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Okanagan Symphony stages diamond anniversary concerts

OSO shines like a diamond

The Okanagan Symphony Orchestra celebrates 60 years with its upcoming Diamond Anniversary concerts. 

The very first performance of the OSO took place in Penticton in February 1960. At the time, both Penticton and Kelowna had populations of close to 12,000 residents, and the original bridge across Okanagan Lake had only recently been built.

As the valley has grown, so has the orchestra, touching many through its performances and community and educational activities.

For the special anniversary concerts, the OSO will be uniting faces, past and present, that have had a connection to the orchestra and its programs over the years. 

The performances will feature four talented young soloists who are graduates of the Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra program: Jana Luksts on piano, Kira Shiner on oboe, Alicia Venables on violin and Nick Denton-Protsack on cello. 

The concerts will also feature the compositions of Penticton's Ernst Schneider as well as young composer Kolby Zinger-Harris.

"We are grateful to everyone who made the dream of a professional orchestra in our valley a reality. One of those supporters is Ernst. We celebrate his 80th birthday year by performing the world premiere of his 2nd Piano Concerto," says music director Rosemary Thomson. "Ernst composes beautiful melodies and rich harmonies that sweep his listeners up with excitement." 

The centerpiece of the concerts will be a performance of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture performed by both the OSO and OSYO together, with over 100 musicians on stage.

"I am very excited to feature so many of our OSYO alumni as guest artists and composers. As we celebrate our history with great milestones, it is wonderful to celebrate our future by showcasing our next generation of professional music stars," says Thomson.

  • Kelowna Community Theatre – Friday, Feb. 7, 7:30 p.m. Tickets 250-862-2867
  • Penticton Cleland Theatre – Saturday, Feb. 8, 7:30 p.m. Tickets 888-974-9170
  • Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre – Sunday, Feb. 9, 7 p.m. Tickets 250-549-7469


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