

“You can just really concentrate on just being very musical and expressive without worrying about some of the more extreme aspects of the range or things like that,” Birney said. “So I think for a player it’s just very comfortable to play. You can just enjoy yourself as you’re trying to convey what it is in your mind to the audience and just have a good time.”

WHAT’S ON … The Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra presents Basically Baroque at Malaspina Theatre, VIU Bldg. 310, on Saturday, Nov. 23 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults, $5 for students and free from children 12 and under. Available online or cash only at the door.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Nanaimo mall hosting ‘dance up to bullies’ event on Pink Shirt Day

Aunti Bobbi the Clown organizing song-and-dance fundraiser

Astrophysicist to explain how new telescope turns stars into rainbows

Guest speaker describes 11.25-metre aperture Maunakea Spectral Explorer program Feb. 27 in Nanaimo

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: NRGH needs additional disability parking stalls

Hospital has greater need of disability parking than the mall, for example, says letter writer

VIU hoops teams head into provincials on winning note

Vancouver Island University women’s and men’s teams have first-round byes

VIU Mariners add provincial championship to undefeated season

Vancouver Island University women’s team defeats Camosun in PacWest final

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

City of Nanaimo looks at corporate names for civic facilities

Finance and audit committee recommends approving plan to create policy around facility naming rights

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Okanagan man swims across Columbia River to evade Trail police

RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid says the incident began the evening of Thursday, Feb. 20

‘Hilariously bad’: RCMP looking for couple with forged, paper Alberta licence plate

Mounties said the car crashed when it lost a wheel but the duo ran away as police arrived

UPDATE: Two missing scout leaders found near Sooke after swollen creek traps troop

Third leader and scouts located, prior to search for two leaders who’d gone for help

Harvey Weinstein found guilty of sex crimes in landmark #MeToo trial

The cases against the Hollywood mogul started the #MeToo movement

CRA puts focus on paper returns as tax-filing season opens

The federal tax collector expects to handle about two million paper returns this calendar year out of roughly 26 million filings

Most Read