The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s 98th season



Globe-trotting adventure, earth-shaking music and an internationally-renowned orchestra


The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s 98th season is your ticket to a rich variety of classical, popular and culturally diverse music, delivered in performances as passionate as they are engaging. Music is an international language which we aim to share with audiences of all ages and experience.

Each season, up to 25,000 students from over 400 schools and homeschools attend the Vancouver Symphony’s Elementary School Concerts. An entertaining combination of orchestral music, theatre and video technology, the VSO school concerts provide students from kindergarten to grade 7 with a fun, educational and interactive live music experience. Early this month, Principal Percussionist Vern Griffiths reaches into his bag of tricks for a series of six school shows that feature Wall to Wall Percussion, along with all of his orchestral colleagues. He plays everything, including the kitchen sink, and shows how everyday items can actually be cool musical instruments. The VSO’s School concerts are presented with the support of iA Financial Group, with additional thanks to the VSO’s premier education partner and video screen sponsor, TELUS. The school concerts are pre-booked through the VSO’s Education Department, but for the young (and young at heart), you can attend Vern’s popular Wall to Wall Percussion performance when it is encored on Sunday, November 22 as the first of five events in the OriginO Kids’ Koncerts subscription series.

35 years after its initial release, the film that gave the world one of its greatest movie heroes, Indiana Jones, is back and better than ever before! Armed with his hat, whip and wits, our intrepid hero must face formidable enemies – and impossible odds – to save the day and the world. Relive the magic of Raiders of the Lost Ark on the silver screen with John Williams’ epic score performed live to picture by the Vancouver 2

Symphony Orchestra and conductor Constantine Kitsopoulos. It’s a special VSO at the Movies event, on Saturday, November 5 at 7:30pm (already SOLD OUT!) and Sunday, November 6 at 2pm, (tickets going fast!) at the Orpheum Theatre.

Within the shadow of Remembrance Day, the VSO presents Verdi’s monumental Requiem in the Air Canada Masterworks Diamond series, (November 12 & 14). “Listening to Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem,” says Bramwell Tovey, music director of the VSO, “you will be moved by the drama of an opera, transfixed by his evocation of the Day of Judgment, feel the transcendence of a religious service, and experience the power and passion of a choral and symphonic masterpiece.” It requires four outstanding vocal soloists, a massive choir, and a bevy of trumpets, both onstage and off. As you might expect from a composer best known for his operas, it is a drama of life and death that takes you on an emotional rollercoaster, from a sense of profound loss, to sheer terror, to moments of hushed prayer in the soprano’s final Libera me (“Save me, Lord, from eternal death”).

The Tea & Trumpets series sends out musical greetings From Russia with Love (November 17) with music of Tchaikovsky, Glinka, Rimsky-Korsakov, and more. VSO Assistant Conductor William Rowson delivers Romantic classics from the opera, ballet and concert stages, ably assisted by host Christopher Gaze, Artistic Director of Vancouver’s Bard on the Beach.

The neon lights and marquees of Times Square will shine brightly when the London Drugs VSO Pops series welcomes conductor Stuart Chafetz and a cast of leading performers for The Best of Broadway (November 18 & 19). Kathy Voytko, Ron Remke, Ted Keegan and Richard Todd Adams have toured widely in shows ranging from the classics such as Showboat and Oklahoma!, to more contemporary hits such as Sweeney Todd, Jekyll and Hyde and Hairspray. It’s like having a front row seat to 20 of your favourite musicals in one memorable evening!

Like Alexander Gavrylyuk, who sparkled in the VSO’s season opener, pianist Alexey Yemtsov was born in Ukraine, and moved to Australia as a teenager for his formative keyboard studies. Yemtsov makes his VSO debut, along with the dynamic Estonian conductor Anu Tali in two evenings of the Goldcorp Masterworks 3

Gold series (November 26 & 28) when he’ll tackle one of the most challenging works in the repertoire, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor. Anu Tali showcases music by a Nordic colossus, Finland’s Jean Sibelius, along with Ocaso by the Vancouver-based composer Alfredo Santa Ana.

