Walker string quartet sm adj

FirstOntario PAC, The Recital Hall

St. Catharines

Sunday

2:00pm

Tickets

Borodin’s Muse - An Animated Concert

Music and drama converge to illuminate the life of Aleksandr Borodin. Brock University’s Walker String Quartet performs 19th century Russian masterworks with actors Colin Bruce Anthes starring as Borodin & Genevieve Jones as Borodin's wife, in an original play by Anthony Magro. Directed by Barbara Worthy.

Performance details

Programme

This concert is supported by the Niagara Region Investment in Culture programme and Brock University.

A Note From the Playwright, Anthony Magro.

I was invited by the Walker String Quartet to write a short play to augment its musical programme of 19th Century Russia. It is widely acknowledged that Glinka was the fountainhead of the great Russian composers and that Tchaikovsky was the most prodigious. Between these giants was Aleksandr Borodin, a modest and reluctant artist but similarly endowed with genius. I was especially drawn to the story of Borodin and his wife, Katia, and the emotional impetus behind his beloved String Quartet No. 2. Its wide-ranging four movements evoke the couple’s early romance in Heidelberg through their years of hardship in St. Petersburg. Borodin generally required years to finish a work. He considered himself a “Sunday musician,” composing only in his limited spare time. The one exception was this quartet. Behind a force of inspiration, Borodin wrote it during the summer of 1881 as an anniversary present to his wife. I decided this would be the focal point of my script, that at its heart, Borodin’s Muse would celebrate the expression of love through music.

Background on Borodin

Born in 1833, Borodin had been a child prodigy, writing songs and playing several instruments, but by the time he was sixteen, he was persuaded to abandon his musical aspirations and wholly commit himself to studying science and medicine. He became a leading figure in the St. Petersburg science and research community, making important contributions to organic chemistry and to education; he helped found the first medical course for women in Russia. Meanwhile, his musical talents lay dormant. It wasn’t until becoming acquainted with a talented pianist, Katia Protopopova, did Borodin’s passion for music resurface. He was attracted to Katia’s modern sensibility and the moment he discovered she had perfect pitch he knew for certain that he was “deeply, irrevocably, in love with her.”

With new creative energy, Borodin recommitted himself to music, studying composition and completing his first symphony. Remarkably, upon its debut in Russia, it was poorly received but later championed in Germany by Franz Liszt who befriended Borodin and encouraged him to keep composing. Similarly to her husband, Katia struggled to fully pursue her musical gifts. She was burdened by poor health and chronic diseases, which often caused her and Borodin to live apart. Through music, however, they stayed connected. With Katia as his muse, Borodin managed to write some music of great originality and influence, including two symphonies and a handful of chamber works. Sadly, after spending some eighteen years working on his magnum opus, Prince Igor, it was incomplete when he suffered a fatal heart attack in 1887. Bereft of consolation, Katia died three months later.

  • Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky, Op. 35 - Anton Arensky
  • Quartet #2 in F major, Allegro spiritoso - Mikhail Glinka
  • String Quartet #2 - Aleksandr Borodin
  • Liebestraum #3 in Ab Major - Franz Liszt

Performers

Glissandi with guy no instruments

Silver Spire United Church

St. Catharines

Thursday

4:00pm

Tickets

The Heart of Christmas Past

Celebrate with Glissandi, and Shaw Festival alumnus Guy Bannerman, at a charming concert of “your” favourite holiday memories, portrayed through stories and song. Our inspiration? – festive reminiscences shared by Gallery Players audience members last season!

Performance details
Glissandi with guy no instruments

Grace United Church

Niagara-on-the-Lake

Friday

7:30pm

Tickets

The Heart of Christmas Past

Celebrate with Glissandi, and Shaw Festival alumnus Guy Bannerman, at a charming concert of “your” favourite holiday memories, portrayed through stories and song. Our inspiration? – festive reminiscences shared by Gallery Players audience members last season!

