The Vancouver Island Symphony recently announced its 2020-21 ‘Symphony from your Sofa’ live-streaming concert series. (Photo courtesy Heydemann Art of Photography)

The Vancouver Island Symphony recently announced its 2020-21 ‘Symphony from your Sofa’ live-streaming concert series. (Photo courtesy Heydemann Art of Photography)

Vancouver Island Symphony announces 2020-21 live-streaming concert series

‘Symphony from your Sofa’ series features small in-person theatre shows broadcast online

The Vancouver Island Symphony has found a way to continue bringing classical music to listeners across the Island while still adhering to COVID-19 guidelines.

“We articulated a season which is, I would say, close enough to what we usually do, which is putting a large group of musicians onstage and playing classical music repertoire, and at the same time there’s a sense of being far from what we usually do,” said Pierre Simard, VIS artistic director and conductor.

On Oct. 1, the Vancouver Island Symphony announced its 2020-21 Symphony from your Sofa live-streaming concert series. Due to COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings, the VIS will perform its six concert programs multiple times before 50-person audiences at the Port, Tidemark and Sid Williams Theatre, and those concerts will be broadcast online.

“All the symphony orchestras have been forced to reimagine their artistic offering depending on each province’s guidelines and rules with safety protocols in the current pandemic,” Simard said. “And we are like every other orchestra, we’re trying to send a message: ‘We’re still here. We intend on still being here when this is all over.’”

In order to maintain two-metre distance between performers, the season will be featuring smaller chamber music ensembles, similar to what the VIS was offering during this summer’s outdoor pop-up concert series. At most, there will be 15 musicians onstage at one time but all of the symphony’s members will be participating.

The season starts on Oct. 24 with Strauss and Dvorak, a program featuring mostly wind instruments with cello and bass. On Nov. 14’s Salmon and Trout show, a string quintet and piano will perform a piece by Canadian composer Chan Ka Nin and Schubert’s Trout Quintet. 2021 kicks off with Debussy and Duets on Jan. 23 featuring a flute, viola, harp and percussion quartet. Beethoven and Brahms on Feb. 20 showcases two trios for winds and piano and the series ends on April 24 as the VIS string section presents Spain and Strings. Simard added that the VIS also has plans to tour its brass quintet at Christmastime.

For a typical symphony concert, Simard said he’s the one responsible for repertoire decisions, including which pieces the ensemble will play and who will serve as soloist. With the Symphony from your Sofa shows, however, the VIS players get to make those choices. Simard said “I would never dare impose on a chamber music group.”

“For the smaller ensembles, the proposals really came from our musicians, which is quite nice because it gives them a chance to play and perform a piece they may have not been able to play in years, in some cases even going back to their school years,” he said. “So that’s the silver lining.”

For more information about the Symphony from your Sofa series and to purchase tickets, click here.

SEE RELATED: Vancouver Island Symphony’s children’s choir program goes online due to COVID-19

SEE RELATED: Vancouver Island Symphony starting 25th anniversary season



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Music

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

Just Posted

MNP senior economist Susan Mowbray presents the State of the Island Economic Report on Thursday night to conclude the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance’s virtual summit. (VIEA image)
Not-so-rosy State of the Island report caps off virtual summit

Vancouver Island Economic Alliance’s summit took place online Oct. 27-29

Canadian Federation of University Women Nanaimo members Wendy Smiley, left, Karen Skarpnes, storyteller Margaret Murphy, CFUW-Nanaimo president Jeri Manley and club treasurer Kathy Torhjelm gather in recognition of the club’s 75th anniversary. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo chapter of Canadian Federation of University Women celebrates 75th anniversary

Group gathered via Zoom earlier this month to recall its history in the area

Police hope the public can help find Hailey St. Claire who has been missing since Tuesday. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo woman reported missing, police asking for public’s help

Hailey St. Claire, 28, was reported missing Tuesday

According to a Nanaimo RCMP press release, Jason Klughart, 28, was arrested at about 7:45 a.m. Wednesday at Port Place Shopping Centre. (News Bulletin file photo)
RCMP officer and security guard team up to detain suspect after chase in downtown Nanaimo

Jason Klughart arrested on outstanding warrant for possession of stolen property

Nanaimo RCMP and public health inspectors will be out looking for homes and businesses violating provincial health orders Saturday, Oct. 31. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo RCMP hope for Halloween safety and COVID-19 safety this weekend

Police and public health officers will be patrolling for households violating COVID-19 restrictions

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

A can of Canada Dry Ginger Ale is shown in Toronto on Thursday Oct. 29, 2020. The maker of Canada Dry Ginger Ale has agreed to pay over $200,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit launched by a B.C. man who alleged he was misled by marketing suggesting the soda had medicinal benefits. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joseph O’Connal
B.C. man’s lawsuit over marketing of Canada Dry ginger ale settled for $200K

Soda’s maker, Canada Dry Mott’s Inc., denied the allegations and any liability

Vancouver Island-based Wilson’s Transportation has expanded to fill some of the routes left unserviced by Greyhound as of Nov. 1, 2018. (Black Press files)
B.C. bus companies say they need help to survive COVID-19

Like airlines, motor coaches have lost most of their revenue

A deer was spotted in October 2020 in Prince Rupert, B.C., with a bright pink yoga ball stuck in its antlers. (Kayla Vickers/Chronicles Of Hammy The Deer Official Page)
Hammy 2.0? Prince Rupert deer spotted with bright pink yoga ball stuck in antlers

The BC Conservation Officer Service is aware of the deer roaming around the city

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

Const. Julius Prommer is accused of breaking a woman’s knee during while responding to a noise complaint

Hirdeypal Batth, 24, has been charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement in relation to an incident in August 2020. (VPD handout)
Man, 24, charged with sex assault after allegedly posing as Uber driver in Vancouver

Investigators believe there could be more victims outside of the Vancouver area

Pilot Kevin Maher participated in a flyover of a ceremony at the Cobble Hill cenotaph on Oct. 22 in a 1940 North American (Noorduyn) Harvard aircraft. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Cobble Hill remembers lost military members with ceremony, flyover

Annual event commemorates those who died in non-combat roles

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read