Local pianist Erik Lin may have only been playing for four years, but on Aug. 3 he’ll have the opportunity to show his skills to a crowd of more than 45,000 at the Inner Harbour for Symphony Splash.
At nine years old, Lin will be the youngest soloist to ever grace the floating stage when he performs Haydn’s Piano Concerto in C.
Despite his young age, Lin has already made a splash in Victoria’s classical music scene. He made his solo debut in 2010, at the age of five, performing at the Union Club’s Enchanted Keys for a Summer’s Eve concert. Since then, he’s performed for the Victoria Conservatory of Music, the David Foster Foundation, the Fairmont Empress Hotel, and recently received a runner-up award at the B.C. Performing Arts Festival.
Music director and maestro Tania Miller introduced the young virtuoso to the public at the Marriot Inner Harbour Hotel, where he played a piece by Chopin.
“I love piano because you can play freely, there’s no limit to what you can do – other than your hands,” Lin said.
Classical music fans will have reason to celebrate as Symphony Splash adds a few flourishes for their 25th anniversary.
The Vox Humana Chamber Choir will accompany the orchestra for a performance of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, marking the first time that vocals have been incorporated into the event. A suite of compositions from video games will also be performed to appeal to the younger crowd.
“As an outdoor experience, Symphony Splash really lends itself to a variety of attendees,” Miller said. “The music reflects that – they’re pieces that resonate with all audiences. The video game music was chosen to appeal with the younger audience, just like (Tchaikovsky’s) Swan Lake appeals with older listeners.”
Miller said that the music was also specifically chosen to set a tone for the landmark anniversary. The first half will invoke a “street party” atmosphere, while the second half will be an “epic swell of emotion, pride and nostalgia” building to the familiar finale of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, which has concluded Symphony Splash every year.
The silver anniversary of Symphony Splash also coincides with the centennial of the First World War, and the Canadian Scottish Regiment Pipe and Drum Band will be performing The Unknown Warrior, an original piece commemorating veterans.
Other groups performing include tribute band The Timebenders and the Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy.
The Empress Hotel will also host a family zone on their lawn, which will include an “instrument petting zoo” where young guests can try playing various instruments.
Make a date
Symphony Splash will take place at the Inner Harbour on Aug. 3 at 7:30 p.m.
A family zone will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. on the Empress Hotel lawn, and will feature an instrument petting zoo, face painting and other activities.
Tribute band The Timebenders will open the performance at 4 p.m. on Belleville Street, where street dancing will also be held.