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Sunday 15 September 2019
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Sinfonia opens season with ‘Rhapsody’

THE NATIONAL Sinfonia Orchestra (NSO) will open it’s fifth season of performances with Malaysian concert pianist Sothie Paul-Duraisamy, at Queen’s Hall on Sunday at 6 pm. This concert, under the patronage of President George Maxwell Richards, represents the third pairing of this celebrated pianist and Trinidad’s foremost symphonic orchestra. This year they will play together the popular Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” This work, the first of its kind to incorporate the jazz idiom into the Concert Hall, received instant acceptance into the piano repertoire and is one of the most recorded of all piano concertos.

Duraisamy has performed in concerts around the world but professes a fondness for performing in Trinidad. The Rhapsody is one of her favourite performing pieces, and she constantly returns to Trinidad to perform for local audiences who are still thrilled with her last Rhapsody — the Rhapsody on a “Theme of Paganini” performed with the NSO two years ago. Since then she has been concertising — most recently in Bangalore, India and Perth, Australia.

Trinidadian clarinettist Kwame Lewis, now resident in Boston, will also join the orchestra to perform the “Weber Concertino for Clarinet and Orchestra” to celebrate the attainment of his Dip ABRSM in clarinet performance. Lewis is a former music director of the QRC Scout Band. Among other works on the programme will be the equally popular “Elgar Pomp and Circumstance March” with the theme that is played at so many graduation ceremonies; and two Mark Loquan calypsos: “Colours Again” and “Nostalgia,” which have been arranged for pan by Liam Teague and transcribed for orchestra by American Gary Gibson.

In a review of Festival Arts Chorale production of The Sound of Music, one reviewer commented that the NSO, directed by Jessel Murray, “sounded like a recording of a CD” — a testament to the growing calibre of the playing of this group. The NSO is currently in a rigorous workshop at the Department of Creative and Festival Arts, UWI with tutors from the United States. This group, managed by the Orchestral Society of Trinidad and Tobago, continues to provide the finest age appropriate repertoire for this intergenerational orchestra.

Tickets, reasonably priced at $125 are available at Queen’s Hall Box Office (621-5102); Joyce E Ali and Company Ltd (624-3037); and Sanch Electronix (663-1384).

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