Classical music is not dead


“Classical music is not dead”. That’s the thought that came to mind when I arrived at Deer Lake Park in Burnaby on July 14 for the 25th Annual Symphony in the Park featuring the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

I was shocked at HOW MANY people there were at the park (estimated 10,000!). The tourist board of Burnaby were not kidding with this: “Be sure to come early, bring a blanket, pack a picnic and settle in for a wonderful evening with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra”. And what a diverse group – young, old, families, teens!

I also unfortunately did not read: “Please note that parking in the vicinity is limited, so alternate transportation is recommended.”     This meant I wasted 15 minutes in a futile attempt to find parking, and ending up parking in a residential area off Canada Way (approx. 20 min walk from the park!).

But it was all worth it because it was a beautiful, warm and sunny evening, with the lake behind the stage, and the Shadbolt Centre on the opposite end. Ice cream, hot dog, drinks, mini-donut stands were set up, along with appropriate police and ambulance attendants. (see below)

Deer lake personal 2

Here’s an idea of how many people there were:

Deer lake panoramaThe program was a mix of very well-known pieces, including Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, previously performed at the same venue and by the same pianist, Avan Yu,  11 years ago.The VSO also performed the 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky, which has been performed over 12 times at Symphony in the Park, the most of any piece!

The symphony was directed by Gordon Gerrard, the VSO’s Assistant Conductor.

It was evident that Avan was very comfortable returning to Deer Lake to perform, and the audience loved him. He is below in a white tuxedo, while Gordon was in black.

Deer Lake close upAvan came back for an encore, and played “The Flight of the Bumblebee” by Rimsky-Korsakov, which clearly demonstrated his lightning quick fingers and technical skill.

Quick Quiz (answer in the comments section): What piece is this excerpt from?

After the concert, there were fireworks!  What a fantastic way to enjoy music for free!

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3 thoughts on “Classical music is not dead

  1. nice blog ^_^ yes, it isn’t dead, but like any music, it needs to be learned in order for it to be enjoyed.. like beattles and elvis were disgusting when they first came out, many parents disapproved them. they were THE music then. now we find beattles and elvis a bit awkward too, and we prefer to listen to our rihanna’s and beyoncés; otherwise it’ll be just a bit boring.

    i learned classical music through high school, and lately resparked by my friend who is a pianist. then, i tagged along to so many concerts, almost twice a month, and then i understood and fell in love again. classical music is a spectacular treasure, it is the foundation to our music today. but it has to be discovered to be enjoyed. but surely, it’ll outlast the best of the beattles, elvis, or justin biebers, ^_^

    1. Thanks for the comment! I agree that the more you understand music (whatever genre), the more appreciation you have for it, and it more it moves you! Glad to hear you’re getting back into Classical again 🙂

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