Sure thing: Virtuoso Strings | Music | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST

Sure thing: Virtuoso Strings

Sunday, December 21, St. Matthew’s, 1147 Barrington, 8pm, free with non-perishable food items.

On Sunday a can of corn could get you into a top-notch chamber music concert. Robert Uchida and friends will perform in St. Matthew’s Church.When he was three years old Uchida saw Itzhak Perlman play on Sesame Street and fell in love with the violin. Twenty-six years later Uchida is concertmaster for Symphony Nova Scotia; the youngest CM in Canada.Last Saturday he had two Nutcracker performances, matinee and evening, but still found time to talk about Virtuoso Strings, his upcoming concert. Uchida is tall, compact and dressed in a tidy post-preppy style.This concert benefits Feed NS and is one most anyone can afford: The entrance fee is a non-perishable food item. “I really wanted this concert to be accessible to all,” he says.The program will start small and build, with Beethoven’s “Duo” (Robert Uchida, violin and Max Kasper, bass), Dvorak’s “Terzetto” (Jennifer Jones and Laura Veeze, violins, and Susan Sayle, viola) and Holst’s “St. Paul’s Suite” (Jennifer Jones, Peter Stryniak, Robert Uchida and Laura Veeze, violins; Jane Levitt and Susan Sayle, violas; Norman Adams and Hilary Brown, cellos and Max Kasper, bass).The final work will be Mendelssohn’s “Octet” opus 20. Uchida set this piece of the show first. “It is outstanding,” says Uchida. “It’s well structured, well thought out, and written when he was 16.” All the musicians are from SNS except Veeze, who is principal second-violin of the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic and Uchida’s wife.“I wanted to do something for the holidays,” says Uchida. “In this economic climate more people are using food banks.” All the musicians are donating time. “I feel I have great, generous colleagues. I’m thrilled they are willing to play.” Maybe make that two cans of corn.

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