Good News from Beijing! There’s music of Beethoven and Dvořák, as well as a popular Chinese concert overture in store as the globally renowned China Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) makes its Vancouver debut. The CPO comes to Vancouver’s Chan Centre for the Performing Arts along with the award-winning and internationally renowned conductor Long Yu, and the 12 year old piano prodigy Serena Wang as soloist. The VSO is a partner in this Special performance (November 30 at 7:30pm) being presented by China’s largest Arts and Culture company, the Poly Culture Group, and Alligga, an All-Canadian brand of 100% natural products and the first to introduce a high-heat flaxseed cooking oil to North America.

Music of the Masters is the second program of the VSO Chamber Players series (November 30, December 1 & 4), and will feature chamber music for strings by Rossini, Haydn, and Beethoven, as well as Verdi’s only significant chamber work, his String Quartet. Hear for yourself another side of your favourite performers’ musical personalities, presented in the intimacy of Pyatt Hall at the VSO School of Music. 

Read on for further details of artists and repertoire, as well as pricing and ticketing information.

“I adore art… when I am alone with my notes, my heart pounds and the tears stream from my eyes, and my emotion and my joys are too much to bear.” – Giuseppe Verdi 


^ VSO Debut 

* soloist 


VSO Elementary School Concerts 

Wednesday,Thursday, Friday, November 2, 3 and 4, 

10:00am & 12:00pm 

Premier Education Partner and Video Screen Sponsor: TELUS 

With support from: iA Financial Group 

Intermediate: Grades 4 to 7 – Wall to Wall Percussion 

Vern Griffiths, percussion

William Rowson, conductor


Saturday, November 5, 2016, 7:30pm, Orpheum 

Sunday, November 6, 2pm, Orpheum 

Concert Sponsor: Mardon Group Insurance 

VSO at the Movies: Raiders of the Lost Ark 

Constantine Kitsopoulos, conductor

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra 

The movie that started it all! The original Indiana Jones adventure, re-mastered and presented on the big screen at the Orpheum, with the orchestra playing the famous, award-winning score by John Williams live on stage.

Tickets: $29-$69 (senior, student, and subscriber discounts available)

Tickets for all concerts available at or through VSO Customer Service at 604.876.3434.


Saturday and Monday, November 12 and 14, 8pm, Orpheum 

Series Sponsor: Air Canada 

Concert Sponsor November 14: Borden Ladner Gervais LLP 

Verdi’s Requiem 

Bramwell Tovey, conductor

Lyne Fortin, soprano

Susan Platts, mezzo-soprano

David Pomeroy, tenor

Teddy Tahu Rhodes, bass 5

UBC University Singers & Choral Union 

Graeme Langager, choral director

Verdi Requiem

Maestro Tovey conducts one of the greatest and most important choral works in the repertoire, Verdi’s Requiem. The performance of this thrilling, almost operatic masterwork will feature the massed voices of the UBC University Singers & Choral Union, and four outstanding vocal soloists.

Tickets: $25-$95 (senior, student, and subscriber discounts available)

Tickets for all concerts available at or through VSO Customer Service at 604.876.3434.


Thursday, November 17, 2pm, Orpheum 

Tea and Cookies served in the lobby one hour prior to the performance. Tea compliments of Tetley Tea. 

From Russia with Love 

William Rowson, conductor

Christopher Gaze, host

There’s nothing like the full-blooded power of the great, Russian classics, in a program of favourites from the opera, ballet, and concert stages.

Glinka Ruslan and Ludmila Overture

Tchaikovsky Eugene Onegin: Polonaise

Liadov The Enchanted Lake

Mussorgsky/Ravel Pictures at an Exhibition: Great Gate of Kiev

Tchaikovsky Sleeping Beauty Suite, Op. 66a:

No. 2. Adagio & No. 5. Valse

Rimsky-Korsakov Le Coq d’or: Wedding March

Stravinsky Firebird: Infernal Dance, Berceuse and Finale

Tickets: $42 (senior, student, and subscriber discounts available)

Tickets for all concerts available at or through VSO Customer Service at 604.876.3434.


Friday and Saturday, November 18 and 19, 8pm, Orpheum 

Series Sponsor: London Drugs 

Radio Sponsor: 103.5 QMFM 

The Best of Broadway 

^Stuart Chafetz, conductor

^Kathy Voytko, vocalist

^Ted Keegan, vocalist 6

^Ron Remke, vocalist

^Richard Todd Adams, vocalist

Acclaimed Pops conductor Stuart Chafetz presents a stroll down the Great White Way, in a tribute to the Best of Broadway. You’ll hear music from Man of La Mancha, West Side Story, Jekyll and Hyde, The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Cats, and many more all-time Broadway favourites.

