Any concerns people might have about a guest conductor leading the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra during Saturday night’s performance of Affairs of the Heart are unfounded.
Truth is, Martin MacDonald does a fine job filling in for music director Bruce Dunn, who is taking the night off and letting MacDonald lead the orchestra and soloist Judy Kang.
MacDonald, who is visiting from Toronto, displayed a different — if not more energetic — style during a preview at The Sagebrush Theatre on Friday afternoon, but the end result is still a lovely classical performance.
He and Kang, a violinist trained at the Julliard School of Music in New York, take the KSO on a musical journey that utilizes classical pieces past and present, but combines them flawlessly into one whole.
Affairs of the Heart includes a signature symphony by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, an iconic piece by Franz Joseph Hayden, and a newer symphony by Canadian composer Marjan Mozetich.
Kang is front and centre for the Mozetich piece, a sensuous, evocative violin concerto that unravels in musical peaks and valleys.
Most striking is the way the orchestra’s instruments interact with Kang’s. Her violin projects a sharp, haunting sound while her accompaniment fills in the gaps with a steady sound that builds to a crescendo.
Kang manipulates her instrument with speed and vibrancy. Listeners can almost hear each string as it’s plucked.
The other instruments form a seamless sound, with the bows almost hovering over the strings, making a silent transition from string to string.
Even without Dunn, Affairs of the Heart is a signature KSO show and one classical fans are guaranteed to enjoy.
Tickets for tonight’s show can be purchased through Kamloops Live! Box Office by phoning 250-374-5483 or online at kamloopslive.ca. Affairs of the Heart begins at 7:30 p.m.