Another Friend-ly get-together at Kwantlen

Mozart and Friends concert will feature both classical and contemporary music

From left: Paolo Bortolussi

From left: Paolo Bortolussi

Some friendships are just meant to last.

When they grow and evolve, well, that’s even better.

Over the past four years, a pair of friends (and musical colleagues) have created a tradition of classical performances to celebrate the birth of one history’s most famous composers.

Violinist Calvin Dyck and conductor Wayne Jeffrey — both instructors in Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s music department — will present their annual Mozart and Friends concert in Langley next month.

It is a show that began as a tribute to the composer, marking the 250th anniversary of his 1776 birth.

This year’s concert, titled, Music and Art for a Winter Evening, will once again feature performances of Mozart’s music, including his symphony No. 40 in G minor.

“It’s one of the four most famous (pieces) by Mozart. It was featured in (the 1984 motion picture) Amadeus,” said Dyck.

There will be another piece by the prolific composer, but which one remains to be seen, he said.

“We’re still debating which overture to do.”

Under the heading of “Friends” this year’s show features a pair of composers far removed from one another in both time and geography.

Playing on the theme of winter, the concert will include a performance of Cinderella: Frozen in Time by contemporary B.C. composer Michael Conway Baker and Winter, from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

In past years, the concert has been performed by the Canada West Chamber Orchestra — an ensemble made up primarily of musicians from the Fraser Valley.

But that is no longer the case.

For the foreseeable future, whenever the musicians perform in Langley, the CWCO will do so as the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Orchestra in Residence.

Dyck learned last week that the university has committed to sponsor the orchestra’s Langley concerts. In addition to Music and Art for a Winter Evening, he expects the ensemble will perform two more shows in Langley in 2011 — one in the spring and another in the autumn.

“We’ve been working on (the sponsorship) for two years. This is really good news for us and for Kwantlen, because it shows the university is supportive of the arts and it has a thriving music program,” he said.

For Mozart and Friends, the orchestra will be comprised of 26 players, which is a bit larger than in the past, Dyck said, because the composer’s later works were generally written for a greater number of instruments.

This year’s performance will include something for the eye as well as the ear, with a trio of painters involved in the show.

Also playing on the winter theme, Brian Croft, Murray Phillips and Roger Arndt will set up panels on the stage displaying between 40 and 50 pieces of art.

Interwoven throughout the performance, will be interviews with the artists about their work.

Following the concert, audience members will be able to take a closer look at the pieces and purchase both originals and prints.

While Phillips and Arndt are primarily landscape artists, Croft’s focus is on the man-made — specifically, historic country and street scenes featuring landmark buildings, classic cars and railways.

Mozart and Friends, Music and Art for a Winter Evening, happens on Friday, Feb. 4, at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, 20901 Langley Bypass.

Tickets are $25/adult, $22/senior and $10/student. Call 604-599-3315 for more information.