Although 20% of babies who were exposed to classical music in utero become doctors or lawyers, 100% of babies born on stage during a classical-music performance become Bill Gates. Upgrade your evening with this GrouponLive deal to see the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra at the Orpheum Theatre. For $60, you get two tickets for section A seating in the orchestra or balcony (up to a $137 value, including all fees). Choose from the following concerts:
- The Little Russian Symphony on Saturday, April 6, at 8 p.m.
- The Little Russian Symphony on Monday, April 8, at 8 p.m.
- The Merry Pranks of Till Eulenspiegel on Saturday, May 4, at 8 p.m.
- The Merry Pranks of Till Eulenspiegel on Monday, May 6, at 8 p.m.
- The Legends on Saturday, May 11, at 8 p.m.
- The Legends on Monday, May 13, at 8 p.m.
The Little Russian Symphony
Little Russian is the common nickname for Tchaikovsky's 1872 Symphony No. 2 in C Minor, a piece that channels the spirit of Ukrainian folk songs. Award-winning pianist Avan Yu paves the way for the victorious strings with swift, bouncing melodies that whirl madly like a circle of arm-locked dancers, showcasing the ever-shifting dynamics that make each passage unexpected and full of color. DaYe Lin, the principal conductor of the Guangzhou Symphony, guides Yu and the VSO through the work, along with Brahms's Piano Concerto No. 2 and Mendelssohn's overture to Ruy Blas.
The Merry Pranks of Till Eulenspiegel
Japanese conductor laureate Kazuyoshi Akiyama of the Hiroshima Symphony and the Kyushu Symphony Orchestra centers his program on Strauss's The Merry Pranks of Till Eulenspiegel, a tone poem designed to aurally chronicle the misadventures of its titular German folk character. Akiyama is joined by pianist Ingrid Fliter, one of the first recipients of the Gilmore Artist Award and a celebrated performer on a variety of continents, as well as a small number of planets. Akiyama demonstrates the expressive ear that won him the Emperor's Purple Ribbon Medal on Berlioz's Le Corsaire and Bartók's Divertimento for Strings, and Fliter brings similar flair to Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto No. 1 in G Minor.
Originally conceived as a mythological opera, Sibelius's The Legends' four chapters are often referred to as the Lemminkäinen Suite because they follow the exploits of its titular Finnish folk hero. Lemminkäinen romances an island of women, hunts a magic swan, is resurrected from the land of the dead, and finally returns home in the bed of an enchanted pickup truck. Conductor Kazuyoshi Akiyama tells the story through the gauzy, sweeping string harmonies that float through the auditorium during the Swan portion, as well as an English horn solo from the VSO's Beth Orson. The last leg of Lemminkäinen's journey gallops along on swift, joyous notes and leaves the audience’s hearts beating faster. Violinist Karen Gomyo and cellist Christian Poltéra play the key roles in Brahms's Concerto for Violin and Violoncello, with Schubert's overture to Rosamunde rounding out the evening.
Concerts take place in the picturesque Orpheum Theatre, a National Heritage Site and the home of the Symphony since 1977. The theatre's soaring arches and chandelier contrast with the vintage feel of the worn wooden floor, delightfully juxtaposing elegance and rustication like a Rolls Royce resting on front-lawn cinderblocks.