By Pamela Roth
When Tania Miller talks about classical music, her voice bubbles with excitement.
As the musical director for the Victoria Symphony, Miller has a lot to be excited about as the organization celebrates its 75th anniversary this season.
In order to mark the special occasion, Miller has planned an exciting array of concerts that celebrate the symphony’s history. The orchestra, composed of 55 performers, kicks off the season Sept. 21 with special guests, Naden Band. Miller describes the performance as a huge gala with extra brass, woodwind and saxophone.
“In the early days, the military made up over half the orchestra as the orchestra built up its beginning roots,” said Miller. “Almost every concert has some sort of exciting historical perspective to it.”
Some concerts this season will bring performers who’ve been important soloists with the orchestra over the years, such as conductor Yannick Nezet-Seguin and violinist James Ethnes. Well-known cellist Yo-Yo Ma will make his first debut with the symphony in early December.
At the end of March, the orchestra will embark upon its first Canadian tour, performing in Quebec City, Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver before returning to Victoria.
“We’re very thrilled. We really feel the Victoria Symphony is a special orchestra,” said Miller. “It’s an extraordinary artistic organization that we are very proud of and we want Canadians to know.”
Another special event planned this season will have all five Beethoven piano concerti performed in one weekend by Canadian pianist Angela Cheng. Each one of the pieces is monstrous on its own, noted Miller. The season wraps up with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.
This year marks Millers 13th season with the symphony. For Miller, there’s no better feeling than performing classical music with the magic of an orchestra.
“I love the sense of truly being able to express myself as an artist, not just with the music, but the whole orchestra,” she said. “It’s an opportunity to just feel something and experience something where you don’t need words. You just need to listen and it changes all of us.”
For more information on tickets and concerts this season visit victoriasymphony.ca.