Berlioz composed Symphonie fantastique in an attempt to woo a young actress, but it’s not your average love song (or story). This symphony begins with passionate, heartsick daydreams, a grand ball, and scenes in the countryside – only to take a sharp turn to a march to the guillotine and a witch’s Sabbath, thanks to a heavy dose of opium. Storyline aside, the orchestration of this work was so innovative it truly startled 19th-century audiences, convincing them the world of the supernatural was present at the performance.
Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto, the most beloved of his four and one of the most popular of all, is performed by soloist Alexei Volodin who galvanized WSO audiences in the last concerts before the pandemic.
Music by JUNO Award-winning Ukrainian-Canadian composer Larysa Kuzmenko sets the tone for the evening with Fantasy on a Theme by Beethoven, inspired by the composer’s first symphony.
Consider coming to the performance early and joining us for a pre-concert chat from the stage at 6:45 pm.