Crow returns for PGSO show

The Prince George Symphony Orchestra presents Jonathan Crow Comes Home Saturday, Feb. 29 at 7:30 p.m. at Vanier Hall.

Crow grew up in Prince George and learned how to play violin in School District 57's string program and was a student at the Prince George School of Music. 

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After moving to Victoria with his family, Crow then went to the University of Montreal to study music, and now is the associate professor of violin at the University of Toronto's faculty of music and the concertmaster of the Toronto Symphony since 2011.

"I kind of grew up in the symphony from about the age of 11 and so it's going to be really nice to come back and see friends and colleagues that I haven't seen in such a long time," Crow said. "And in Vanier Hall - the same place where I grew up learning the violin."

The PGSO reached out to Crow as they were asking former musicians that used to play with the symphony to come back for a visit and Crow said he was pleased to agree.

"It felt like the perfect situation," Crow said.

The piece Crow will perform during the show is Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26.

"The piece that I will be playing - the Bruch Concerto - is a piece I have a real connection with this orchestra," Crow said. "I remember very vividly a guest soloist, Marc Beliveau, playing the Bruch concerto and then I played it in a master class program for him, doing that same piece probably when I was about 12 years old. So coming back to this piece again so many years later makes a lot of sense."

Eventually, Biliveau became a colleague of Crow's at the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal for many years, Crow added. Crow was concertmaster for the Montreal orchestra before he moved to Toronto to take on his current position.

"The Bruch concerto is one of the most underrated pieces," Crow said. "It is one of the greatest concertos for violin. It doesn't get as much press or acknowledgment as Tchaikovsky or Beethoven because those composers are more famous but this is one of the most appealing pieces I can think of. The tunes in it are incredible, the romantic melody, the virtuosity - it's a really appealing piece and for somebody that's new to classical music perhaps this is one of the greatest pieces to introduce you to what classical music is all about. It's not stuffy and boring or formulaic but something that's accessible to anybody."

The concert starts with award-winning Canadian composer Marjan Mozetich’s Postcards from the Sky, followed by two pieces by Franz Schubert: Symphony No. 8 Unfinished and Entr’acte from Rosamunde, with the highlight of the evening being Crow's performance. 


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