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SSO bids farewell to winter

By: Sudbury Northern Life Staff

 | Mar 25, 2014 - 1:55 PM |
Sheng Cai, an award winning young pianist, will be featured in  Sudbury Symphony Orchestra's March 29 performance. Supplied photo.

Sheng Cai, an award winning young pianist, will be featured in Sudbury Symphony Orchestra's March 29 performance. Supplied photo.

What do the snow and Sudbury Symphony Orchestra have in common? Both should shortly be pulling disappearing acts as the orchestra presents one of its more unique musical experiences with the “Farewell” Symphony March 29.

Franz Joseph Haydn wrote his Symphony No. 45, nicknamed the “Farewell” Symphony, as a subtle form of labour protest after a longer-than-usual summer kept Haydn and his musicians from returning home to their families.


The Farewell Symphony was their way of telling their employer it was time to leave, with orchestra members leaving the stage a few at a time, until only two members remain. After this long winter, many of the musicians playing will surely be hoping they can deliver the same message to Old Man Winter and all the snow piled up around the city.

“This is probably one of the only pieces in classical music — if not the only piece — where members of the orchestra will leave the auditorium before the audience,” SSO executive director Dawn Cattapan stated. “The choreography and disappearing orchestra adds a fun element to the music and is worth coming for on its own.”

Sheng Cai, an award winning young pianist, will kick off the 8 p.m. performance with Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 under the direction of Maestro Victor Sawa. This brilliant showpiece will have the musicians of the SSO performing a work guaranteed to excite the audience as it moves between raging fury and delicate melodies.

With this concerto, Liszt achieved one of his major artistic goals — to extend the expression and tone of the piano to the full limits of possibilities.

A rising romantic virtuoso, Cai immigrated from China to Toronto with his family when he was 11. Turning heads almost immediately with his skill at the piano, he won competition after competition, becoming the youngest person ever to win both the Toronto and Montreal Symphony piano contests. Just over a decade after arriving in Canada, he has been praised for his expressive style and now makes his Sudbury Symphony debut.

Tickets for the performance begin at $13, and are available by contacting the SSO at 705-673-1280 or online at sudburysymphony.com.

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