Though the musicians of the Victoria Symphony may have been practicing in isolation due to the pandemic, Thursday night they will be coming together for a performance like no other concert before it.
Multiple cameras have been added to the traditional ensemble of violins, cellos and timpani to bring the Victoria Symphony Virtual Season online for orchestra concert goers.
The symphony’s associate conductor says even though the orchestra is not accustomed to performing to an empty concert hall, its members are thrilled to be making music after the COVID-19 pandemic silenced their season.
“The musicians are pouring their hearts into this music and I think it will be a different experience,” said Victoria Symphony associate conductor Joey Pietraroia. “You will be able to see the orchestra from various angles, so in some ways you’re even closer to the musicians even though you’re not in the hall.”
Pietrarioa says the at-home audience is offered a wide range camera angles providing a close-up look at the musicians and their instruments as they perform. Viewers will also get shots of the conductor that would not be possible in a live concert. He says by taking the performance online, the symphony is able to offer a much more intimate concert experience.
“We hope people experience the joy they had when they were in the concert hall and know that we are all waiting for the time we can be together again,” said Pietrarioa. “I know this is something they will all enjoy in the meantime.”
In March, COVID-19 presented a number of challenges to the symphony and its musicians. The lockdown not only cancelled the remainder of the symphony’s 2020 concert series, the musicians were forced to practice their craft as solitary musicians and not as a full orchestra.
“You want to be able to express this music, so when you have colleagues to play with and you hear all the harmonies with all the other instruments, it makes for a rich experience,” said Pietrarioa. “We hope all of our concert goers will tune in and maybe even people who haven’t been to the symphony before may want to see what we do from a very different angle.”
The first musical performance of the virtual season is The Four Seasons, composed by Antonio Vivaldi. The concert will be available on the Victoria Symphony website starting Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Thursday’s inaugural performance as well as future performances will remain on the symphony’s website for 30 days.
“The performances are going to be exciting and wonderful experiences,” Pietraroia said.