Lynne Greenwood

Matinee the Oak Bay way

Monthly concert series continues

Nanaimo’s West Isle Winds will perform a varied program for clarinet, horn, and piano at its Oak Bay Matinee this weekend.

After a successful start in February, the Oak Bay Matinee Concert Series continues with a concert by West Isle Winds, a group of three professional classical musicians.

Heather Walker (horn), Susanne Bullock (clarinet), and Donna Falconer (piano) each have careers performing with numerous orchestras, opera companies, chamber music groups, and other  ensembles throughout British Columbia and abroad.

The trio merges music for clarinet, horn, and piano to present a delightfully varied program. With arrangements ranging from Mozart’s Sull’aria duet (from his successful comic opera The Marriage of Figaro) and Bizet’s Au fond Du Temple Saint (from the opera The Pearl Fishers) West Isle Winds will delight audiences savouring familiar opera songs performed by a chamber music trio.

With the help of pianist Falconer, Walker will play Nocturno for solo horn. This work was composer by Franz Strauss, better known as the father of composer Richard Strauss. Nocturno is a little known gem of the horn repertoire and a favourite among horn players. Its beautiful melody in combination with a gentle piano accompaniment will make for a perfect romantic matinee piece.

Walker has performed with various chamber ensembles such as the AD Mare Wind Quartet, and larger groups such as the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony, the Vancouver Island Symphony Orchestra, and the Fifteenth Field Artillery Regiment.

Bullock will give Pablo de Sarasate’s famous showpiece Zigeunerweisen (or Gipsy Airs), originally for violin, a fresh new interpretation on the clarinet. Born in Hong Kong but raised in Victoria, Bullock was the very first clarinetist to win the University of Victoria’s prestigious Concert Competition. Bullock has performed extensively throughout North America, Australia and New Zealand. In Brisbane (Australia) Bullock was Head of Woodwinds at Southern Cross College and principal clarinettist of the Brisbane Sinfonia. She now teaches clarinet at Vancouver Island University (Nanaimo), the Nanaimo Conservatory and privately.

Respected collaborative pianist Falconer will accompany all works on piano. Falconer has an active history of collaborations. She was a faculty pianist and vocal coach at the University of British Columbia and the Vancouver Academy of Music. A founding member of Vancouver’s Opera Breve, she was the music director of numerous productions and has been a repetiteur for Vancouver Opera, Burnaby Lyric Opera, and Opera Nuova Edmonton. Falconer now maintains a busy voice and piano studio in Nanaimo and frequently collaborates with Vancouver Island musicians and visiting artists.

An original and seldom-heard work for the combination of clarinet, horn and piano is Carl Reinecke’s Trio for Clarinet, Horn and Piano. This four movement work was composed near the end of Reinecke’s life. It demonstrates Reinecke great craftsmanship in composing for this somewhat unusual combination of instruments in the romantic style.

Oak Bay Matinee is a monthly concert series. Go to for details.


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