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Saskatoon Symphony launches 2012/2013 season

Published: May 1, 2012

‘Season of Champions’ includes an eclectic offering of concerts

SASKATOON, SK - The Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra’s Music Director Victor Sawa unveiled details of the SSO’s 2012–2013 season this morning at its 20th Street headquarters.

Dubbed the ‘Season of Champions,’ the line-up includes six classical music concerts in the Masters Series, four POPS Series concerts, and six chamber music events in the Sunday afternoon series which has been re-branded as the ‘Players’ Choice’ Series. The Symphony Holiday Spectacular will return but with a Celtic ‘twist,’ and back again is the annual performance of Messiah at Third Avenue United Church.

The Silence is Golden Silent Movie event at the Roxy Theatre returns for a fourth year. Co-produced by the SSO and the Riversdale Business Improvement District, and presented by New Community Credit Union, next season’s event features the 1920 adventure ‘The Mark of Zorro’ and the return of silent movie pianist Rick Friend.

New to the line-up is ‘The Core’—a two-concert series partnership with 20th Street neighbour PAVED Arts. The Core will present new music performed by the principal players of the orchestra. A curator chosen by PAVED Arts will choose a piece of media art based on the concert’s theme and that will presented as part of the performance. The Core is another of the innovations that the SSO is involved in to create new connections in the community and the Riversdale neighbourhood.

Highlights of the 2012 – 2013 Masters Series include a new version of last season’s Classics for Skeptics concert, with a Halloween theme and a program of spooky classical works, including music from the Alfred Hitchcock classic ‘Psycho.’

‘Inspired by the Bard,’ with music inspired by Shakespeare includes actor Maureen Thomas’s one-woman comedic presentation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, set against by Mendelssohn’s familiar music for the play, with the Saskatoon Children’s Choir, and two soloists.

Other highlights include a guest appearance by Haldan Martinson, principal violinist (II) with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, in a concert led by Maestro Kirk Smith, principal conductor of Chicago’s Black Music Repertory Ensemble, plus a performance by Saskatchewan native Blair Lofgren, now principal cello with the Quebec Symphony.

The Saskatoon Symphony is proud to present Italy’s Beatrice Rana, grand prize winner of the 2011 International Music Competition. Rana, a young virtuoso pianist, captivated the international panel of judges and has been the talk of the music world since her win. “It’s exciting to be able to bring Beatrice to next year’s series” says Sawa, “I was fortunate to be present for her Montreal winning performance, and I knew we had to somehow get her to our stage—somehow it happened.”

Charismatic Australian conductor Daniel Smith, makes a return to Canada to conduct the Rana concert, which includes Prokofiev’s powerful Symphony No. 5.

The season finale has an American theme. The program includes Gershwin’s Cuban Overture, Rhapsody in Blue (with award-winning pianist Michael Kim) and An American in Paris, plus Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story.

Highlights of the POPS Series include a return of tenor Fernando Varela, who wowed a May 2010 SSO POPS Series audience. Varela has recently come to the attention of star-maker David Foster who is now providing career guidance. Varela is currently making a number of guest appearances with Foster in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Hawaii.

Jeans ‘n Classics is also returning to the POPS Series with One Vision: The Music of Queen. This tribute to iconic rock band Queen and lead singer Freddie Mercury, features rocker Michael Shotton, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Don Paulton on keyboards, and other first-rate musicians drawn from the Jeans ‘n Classics rock ensemble, along with a massed choir drawn from local high schools.

The SSO’s celebration of the Oscars® returns in February 2013, and the season ends with ‘Simply Sinatra,’ channeled by one of the most sought after interpreters of standards, Steve Lippia. Sawa says, “We’ve been wanting to bring a Sinatra show to the POPS Series for a while, and everyone said ‘do yourself a favour and go for this guy—he’s the best.’ He’s busy, so it’s been a challenge, but he’s coming and it’s going to be great.”

Here’s a summary of the upcoming SSO Season:

MASTERS SERIES - 6 CONCERTS

CLASSICS FOR SKEPTICS – A HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR
Guest artists: Saskatoon Youth Orchestra
Maestro Victor Sawa, conductor
October 20, 2012

INSPIRED BY THE BARD
Maureen Thomas - actor, Saskatoon Childrens’ Choir,
Véronique Eberhart - soprano, Cassandra Warner - mezzo-soprano
Maestro Victor Sawa, conductor
November 3, 2012

THE GREAT
Haldan Martinson - violin
Kirk Smith, guest conductor
January 19, 2013

RANA AND THE RUSSIANS
Beatrice Rana - piano
Daniel Smith, guest conductor
March 9, 2013

FRENCH DELIGHT
Blair Lofgren - cello
Maestro Victor Sawa, conductor
April 6, 2013

AN AMERICAN SALUTE
Michael Kim, piano
May 18, 2013

POPS SERIES - 4 CONCERTS


CLASSICAL TO CLASSIC ROCK
Fernando Varela, tenor
Ron Paley, piano
Jack Semple, guitar
Maestro Victor Sawa, conductor
September 22, 2012

ONE VISION: THE MUSIC OF QUEEN
Jeans ‘n Classics vocal and rock ensemble featuring Michael
Shotton - lead vocals,
Don Paulton - keyboards, Adam Martin - guitar, other artists TBA
Massed high school choir
Mathieu Pouliot, conductor
November 17, 2012

AT THE MOVIES - A NIGHT OF OSCAR® WINNING MUSIC
Maestro Victor Sawa, conductor
February 9, 2013

SIMPLY SINATRA
Steve Lippia, vocalist
Guest conductor, TBA
May 14, 2013

Subscriptions to the 2012/2013 series are now available by contacting TCU Place Box Office, 975-7799 or visiting the Box Office in person.

Details on programming can be found in the 2012/13 Season Brochure (print version or online at saskatoonsymphony.org.)

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Media Contacts:
Mike McCoy, Marketing Director
Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra
Direct line 306.227.3586
marketing@saskatoonsymphony.org
SSO office 306.665.6414

Jill Reid, General Manager
Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra
general.manager@saskatoonsymphony.org
306.665.6414

101-202 Fourth Avenue North, Saskatoon, SK S7K 0K1
Phone: (306) 242-1206 | Fax: (306) 242-1955 | 1-800-567-2444