October 31st, 2020

Symphony presents ‘Wunder Kids’ tonight

By Bobinec, Greg on November 18, 2019.

Herald photo by Greg Bobinec
Glenn Klassen, director of Lethbridge Symphony, runs the orchestra through their lineup for the second part in their concert series, Wunder Kids, running this evening at Southminster United Church. @GBobinecHerald

Greg Bobinec

Lethbridge Herald


The Lethbridge Symphony is preparing to present the second concert of their 59th season this evening at Southminster United Church.

The show, Wunder Kids, follows the theme of young prodigies who created musical masterpieces during their youth, such as Schubert’s Entr’Acte and Mozart’s Turkish Violin Concerto. The interpretation of the prodigies music brings the musical mixture to life with a youthful enthusiasm.

“Symphony Series Two this year is called Wunder Kids and there is a really good reason for that and that is because we are featuring music by people who were prodigies,” says Melanie Gattiker, executive director of Lethbridge Symphony.

“Beethoven, Schubert and in particular Mozart who was a young prodigy, and our soloist is also maybe something of a prodigy when you consider that he turned 15 last month and he has won competitions all around the world.”

Joining the symphony is winner of the 2018 Young Artist Competition, Jacques Forestier from Edmonton, who is an internationally decorated violinist.

“According to the judges at the time he was the clear winner so I heard him at that time and he was pretty exciting so I know that it is going to be a good concert,” says Gattiker. “Music director Glenn Klassen is of course very excited, and Glenn being Glenn, he only gets excited when the music and performers are top notch.”

The mixture of the prodigies, along with the added youthful violinist Forestier, not only brings a youthful feel to symphony music, but also is a way to show and encourage young musicians to push their dedication to music, as they will be able to see where it can take them.

“We host our Young Artists Competition every other year and we are now taking applications for the next competition,” says Gattiker. “But it is a way to encourage young people who are very diligent and keen on their music craft and this is to show young people that this is where you can have your music take you. There are quite a few members in this orchestra that are fairly young and of course we would love to have as many young people attend this concert as possible just because youth speaks to youth.”

Bringing to life some of Mozart’s and Schubert’s work, the Lethbridge Symphony added Beethoven’s Third Symphony to the show, as it was one of his most well-known pieces, as well as one of the more interesting stories for inspiration behind it.

“The symphony is performing Beethoven’s third symphony called ‘The Eroica’, and he originally wrote it in honour of Napoleon and then Napoleon turned into a dictator,” says Gattiker.

“Beethoven wasn’t supporting that so he renamed it to Eroica and it is now dedicated to ‘the memory of a once great man’. It is a very lively symphony and it is one of his better known symphonies, and it really evokes the celebration when an army wins against an enemy, but it also evokes the pain and tragedy of the pillage of a city, and it takes the highs and lows of war from both sides and I think it paints a really amazing picture with the music.”

Lethbridge Symphony’s performance of Wunder Kids takes place tonight at 7:30 p.m., with doors opening at 7 p.m., at Southminster United Church. Tickets for Series 2 – Wunder Kids range from $25 to $75, and are available online at lethbridgesymphony.org or in person. Audience members aged 13-29 can sign up for Access Pass and receive further discounts while those 12 and under who are with a paying adult may take advantage of the children’s pass discount program.

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