Vancouver Island Symphony principal cellist Marina Hasselberg and principal violinist Calvin Dyck are the featured performers for the upcoming 3 Bs – Bach, Beethoven, Brahms concert at the Port Theatre on Saturday, Feb. 17. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

Vancouver Island Symphony brings Bach, Beethoven and Brahms to Port Theatre

Ensemble’s principal cellist and violinist will perform Brahms double concerto

Brahms’ Double Concerto in A minor for Violin and Cello is a piece of music that ponders the resolution of differences.

Written by the composer in the final decade of his life as a gesture of reconciliation towards an estranged friend, the piece brings together the unlikely duo of the high-register violin and the deep cello.

Throughout the piece the instruments are in conversation, responding to one another’s phrases and sometimes finishing each other’s musical sentences, all the while shifting from the sad minor and happy major keys as they search for agreement.

The composition will be one of four performed at the Vancouver Island Symphony’s 3 Bs – Bach, Beethoven, Brahms concert at the Port Theatre on Saturday, Feb. 17 and conductor Pierre Simard has chosen another differing duo in the solo roles: principal violinist Calvin Dyck and principal cellist Marina Hasselberg.

At first it seems that Simard could not have picked a pair with less in common. Dyck, at 19 seasons, is the symphony’s longest-tenured member, while Hasselberg is in her first year as the ensemble’s chief cello. Dyck chiefly plays classical music, which Hasselberg is a celebrated member of Vancouver’s avant-garde scene. Dyck was born in Vancouver while Hasselberg hails from Portugal. Now, as they prepare for their upcoming performance, they are directly collaborating for the first time.

“We come from different training, different ethnic background, different cultures, really, but this piece brings us together and so undoubtedly there’ll be some unique ideas,” Dyck said.

“The interesting thing is that if it wasn’t for this piece, we might never have an opportunity to play together. How would our paths otherwise cross?”

Both musicians are performing the work for the first time. Hasselberg said she was at first hesitant to take on the project.

“Concertos are show-off pieces. They feature all these technical skills of performers and therefore they are really, really hard to play so people need a long time to prepare them,” she said.

“It has been a year of practice already and there’s still a lot to do. I had to actually not accept any invitations to play concerts. Between Jan. 1 and the day of the Brahms I’m only doing two different projects instead of the dozens that I usually do just so I can focus on it.”

Hasselberg and Dyck have been rehearsing together since late January, co-ordinating their vision for the concerto.

“The challenge for musicians is always to find something in the music that means something to us so that hopefully when we perform it it’s more than notes but it’s an expression partly of what Brahms said and partly of who we are,” Dyck said.

“It’s our interpretation,” Hasselberg added.

“That’s why performers are artists too, because we not only do what the composer asks us, we have to add more to it and that’s where we can get creative.”

WHAT’S ON … Vancouver Island Symphony presents 3 Bs – Bach, Beethoven, Brahms at the Port Theatre on Saturday, Feb. 17 at 7:30 p.m. Pre-concert talk at 6:30 p.m. Tickets available at the Port Theatre box office ranging from $33 to $54 for adults, $18 for students, $5 eyeGO passes.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Seventy-three-year-old Nanaimo cyclist raises money for hospice programs

Angeline Krueger will ride 200 kilometres with her daughter to raise cash 2018 in Cycle of Life Tour

Final arguments made at tent city hearing, court won’t rule immediately

Lawyer says City of Nanaimo is concerned occupants would consume hand sanitizer

Discontent City argues that it’s keeping occupants safe

Hearing continuing today, July 18, at B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo

Ex-Nanaimo man convicted of 1999 sex assault at Abbotsford music festival

James Allen Redden, 50, found guilty of three charges

NRE will sell its land, plans for a new depot there are ‘over’

Nanaimo Recycling Exchange board decides to sell Kenworth Road property

Nanaimo Concert Band to perform at Maffeo Sutton Park

Group will play marches, swing and show tunes at free evening concert

After cave rescue, soccer boys pray for protection at Thai temple

On Wednesday evening, the boys and coach were released from hospital

Gymnastics sex abuse victims join hands, accept courage award at ESPYs

The women who spoke out against the abuse by Larry Nassar stood together Wednesday night

Wildfires erupt in B.C. Okanagan forcing evacuation orders and a highway closure

Check out a list of up-to-date information on blazes happening within the Kamloops Wildfire Centre.

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

B.C. poet shines a bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo July 21.

Ontario police say attack on Muslim man was motivated by hate

Two men, aged 27 and 19, have been charged with assault in the incident

Most Read