We return to the beautiful Zion Presbyterian Church for our next concert Sunday February 1st, featuring special guest PEI fiddler Roy Johnstone performing with the orchestra under the direct of guest conductor Dr. Karem J Simon.
The concert program entitled “Celtic Landscape” featres music inspired by celtic traditions, with a new symphony created by Roy Johnstone, along with celtic themed music by classical music favourite Felix Mendelssohn.
According to Atlantic Gig Magazine, “Roy Johnstone has the heart of a poet, the spirit of an adventurer and plays like the Devil!” A one of Atlantic Canada’s premier fiddlers, Roy has been active in the East Coast musical community for thirty five years. His love of the fiddling tradition is evident in his research on traditional tunes as well as the acoustics of the fiddle, and on his lecturing locally, in Scotland and in the USA. He was presented with a Government of PEI Official Musical Ambassador Award, and the Highland Council of Scotland commissioned Roy to write music to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Scottish settlers coming to Prince Edward Island in 1803. Roy describes his music as a “search for our common voice; a voice that speaks to the heart. Whether I am playing a Gaelic air or a jazz standard I bring a deep love and respect for the traditions within each musical genre. For me, music is a call to live passionately, to celebrate tradition while exploring the joy of creating new forms of musical expression.”
This past year Roy teamed up with UPEI music professor Dr. Richard Covey to compose and orchestrate a new work entitled Abeqweit: Symphony for an Island. This symphonic poem celebrates the natural beauty and cultural diversity of Abeqweit: Prince Edward Island, uniting distinctive elements of traditional music and dance with classical music forms to create a compelling narrative of the importance of ethnic identity in building a nation.
Dr. Richard Covey teaches music theory, composition and counterpoint at the University of Prince Edward Island. He is the winner of the P.E.I. Symphony’s Call For Scores Competition in 2012, in which P.E.I. resident composers were invited to submit works that demonstrate skills in writing for orchestra.
For the concert on Sunday February 1st the PEI Symphony is delighted to première Roy’s new symphony, sandwiched by two popular celtic-themed works by popular classical composer Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847). Mendelssohn was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period. After early success in Germany, Mendelssohn became famous across Europe, and is credited for significantly reviving interest in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. His mainstream musical tastes differentiate his music from many of his more aggressive musical contemporaries such as Richard Wagner and Hector Berlioz, and he became known as a champion for an ‘anti-radical’ outlook on music. He is now among the most popular composers of the Romantic era.
Mendelssohn wrote symphonies, concerti, oratorios, piano music and chamber music. Two of his best-known works include his Overture to the Hebrides and his “Scottish” Symphony No. 3. Inspired by many trips to Britain and Scotland, Mendelssohn wrote the Hebrides Overture in 1830, and the Scottish Symphony intermittently between 1829 and 1842. Of his five symphonies, the third was actually the last to be published, and includes a glorious first movement, a lively second movement in the style of Scottish folk music, a beautiful slower movement showcasing the struggle between love and fate, and a finale with components from Scottish folk dance.
The PEI Symphony is very pleased to announce Dr. Karem J Simon as the guest music director and conductor for this concert event. A member of the UPEI Music Faculty and the PEISO since 1991, Dr. Simon brings a wealth of musicianship and conducting experience to the podium. Under his leadership the UPEI Wind Symphony has been transformed into one of the leading wind ensembles in Atlantic Canada. His progressive approach to programming and performance standard has led to the creation of sixteen award-winning compact discs with that ensemble. Dr. Simon is known for his interpretations of traditional repertoire and unique approach to contemporary music. In recent years, performances of the Wind Symphony at St. Dunstan’s Basilica and Zion Presbyterian Church have drawn capacity audiences.
This concert will be presented at the Zion Presbyterian Church located at 135 Prince Street, at the corner of Grafton Street.
Please note, due to the rehearsal schedule for concerts at the Zion Church, the PEISO is unable to host a Pre-Concert Talk for this show.
Tickets are available at the door, or through the Confederation Centre Boxoffice: $44 adults, $40 seniors and only $15 for students and children. For more information please call 892-4333.