Irish-Canadian conductor Kevin Mallon returns to Symphony Nova Scotia to lead the orchestra in the Music of the Titanic Era tonight at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium in Halifax, starting at 7.30pm.
Mallon will lead the symphony in this colourful, Irish-influenced concert, following the hugely popular renditions of Handel’s “Dublin” Messiah. This concert will commemorate the popular and classical music that defined the end of an era, including Nearer My God to Thee, the devotional hymn suspected to be the last song played on board the night of the ship’s sinking.
“What I appreciate about this concert is that it draws a direct connection between Belfast, where I grew up, and Halifax,” says Mallon. “In both places, the Titanic is a huge part of their heritage – the ship was built in Belfast, and many who lost their lives are buried in Halifax. So to have the chance to come to Nova Scotia to conduct music from this era is really touching for me. I have a deep connection with early 20th century music, and I’m happy to be able to perform this music with Symphony Nova Scotia.”
One of the pieces to be performed during this concert is Edward Elgar’s Violin Concerto, a 50-minute concerto which will be performed by Symphony Nova Scotia Concertmaster Robert Uchida, in the Symphony’s first-ever performance of this concerto. Uchida says of the piece:
“The Elgar Violin Concerto is one of the great masterpieces of the violin repertoire though rarely played due to its great length and technical difficulty. It begins with the Spanish dedication, which translates as: ‘Herein is enshrined the soul of ..... (1910).’ This beautiful idea of somehow encapsulating the soul of someone Elgar cared for deeply is the epitome of Romanticism, and the music reflects that. It is the kind of music that reaches out and embraces you in warm feelings of England, nature, and love, and it is manifested through its lyricism, harmonies, and colour. I look forward to sharing this music with you!”