Photo courtesy Alex Waterhouse-Hayward                                University of British Columbia associate piano professor Corey Hamm will perform Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, op. 26 with the Vancouver Island Symphony on Oct. 21.

Photo courtesy Alex Waterhouse-Hayward University of British Columbia associate piano professor Corey Hamm will perform Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, op. 26 with the Vancouver Island Symphony on Oct. 21.

Vancouver Island Symphony begins season with ‘fiery opening’ at Port Theatre

Guest pianist Corey Hamm will join the symphony for Prokofiev’s Third Concerto

The Vancouver Island Symphony is kicking off its 2017-18 season on Saturday (Oct. 21) at the Port Theatre with a trio of Russian compositions.

Dubbed A Fiery Opening, the show begins with a fanfare written by artistic director Pierre Simard to signal his 10th year leading the band and continues with Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, op. 26, Shostakovich’s Ballet Suite No. 1 and Stravinsky’s The Firebird: Suite. Simard’s program indulges his longstanding appreciation of Russian composers.

The concert will feature a guest appearance by Corey Hamm, University of British Columbia associate professor of piano, chamber music and piano literature. Hamm will join the symphony for the Prokofiev piece. Hamm recently won awards for Best Classical Recording from the Western Canada Music Awards and Spotify for his 2014 recording of The People United will Never be Defeated by American composer Frederic Rzewski.

  • RELATED: Conductor marks a decade with Vancouver Island Symphony

This is Hamm’s first performance with the Vancouver Island Symphony, although he has played with some of the group’s members, including Simard, who conducted Hamm in the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Hamm said Simard reached out to him to be a part of A Fiery Opening.

“Pierre wrote me an e-mail and just said, ‘Corey, would you like to play with our orchestra?’ and of course I would, obviously, and we talked about repertoire and on the list was Prokofiev’s Third Concerto and I jumped at the chance,” Hamm said.

“All the pieces would have been a thrill to play with the orchestra but Prokofiev’s Third, I can barely wait to play that piece again.”

Hamm is enthusiastic about performing the Prokofiev number with the symphony. He said it’s a composition he played a lot in his youth, and said “it’s just a thrill for the pianist and orchestra and for the audience.”

“The piece has so much variety in it, there are so many different moods,” he said.

Hamm said the conductor was known for his ballets and his pieces share a rhythmic component. He said Prokofiev’s Third suits the evening’s fiery theme.

“The ending is super exciting, it’s really one of the most fun endings to play,” he said of the composition.

“The piece of course is full of big, whiz-bang piano pyrotechnics and lots of intricate ensemble work between the orchestra and the piano but it’s typical for Prokofiev in that it has a lot of biting sort of sarcastic material but also beautiful, lyrical, lush, romantic tunes.”

WHAT’S ON … Vancouver Island Symphony presents A Fiery Opening at the Port Theatre, Saturday (Oct. 21) at 7:30 p.m. Adult admission ranges from $33 to $54, $18 for students, $5 for high school students. Pre-concert talk with conductor Pierre Simard at 6:30 p.m.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Bow-legged bear returns to Ladysmith, has an appointment with the vet

Brown Drive Park closed as conservation officers search for her after she returned from relocation

B.C. Centre for Disease Control data showing new cases by local health area for the week of May 2-8. (BCCDC image)
Island’s COVID-19 case counts the lowest they’ve been all year

On some areas of Island, more than 60 per cent of adults have received a vaccine dose

RCMP outside the Nanaimo Ice Centre investigating a report of a suspicious person. The incident resulted in hold-and-secures at two nearby schools, but those emergency procedures have now been lifted. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
UPDATE: Police response a result of man walking around Nanaimo marsh with airsoft rifle

Two schools had gone into hold-and-secure procedures Thursday morning, May 13

Nanoose Bay volunteer firefighters work to extinguish a bush blaze on Ida Lane on Monday, May 10. (Mandy Moraes/Black Press)
Flames from backyard burn in Nanoose Bay shoot higher than owner’s home

Fire chief reported blaze took more than an hour and a half to suppress

Over 60 Indigenous youth from Qualicum to Malahat are participating in the Step Up Work Placement Program. (Submitted photo)
New Mid-Island Indigenous youth work placement program seeks employer partners

So far, more than 60 youth from Qualicum Beach to the Malahat are participating in the program

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Signage for ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, is shown in Victoria, B.C., on February 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
$150 refunds issued to eligible customers following ICBC’s switch to ‘enhanced care’

Savings amassed from the insurance policy change will lead to one-time rebates for close to 4 million customers

Pixabay
Island Health: two doctors, new clinic space to avert Port McNeill health crisis

Island Health has leased space to use as an immediate clinic location to avert health crisis

Police investigate a fatal 2011 shooting in a strip mall across from Central City Shopping Centre, which was deemed a gang hit. The Mayor’s Gang Task Force zeroed in on ways to reduce gang involvement and activity. (File photo)
COVID-19 could be a cause in public nature of B.C. gang violence: expert

Martin Bouchard says the pandemic has changed people’s routines and they aren’t getting out of their homes often, which could play a role in the brazen nature of shootings

A poignant Pandemic Postcard Project submission has led Lesley Wright and Graham Hughes of Literacy Alberni on a new path toward anti-racism education. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
‘I am not a virus’: How one postcard sparked a Vancouver Island pushback against racism

Literacy Alberni receives $50K in funding to create web-driven system for reporting racism

Tinder, an online dating application that allows users to anonymously swipe to like or dislike other’s profiles. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. man granted paternity test to see if Tinder match-up led to a ‘beautiful baby’

The plaintiff is seeking contact with the married woman’s infant who he believes is his child

Beef to the ‘senior’ 30-plus taggers. You are too old to be doing these juvenile antics.
Beefs & Bouquets, May 12

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Nurse Tami Arnold prepares to administer a COVID-19 vaccine. (Kareem Elgazzar/AP)
B.C. adults 30+ now eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19

Health officials made the announcement Wednesday afternoon

Most Read