Okanagan Symphony Orchestra presents first concert in Legends series

Performance featured 60-piece orchestra, complete with harp and four percussionists

By Anita Perry

The Okanagan Symphony Orchestra kicked off its 60th season with Legends, an exciting evening of colour and enchantment featuring Canadian cellist Bryan Cheng and Scheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov.

The concert opened with Frenergy by Canadian John Estacio.

This exciting work galloped across the orchestral landscape at a breakneck pace, roaring to a crashing conclusion. It was a terrific opening to a magical concert.

Next on the program was Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B Minor, performed by musical phenomenon, Bryan Cheng.

A mere 22 years old, Cheng played with poise and confidence, and demonstrated a delightful sense of play and interplay with the orchestra.

Maestra Rosemary Thomson managed the OSO handily, balancing and supporting the soloist without ever overpowering him.

READ ALSO: Okangan Symphony guest to set stage on fire

READ ALSO: Okanagan Symphony Orchestra celebrates 60 years with three local shows

Both Cheng and the orchestra captured the changing moods of this work to finish on an uplifting and triumphant chord. Ever gracious, Cheng rewarded the standing ovation audience with an encore of Bach’s Sarabande in C major.

The final number for the evening was Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade.

Inspired by the Tales of Arabian Nights, the piece describes four of the legendary tales. Rimsky-Korsakov took a literal approach to this programmatic work with the pleading voice of Scheherazade portrayed by solo violin against the pompous motif of the Sultan, a motif that Rimsky-Korsakov softens by the end of the work, showing a change of heart and outlook.

Scheherazade is musically dense, and Thomson held the massive 60-piece orchestra (complete with harp and four percussionists) together with ease. The unity of energy and interpretation throughout the performance of this work was remarkable—the orchestra formed a single, living instrument.

Thomson expertly poured her conviction, energy and musicality into each stroke of the baton, and the result was a memorable experience for audience and orchestra alike.

Congratulations to principal violinist Rachel Kristenson for her exquisite interpretation of Scheherazade’s voice.

It is worth noting that the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra’s mission is “to advance artistic excellence, knowledge and creativity through live orchestral music.”

Legends absolutely hit and surpassed all those points and if this concert is any gauge, the OSO’s celebratory 60th season is going to be one to remember.

Anita Perry is a music teacher in Summerland.

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

Just Posted

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan, Shuswap

Environment Canada is forecasting strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy downpours in parts of the Interior

WorkSafe BC conducted 70 inspections in the Okanagan amid B.C.’s reopening plan

WorkSafe BC has conducted 100 inspections at restaurants across the province since May 19

EDITORIAL: Revisiting alcohol consumption

A proposal to allow alcohol consumption in some public spaces in Penticton deserves consideration

Chute Lake Lodge opens June 1, offering glamping, yurt, and ebike rentals

Escape into the wilderness and #lovelocalpenticton when Chute Lake Lodge reopens for the season

Okanagan Skaha School District to reopen playgrounds

Facilities will reopen to the public on June 1

Vancouver Island bride held wedding in seniors home so dying stepdad could walk her down aisle

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

$200,000 Maybach impounded after ‘L’ driver caught excessively speeding in Vancouver

Meanwhile, the supervisor sat in the passenger seat, police said

COVID-19 cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a B.C. mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Yukon ready to lift COVID travel restrictions with B.C. in July: premier

Premier Sandy Silver says the territory’s health-care system can cope with the virus.

‘It is dire:’ Study finds B.C. logging continues on critical caribou habitat

The federal Species At Risk Act requires provinces to identify critical habitat for caribou herds

Grieving together, but apart: How funeral homes are handling the pandemic

‘Hugs are so important and right now hugs can’t happen’

Parts of the TCT through Princeton will open to motorized vehicles Monday

Parts of the KVR trail through Princeton will open for motorized vehicles… Continue reading

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

Most Read