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SSO strikes a jazzy chord with local piano prodigy

SSO strikes a jazzy chord with local piano prodigy
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In his relatively short career, Friesen has quickly risen through the ranks of Canadian classical musicians. In 2017 he won the Shurniak Concerto competition and was recently named one of the Top 30 Hot Classical Musicians Under 30 by CBC Music. Friesen is currently studying at the Glenn Gould School in Toronto and has become an inspiration to many.

“I’m really excited about coming home for this show because it’s a crowd full of people who know me or know of me,” Friesen says. “There’s something really freeing about knowing all these people are behind me.”

“There’s something really freeing about knowing all these people are behind me.”

Godwin Friesen / Kjel Erickson
Godwin Friesen makes his solo debut with the SSO in this jazz infused show. (Kjel Erickson)

“Godwin knows that it’s more than just playing the notes,” says the SSO’s Megan Grier. “He’s able to interpret the music in a way that lets his color shine through and does it with the energy and joy of youth.”

Friesen will take to the stage at TCU Place Saturday Jan. 26, 2019 to prove how intertwined the two musical worlds are with Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major. Ravel was known to be obsessed with jazz music and composed the concerto after befriending George Gershwin in New York in the 1920s. It’s a piece Friesen says he loves to share with a crowd.

“I’m not making up the notes but I’m really trying to play it as if it were improvised, like jazz,” explains Friesen. “The Ravel Concerto is really expressive, joyful and bright. It’s the way I feel when I play it and I want to share that with the audience.”

Gordon Gerrard / Inna Yasinska
The Regina Symphony Orchestra’s Gordon Gerrard will take the podium for Ravel & Jazz. (Inna Yasinska)

This performance will also feature the debut of the Regina Symphony Orchestra’s Music Director Gordon Gerrard at the podium. Gerrard will continue the jazz/classical celebration with pieces like Milhaud’s Création du Monde also inspired by the jazz scene of New York in the 1920s. The evening’s performance will round out with two Canadian pieces, Glenn Buhr’s Winter Poems and Malcolm Forsyth’s Atayoskewin.

SSO – Ravel & Jazz

Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019

TCU Place

7:30 p.m.

Tickets $34 – $73

Click here for ticket info.

Britainy Zapshalla With more than 15 years as an arts reporter at CBC Radio-Canada under her belt, Britainy Zapshalla considers herself not only an expert but also a die hard fan of Saskatchewan’s entertainment scene. She’s a regular contributor to CTV Morning Live in Saskatoon and loves to help people plan their weekends with Brit’s Picks.

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