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Photo courtesy of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra

Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra debuts free online fall series

By Ishita Moghe, October 17 2020—

After their regular performance season was canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra put out a statement assuring Calgarians that a new online series of performances is coming.

These free concerts will take place at 7:30 p.m. every Saturday night and they began on Oct. 3. The performances started small, with a solo and duet the first week, leading up to larger sextet and septet performances later this month. The CPO hopes to build back up to their regular 66-musician performances as soon as it is safe to do so.

The online series is free to attend. You can register for a performance up to 30 days after its debut date and sign on with your unique code to watch. November shows will be announced in mid-October, with the online format planned until December, after which performance procedures will be re-assessed according to COVID-19 guidelines.

The mini concerts contain an exciting mix of classical and contemporary composers. Familiar names such as Haydn, Beethoven and Stravinsky are lined up with current musicians like Alexina Louie, Tanya Tagaq and Vincent Ho that connect back to our local community. The blend of musical eras and a strong link to Canada through the composers and musicians creates unique performances that the Calgary Phil can truly call their own.

Last Saturday’s Trio and Quartet performance is available to watch for 4 weeks. The program features Haydn’s String Quartet in B-flat Major, Tagaq’s Sivunittinni (arranged by Jacob Garchik) and Beethoven’s Piano Trio in E-flat Major. The concert opens with the five-movement classical quartet, providing a familiar sound before going into a unique quartet cover of Sivunittinni from Canadian Inuk singer Tanya Tagaq. This arrangement combines chilling dissonance and unexpected use of the strings to achieve an engaging interpretation of Tagaq’s sound. 

My personal favourite piece of the night was Beethoven’s four-movement piano trio that concluded the concert. Pianist Akiko Tominaga played a fantastic rendition of the piece, assisted by violinist Diana Cohen and cellist Josué Valdepeñas. The precise coordination between the three musicians and playful shaping of this classic piece creates a captivating finale to the concert. Don’t miss out on this curated fall series and register to attend a concert that you can enjoy at home, free of charge.

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