Performance details
Kristin hoff

Silver Spire United Church

St. Catharines

Sunday

2:00pm

Tickets

From Home and Afar - A Journey of Enchantment

Join us and follow a thrilling voice on a compelling musical voyage. Niagara native Kristin Hoff and her gifted friends take you from Germany to Canada - with a festive stop in Argentina!

Performance details

Programme

  • Two Songs for mezzo, viola and piano Op. 91 - Johannes Brahms
  • Three Songs for mezzo, viola and piano - Frank Bridge
  • Canciones sefardies for guitar and mezzo - Sid Robinovitch
  • Penelope for piano and voice - Cecilia Livingston
  • Histoire du Tango arr. By Timothy Phelan for viola & guitar - Astor Piazzolla

Performers

Julia wedman by sian richards photography 600 x 500

FirstOntario PAC, The Recital Hall

St. Catharines

Sunday

2:00pm

Tickets

Songs of Life Year 2 Bach on Turtle’s Back - Death

Creation, destruction and transformation resonate as connective themes of human expression. “Songs of Life” explores these profound truths through performances by solo violinist Julia Wedman of Tafelmusik, the artistic explorations of dancer Brian Solomon (Anishinaabe/Irish), and the transcendent music of J.S. Bach.

Performance details

Programme

Year two of a three year project, all supported by the Pluralism Fund. Brian Solomon: director, choreographer, dancer. Julia Wedman: solo violin. Sinéad White soprano and Asitha Tennekoon tenor, vocal soloists.

  • Sonata No. 2 in A minor BWV 1003 - J.S. Bach
  • Partita No. 2 in D minor BWV 1004 - J.S. Bach
  • Four Arias from the St. John Passion - J.S. Bach
  • "Ach, mein sinn" -
  • "Ich folge dir gleichfalls -
  • "Erwage, wie sein blutgefarber Rücken" -
  • "Zerflisse mein herze" -

Performers

City lights images

FirstOnario PAC, Film House

St. Catharines

Saturday

6:45pm

Tickets

Movie Night City Lights Charlie Chaplin 1931, 87 min

One of Chaplin’s best loved and most successful films, considered by many critics one of the finest ever made! City Lights follows the misadventures of Chaplin’s iconic tramp as he falls in love with a blind girl and develops a complex relationship with an alcoholic millionaire. An improvised live score enhances this silent classic.

Performance details

Programme

6:45pm pre-screen talk with film historian Joan Nicks, followed by a 7pm showtime. A co-production with the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

Performers

Eybler 1 quartet by sian richards photography

Silver Spire United Church

St. Catharines

Sunday

2:00pm

Tickets

Inside the Music Eybler Quartet with Suzannah Clark

Inside the Music, new for our 25th season, draws the audience deep into a selected piece of music, guiding their listening experience. An intimate conversation with the members of the Eybler Quartet and Suzannah Clark, Professor of Music at Harvard University, reveals essentials such as harmony, phrase structure and the social significance of an intricate work by Haydn. With this context, you’ll hear the music as the cognoscenti from an 18th-century audience would!

Performance details

Programme

  • String Quartet Op. 54 No. 3 - Joseph Haydn
  • String Quartet Op. 2 No. 6 - Franz Asplmayr
  • White Man’s Cattle - Cris Derksen

Performers

Dsc08428

Silver Spire United Church

St. Catharines

Sunday

2:00pm

Tickets

Tarantella: Viva Napoli! Vesuvius Ensemble

Enter the dazzling world of timeless Italy! Vesuvius Ensemble’s luminous performance paints a portrait of Naples and its surrounding scenery with spirited popular music of the ages and colourful details of Neapolitan life. Rustic instruments - the tammorra, chitarra battente, ciaramella, and colascione - combine with the more familiar chitarrone, guitars, and lutes to create a unique soundscape.

Performance details