Hamilton, ON – The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra pays tribute to the community’s veterans and military families with In Remembrance: Fanfare for the Common Man on Saturday, November 8 at 7:30pm in FirstOntario Concert Hall (formerly Hamilton Place). Music Director Candidate and Guest Conductor Gregory Vajda and internationally acclaimed cellist Yegor Dyachkov are featured in this reflective and memorable program that includes Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man, Dmitri Shostakovich’s Concerto for Cello No. 1, Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings and Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations.

Maestro Gregory Vajda is the HPO’s second music director candidate to take the stage this season. Hailed as a “young titan” by the Montreal Gazette, Vajda was appointed in 2011 as the music director of Huntsville Symphony. He was named Principal Conductor of the Hungarian Radio Symphony, led several regional tours and conducted the Canadian Brass and the Milwaukee Symphony. In addition to conducting, Vajda is also a gifted clarinetist and composer. He conducted his own composition for the silent film The Crowd at the Auditorium of the Louvre with American pianist Jay Gottlieb. Born in Budapest, Vajda studied conducting at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music.

Cello virtuoso Yegor Dyachkov is an inspired recitalist, chamber musician and concert soloist. Proclaimed Artist of the Year by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in 2000, Dyachkov has appeared with major orchestras around the world. He founded the Magellan Ensemble and was invited by Yo-Yo Ma and Sony Music to take part in the Silk Road Project. Dyachkov teaches at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University and at l’Université de Montréal.

Aaron Copland’s patriotic Fanfare for the Common Man was part of 10 fanfares commissioned by Eugene Goossens, conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony. The year was 1942 and was written in response to the US entry into World War II, partly inspired by a famous speech where Vice President Henry A. Wallace proclaimed the dawning of the “Century of the Common Man.” The work prominently features heroic and majestic themes by the orchestral brass. Copland later wrote, “The challenge was to compose a traditional fanfare, direct and powerful, yet with a contemporary sound.”

One of the most popular of the 20th century cello concerti, Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1 premiered in 1959. Shostakovich was the most influential composer in the USSR during a crucial time in Russian history. His music, written in the neo-classical and post-Romantic styles, displays the composer’s eccentric style and multi-faceted personality.

Samuel Barber’s deeply melancholic Adagio for Strings has been featured in some of the most touching moments in film history and performed for America’s most solemn ceremonies. A testament to its reflective and haunting quality, Adagio for Strings was broadcast at the announcements of the deaths of Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Princess Diana. It was performed in 2001 at Royal Albert Hall to commemorate the victims of September 11 and was one of the few pieces to be played in the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The work was performed for the first time in 1938 in a radio broadcast conducted by Arturo Toscanini. Adagio for Strings has been dubbed by author Thomas Larson as “the saddest music ever written.”

English composer Sir Edward Elgar rose to fame following the premiere of his Enigma Variations in 1899. In Elgar’s words, the work is a set of 14 variations on a hidden theme that is “not played,” but rather hinted at. Elgar never revealed what the theme was and some speculate that the piece could be based on a symbol or literary theme. The Enigma Variations remain a mainstay of the British and international concert repertoire.

This concert program gives our community an opportunity to honour and pay reverence to the veterans and military families of the Canadian Forces with the majestic style of 20th century symphonic repertoire.

Ticket Information

Single tickets for In Remembrance: Fanfare for the Common Man are $23 to $67 (plus applicable taxes and fees) and are available online at staginghpo.wpengine.com, by calling 905.526.7756 or in person at the HPO Box Office in FirstOntario Concert Hall (formerly Hamilton Place) at 10 MacNab Street South or FirstOntario Concert Hall (formerly Hamilton Place) Box Office the evening of the concert.

Special hpoGO tickets for the under 35 crowd are $17 (plus applicable taxes and fees) and can be purchased online, over the phone, or in person.  To receive special discounts and invitations to special events, under 35 patrons can sign up online at staginghpo.wpengine.com.

Reserve your Table before the Concert

The HPO’s Dinner and a Concert program offers patrons the opportunity to enjoy a three-course, prix fixe meal at a partnering restaurant within half a kilometre of FirstOntario Concert Hall (formerly Hamilton Place).  Each package includes a meal at partnering restaurants and a ticket to the performance.  Call the HPO Box Office at 905.526.7756 to reserve your table.

Sláinte Irish Pub – $49                                              
33 Bowen St.

Incognito Restaurant & Wine Bar – $59                  

93 John St. S.

The Hamilton Club – $79
6 Main St.


Media Contact: Diana Weir, Partnerships Manager | Tel: 905.526.1677 x230 | Email: dweir@hpo.org

The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1884 as The Hamilton Orchestral Society and grew to become one of Canada’s major professional orchestras. Today, the HPO is a leader in Hamilton’s robust arts community where it provides professional orchestral services and music education programs to address the needs of the community. The HPO continues to commission and premiere works and is one of the artistic jewels of the Hamilton area. The combined musical talents of its artists continue to enrich the community and enhance the quality of life for its residents.