Barcelona Opera Orchestra concert master arrives at Knox United Church in Parksville
The concert master of the Barcelona Opera Orchestra will visit the Knox United Church in Parksville (345 Pym St.) for two performances of classical music on August 2 and 3.
Kai Gleusteen, who has been playing the violin for about 50 years, will be joined by his wife Catherine Ordronneau on piano, Beth Root Sandvoss on cello, Dan Scholz on viola and Sharon Stanis on violin for the Kaimerata Chamber Music Festival series, presented by the Oceanside Classical Concert Society (OCCS).
This year, the Kaimerata Chamber Music Festival will perform the works of Tchaikovsky, the Russian classical composer known for works such as Swan Lake, Nutcracker and the 1812 Opening. Both performances will feature Tchaikovsky, but with unique setlists.
“The idea being that the protagonist is the composer. I explain a bit, hoping that the public enters the world and the language of the composer,” said Gleusteen.
Gleusteen, originally from Calgary, spends half the year in Spain with the orchestra and the other half on tour, including stops on Denman Island where his parents reside.
He studied in the United States and decided he would rather live in Europe than in New York. After nine years in Paris, he was invited to audition to conduct the Barcelona orchestra in 1999, where he has lived ever since. The Gran Teatre del Liceu Symphony Orchestra is Spain’s oldest orchestra, giving its first performance in 1847, according to its website.
“I said to myself: ‘it’s the life, the sea, the weather’,” said Gleusteen, who added that he loved the people and the excellent weather for cycling in Spain.
It was in Barcelona in 2011 that the Kaimerata Chamber Music Festival began. They’ve brought the festival to Denman for nearly a decade, as well as appearances around the island, according to Gleusteen, who said he had been thinking about a gig in Parksville for some time and got in touch with the OCCS.
“We are very happy to bring him to Parksville.”
Besides Tchaikovsky, performances will feature composers such as Schnitke, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff and Shostakovich.
The inspiration for this year’s theme was a friend from Denman Island who for years had been asking Gleusteen when he would play the Tchaikovsky Piano Trio.
“I kept postponing and I thought, okay next summer we’ll do it for him, he’s 95,” Gleusteen said. “We are finally going to have a Tchaikovsky year.”
Both performances begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 for one night and $50 for a two-night pass and can be found at kaimerata.com or purchased with cash at the door.
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Arts and cultureClassical musicParksville