Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAY.com

HUNTSVILE — “Rachmaninov is every pianist’s dream to play,” says Kyung-A Lee.

“Because it represents everything that a piano can possibly do.”

Saturday night and Sunday afternoon at the Algonquin Theatre she and the Orillia Silver Band, conducted by Neil Barlow, share the stage for an incredible performance that will showcase everything a piano and band can do with some of the greatest music ever written.

Lee, 42, a concert pianist originally from Korea and now Huntsville, will open with a piece by Schubert and two selections from Chopin.

Kyung-A Lee says the Rachmaninov is a dream to perform with the Orillia Siver Band.

Next the 28-piece Silver Band will play the “Prelude to Latraviata” and the “Suite from Porgy and Bess.”

Then it’s the Rachmaniov piece — highlight of this extraordinary-to-be concert.

“I chose this specific one (Opus 43) to work with Neil because it is very rhythmically driven. So Neil’s band, not having the strings, can still drive through this piece. It is so energetic, it works perfect with the band.”

Barlow agreed after last night’s final rehearsal.

“Absolutely ready, really excited, fun, fun, fun.”

OSB conductor Neil Barlow had to rescore some of the pieces for his 28-piece brass band.

The program was originally planned before the pandemic.

“A year ago she said she’d like to do Rachmaniov and we determined there was nothing for brass band, so I took the orchestra part and rescored it for brass band. But it does the same thing. It was ton of work,” said Barlow.

“Originally we were talking about something from the 20th century or late 19th century. The Veridi comes from later 19th century. The Gershwin is beautiful stuff from the early 20th century. And it was written right about the same time as the Rachmaniov. So it ties together.

“And we also decided we wanted to do something with a kind of Latin flair. So we decided to that Piazzolla thing. And that again had to be rescored for band. And it wasn’t easy.”

But it truly works after hearing it last night in a church hall basement in Orillia. And is certain to be musical high point of the Huntsville Festival of the Arts summer concert series.

The two-hour concert, with intermission, will finish with a gorgeous rendition of “Cry Me A River,” sung by Lee’s husband Parres Allen, a noted Muskoka singer and actor. And accompanied by the OSB.

Tickets are available online at the Algonquin Theatre.

Lee and her husband Parres Allen rehearse “Cry Me A River” for this weekend’s performances at the Algonquin Theatre.
A two-hour rehearal last night put the finishing touches on what’s certain to be musical hight of the Muskoka summer concert season.
The OSB is central Ontario’s pre-eminent brass band that backs up Lee with deep, rich rhythmic resonance.
Lee and Barlow, who have been working on the program since before COVID, go over some final points last night in Orillia.
Lee was happy to play one of her favourite, most taxing and exhausting pieces over and over for Barlow and the band to get it just right.
Lee sits down at a Steinway grand that she made sound great in the St. Paul’s church basement.
OSB’s bass section plays the part of the strings in weekend concert at the Algonquin Centre.
Lee, who memorizes most of her works, will on occassion consult the conductor when he refers to a number in the score for the musicians.
Then she’s back at the keyboard hands aflutter from low C to high C.
Combined, Lee and Barlow and the band have come up with pieces that will entertain and enthrall summer audiences.

EMAIL: news@muskokatoday.com

30th year of ‘Local Online Journalism’

Twitter: @muskokatoday, Facebook: mclairmont1

Leave comments at end of story

SUBSCRIBE for $25 by e-transferring to news@muskokatoday.com

Or go online to https://muskokatoday.com/subscriptions