Our next concert, The Red Violin, promises to explore how virtuosity shows up in many forms, with music from the film The Red Violin paired with arrangements of Balkan folk music, and stunning reinterpretations of familiar tunes from Bizet’s forever-loved opera Carmen. The Red Violin is taking place in Sagebrush Theatre on Saturday, February 10 at 7:30 pm as part of the Fairfield by Marriott Kamloops Signature Series, and in The Nexus at First on Sunday, February 11 at 3:00 pm as part of the Salmon Arm Series. For our Salmon Arm audience, please note that the doors to The Nexus at First will open to allow audience members into the building at 2:30 pm.

The concert begins with Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin's Carmen Suite, crafted as the music for a ballet by Cuban choreographer Alberto Alonso using music from Bizet’s opera. Shchedrin conceived of his arrangement not as a 19th-century pastiche, but rather “a creative meeting of the minds,” with Bizet’s melodies redressed in a variety of fresh instrumental colours, set to new rhythms, and often phrased with a great deal of sly wit. Initially banned by the Soviet hierarchy as "disrespectful" to the opera for precisely these qualities, the ballet has since become Shchedrin's best-known work.

Next is Serbian-American composer Milica Paranosic’s Roma Suite, an arrangement of Balkan folk music. After growing up in Serbia where she states it was frowned upon to engage with influences stemming from their own musical heritage, she was inspired to delve into her cultural roots after moving to New York and meeting violinist Lara St. John, (our guest artist for this concert), who shares her passion for Balkan and Roma folklore and collaborated on creating this suite.

The concert concludes with John Corigliano’s Suite from The Red Violin, highlights of the music he wrote for the film. The movie spans three centuries in the life of a magnificent but haunted violin in its travels through space and time. Corigliano evokes the different locales and eras the violin travels through, while creating a score that has a coherent musical voice throughout.

Joining the Orchestra on stage is the dazzling Canadian-born violinist Lara St. John, described as “something of a phenomenon” and a “high-powered soloist.” Lara began playing the violin when she was two years old, and first appeared as a soloist with an orchestra at the age of four, making her European debut at age ten. She has since gone on to perform as a soloist with orchestras across North and South America, Europe, and Asia, and has presented recitals in major concert halls in New York, Boston, Prague, Berlin, Toronto, Montreal, and the Forbidden City, among others. Lara formed her own label, Ancalagon, in 1999. She has received several awards and accolades, including a Juno Award in 2011, a “best CD of Spring” from Der Tagsesspiegel in 2014, and several five-star reviews. She has been featured in People, NPR’s All Things Considered, the CBC, the BBC, a Bravo! special, and in 2021 was invested with the Order of Canada for service to society and innovations that “ignite our imaginations.”

Tickets for the Kamloops performance of this evocative concert start at $25 for KSO Up Close Seats (the front three rows of Sagebrush Theatre). Tier Two tickets—the upper seating of Sagebrush Theatre—start at $36 for seniors and $40 for adults. Tier One tickets—the lower seating of Sagebrush Theatre—start at $54 for seniors and $60 for adults. (under 19) tickets are only $10, and KSOundcheck members (age 19-34) get their tickets for $15.
Tickets for the Salmon Arm performance are $37.55 for adults if purchased in advance or $40 at the door, youth (under 19) tickets are only $10, and KSOundcheck members (age 19-34) can get their tickets for $15.

All ticket sales are through Kamloops Live! Box Office by calling 1-866-374-5483 or going to kamloopslive.ca.