Vancouver Island Symphony harpist Lani Krantz will perform Canadian composer Rachel Laurin’s new Suite for Harp and String Quartet at the Port Theatre on Oct. 23. (Photo courtesy Heydemann Art of Photography)

Vancouver Island Symphony harpist Lani Krantz will perform Canadian composer Rachel Laurin’s new Suite for Harp and String Quartet at the Port Theatre on Oct. 23. (Photo courtesy Heydemann Art of Photography)

Vancouver Island Symphony kicks off new season at the Port Theatre

‘Friendship’ program pairs new Canadian composition with Mozart quintet

The Vancouver Island Symphony is kicking off its 2021-22 season with the premiere of a new work by a Canadian composer.

On Oct. 23 the VIS presents ‘Friendship’ at the Port Theatre. The program includes two pieces, Suite for Harp and String Quartet by Quebec-based composer Rachel Laurin and Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet in A major.

Lani Krantz and Christopher Lee will provide the harp and clarinet, respectively, and both musicians will be accompanied by a string quartet composed of violinists Calvin Dyck and Samuel Tsui, violist Manti Poon and cellist Min Jee Yoon.

Krantz said she isn’t daunted by the notion of playing a new composition for the first time, although “there is definitely extra work that goes into the preparation for a new work.”

“The composer is listening so there is perhaps more interest in performing the piece as close to the composer’s vision as possible. But more pressure? Not really,” she said in an e-mail. “Every time we take to the stage we want the audience to have the best listening experience we can provide and this is not different for a premiere or a piece that many are familiar with.”

Krantz said the suite contains a number of different themes and musical content and provides “so many gorgeous, reflective and joyous moments” for the listener.

“But if I were to sum up the whole piece with adjectives? Accessible; the writing is a perfect mix of complex and enjoyable to listen to. Intricate; there is a beautiful and balanced communication among the instruments. Beautiful; the second movement is a theme and variations on one of my favourite tunes, the beautiful Down by the Salley Gardens,” she said.

Throughout the 2021-22 season the VIS is offering its concerts in-person and online due to COVID-19-related attendance limits at the Port Theatre. Krantz said she looks forward to reaching more people through the new format.

“It has been incredible to be a part of the digital season our arts community launched into when live shows were put on pause,” she said. “It has been strange and wonderful to try to find the best ways to connect when we couldn’t be together in person. But I am so thankful for the chance now to do both.”

WHAT’S ON … Vancouver Island Symphony presents Friendship at the Port Theatre, 125 Front St., on Oct. 23 at 5 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets $27 to $54 for adults, $20 for students, available from the Port Theatre.

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