Symphony encourages audience to help choose next season

Helping the Vancouver Island Symphony pick their upcoming season is also an opportunity to financially support the Nanaimo-based organization.

From now until Saturday (March 5), people can vote for their preferred symphony from three choices: Symphony in B Minor, D.759 (unfinished) by Franz Schubert; Symphony No. 5 (Symphony of Destiny) by Ludwig van Beethoven; and Symphony No. 3 by Johannes Brahms.

Symphony in B Minor is an exquisite work first begun by Schubert in 1822 and either left incomplete or completed but with the last movement lost.

Schubert lived another five years after he began this symphony which is known for its beautiful ideas and perfect form. Pages were torn out of the original score, which had become the property of his friend Anselm Hüttenbrenner, and the symphony was not made known until 1865 when it was given its initial performance in Vienna.

The mystery about the missing pages and movement remains unsolved.

Symphony No. 5 and its opening motif of four notes is known worldwide and featured in popular culture, film and television. In 1801, Beethoven was struggling with his loss of hearing and said in a letter that he would “seize Fate by the throat; it shall not bend or crush me completely.”

He allegedly described the opening four notes as “Fate knocking at the door.” This music emanates the composer’s secret sorrows, pent-up rage, dreams and bursts of enthusiasm.

Symphony No. 3 was created by Brahms in 1883, written non-stop while he was enjoying a trip to the Rhine. It is perhaps the composer’s most elusive symphony and yet his most adventurous. It is described as Brahms’ “Eroica”, however the piece is not without its gentler and more pastoral elements, conjuring up images of a wood, streams flowing and insects and birds playing.

Voting is unlimited but costs $2 each. Donations more than $20 will be issued a tax receipt.

The winning symphony will be announced in April and performed next season.

To vote, please call 250-754-0177 or visit

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