Tara-Louise Montour

Violinist Tara-Louise Montour performs during recording of Farewell To The Warriors with the Classiqu’Arts String Orchestra on Aug. 18, 2018. Montour will perform at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium on Thursday with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra.

Event: Outsiders (Shostakovich 5 and Strings)

Time: Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

Venue: Thunder Bay Community Auditorium


IF YOU haven’t taken in a Masters Series concert yet — and you should — you have two chances left in the season. TBSO’s music director Paul Haas promises they won’t disappoint.

The first is Thursday night’s Outsiders concert featuring an original piece by Maestro Hass, followed by a walk down memory lane with internationally acclaimed violin soloist Tara-Loiuse Montour and Shostakovich’s dramatic Symphony No. 5. What a show it will be.

The show opens with Walker’s Lyric for Strings, which was dedicated to the composer’s grandmother, who had recently died. Music Director Paul Haas calls George Walker an exciting new discovery.

His Lyric for Strings is a lush walk through astonishing beauty. Falling motives and sustained tones set a mournful mood at the outset. The piece concludes somberly yet with a sense of peace.

Next we’re bringing the primal Farewell to the Warriors — which the TBSO recorded on Variations of a Memory— back to life featuring the original soloist, acclaimed virtuoso Tara-Louise Montour.

Considered North America’s foremost classical Aboriginal violinist, Tara-Louise Montour distinguishes herself by commissioning works based on Native North American themes for solo violin and orchestra.

Tara-Louise, a member of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra (JoAnn Falletta, conductor), has been invited on several occasions to give solo recitals at the Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

Known for her rich musicality and warm interpretations, Miss Montour, is founding violinist of the Clivia Trio which won the 2008 Sunburst Artist of the Year Award.

She has appeared as soloist with the Orchestre Metropolitain du Grand Montreal, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, McGill Chamber Orchestra and Hamilton Philharmonic to name a few.

Montour commissioned composer Régent Levasseur to write a work with roots in both her Mohawk heritage and the classical violin style in which she had trained.

Research into native music unveiled a traditional song entitled Farewell to the Warriors, originally sung by Chippewa women to their men as they went off to war. This haunting melody becomes the basis for the set of fourteen variations, some brilliantly virtuosic, others contrastingly simple.

You can listen to this piece over and over again on the 2005 Juno Nominated CD Variations of a Memory which will be available at the concert Thursday night.

In addition to conducting, Music Director Paul Haas is a dynamic composer in his own right. The concert then moves on to an original work by Maestro Haas, based on the form of a spiral and once performed on a giant staircase, is the journey from oppression to empowerment.

The concert closes with a giant of a work, Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony, informally subtitled A Soviet Artist’s Practical and Creative Response to Just Criticism. Symphony No. 5 was his attempt to regain official approval after his work had been condemned by Joseph Stalin.

Shostakovich sought a way to produce a work that would please the authorities without entirely bending to their will.

It is a cry of rebellion, with its opening measures steeped in anger and its conclusion only slightly more optimistic. An aspiring upward interval is immediately negated by an exhausted descending one and it is this opposing rising and falling, hope and despair, that spreads through most of the movement.

A must-see concert, thought-provoking and haunting.

Join the TBSO on Thursday at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium. Tickets can be purchased at the Auditorium Box Office, by calling 684.4444, or online at tbso.ca.