Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Concert honours Selkirk settlers

Program provides beautiful tribute

  • Print

In a program dedicated to the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the Selkirk settlers in Manitoba from Scotland, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra presented a concert entitled Scottish Symphony: A Selkirk Settlers Celebration.

In contrast to the history of the occasion, both guest conductor and piano soloist for Friday night's performance were astonishingly young. American conductor Joshua Weilerstein is just 24, and already assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic. His youth was surpassed by Italian pianist Beatrice Rana, 19, winner of the Montreal International Music Competition in 2011.

In true pioneering spirit, Friday's audience was the first to sample Sid Robinovitch's four-movement Red River, written for this concert. Commissioned by the Seven Oaks Historical Society for the anniversary, the work is a historical tableau of the early days on the Red. Opening with an air of anticipation and adventure, the first movement colourfully portrays the river's flow and the creatures near it as expertly executed by the woodwinds, glockenspiel and harp. Weilerstein's direction was fluid and confident, as if he'd conducted this many times.

The second movement is excitingly urgent, full of rhythmic drive in the low brass and timpani. But the third movement, Reminiscence, truly touches the heart. A simple but beautiful melody was played with tenderness by harpist Richard Turner and enhanced by Jan Kocman on flute and Cristian Markos on cello. This is a true gem of a piece that we will want to hear often.

Rana took us by gentle storm in Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major Op. 15. She played with a luminescent lightness that showcases the lovely simplicity of the central melody. Cascading runs rippled from her fingers -- the perfect foil for the orchestra's power. Rana's style is one of pristine clarity, crafting every note into its own separate little jewel.

The Largo was achingly lovely, Rana approaching it with great patience, giving it a deliberate, thoughtful reading. She breathed her interpretation into the music with soft hands and a calm touch. Weilerstein conducted the finale with jaunty vigour and the orchestra responded. Rana made this movement sing and while one might ask for a little more fire from her at times, this was nonetheless a flawless performance.

At press time, the program was concluding with Mendelssohn's Symphony No.3 in A minor (Scottish). Weilerstein infused the opening movement with life, evocative of roiling water. The WSO charged forward fearlessly, quieted down for a moment for some woodwind cameos, then grew stormy again. This was a spine-tingling rendering.

The concert repeats this evening at 8 p.m. and, weather permitting, at 3 p.m. Sunday in Brandon.

Scottish Symphony: A Selkirk Settlers Celebration

Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra

Centennial Concert Hall

Nov. 9 Attendance: 828

Four stars out of five

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 10, 2012 A29

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Trouba talks about injury and potential for Jets

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Korea Veterans Association stained glass window at Deer Lodge Centre. Dedication with Minister of Veterans Affairs Dr. Rey Pagtakhan. March 12, 2003.
  • JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Local- A large osprey lands in it's nest in a hydro pole on Hyw 59  near the Hillside Beach turnoff turn off. Osprey a large narrow winged hawk which can have a wingspan of over 54 inches are making a incredible recovery since pesticide use of the 1950's and  1960's- For the last two decades these fish hawks have been reappearing in the Lake Winnipeg area- Aug 03, 2005

View More Gallery Photos


Are you concerned about the number of homicides so far this year?

View Results

Ads by Google