New Music Director Andrei Feher Unveils the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony’s 2018/19 Season
Andrei Feher announced the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony’s 2018/19 Season, his first as Music Director. After welcoming attendees, Andrei surprised the audience with a musical treat: a special performance of excerpts from Carmen with Concertmaster Bénédicte Lauzière and Principal Cellist John Helmers, which will be performed as an opera in concert on the 2018/19 Season.
In the 2018/19 Season, Andrei will be involved across almost the entire range of KWS concerts and activities, from Pops and Baroque concerts, to School and Outreach concerts. “For my very first season with the KWS, I would like to share so many exciting adventures because they are all very close to my heart,” commented Andrei. “From Eastern European composers like Enescu, Bartók and Tchaikovsky to some of the great romantics like Brahms, Dvořák and Bizet, it will be such an amazing experience to play music with the wonderful musicians of the KWS. It’s also important to me to connect with all the audiences that the KWS reaches, which is the reason I am conducting on all of the series, including the School and Outreach concerts. I believe that music speaks to everyone and I want to make it interesting for them, move them with music.”
Executive Director Andrew Bennett commented: “The KWS is on the threshold of an extraordinary new era. Our musicians and our patrons already have been thrilled by Andrei’s previous two programs here and know that we are in for an exceptionally exciting journey led by our young new Music Director. In the coming season he will appear in virtually all our concert series and community activities, making a firm and personal commitment to connecting with every facet of our community. It has been a joy to welcome Andrei to the KWS and there is no limit to what he and the Orchestra can achieve together.”
The Signature Series sees Music Director Andrei Feher leading five of eight programs, with the first two concerts showcasing the Orchestra in works by the great romantic composers, including Tchaikovsky’s passionate Symphony No. 5, Dvořák’s dramatic Symphony No. 7 and Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1 featuring Canadian piano star Charles Richard-Hamelin. Andrei will also lead a concert version of one of the most famous operas of all time: Bizet’s Carmen, starring mezzo soprano Lucia Cervoni. In the fifth concert on the series Andrei explores his heritage with works by the Romanian composer Enescu and the Hungarian composer Kodály, while the Orchestra shines in Ravel’s masterful orchestration of Mussorgsky’s grand and exciting Pictures at an Exhibition. Additionally on the series, the Orchestra will be featured in classical blockbusters like Vivaldi’s The Four Season, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, Pastoral and Mozart’s Linz Symphony. Pianist Stewart Goodyear returns after performing all of the Beethoven piano concertos with the KWS to be featured in Beethoven’s Triple Concerto alongside Concertmaster Bénédicte Lauzière and Principal Cello John Helmers. Soloists from the Orchestra will be featured in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante on a program that also welcomes Mi’kmaw poet and one of the foremost female indigenous voices in Canada, Rebecca Thomas, to perform her powerful collaboration with composer Laura Sgroi entitled We’re Not Done Drumming. Andrei will end his first season as Music Director with Orff’s epic Carmina Burana, and Concertmaster Bénédicte Lauzière will be featured in Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto.
Former KWS Assistant Conductor Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser opens the Pops Series with a concert featuring Canadian soul diva Shakura S’Aida performing the greatest hits by this century’s Queens of Song, including Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Whitney Houston, Beyoncé and more. Music Director Andrei Feher conducts the second concert on the series, a classic Viennese-style Pops celebration featuring vocalist Aline Kutan that will be fun and lighthearted. Back by popular demand is the fun and interactive voting concert Live By Request, led by audience favourite John Morris Russell, this time featuring popular hits from stage and screen. Also on the series is the heartwarming masterpiece E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial with John Williams’s Academy Award®-winning score performed live by the KWS while the film is shown on the big screen. Holiday favourite Yuletide Spectacular will feature highlights from the Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, and Mike Nadajewski, a favourite from the 2017 Yuletide concert, will return as host and narrator. After selling out concerts with the KWS in 2014, Arrival from Sweden returns with an exciting night of ABBA hits like Dancing Queen, Mamma Mia and more. Audiences will be treated to an exciting and unique concert experience that blends pop art, performance and music as guest conductor Lucas Waldin leads a program featuring Toronto-based artist and speed painter Jessica Gorlicky (JESSGO). The series ends with a musical journey through the 1970s, featuring hits from the songbooks of Billy Joel and Elton John performed by award-winning Canadian recording artist Jim Witter.
KW Glee returns for another incredible concert with the KWS in January 2019 after three sold-out performances in 2017. Winners of the Show Choir Canada National Championship, KW Glee is made up of local teenagers whose incredible talent and enthusiasm for song and dance are off the charts!
The Baroque & Beyond Series sees KWS musicians Allene Chomyn, Faith Levene and James Mason taking the lead as curators, programmers and hosts, and Music Director Andrei Feher will also curate and conduct one of the concerts. The programs range from an exploration of innovators through the centuries, to music that reflects the dark side of love, and one that shines a spotlight on the second chair players in the Orchestra.
The Kinderconcert Series continues with the storyteller and musicians format, this year featuring Odawa First Nations storyteller Barbara Croall. She joins KWS musicians to present three concerts based on indigenous stories: Bear Needs to Sleep, Footprints in the Snow and Flowers Wake Up. Concerts are presented at the Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts, the Waterloo Region Museum and the Woolwich Memorial Centre.
The Saturday afternoon Family Series explores the music that is all around us with Music In Your Neighbourhood and Music In Your House. The third concert in the series will be led by Music Director Andrei Feher and features one of the most beloved children’s compositions by Prokofiev, Peter and the Wolf. Both the Family Series and the Kinderconcert Series feature interactive pre-concert activities hosted by Music for Young Children that let children get up close to the music.