Subscriptions are on sale once again for the not-for-profit Oceanside Classical Concerts series, which has brought a range of musical talent to the area over the last four years.
“I’m very excited,” David Douglas, OCC’s artistic director, said of the upcoming season. “We’ve been trying, ever since we started, to bring the best possible artists that we can into the community and give people a lift with good music and diversifiction — to have different kinds of music so that we are reaching out to everybody and hopefully bringing them something that they might want.
For its fifth season, the opening performance on Oct. 27 welcomes the John Avison Chamber Orchestra back to Knox United Church after a performance in 2017 with OCC.
Named for long-time conductor John Avison, who became the first conductor of the CBC Vancouver Orchestra, the Oct. 27 performance by the 16-piece orchestra will feature conductor Leslie Dala with choral works by Schubert and Debussy. However, the feature piece will be Mahler’s Das Lied von die erde (Song of the Earth) with guest soloists Susan Platts (soprano) and Benjamin Butterfield (tenor).
Next up on Nov. 24 is Duo Rendezvous: the combination of UBC violin professor Jasper Wood and UBC’s head of its guitar division, Daniel Bolshoy.
“It’s not the kind of combination you can get very often, so there are some great pieces of music that people may not have heard of (with) beautiful sounds,” said Douglas. In addition to existing guitar and violin pieces, the duo adds transcriptions of masterpieces and newly commissioned pieces by Canadian composers to the programming.
“I think I’m bringing up something that’s really exciting,” Douglas said.
Another duo — not an odd instrument combo this time, but a duo that shares the same instrument at once — is performing on Feb. 21, 2019.
Duo Fortin-Poirier features pianists Amélie Fortin and Marie-Christine Poirier with four-hand interpretations of music, which has garnered attention and awards since their inception in 2005.
“They are incredible. They are French-Canadian and really talented,” said Douglas. “The audience is going to love them because they interact extremely well with the audience.” He added they will have screens showing their four-hand performance as seen from above, highlighting the complexity of the style.
Closing out the season is Ô-Celli Cello Octet — a Belgian group made up of eight cellists who will perform original and arranged pieces ranging from Tchaikovsky to Strauss and more.
Subscriptions to the 2018/19 season of the Oceanside Classical Concerts series are $95 and can be purchased online at www.oceansideclassicalconcerts.ca or by bringing in a subscription form to the McMillan Arts Centre.
All concerts are held at Knox United Church (345 Pym St., Parksville) with performances beginning at 7 p.m.