Tickets: $25-$95 (senior, student, and subscriber discounts available)

Tickets for all concerts available at or through VSO Customer Service at 604.876.3434.


Sunday, November 20, 2pm, Orpheum 

Series Sponsor: Origin Organic Farms 

Premier Education Partner: TELUS 

The VSO’s Kids’ Koncerts have been endowed by a generous gift from the William and Irene McEwen Fund.

Wall to Wall Percussion 

William Rowson, conductor

Vern Griffiths, percussion

VSO Principal Percussion Vern Griffiths reprises one of the best-loved Kids concerts the VSO has ever presented. Vern plays everything including the kitchen sink, and shows how everyday items can actually be cool musical instruments.

Tickets: $29 (senior, student, and subscriber discounts available)

Tickets for all concerts available at or through VSO Customer Service at 604.876.3434.


Saturday and Monday, November 26 and 28, 8pm, Orpheum 

Series Sponsor: Goldcorp 

November 26 Concert Sponsor: Sun Life Financial 

Radio Sponsor: CKNW NewsTalk AM980 

The Romantic Piano: Yemtsov plays Rachmaninoff 

^Anu Tali, conductor

^Alexey Yemtsov, piano*

Alfredo Santa Ana Ocaso

Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor*

Sibelius Symphony No. 5 in E-Flat Major

Highly regarded young Australian pianist Alexey Yemtsov makes his VSO debut, performing one of the all-time favourites for piano and orchestra, Rachmaninoff’s towering Piano Concerto No. 3. Sibelius’s Symphony No. 5 was written for and debuted at a celebration of the composer’s fiftieth birthday, and is one 7

of his most beautiful, though most conflicted, works. Estonian conductor Anu Tali makes her very first appearance in Vancouver.

Tickets: $25-$95 (senior, student, and subscriber discounts available)

Tickets for all concerts available at or through VSO Customer Service at 604.876.3434.


Wednesday, November 30, 7:30pm, Chan Centre, UBC 


The China Philharmonic Vancouver Debut 

Long Yu, conductor

Serena Wang, piano

^China Philharmonic Orchestra 

Zheng Lu/Ma Hong-yeh Good News from Beijing

Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major

Dvorak Symphony No. 9, From the New World 

Poly Culture North America and the VSO are pleased to present the Vancouver debut of the China Philharmonic Orchestra. This event will be a milestone celebration during the 2015/2016 China-Canada Cultural Exchange Year, launching Poly Culture’s North American presence through the celebration of music with one of the world’s most inspiring orchestras. Maestro Long Yu conducts and 12 year-old piano prodigy Serena Wang performs Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1. 

Note performance is presented by the VSO, and does not feature the orchestra.


Wednesday, November 30, 7:30pm, Pyatt Hall, VSO School of Music 

Thursday, December1, 7:30pm, Pyatt Hall, VSO School of Music 

Sunday, December 1, 2pm, Pyatt Hall, VSO School of Music 

With support from: iA Financial Group 

Music of the Masters 

Yi Zhou,violin *º

Byron Hitchcock, violin *~

Cristian Márkos, cello *+

Warren Long, bass *

Ann Okagaito, violin ~º

Emilie Grimes, viola ~

Luke Kim, cello ~º

Andrew Brown, viola +º

Rossini String Sonata No. 3 in C major *

Haydn String Quartet Op. 76, No.6 ~ 8

Beethoven Eyeglasses Duo for Viola and Cello +

Verdi String Quartet in E minor º

“Papa” Haydn produced dozens of scores of works for String Quartet, while a very youthful Rossini penned a half dozen sonatas (eliminating the viola and adding bass). But Verdi, the great operatic master, left only one significant chamber work, this dramatic quartet written for private performance. Beethoven’s playful duo was written for a very close (and very short-sighted) colleague, hence its jocular title. Music to be heard amongst friends!

Tickets: $42 All seats

Tickets for all concerts available at or through VSO Customer Service at 604.876.3434.

To view the VSO Season brochure and calendar online, follow the links below:

For media inquires, or to interview any of our VSO personnel or esteemed soloists, please contact the VSO’s Public Relations Manager, Matthew Baird, at 604.684.9100 x266 |


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