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Vancouver Island Symphony to showcase music alongside visual artwork

‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ melds works by Island artists with music of 19th-century composer
The Kyiv Roundabout, a painting by Nanaimo artist Gerda Hofman, is one of 10 visual art pieces selected for Vancouver Island Symphony’s Pictures at an Exhibition, featuring musical performances of compositions by Modest Mussorgsky. (Image submitted/HA Photography photo)

Island artists and the Vancouver Island Symphony promise a “one-of-a-kind immersive experience” with an upcoming presentation of Pictures at an Exhibition.

Pictures at an Exhibition is a suite of 10 pieces composed for piano by Modest Mussorgsky in 1874 that were inspired by the works of his late artist friend Viktor Hartmann, and written after Mussorgsky toured Hartmann’s posthumous exhibition, from which he composed a piece of music for each work of art.

Canadian composer Jason Nett has arranged Mussorgsky’s suite for Vancouver Island Symphony’s Pictures Project, to be presented at the Port Theatre, April 23-24. The show includes live in-theatre performances and an exhibition of 10 works by Island artists, including Nanaimo’s Gerda Hofman who was selected as the concert image grand prize winner for her acrylic on canvas work, ‘The Kyiv Roundabout.’

The artwork is on display at the Modern Café in downtown Nanaimo until April 21 before being moved to the Port Theatre.

The VIS Pictures Project will further develop Pictures at an Exhibition into a touring education show for Grade 4 students up and down the Island in this fall and in spring 2023 with an altered performance that will allow students more time to get to know the music and the instruments and musicians performing it a little better.

WHAT’S ON … Pictures at an Exhibition happens at the Port Theatre on Saturday, April 23, at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and April 24 at 2 p.m. For tickets and to learn more, visit

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