On Saturday, February 7, the Windsor Symphony Orchestra (led by Music Director Robert Franz) presents a celebration of the history of flight, featuring a work by Lawrence Dillion that tells the story of Dayton OH’s Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur. The performance includes Windsor area actors portraying the brothers and photographer John T. Daniels, and Daniels’ iconic photos will be projected behind the orchestra. And that’s not all: the Canadian Historical Aircraft Association (CH2A), celebrating its twentieth anniversary, is displaying vintage aircraft parts at the venue, and a short video of Maestro Franz taking a flight in a vintage, open cockpit Boeing-Stearman will be shown. Works by Jordan Pal and Beethoven round out the program.
Today, February 4, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra kicks off a 10-day Pianos in the City festival with a series of flash-mob-like performances on Steinway pianos planted throughout Toronto’s downtown core: five concerts in five locations in the space of three hours, all curated by longtime TSO friend and Grammy Award winner, Emanuel Ax. As Mr. Ax says, “Whether played in the comfort of your home, in collaboration with friends, or on stage with a full orchestra, the piano is a versatile and accessible instrument that opens unlimited avenues of expression and creativity to the performer.” Venues include the CBC Atrium, the upper concourse at the Royal Bank plaza, Union Station, Toronto City Hall, and the Hospital for Sick Children.
On February 6 and 7, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony (KWS) invites pipa virtuoso Lan Weiwei to perform with the orchestra as part of its innovative Intersections series. Led by KWS music director Edwin Outwater, the program explores traditional Chinese music along with new works combining Chinese and Western sounds, selected from the winning entries from a composition competition organized in cooperation with the University of Toronto and the SiChuan Conservatory of Music. The composers are Roydon Tse (Three Musings), Alice Ping Yee Ho (Hakka Tea Bliss), Yang Xinmin (Sam Rainsy), and Yang Shouzhu (Wide Sleeve). Lan Weiwei has spent her career introducing the traditional and folk music of China to the Western world in addition to playing contemporary music. She has collaborated with orchestras across China, and has played with orchestras in Estonia, Freiburg and Toronto. A native of SiChuan, she is also a teacher at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China.