On Wednesday morning, February 5, members of the Donors’ Circle were treated to a pre-chat by veteran broadcaster Eric Friesen, followed by an Open Rehearsal of Parker Plays Mendelssohn. Approximately 300 donors filled the Panorama Room for an informative and animated talk about the program which included works by R. Murray Schafer, Mendelssohn and Schumann.
Friesen explained that the first piece, Dream-e-scape, imagined what dreams might sound like. It was composed by R. Murray Schafer, commissioned by the National Arts Centre and received its first performance on May 21, 2009. Schafer, who celebrated his 80th birthday in July, was in the audience for that evening’s performance which was a tribute to his life and career.
Next on the program was Mendelssohn’s Concerto No. 1 for Piano, which Friesen stated was sure to captivate and entertain the audience. Friesen said that pianist Jon Kimura Parker “has the life force” and that “joy shines out of him”.
Lastly Friesen discussed Schumann’s Symphony No. 4 (which was actually his second symphony but it was revised). This symphony is considered the most unified of his symphonies, and provides a sense of what Schumann might have become had he lived longer.
At the conductor’s podium was Hanna Lintu. This would mark the incredibly focused Chief Conductor of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra’s third appearance with the NAC Orchestra.
During the talk, Friesen was thrilled to plug the recently launched radio station Winnipeg’s Classic 107, of which he is host. Based on their reaction, this arts and culture loving crowd was equally thrilled to hear that one of their favourite speaker’s was bringing more classical music to the airwaves.
A special thank you to our Open Rehearsal and Preview Sponsor, Rob Marland, Royal LePage Performance Realty who makes these sessions possible for NAC Foundation donors.