It's not quite the new year yet but I'm committed to making an effort to expand my horizons and take in some more live music. It's been over six years since I've actually attended a symphony of any sort and while I tend to listen to smaller ensembles rather than full-fledged orchestral works, I decided to take the plunge and not let a concert season pass by without seeing anything, especially when we have two fine orchestras in the form of the Edmonton Symphony and the Calgary Philharmonic. Once I got digging around looking at concert schedules I was amazed at just how many great works were being performed on my days off and getting down to see them wasn't going to be as much of a logistic nightmare than I thought.
As it turns out, there are more concerts by the CPO that fall on my days off than Edmonton Symphony ones. If all goes according to plan, I should at least be able to attend a couple ESO performances and indeed I already have a ticket for a concert there in a little over three weeks' time. Edmonton works well as I can head down the day of the concert, spend the night and return the following day which works wonderfully for my work schedule. Plus, they have a performance later in the spring of Beethoven's Piano Concerto #4, which I don't think I've ever heard live, so of course I can't really pass that up.
As for Calgary, it's a mere 12-hour bus ride away so I'm planning on spending a couple of over-nights so I can actually enjoy the concert without fitting too much travel into too short of a time span. I'm actually very excited for my Calgary performances as they include some big works I've known about going back several years, even as far back as childhood. There are a couple of concerts where I won't be able to avoid booking a couple days off work but seeing they happen to be Beethoven's 9th Symphony and Bach's B Minor Mass, I'd pretty much WALK to Calgary to see them if I had to.
These concerts aren't until later in the spring so I have plenty of time to finalize travel arrangements. If all goes according to plan, my first concert attendance at the Calgary Philharmonic will be a performance of the Sibelius Violin Concerto and Tchaikovsky's 6th Symphony. And this is just the tip of the iceberg but I won't list everything I'm hoping to see. But if I do manage to see just the pieces I've mentioned here I know I'll be more than happy. As an interesting side note, I actually know the choir director and the artistic director of the Calgary Philharmonic as they are both University of Windsor alumni. Small world indeed.