This weekend, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra closes out their 2021-22 masterworks season with the final concert in the “(A)bsolute Classics” series.
Conducted by WSO Music Director Daniel Raiskin, the concert features pianist Lukáš Vondráček in his WSO debut, plus a symphony by Tchaikovsky, as well as music by Canadian composer Jocelyn Morlock.
Which isn’t how the program was originally drawn up.
“The program we’re playing on Saturday is not representing the original plans,” says maestro Daniel Raiskin, who notes this has been the “undertone” of the concert programming in recent years, featuring plenty of amendments, changes, and recompositions.
“This was supposed to be a concert in preparation for our tour to the Netherlands in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the World War Two ending and liberation of the Netherlands — which was already postponed,” explains Raiskin. “And now it’s postponed again.”
In its place, the Winnipeg audience will be treated to a rarely heard piano concerto by Antonin Dvořák played by Lukáš Vondráček.
The unanimous winner of the 2016 Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition, the Czech-born pianist has appeared alongside conductors such as Paavo Järvi, Gianandrea Noseda and Marin Alsop in concerto performance and played at Leipzig’s Gewandhaus, and the Menuhin Festival Gstaad as a recitalist.
Tchaikovsky’s “Fate” symphony — the composer’s fourth — also features prominently. Musical wrestling between cosmic joy and severe hardship, the powerful work is one of Tchaikovsky’s most revealing.
“It is the most personal of all musical documents and narratives that Tchaikovsky left,” says Raiskin.
A moving work by Canadian composer Jocelyn Morlock inspired by a tragic story opens the program. My Name is Amanda Todd is named for the 15-year-old Port Coquitlam, BC teenager who loved singing and expressing herself through music. Todd tragically took her life after suffering from years of cyber abuse, harassment and bullying at school.
"Dvořák & Tchaikovsky 4" takes place Saturday, April 30 at 7:30 p.m. For more details and tickets, visit: www.wso.ca