Thursday, April 17, 2008

Vancouver Island Symphony Enigma Gala Performance

Enigma Gala Performance

- a tribute to Maestro Marlin Wolfe

On Saturday, April 19, Maestro Marlin Wolfe performs his last official duty as artistic director of the Vancouver Island Symphony when he conducts the orchestra at The Port Theatre for the Enigma Gala Performance, an incredible finale to their "Magnificent! musical moments" 2007-2008 season.

Thirteen years ago Maestro Marlin Wolfe had a dream. That dream became a reality in the form of the Vancouver Island Symphony which he took from being a local amateur organization and transformed into a fully professional and exceptional regional symphony orchestra, one of the best in the province. Now Wolfe, whose career includes conducting orchestras across North AmericaEurope, is stepping down to pursue other dreams in his life. "I had a mission and I succeeded!" explains Wolfe. "And the Enigma Variations is a great way to end the season, on an uplifting high note!" and

Enigma is like a dream, a mystery, illusion. Says Maestro Wolfe, "The enigma is what you don't see with the music. What you do see, the reality, is the musicians on stage. This is a great program, a good crowd pleaser. I chose Khachaturian's Masquerade Suite because it is a piece that everyone will enjoy. Barber's Concerto for Violin will be performed by violinist Juliette Kang. It isn't heard that much yet it is beautiful to listen to."

But it is the closing piece, Elgar's Enigma Variations that Maestro Wolfe feels deeply. "It is a great work, a fabulous piece. I love Elgar's music." Enigma Variations, is a series of fourteen short pieces written for orchestra, and dedicated, as Elgar stated, to 'my friends pictured within.' Each variation is an affectionate portrait of one of his circle of close acquaintances. For example, Variation 11 depicts a friend's dog, Dan, falling into the River Wye. Another, Variation 9, Nimrod, the most popular of the variations and made famous in its own right, depicts a night-time walk Elgar made with his best friend August Jaeger. Variation 7 is a good-natured mimicry of architect Arthur Troyte Griffiths' enthusiastic inability to play the piano. But an underlying enigma remains. As Elgar said himself, "The enigma I will not explain." Many have theorized what this might be, however, it remains an enigma.

Join Marlin Wolfe and the VI Symphony for this spectacular season finale; ticket holders are invited to stay in the lobby after the concert for a special gala reception, to meet Maestro Wolfe, Juliette Kang and the VI Symphony musicians, and to sign Maestro Wolfe's Memory Book. To find out more about the music join Assistant Conductor Gerald van Wyck for a pre-concert talk at 6:30 p.m. You can also hear the music on, but nothing compares with the real thing, LIVE at The Port Theatre on Saturday, April 19.


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