Media Release

VSO Announces New Virtual Home For 2020-21 Season

VSO Announces New Virtual Home For 2020-21 Season
For Immediate Release
Vancouver, BC – September 22, 2020

What if there was a Netflix for orchestral music?

  • TheConcertHall.ca, a new streaming concert service, lets audiences listen at home and around the world
  • 40 concert performances will stream during the season
  • Subscriptions available for just $12.99/month starting September 29 at TheConcertHall.ca
  • Opening Night is October 16 with Maestro Otto Tausk and special guest James Ehnes in a performance of Bach & Beethoven

This fall, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) will have a new virtual home to connect audiences around the world. Presented by TELUS, TheConcertHall.ca will host exceptional musical experiences created and curated by the VSO. Subscribers to TheConcertHall.ca will get to access to a full season of the VSO performances, recorded using state-of-the-art technology with high-fidelity audio and in high-definition 1080p video, whilst following social distancing protocols. During the season, the VSO will explore repertoire from Bach, Mozart, and early Beethoven, as well as Pulitzer-Prize winning African-American composer George Walker, and contemporary Canadian composers. There is even something for the kids on October 25th, with a fun-filled symphony jam session led by Juno nominee Will Stroet of CBC Kids fame.

“This is a project we imagined long before COVID,” says Angela Elster, President and CEO of VSO, “But that long-time dream’s timeline got pushed up by about four years. Through our new virtual performance home, we are incredibly excited to celebrate the power of music and to build connections around the globe through music for many years to come.”

When the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra played its sold-out performance of Beethoven’s 5th on March 11th at the Commodore, it wasn’t aware that the world was about to change. Undeterred, the VSO was determined to continue its incredible season and managed to capture a stunning recording of Beethoven’s 5th and 6th symphonies, just as everyone was packing up to go home. These performances streamed online to over 100,000 eager fans worldwide, further proving the importance of music during challenging times.

The VSO’s 2020-21 Season Opening performance will take place on October 16 at 7:30pm in TheConcertHall.ca. The orchestra will pick-up where it left off, continuing the celebration of Beethoven’s 250th anniversary, with a performance of Symphony No. 7, as part of the Assante Vancouver Centre Stars Series, conducted by Maestro Otto Tausk. The performance opens with the great Canadian virtuoso James Ehnes performing Bach’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in A Minor.

Rather than recording traditional live performances intended for audiences in large halls, the VSO has worked tirelessly to create a unique soundscape crafted specifically to enjoy at home.

“The way we are recording allows us to create a truly unique experience,” explains Maestro Tausk, whose contract has recently been extended by the Symphony for four more years. “The sheer magnitude of raw emotion and collection of tonalities as expressed by different instruments can come together in perfect unison, and more than ever, allow us to be transported to other places within ourselves. That’s the magic of symphonic music. It allows us to explore images within our own minds. It is an endless conversation between past and present.”

This virtual concert hall will go a long way towards ensuring that our orchestra not only survives but thrives in the current environment, and will be there for audiences when we can resume our live performances,” said Etienne Bruson, VSO Board Chair. “At the same time, TheConcertHall.ca will give access to incredible performances to audiences from all over the world, not just Vancouver.”

In this challenging COVID season, the VSO acknowledges the incredible support of its sponsors and many donors. This season celebrates the 70th anniversary of the VSO’s partnership with TELUS, marked fittingly by TELUS presenting TheConcertHall.ca. The VSO also thanks Assante Vancouver Centre, Newmont, RGF Integrated Wealth Management, London Drugs, and OriginO – series sponsors of the 2020-21 season.

At launch, subscriptions for TheConcertHall.ca will be available for $12.99 monthly, or $129.99 annually.

What masterpiece will you choose to set the mood?

###

Concert Release Schedule – Fall 2020

October 16

Assante Vancouver Centre Stars Series

Bach and Beethoven with Tausk & Ehnes

Bach: Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor
Beethoven: Symphony No. 7
James Ehnes, Violin & leader
Otto Tausk, conductor

James Ehnes performs Bach’s gorgeous First Violin Concerto in A minor while Maestro Tausk picks up where we left off in March. We closed the COVID-abbreviated 2019-20 season with Beethoven’s 5th and 6th in the triumphant close to our BeethovenFest. It’s only fitting we open our new season with the great master’s Symphony No. 7 in A Major to continue the celebration of his 250 anniversary.

October 23

Newmont Maestro Series

Pictures at an Exhibition

Bartók: Divertimento for Strings
Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition (arr. Howarth)
Otto Tausk, conductor

The VSO Brass are featured in Elgar Howarth’s magnificent arrangement of Modest Mussorgsky’s beloved Pictures at an Exhibition. Plus, Maestro Tausk leads the VSO strings in Bartók’s Divertimento for Strings, a lively collection of tunes from Transylvania with contrasting moods and styles.

October 25

OriginO Kids

Will’s Jams with the VSO

Will Stroet, singer-songwriter
Andrew Crust, conductor

Juno-nominated Will Stroet of CBC Kids fame joins the VSO for a fun-filled symphony jam session that your kids will love.

November 1

RGF Integrated Wealth Management Spotlight Series

Beethoven & Sibelius

Beethoven: Septet
Sibelius: Suite for Violin & Strings
James Ehnes, violin & leader

Ehnes returns to perform light music from serious composers. Written in the serenade and divertimento style, Beethoven’s Septet was one of his most popular works in its day (almost to his chagrin!). The three pastoral sketches in Sibelius’s Suite for Violin & Strings lay hidden for many years. Not often performed, they are a delight to discover.

November 7

London Drugs Pops

Andrew Crust, conductor

Program TBA

November 13

Newmont Maestro Series

Sturm und Drang: Haydn & Butler

Haydn: Symphony No. 49
Jennifer Butler: And Birds Do Sing
Otto Tausk, conductor

Maestro Tausk pairs Haydn’s dramatic and romantic Symphony No. 49 in F minor with a contemporary answer, BC composer Jennifer Butler’s And Birds Do Sing. Butler set out to create a dark and desolate response to the challenges of the 21st century. However, following the birth of her daughter, Butler found herself drawn to the sounds of hope.

November 20

Assante Vancouver Centre Stars Series

Americana: Walker & Copland

George Walker: Lyric for Strings
Aaron Copland: Appalachian Spring
Andrew Crust, conductor
Measha Brueggergosman, host

The first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for music, George Walker was a musician of tremendous energy both as a concert pianist and composer. His lovely and introspective Lyric for Strings is one of his most popular works. Copland’s Appalachian Spring is presented in its original chamber form for 13 musicians. The great Canadian soprano and media personality Measha Brueggergosman hosts.

About the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

Founded in 1919, the Grammy and Juno-award winning Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is the third largest orchestra in Canada, the largest arts organizations in Western Canada, and one of the few orchestras in North America to have its own music school.

Led by Music Director Otto Tausk since 2018, the VSO performs more than 150 concerts each year, throughout Vancouver and the province of British Columbia, reaching over 270,000 people annually. On tour the VSO has performed in the United States, China, Korea and across Canada.

The orchestra presents passionate, high-quality performances of classical, popular and culturally diverse music, creating meaningful engagement with audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

Recent guest artists include Daniil Trifonov, Dawn Upshaw, James Ehnes, Adrianne Pieczonka, Gidon Kremer, Renée Fleming, Yefim Bronfman, Itzhak Perlman, Bernadette Peters, Tan Dun, and more.

For the 2020-21 Season, the VSO will move to a new virtual home in TheConcertHall.ca.

Related Articles