Recital series ends with Beethoven

Vancouver Island Opera series brings in the big guns

Pianist Nicolai Maloff leads the Friends of Nicolai Chamber Quartet this Sunday.

The Vancouver Island Opera (VIO) recital series is presenting its final event of the season this weekend and high calibre talent will be in Parksville, presenting an eclectic program that includes the music of Ludwig van Beethoven.

Lee Duckles, principal cello and soloist with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, violinist Calvin Dyck and Manti Poon on viola will accompany pianist Nicolai Maloff on Sunday, May 27.

The Artistic Director of the VIO, Tatiana Vasilieva, said the Friends of Nikolai Chamber Quartet — who will present a Beethoven Fest — will also be joined by two singers who will perform Irish songs.

Vasilieva said the final recital is the big one and will be everything Beethoven.

She said two local singers, soprano Aaike Biglow and tenor Hugh Sinnott will sing the Irish songs of Beethoven. She admitted many people are not aware Beethoven wrote some Irish songs.

“I found out he wrote all kinds of songs and I thought it would be interesting to present a Beethoven Fest,” she said.

Biglow has sung as a soloist in festivals and recitals, has been part of small vocal groups, and has sung in numerous choirs, mostly in Kamloops.

She has played several lead roles in musical theatre productions such as Kate in Kiss Me Kate, Golde in Fiddler on the Roof, and Rachel Lynde in Anne of Green Gables.

Having recently moved to Parksville, she has enjoyed singing in local choirs and her first opera chorus in last year’s VIO production of the L’Elisir d’Amore.

Sinnott has spent many years on the stage, mainly involving opera. For thirteen years he was with Pacific Opera Victoria singing in the chorus and in comprimario roles. He also serves on the board of directors of the VIO and has performed in each of its operas.

Dyck is in demand as a performer, producer, violin teacher and adjudicator, and has been featured in dozens of recordings. Highlights in his career include performing for the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics, as well as being on stage with Il Divo, Ben Heppner, the Canadian Tenors and Anne Murray.

Duckles has premiered a number of works for cello and orchestra and has worked with composers Aaron Copland, Hans Werner Henze, Lou Harrison, Phillip Glass, A.J. Kernis and John Adams.  In addition to teaching at the VSO School, he continues an association with the Vancouver Academy of Music, the University of British Columbia (UBC), the Encore Piano Trio and the Vancouver Chamber Players. He is currently the President of the Vancouver Cello Club.

Poon has become a much sought-after musician in B.C. as a soloist, orchestral musician and chamber music collaborator.  Poon is one of the founding members of the Classical String Quartet and also performs regularly with the Vancouver Intercultural Orchestra as both violinist and violist.

Maloff studies with some of Canada’s finest teachers and is a winner of major piano competitions. In his capacity as a teacher Maloff not only brings to his students the full breadth of his years of performance experience but also the benefits of an intimate understanding of both Eastern and Western pedagogical traditions.  He now runs a successful private studio in Vancouver and teaches at the School of Music at UBC.

The crown number of the recital is Piano Quartet in C major, Op. woo36 No. 3 performed by the four talented instrumentalists. The incredible composition was written the musical genius when he was around 15 years old.

Further, the recital includes Violin Sonata No. 8 and last but not least the soprano Biglow will perform some delightful Irish songs written by Beethoven.

Six stellar performers are in the final recital and Vasilieva said she is pleased to provide the community with world class music and hopes people will come out and support the upcoming show.

The recital is being held Sunday, May 27 at the McMillan Arts Centre Gallery located at 133 McMillan Street, Parksville. Performances start at 3 p.m. and tickets are available at the door.


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