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Strathgartney Chamber Orchestra and Chorus presents concert

by Anne Bergstrom

Pianist Jacqueline Sorensen

The Strathgartney Chamber Orchestra & Choir, under the baton of Gerry Rutten, will be presenting a concert at Tryon United Church on November 19 at 7:30 pm. They will feature a varied program, with soloists Jacqueline Sorensen, piano, Sylvia Mutch, voice, and others.

Sorensen is “very excited about playing” with the orchestra. She most often performs in a supportive role as a collaborative pianist, or in chamber music working in an ensemble with others. She told me that “it is a rare privilege to perform as a solo pianist supported by an orchestra: an honour because it requires an invitation.” She is also especially pleased to be working with Gerry Rutten, who was her first band teacher at Englewood, and also her piano teacher for several years. She says, “His influence as a teacher helped to nurture and inspire me to pursue a life-long career in music.”

Sorensen will perform Franz Josef Haydn’s Concerto No. 11 in D Major, the only one of his keyboard concertos to be regularly performed. Its first movement is described as bright and energetic, the second expressive and ornate, while the third is based on a Croatian folk dance called Siri-Kolo. This demonstrates the Turkish influence which was in vogue with composers at the time. The playful cadenzas are by Haydn.

As a frequent accompanist, Sorensen is accustomed to the role of holding the performance together for the soloist. “For example, if the soloist skips a beat, then it is the accompanist’s job to make a smooth transition so the audience doesn’t notice. Historically, the pianist would also be the conductor, but today playing with a live orchestra, there is a separate conductor who keeps it all together…. The biggest challenge is focusing on the security and mastery of my own part, and interpreting /performing with more flair and flamboyance than the supportive roles I normally play.”

Vocalist Sylvia Mutch began studying music at Acadia University as a horn player, and decided to switch to classical voice. Her teacher there was Marie McCarthy, and she was also guided by Paula Rockwell and Susan Dworkin-MacInnis.

Mutch will be singing Sposa son disprezzata by Antonio Vivaldi, and Cuatro Madrigales Amatorios by Joaquin Rodrigo. She says, “The pieces I chose for this concert were pieces that I have a strong love for. The last time I performed the (Rodrigo songs), I was eight months pregnant and singing at the National Music Festival in Charlottetown. It is a very beautiful set and I can’t wait to bring it out again! The Vivaldi piece is one that I worked on for many months, but have never performed. I am equally excited to sing this one.”

The other Haydn works on the program will be one movement of the Symphony No. 87, and one movement of his Divertimento in G Major, with soloists Nancy Clement, Samantha Murphy, and Peter Mutch. Nancy Clement will play three movements of Vivaldi’s Concerto for Flute in F Major, as well as Carolan’s Farewell and Carolan’s Concerto. The Adagio in Sol mineur by Albinoni Giazotto will feature soloists Samantha Murphy, violin, and Rob Drew, guitar.


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