Cellist Ofra Harnoy performs at the Port Theatre on Sept. 29. (Photo courtesy Denise Grant)

Renowned Canadian cellist brings comeback tour to Nanaimo

Ofra Harnoy recently released her first recording in 20 years, ‘Back to Bach’

After dialing back her touring and recording career for 20 years to raise her children, care for her mother and recover from a shoulder injury, renowned Canadian cellist Ofra Harnoy is making a comeback.

“For me, performing and playing is kind of like breathing,” she said. “It’s something that I’ve missed in my life. It’s a necessary part of my life and it’s amazing to be back doing it.”

Harnoy, a five-time Juno Award winner and Member of the Order of Canada, made 42 recordings and toured the world throughout the ’80 and ’90s. Last November she returned to performing with a concert in Toronto and on Sunday, Sept. 29 she comes to Nanaimo for her Port Theatre debut. She said it’s been more than 25 years since she’s performed on Vancouver Island.

“These are my first concerts in a while and I have a lot of tours booked for the following year so everything is back the way I want it to be,” Harnoy said, adding that she’s looking forward to playing audience favourites and unveiling new material.

Earlier this month, Harnoy released Back to Bach, her first album in two decades. The record sees Harnoy revisit some pieces of repertoire that she recorded when she was younger, while also exploring the possibilities of modern recording advancements.

“With the technology that’s available today I was really interested in trying this new approach to multi-tracking,” she said.

On one track Harnoy’s husband, trumpeter Mike Herriott, plays all the parts in a brass choir to emulate the sound of an organ, and at one point on the album Harnoy plays a composition written for nine cellos.

“That was both challenging, exciting and the outcome is beyond anything I expected. It’s so beautiful,” she said.

Herriott will perform alongside Harnoy at the Port Theatre to present their new repertoire. Harnoy said she’s very happy with the new album and arrangements they’ve created and looks forward to seeing how audiences react.

“I love sharing music with audiences and I love playing and exploring new repertoire and it’s a life that I love,” she said. “So I’m back to it.”

Now that she’s back to recording and touring, Harnoy said requests are “flying in” and she’s excited to have so many options before her.

“I am lined up to do another four recordings and we’re actually going to work on the next one a little later this fall and then in the spring I’m going on a big Far East tour so basically back to how it was,” she said, adding that it’s just the reception she was hoping for.

“And, at this age, to have the maturity and to understand the music in a different way and explore it in a different way is also very exciting,” Harnoy said.

WHAT’S ON … Ofra Harnoy performs at the Port Theatre on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 3 p.m. Tickets $53, $48 for members. Available here.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

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 man hit with six-foot pole in dispute over off-leash dog

RCMP say no charges recommended at this time

Nanaimo RCMP looking for bicycle’s owner

Witness saw Marin road bike dumped in ditch and called police

VIU program to offer indigenous students chance to explore careers in trades

Vancouver Island University, Camosun College providing exploratory trades skills foundations courses

Off-duty Nanaimo Mountie takes down would-be ice cream thief

Incident happened Sunday at a Dairy Queen location in Nanaimo

UPDATE: Stolen utility vehicle returned to Ladysmith Motorsports

The 2020 Maverick Trail side by side was found abandoned on Spruston Road in Cassidy

Off-duty Nanaimo Mountie takes down would-be ice cream thief

Incident happened Sunday at a Dairy Queen location in Nanaimo

INFOGRAPHIC: See how fast your B.C. city grew in 2019

The province’s fastest-growing municipalities were located on Vancouver Island

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Mayor and council aren’t necessary

Instead of candidates, put municipal priorities on the ballot, says letter writer

Young musicians to gather in Nanaimo for West Coast Youth Fiddle Summit

Fiddlers from B.C., Alberta and the Yukon to participate in second annual event

Work has started on Malahat Skywalk, expected completion in 2021

$15-million project expected to open in spring, 2021

Pro wrestler Raven to re-live ECW, WCW, WWE days

Pro wrestler host a talk Jan. 31 at the Queen’s in Nanaimo

Baby Bear statue returned to be reunited with Mama and Papa in Island Secret Garden spot

Culprit left it near the Henry Road roundabout in Chemainus with a note attached

Was there a tornado on Vancouver Island Monday?

Suspected phone app glitch gives eerie warning

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Most Read