VSO offers Gershwin, by one of Canada’s finest

Ian Parker -
Ian Parker
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A month after reaching cosmic heights, the Cowichan Symphony Society is settling for merely legendary.

Hot on the heels of lat November's acclaimed Tafelmusik Orchestra's space-themed Music of the Spheres, the society is bringing back its staple act, the Victoria Symphony, to indulge in the work of the legendary George Gershwin.

"All are invited to chase away those winter blues with a fantastic performance ofGershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, to be played by one of Canada's greatest living pianists Ian Parker, states the society's promotional material.

"Magnetic, easy-going and delightfully articulate, Parker captivates audiences wherever he goes."

Born in Vancouver to a family of pianists, Parker began his  studies at age three. He holds both the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, where he was a student of Yoheved Kaplinsky. While at Juilliard, the Canada Council for the Arts awarded him the Sylva Gelber Career Grant, which is given annually to the "most talented Canadian artist."

The first prize winner at the 2001 CBC National Radio Competition, Parker has also won the grand prize at the Canadian National Music Festival, the Corpus Christie International  Competition and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Competition.

At  Juilliard, he received the 2002 William Petschek Piano Debut Award and, on two occasions, was the winner of the Gina Bachauer Piano Scholarship Competition.

In addition to Gershwin, VSO conductor Tania Miller will also put her charges through popular romantic classics by Rimsky-Korsakov (Capriccio Espagnol), Bartok (Miraculous Mandarin Suite) and Borodin (two Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor).

The music will fill the Cowichan Theatre, Friday, Jan. 18, starting at 7:30 p.m. Call

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