PEI Symphony presents “Beethoven & Beyond”, featuring guest conductor Dinuk Wijeratne
Leo Marchildon on organ
and Branden Kelly on marimba
On Sunday February 7th we return to the beautiful Zion Presbyterian Church with an exciting program featuring three guest artists – soloists Leo Marchildon and Branden Kelly, and guest conductor Dinuk Wijeratne.
Under Wijeratne’s direction, the orchestra will perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 along with two very special concertos with the guest soloists.
The PEI Symphony is delighted to welcome renowned PEI organist Leo Marchildon to perform Poulenc’s Organ Concerto with the orchestra. Described as “blisteringly exciting “ by Classics Today, the concerto was composed by Francis Poulenc between 1934 and 1938, and has become one of the most popular organ concertos since the time of Bach.
Growing up in Toronto, Leo earned degrees from the Royal Canadian College of Organists, the Western Conservatory of London Ontario, the Royal Conservatory of Music, the University of Toronto, and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. As a music editor for television, Leo helped shape the musical landscape of programs including The Adventures of Sinbad, Sony’s animated series Rainbow Fish, and Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda. Leo’s keyboard expertise has taken him all over the world via touring productions of Phantom of the Opera, Sunset Boulevard, Kiss of the Spider Woman, and Bugs Bunny on Broadway for which he was both pianist and assistant conductor. PEI audiences are very familiar with his many local show credits including Nunsense, Anne & Gilbert, Sweeney Todd, Rocky Horror, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.
Leo’s community work includes serving as conductor for the Strathgartney Chamber Orchestra, and accompanist for the UPEI Concert Choir along with many students and instrumentalists at the University for their recitals, juries and masterclasses. He also teaches privately, but composition is certainly Leo’s first love. His work can be heard in the television series Wexford, the stage production Millie’s Girls, the feature film Gabriela, and the documentary Cell Block Scholars, which earned him a regional Emmy nomination. His most recent work is the score for the musical drama The Nine Lives of L.M. Montgomery.
Leo currently serves as organist and music director for St. Dunstan’s Basilica as well as music supervisor for the Diocese of Charlottetown.
Branden Kelly is the other special guest performer in February, performing a stunning marimba concerto by French composer Emmanuel Séjourné with the orchestra. Raised in Cornwall PEI, Branden Kelly graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Music Education degree from UPEI, and will be graduating in 2016 with a Master of Percussion Performance degree from the University of Toronto. Branden is well known as a young percussion master with PEI audiences, performing with both the PEI Symphony Orchestra and the UPEI Wind Symphony. In 2012 he was one of three PEI representatives in the 2012 Canadian National Youth Band, was a Rose Bowl finalist at the PEI Kiwanis Music Festival, and was selected to perform at the Indian River Music Festival. In 2013, he placed first in the UPEI Music Performance Competition and third place in percussion at the National Music Festival of Canada in Waterloo, Ontario. In 2015 Branden was awarded both the Suzanne Brenton prize and the overall Rose Bowl Award as top performer at our provincial music festival.
Our guest conductor for this concert, Sri Lankan-born Dinuk Wijeratne is internationally active as a composer, pianist and conductor, described by the Toronto Star as “an artist who reflects a positive vision of our cultural future,” and by the New York Times as “exuberantly creative”.
Following his studies at the Juilliard School with John Corigliano, Dinuk was appointed Resident Conductor of Symphony Nova Scotia, while also garnering commissions from almost all his performance collaborators, to name a few: Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, the Gryphon Trio, Joseph Petric, David Jalbert, TorQ Percussion, Kinan Azmeh, Tim Garland, Zakir Hussain, Ed Thigpen, Pandit Ramesh Misra, Kevork Mourad, Skratch Bastid, Buck 65, the Apollo Saxophone Quartet, and Symphony Nova Scotia. His boundary-crossing work sees him equally at home in collaborations with symphony orchestras and string quartets, Tabla players and DJs, and takes him to international venues as poles apart as the Berlin Philharmonie and the North Sea Jazz Festival.
This concert will be presented at the Zion Presbyterian Church located at 135 Prince Street, at the corner of Grafton Street. Tickets are available at the door, or through the Confederation Centre Boxoffice: $44 adults, $40 seniors and only $15 for students and children. Tickets are also available online up to the day before the concert. If you have any questions for the box office, please call 902-566-1267, or the PEI Symphony office at 902-892-4333.
Due to the rehearsal schedule for concerts at the Zion Church, the PEISO is unable to host a Pre-Concert Talk
Looking forward to our April concert, on Sunday April 10 the PEISO will present “A Walk with Brahms”. Under the leadership of PEISO Music Director Mark Shapiro, the orchestra will perform Brahms Symphony No. 2, A Walk to the Paradise Garden by Delius, and a very special performance by PEI’s clarinet master Karem J Simon of Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto Op.57.