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P.E.I. Symphony Orchestra features special guest conductor

Dina Gilbert will be the guest conductor at a P.E.I. Symphony concert set for Sunday at Zion Presbyterian Church.
Dina Gilbert will be the guest conductor at a P.E.I. Symphony concert set for Sunday at Zion Presbyterian Church. - Contributed

Dina Gilbert to lead the musicians at Sunday concert in Charlottetown


Following the stirring performance of Prokofiev's rousing Symphony No. 5 and an appearance by special guest David Myles last November, the P.E.I. Symphony Orchestra will be launching its first concert of 2019 on Feb. 24, 2:30 p.m., at Zion Presbyterian Church in Charlottetown.

Entitled “New Directions”, the concert features its guest conductor, Dina Gilbert, who is the music director of l’Orchestre symphonique de l’Estuaire, the Montreal-based chamber orchestra Ensemble Arkea and the Kamloops Symphony. Known for her energy, precision and versatility, she brings to classical music audiences an innate feeling and curiosity towards classical and non-classical musical genres.

This program also features the winner of the annual Suzanne Brenton Award, violinist Judy Yun. The award is sponsored by the PEISO each year through the Kiwanis Provincial Music Festival. Through a competitive process, an exceptionally talented music student is selected through adjudication to receive a cash prize, and the winner is given the opportunity to perform as soloist with the orchestra. Yun will perform one of Mozart’s most familiar pieces, his “Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major”.

The program will also feature “Dances of Galánta” by Zoltán Kodály, a piece inspired by folk music from Kodály’s native Hungary, and “Peer Gynt Suite No. 1” by Edvard Grieg.

In addition, the PEISO is performing the Canadian premiere of “Symphony No. 1” by French composer Pierre Wissmer. Though Wissmer (who died in 1992) is not well known in North America, he left a large and diverse body of works, including instrumental music, chamber and concert music, vocal and choral works, opera, musical theatre, incidental music, ballets, music for radio and television, a film score and music for symphonic orchestras.

A free pre-concert chat with Gilbert and Yun will be hosted by the PEISO’s president, Bruce Craig. It will take place prior to the concert at 1:30 p.m. in the upstairs Youth Chapel at Zion Church. The informal chat provides the guest artists the opportunity to share with the audience their insights and personal take on the music to be performed.

A limited number of free youth tickets are available through the orchestra’s John Clement Memorial Fund. Call the PEISO office at 902-892-4333 or email for details.

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