The PEI Symphony returns 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 Karem J Simon.
The Prince Edward Island Symphony Orchestra is pleased to announce that Karem J Simon will lead the orchestra through a program entitled “Celtic Landscape”, featuring music inspired by celtic traditions. The cornerstone of this program is the world premiere of “Abegweit: Symphony for an Island”, created specifically for PEI fiddler Roy Johnstone in a collaboration with UPEI music professor Richard Covey.
This symphonic poem celebrates the natural beauty and cultural diversity of our 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. The PEISO is delighted to showcase this wonderful new work, sandwiched by two celtic-themed works by popular classical composer Felix Mendelssohn: his Overture to the Hebrides and the “Scottish” Symphony No. 3.
A member of the UPEI music faculty and PEISO since 1991, Dr. Simon brings a wealth of musicianship and conducting experience to the PEISO podium. Under his leadership the UPEI Wind Symphony has been transformed into one of the leading wind ensembles in this region. His progressive approach to programming and performance standard has led to the creation of sixteen compact discs with that ensemble. Cathedrals, released in May 2010 received the 2011 Music PEI Award for Best Classical Recording. In February 2011 the Wind Symphony released its O Canada CD, a project exclusively for PEI public schools. Its most recent compact discs, Freebirds, Lord of the Rings, Four Horsemen and Rumpelstilzchen have been highly acclaimed. The UPEI Wind Symphony received the 2014 Music UPEI Award for Achievement in Classical Music. 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.
Dr. Simon holds a Doctor of Music Degree from the University of British Columbia, a Masters Degree from Northwestern University, and Bachelor Degrees in Music and Education from Mount Allison University. He credits much of his approach to conducting from his study at Northwestern under the direction of legendary conductor John P Paynter. Others, including Eugene Corporon, Craig Kirchkoff, Dale Lonis and Michael Haithcock, have had a tremendous influence on his conducting craft and artistry. Prior to his appointment at UPEI, Dr. Simon taught public school instrumental music for ten years in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. Among his conducting posts, he served a two-year term as director of the Nova Scotia Youth Wind Ensemble, directed the 2007 National Youth Band of Canada, and has been engaged to direct the PEI Intermediate and Senior High School Honor Bands on multiple occasions. In 2001 Dr. Simon was recipient of the Association of Atlantic University’s Teaching Excellence Award for Instructional Leadership, due in part to his initiatives at UPEI in conducting workshops for professionals.
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.
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.