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New Violin Concerto to premiere at St. Paul's Anglican

STU BEAUDOIN, Special to The Standard

On Saturday, May 13th, at 4 p.m. at St. Paul's Anglican Church in Uxbridge, the Orpheus Symphonietta, directed by Stu Beaudoin and violin soloist Joyce Lai, will premiere a new violin concerto. It was written by Stuart Beaudoin as a gift to Joyce Lai. The work was completed just prior to COVID in 2020. It has waited three years to be performed.

The premiere of a new work, like an art showing or new theatre production, is the first time the creator of the composition has heard it in the hands of performers. It is also the first time it has been shared with the public; it is no longer the possession of the composer. Up to that point, only the composer knows what to expect or perhaps how it should sound. However, once it is in the hand of the performers, they add their own unique sound and interpretation to the notation of the composer.

Joyce Lai comments: "As classical musicians, much of our standard repertoire and favourite music pieces are composed between 100 to 300 hundred years ago. We play this on our, sometimes as old as 250 years, instruments, and we pass this wonderfully rich tradition on to our children, watching as their eyes light up when they discover a work by Beethoven or Rachmaninoff for the first time. While the preservation of the music of these giant composers is necessary and a luxurious gift given the music's mind-blowing timeless nature, it is also extremely important for the progress of the art that new creations and composers are being encouraged. This is why it is such a wonderful opportunity, and still somewhat rare when something as significant as a new violin concerto is composed.

"As a violinist, I am still in awe of the magnitude of the many standard concertos in our repertoire, having grown up toiling over them, listening to other peers warm up with them before rehearsals, and the excitement of the stories behind their first performances or knowing the dedications to the iconic violinists who gave them. These premieres or dedications included huge names such as Leopold Auer (Tchaikovsky Violin concerto was originally intended for him), Joseph Joachim (Brahms and Bruch Violin Concertos), Fritz Kreisler (Elgar Violin Concerto), Jascha Heifetz (Walton Violin Concerto), and David Oistrakh (Shostakovich Violin Concerto) just to name a few!

"I am greatly honoured to be gifted such an epic work, 45 minutes long, by Stuart Beaudoin. Having played a number of Beaudoin's smaller works, I begin to recognize his musical style, which, while distinctively modern, is also very accessible. The concerto is filled with haunting melodies, whimsical and playful motifs, [and] rich brass writing, all ending with a rip-roaring final section of rhythmic triplets and presto sixteenths. I am excited to be part of this history-making with its premiere on Saturday, May 13th, 2023."

Cost is $20 at the door and children are free. St. Paul's Anglican Church is located at 59 Toronto Street South, in Uxbridge.

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