Carol Todd holds a photograph of her late daughter Amanda Todd signed by U.S. singer Demi Lovato with the words "Stay Strong" in Port Coquitlam, B.C., on Sunday October 5, 2013. The Dutch man accused of extorting and harassing British Columbia teenager Amanda Todd more than a decade ago has pleaded not guilty to five criminal charges. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Okanagan Symphony strikes a chord on subject of suicide

OSO’s season opener includes a peice titled, My Name is Amanda Todd

The sensitive subject of suicide is taking the stage with the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra this weekend.

The OSO’s season opening show includes a piece written about the viral video that Amanda Todd made just before she died from suicide.

Called My Name is Amanda Todd, the piece won the Juno award for best composition in 2018. Todd’s persecutor was just sentenced in B.C. last week to 13 years in prison.

The opening piece is just one highlight of the show, titled Mind Games, with renowned Canadian pianist Angela Cheng. The performance takes place in Kelowna Friday, Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m., Penticton Saturday, Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m. and in Vernon Sunday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m.

Cheng is a celebrated musician who gives a historical nod to a woman musical prodigy from an era when women rarely were allowed to make their mark in the public eye. Herself an acclaimed pianist and highly regarded composer in the 19th century, the Piano Concerto in A Minor is Clara Schumann’s sole surviving work involving an orchestra. Symphony No. 4 in D Minor, Op. 120 by Clara’s beloved husband, Robert, rounds off this opening night program.

Mind Games is the first in a season full of first-time appearances by several distinguished artists and the return of a number of audience favourites.

“Our repertoire has a balance of traditional gems from the standard orchestral canon and new works from the composers of today,” said Rosemary Thomson, OSO music director. “I am particularly excited to feature compositions by female composers on all of our mainstage programs.”

The season of shows includes Bird’s-Eye View with Guy Few in November, Comfort and Joy with the Ken Lavigne and Okanagan Children’s Choir in December, Round Dance with Chris Derksen in January, Musical Giants with Jaeden Izik-Dzurko and the Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra in February, Symphony Classics with Adrian Anantawan in March, Orchestral Rock Odyssey featuring the Gary Cable Project and the Spectrum Singers in April and Northern Lights with Ariel Barnes and the OSO chorus in May.

Tickets for Kelowna and Penticton are available through the Kelowna Community Theatre Box Office at 250-469-8940; for Vernon contact Ticketseller at 250-549-7469.

There are flexible subscription packages and options for enjoying symphony at a lower price point.

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Angela Cheng, renowned pianist, presents Mind Games with the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra season opener in Vernon Sunday, Oct. 23, 7 p.m. at the Performing Arts Centre. (Schmidt Artists image)

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