In their final concert of the school year, the University of Manitoba Symphony Orchestra embarks on a journey “Beyond the Woods.”  

Featuring two works by renowned composers and one world premiere, the evening presents a variety of musical styles and compositional techniques.  



Interestingly, it was a lesser known, rarely programmed work from early in Vaughan Williams’ catalogue – the Serenade in A minor – that first captured the attention of UMSO Music Director Monica Chen. 

“He wrote this when he was 26 years old and this is his very first orchestral composition,” says UMSO Music Director Monica Chen. “For his first orchestral work, it’s really quite stunning!”  

Also on the program will be the world premiere of Desautels Faculty of Music student composer Menghan Liu. Titled “Sen” the work is inspired by the peace, stillness and mystery that comes from spending time in the forest.  

“It’s the atmosphere of the forest,” says Liu.    

Utilizing the compositional practice of set theory, the work explores the relationship between major and minor, depicting the beauty and dangers of spending time in the woods.  

The concert also features third-year violin performance major Paolo Camus in a playing of the beloved Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto.  

“I’m very excited,” says Camus.   

Having previously played the first movement in the University’s Concerto Competition – a competition he won – the opportunity to perform the work in full is a tantelizing one.  

“It's been a lot of fun and I’ve been learning a lot,” he says.  

“Beyond the Woods” takes place on Wednesday, March 27 at Westworth United Church, beginning at 7:30 p.m.  

For tickets and more details, click here.