Season Finale


The Valley Concert Society closes its 2021/22 season on Tuesday, May 31, when violinist James
Ehnes performs at the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium with two esteemed colleagues.

Cellist Bion Tsang has enjoyed a stellar career performing as guest soloist with major orchestras
along with numerous chamber music appearances. Tsang gave the U.S. premiere of Tan Dun’s
Crouching Tiger Concerto for Cello Solo and Chamber Orchestra in Atlanta’s Symphony Hall.
There has been a change of pianists. Adam Neiman has fallen ill and been replaced by Andrew
Armstrong. Armstrong is a brilliant musician in his own right and is a frequent collaborator with
James Ehnes. The pair has released ten recordings which include major collections of music by
Beethoven and Bartok. He is also the Director of two chamber music programs, one in South
Carolina, the other in Wisconsin.

The trio will conclude their performance on Tuesday with Tchaikovsky’s deeply moving Piano
Trio in A minor, the composer’s homage to Nikolai Rubinstein, his mentor and friend.
Before the intermission they will play Dvorak’s Piano Trio in E minor, better known as his
Dumky Trio. The name is the plural of dumka, a folk genre that was originally Ukrainian but
became very popular in Poland and Bohemia in the late nineteenth century. The word means
“fleeting thought”; the music carried the emotion of a lament. It then became common to
intersperse the melancholy melodies with wildly exuberant dance music.

You will hear those contrasting emotions throughout the trio’s six dumkas. The movements
move on quickly with very little pause between them. The fifth dumka ends with a dramatic
finish. It feels like the piece is over, but then the final dumka begins. Its theme is a little two-note
alternating pattern that emulates a schoolyard taunt.

The evening will open with the presentation of the first Beth Nickel Memorial String Award.
Beth Nickel was a professional violist and a respected music teacher in the community. She
passed away last year after falling ill with cancer. The family created an endowment in her
memory to support string music students. The Valley Concert Society assisted with the selection
process and is honoured to host the presentation of the award.

The Valley Concert Society will unveil its new season of concerts. It is with renewed optimism
that we look forward to six exciting new programs, along with a resumption of all our popular
features such as subscriptions, reserved seating, pre-concert talks, and intermission goodies.
Tickets for this remarkable final program are available online at .
They cost $28 for adults and $15 for students.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Doors will open at
6:45 p.m. For more information call 604-289-3377.

I look forward to seeing you at the concert.

John Wiebe

The Valley Concert Society