Catch The Passion of Russia on Vancouver Island

Hear the works of famous Russian composers like Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and Rubenstein in an upcoming series of concerts featuring two exciting young Vancouver Island musicians.

Susie Moscovich Presents showcases Helena Jung, cello, and Carter Johnson, piano, in a Virginia Graczak Music Scholarship (VGMS) benefit concert of musical entertainment entitled “The Passion of Russia” which will be presented in Saltspring Island, Parksville, Nanaimo, Courtenay and Campbell River this month.

The individual talent of these two performers is extraordinary, and they have chosen musical selections that will highlight the genius of these Russian composers.

“Spellbinding” and “electric” are some of the words that have been used to describe the playing of young Campbell Riverite, Carter Johnson. Johnson has been a prizewinner in numerous competitions and festivals. At age 14 he came in second place, (along with the Baroque and chamber music prizes) in the CFMTA National Piano Competition. At age 16 he was second in the Julia Crane International Piano Competition. He won the award for the best interpretation of an imposed work at the OSM Manulife Competition and third prize in the Shean Piano Competition. He has won numerous awards at Performing Arts B.C., including First Prize in all four Canadian divisions. Johnson has competed in the Hilton Head International Piano Competition, and in June 2017 was the only Canadian invited to compete in the Shenzhen International Piano Competition in China.

His extensive concerto repertoire ranges from Bach to Prokofiev. He has performed with several prestigious orchestras including the Victoria Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra of Northern New York and is in much demand as an accompanist to touring artists performing in Vancouver.

Helena Jung has had a diverse career as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, and teacher on Vancouver Island. She vigorously pursues an eclectic repertoire. Since 2005 she has performed with many well-known pianists including Sarah Hagen, Lynn Robinson, Dagmar Killan, Linda Lee Thomas, Glen Montgomery, Sean Mooney and Carter Johnson as well as with the Vancouver Island Symphony.

Jung received her BMus and MMus in Seoul, Korea where she performed with the Jeunesses Musical World Orchestra as a member and the Seoul Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, and with the Gyeonggi Provincial Philharmonic Orchestra as a principal. Helena has also taken part in various musical programs, such as the Ratzeburger Sommer Akademie Festival in Germany and the Verbier Festival in Switzerland. She appeared as a soloist with the Seoul Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, the Ewha University Symphony Orchestra, the Gyeonggi Provincial Philharmonic Orchestra in Korea and the Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra. She has been invited as a performer and as faculty to Concerts Denman, Lulu Performing Arts, Quadra Chamber Music Festival and CYMC.

The Virginia Graczak Music Scholarship, encompassing the Margaret Gracza Fine Art Award, was founded in 2001 by Susie and Dr. Michael Moscovich to encourage and promote the arts in young people in School Districts 71 and 72. It consists of an annual scholarship award (VGMS) in both piano and voice, administered by the Campbell River Friends of Music and the Margaret Gracza Fine Art Award, administered by North Island College. Since its inception, The VGMS has raised over $110,000.

The Moscoviches started raising funds by holding dinner concerts in their home. However, after downsizing, Susie started producing concerts – with the help of the Campbell River Friends of Music – to benefit the VGMS. The objective of these concerts is to promote local talent in a small and intimate setting.

Hear The Passion of Russia on these dates:

  • Friday, Oct. 6, 7:30 p.m., Artspring Theatre, Salt Spring Island.
  • Saturday, Oct. 7, 2 p.m., Knox Church, Parksville.
  • Saturday, Oct. 7, 7:30 p.m., St. Andrews United, Nanaimo.
  • Friday, Oct. 13, 7:30 p.m., Old Church Theatre, Courtenay.
  • Saturday, Oct. 14, 7:30 p.m., Trinity Presbyterian Church, Campbell River.

Visit susiemoscovichpresents.com for ticket information.