The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra will launch three new annual events during its 95th anniversary season, promising to "permanently transform Vancouver's musical landscape." The VSO officially announced its 2013-14 season on Tuesday.
The VSO Spring Festival will focus on the works of a composer or musical era, launching with a celebration of Sergei Rachmaninoff – who performed with the VSO in 1927. Pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk will perform all five of the composer's works for piano and orchestra with the VSO, as well as other music by Rachmaninoff and his contemporaries in four concerts at the Orpheum in late March and early April. Each evening will include pre-concert talks with conductor and VSO music director Bramwell Tovey, and post-concert Deconstructing Rachmaninoff discussions.
The Pacific Rim Celebration will focus on different cultures each year. Next February, the VSO will mark the Year of the Horse with a Chinese New Year concert featuring conductor Long Yu, artistic director of the China Philharmonic and music director of the Shanghai and Guangzhou Symphony Orchestras. The program will include a premiere by the Chinese composer Tan Dun. And a Celebrate Korea concert will feature renowned Korean-American violinist Sarah Chang, along with local Korean musicians and choirs.
Finally, the annual New Music Festival will feature a different visiting international composer each year, as well as works by Canadian composers and the VSO composer-in-residence. The inaugural festival next January will include works by Australian composer and violist Brett Dean, Canadian composers Jennifer Butler, Jocelyn Morlock and John Oliver, and VSO composer-in-residence Edward Top.