The storied Symphony of the Kootenays opens its 2015/16 season — and marks its 40th anniversary — with a brace of concerts this weekend in Nelson and Cranbrook.
The Symphony, under the direction of Music and Artistic Director Jeff Faragher, will be presenting works by Malcolm Forsyth, Mozart, and Johannes Brahms.
And the Brahms piece will feature a special guest — Natasha Hall — returning to her hometown of Nelson and the East Kootenay as violin soloist.
Hall is currently living in London, England, and playing with the English Chamber Orchestra.
“It’s probably one of the world’s most famous Chamber orchestras — I think it’s the world’s most recorded Chamber orchestras,” Hall told the Townsman in an interview this week. “They’ve made some of the great recordings, for sure. They play a wide range of music — mostly classical, a lot of Mozart, Hayden, some Beethoven. We also play some bigger repertoire.
“It’s also one of the world’s most travelled orchestras, so we get to play all over the world.”
Hall come home specifically for the Symphony of the Kootenays concerts this weekend — Saturday in her hometown of Nelson and Sunday at the Key City Theatre in Cranbrook — as guest soloist during the performance of Brahms’ the Violin Concerto in D Major (opus 77).
“It’s one of my favourite concertos, I think,” Hall said. “It’s very unique, because it’s almost like a symphony with violin embellishment — as opposed to a more typical concerto, where there’s a violin line, and an orchestra’s accompanying.
“Sometimes I don’t even get the tune — in the second movement for example, the oboe opens it. It’s glorious. I only get a variation of it. It’s actually a big part for the oboe.”
Hall has played with Symphony of the Kootenays as a teenager — but this will be her first appearance as soloist.
“It’s really exciting,” she said. “This place is so beautiful, so to get to play some of my favourite music in such an incredible place is really special. The people here are so positive and everyone’s really excited about it.”
The Symphony will also be performing Jubilee Overture by Canadian composer Malcolm Forsyth, and the Jupiter Symphony by Mozart (Symphony 41 in C Major).
The Nelson concert is Saturday, Oct. 17, at 8 p.m. At the Capitol Theatre. The Sunday, Oct. 18, concert is 3 p.m. At the Key City Theatre at 3 p.m.