WSO opens new season with Dvořák’s New World


DSC_2341_Credit_Keith Levit Photography

Photo courtesy of Keith Levit Photography

Fresh from New York City’s Carnegie Hall, Music Director Alexander Mickelthwate and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO) launch their 2014-2015 season on September 26 & 27 with a concert inspired by the human ideal of freedom. Featuring Dvořák’s inimitable Symphony No. 9 “From the New World,” Gershwin’s swinging Piano Concerto in F with Natasha Paremski in her second performance at the WSO, and Copland’s stirring Canticle of Freedom with the University of Manitoba Singers, this is a concert not to be missed.

“We explore the importance of freedom and the heartbeat of humankind as we begin our new season,” says Music Director Alexander Mickelthwate. “I look forward to sharing these experiences with our musicians and our audience as we begin our season.”

Audience favourite Dvořák’s New World Symphony is a powerful and spiritual work written to celebrate the fourth centennial of Columbus’s so-called discovery of America with rich, memorable melodies influenced by the Deep South and Native American folk music.

26-year-old pianist Natasha Paremski returns to WSO to perform Gershwin’s Piano Concerto, which premiered in New York in 1925. With consistently striking and dynamic performances, Paremski showcases an artistic maturity far beyond her years. This work brilliantly explores the tang of jazz found in musical America. The composer himself said the quick pace of the first movement represents ” the young, enthusiastic spirit of American life.”

“I find Gershwin to be a composer whose genius lies in his unique idiomatic style, a style which cannot be mistaken for any other composer,” says Paremski. “His music is also so quintessentially ‘American.’ I love this Concerto for its freshness, exuberance, and its soulful jazziness. I very much look forward to playing it with the amazing musicians of the Winnipeg Symphony and Alexander Mickelthwate!”

“Freedom is a noble thing!” states the first line of Aaron Copland’s Canticle of Freedom. The work is an affirmation of academic, artistic and political freedom and is an inspired call to the highest ideals of our time. With confident melodies, ripe percussion writing and a jubilant finish, the WSO has programmed this work to pay tribute to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, a unifying theme in found in this season’s Masterworks series.

Dust off the Dress returns, an exclusive event for WSO Soundcheck members, inviting the under 30 crowd to dress in their formal best while they enjoy a complimentary post-concert reception on the Piano Nobile level. Plus, Aveda Institute & Academy Salon will provide the Pop-up Beauty Bar where attendees can get beauty touch-ups at both before the concert and at the reception.

In addition to two evening concerts, the opening weekend also includes a matinee performance of the New World Symphony on Friday morning. On Sunday the WSO will perform the Dvořák: New World program to open the WSO in Brandon series.

Masterworks A 

Dvořák: New World 

Friday, September 26 – 8:00 PM

Saturday, September 27 – 8:00 PM

Centennial Concert Hall Alexander Mickelthwate, conductor; Natasha Paremski, piano; University of Manitoba Singers, Elroy Friesen, director

Pre-concert chat on the Piano Nobile of the Centennial Concert Hall begins 45 minutes prior to evening concert


Soundcheck Event: Dust off the Dress

Friday, September 26 – Post-Concert

Centennial Concert Hall

Dvořák: Symphony No. 9  Matinee

Friday, September 26 – 10:30 am

Centennial Concert Hall

Alexander Mickelthwate, conductor


WSO in Brandon

Dvořák: New World 

Sunday, September 28 – 3:00 pm

Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium 

Alexander Mickelthwate, conductor; Natasha Paremski, piano; Brandon University Concert Choir, Andrée Dagenais, director Pre-concert chat in the lobby in Brandon begins 45 minutes prior to concert.

Winnipeg Individual Concert Tickets start at $32.00 and are available through Ticketmaster: 1.855.985.ARTS or; or at the WSO Box Office: 204.949.3999 or

Brandon Individual Concert Tickets are $51, $47 seniors, $12.50 student, available through the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium Box Office: 204-728-9510 or