The Northern Orchestra performed in Vanderhoof on Sunday, October 20 with special guest Robert Silverman on piano.
Gordon Lucas, conductor for the Northern Orchestra, explained the significance of the performance which were all royal pieces pertaining to emperors and kings.
Lucas declared that pianist Silverman should be considered royalty and that the small auditorium in NVSS had never seen anything like what he was about to play. Lucas has known Silverman for close to 40 years, ever since Silverman taught at UBC.
Silverman, 75, has been playing for most of his life and it shows in his quick but fluid movements during the Emperor Concerto. He strives to produce music that is as close as possible to the source material that he can get it. Which he said is extremely difficult to do.
“It’s one of the greatest of Beethoven’s works,” said Silverman before his performance of the Emperor Concerto. “It’s very heroic and magisterial and I love it. It has everything that Beethoven is known for, his ability to communicate with his audience, to dazzle them, he knows how to compose wonderfully. I’ll be looking forward to doing it.”
The first half of the performance was all about the Northern Orchestra with pieces by composers Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frederich Handel. Each piece was a royal waltz or a minuet or something that brought to mind majesty and old royalty.
Arianne Nelles, flutist, could be heard well before Lucas pointed her out and said she was an anchor because her playing of the flute was so perfect. Her notes could be heard clear and above the rest of the orchestra, especially during her solo portions on Bach’s Suite #2 for Orchestra.
Lucas also took care to point out several of his other performers including Jonathan Schultz on violin who will be playing all of the Four Seasons of Vivaldi for their performance in December. A feat Lucas has never had a student do before.
The second half of the show was all about Silverman and his performance on piano with the orchestra.
“I think a musician has a very deep seated need to create music and a performer needs an audience,” said Silverman. “Especially with classical music in these times. I feel I have a mission to convey its power and excellence and its ability to move you and that’s what I try to do.”