Latin spice added to symphony show

You're going to leave Vanier Hall dancing, said guest conductor Jonathan Govias.

"This is going to be a great big musical party," he added. "We're going to end the season with a bang and have a whole lot of fun."

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Vivace Latino, presented by the Prince George Symphony Orchestra on April 20, offers a cultural fusion, throw in a switcharoo where the Latin guest musicians play the traditionally classical music and the PGSO takes on the Latin flavour.

"We've set this concert up with very clear intentions," said Govias. "The first half is all classical music from the western European tradition and in the second half of the concert we will be performing music by Latin American composers that I don't believe have been played in Prince George before. The intention of this concert is to reflect the cultural nature of this collaboration."

Govias was a finalist in the search for a new musical director of the PGSO and has been invited to join them once again for this concert.

"I thought we had a very fruitful collaboration last time I was in Prince George and I enjoyed working with the orchestra and I gather they enjoyed working with me since they invited me back," said Govias. "One of the things I left with was an impression of an orchestra that was uniquely positioned within Canada for this kind of collaboration. That's to say they have a very, very fine professional core and a lot of fantastic amateur musicians. It's the right place where we could bring young musicians from developing countries and give them a chance to do two things. Firstly to contribute, which is extremely important, and the second thing is to learn. It's very difficult to find a situation where a young musician can do both."

The symphony invited six Venezuelan graduate musicians of the El Sistema program, which has a mission and mandate of social action through music, to participate in Vivace Latino, including Samuel Vargas, violin; Jos Mendoza, percussion; Carmen Delgado, flute; Paulina Mantilla, violin; Nester Solorzano, oboe; Elizabeth Linares, French horn.

"My involvement was to find these young musicians and to persuade them this was a great thing they should undertake and fortunately, it wasn't too difficult to persuade them," said Govias.

Tickets adults $29, seniors $25, under 25 $15 at Studio 2880, at the PGSO Office and at the door. For more information about the concert visit

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