January 22nd, 2021

Five 2020 concerts to honour birth of Beethoven

By Mabell, Dave on January 18, 2020.

Beethoven was born 250 years ago. But today, young musicians continue to discover and celebrate his genius.

And to mark his birth year, a Lethbridge quartet has planned a series of five concerts through 2020.

The first, set for 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Casa, will feature the Opus 4 quartet on three of Beethoven’s sonatas. Admission will be by donation.

“Beethoven is a key figure in the history of music, best known for writing incredible music even though he went completely deaf,” points out the quartet’s pianist, John-Paul Ksiazek.

“He also represents the heroic age he lived in, when the French Revolution saw the beginning of the rise of the individual over authoritarian regimes that was to unfold throughout Europe over the next two centuries.”

Joining Ksiazek for the series are Airdrie Robinson on violin, Gabe Kastelic on viola and violin, and Christine Bootland on cello.

“Opus 4 wants to celebrate such an important, pivotal figure and show audiences how incredibly fun and enjoyable his chamber music is,” Ksiazek explains.

The program will include Beethoven’s Third Cello Concerto along with his Fourth Violin Concerto – “dark and stormy,” Ksiazek says – and his Eighth Violin Concerto – “the exact opposite, full of fun and good cheer.”

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Musical fun is always on offer in Gilbert and Sullivan’s famous creations. On Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, the comic operetta “The Gondoliers” will feature the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra with U of L Opera Workshop vocalists at Southminster United Church.

The fully costumed, family-friendly concert will be the ninth yearly collaboration between symphony conductor Glenn Klassen and music professor Blaine Hendsbee.

“Gilbert and Sullivan were prolific and hugely popular,” says symphony society spokesperson Melanie Gattiker. “They wrote hysterically funny stuff.”

Tickets for either night, 7:30 p.m., are available online at lethbridgesymphony.org or by calling 403-328-6808.

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For fun of a rather different kind, local businesses in the hospitality industry are making final preparations for the annual Food and Beverage Expo at Exhibition Park next Saturday.

The 18 years-plus event showcases many Lethbridge restaurants, pubs and suppliers – as well as the amazing range of products made across Alberta. And The Herald is offering admission tickets for a bargain price; call 403-328-4433 before they’re gone!

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For something a little more relaxing, local audiences are offered a no-charge series of French films at the U of L. Popcorn, refreshments – and English subtitles – will be on tap Jan. 27 to 31, during the sixth annual film week presented by the university’s French Language Centre.

Presentations will begin each day at 6:30 p.m. in room PE 261 in the 1st Choice Savings Centre, and there will also be a 4:30 p.m. screening with pizza on the final day.

In the opening day comedy/drama, “Ce qui nous lie,” three siblings try to save the family’s vineyard. In “Le Brio” on Jan. 28, another comedy/drama sees a professor known for his outbursts trying to mentor an angry student.

A documentary, “Geographie humaine” paints a portrait of the busy Gare du Nord, on Jan. 29. In “Le Coeur regulier” on Jan. 30, a woman shocked by her brother’s death retraces his footsteps to Japan.

And at 4:30 p.m. on closing day, an animation – “Le Grand mechant renard et autre contes” – will tell tales about a fox that mothers a family of chicks, a duck who wants to be Santa … and more.

The evening show, “Inch Allah” is the story of a Canadian doctor living in Israel and taking care of pregnant Palestinian women in a refugee camp.

The presentations are free, with everyone invited.

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No lack of last-minute possibilities:

The Lethbridge Antique and Toy Show and Sale is opening this morning, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and again Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Italian Canadian hall on St. Edward Boulevard North. Admission is $4, with 12 and under free.

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Tonight the Lethbridge Folk Club presents Celtata, with doors opening at 7:30 p.m. at The Cave, Lethbridge College, with tickets at the door.

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Also today, the Troyanda Ukrainian Dance Club celebrates “Malanka,” a traditional New Year’s celebration at the German Canadian Hall. Doors will open at 4:30 p.m. with a performance at 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner and a dance. Check for tickets by calling 403-315-3492.

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On Monday, the Cade Community Talks continue with U of L art historian Anne Dymond explaining how the life of contemporary artist and activist Ai Weiwei has convinced her that “beauty is action.”

The no-charge series, open to all interested, is presented in the downtown library’s Theatre Gallery starting at 7:30 p.m.

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On Thursday, the university’s PUBlic Professor series will present kinesiology professor Carly Adams speaking about her oral projects – including one relating to the Nikkei community in southern Alberta following the Second World War. It’s open to all interested, set for 7 to 9 p.m. in the Sandman Signature Lethbridge Lodge with free admission, snacks and a cash bar.

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