Hamilton, ON – Brilliance: Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto will awaken the walls of FirstOntario Concert Hall (formerly Hamilton Place) on November 29 at 7:30pm.  The program features guest conductor and Music Director Candidate Stilian Kirov leading violin virtuoso Blake Pouliot in an exhilarating work by Mendelssohn and your HPO in works by Beethoven and Canadian composer Glenn Buhr.

Quoted by the Seattle Times as “a rising star in the conducting world,” Stilian Kirov brings fresh and vibrant energy to the stage.  Currently the Associate Conductor of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Kirov is a graduate in orchestral conducting of The Juilliard School and holds a Masters Degree from the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris.  In addition to winning an Emmy Award for the Soundtrack Project with the Memphis Symphony, Kirov has won numerous awards and prizes such as the Orchestra Preference Award at the 2010 Mitropoulos Conducting Competition, France’s 2010 ADAMI Conducting Prize and The Juilliard School Conducting Award for outstanding achievement.  Kirov has conducted many of the world’s leading orchestras such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Memphis Symphony Orchestra and Youth Orchestra, as well as numerous orchestras internationally.

Winner of the prestigious Michael Measures Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts, Toronto native Blake Pouliot is quickly becoming known as a dynamic and charismatic violinist.  At just nineteen years old, he has toured with the National Youth Orchestra and has trained with renowned violinists Yo-Yo Ma, James Ehnes and Pinchas Zukerman.  Pouliot attends Colburn Conservatory School in Los Angeles, one of the premiere music conservatories in the United States.

Even 150 years after its composition, Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto is still one of the most performed and loved instrumental concertos.  The piece premiered in 1845 and was Mendelssohn’s last large orchestral work, taking him six years to write with his friend, Ferdinand David.  Traditionally, the soloist for this work has been a young, but exceptionally talented violinist, making it an essential work for all aspiring professional violinists.  This makes it the perfect piece for Blake Pouliot’s HPO premiere.  There is no specific reason how or why this tradition is as such, however, it is speculated that Mendelssohn was paying homage to himself, also a child prodigy.  The concerto is considered today to be the jewel of all violin concertos.

Canadian composer and pianist, Glenn Buhr, whips the audience into frenzy with his orchestral work Jyotir (Brilliance) which was commissioned by the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony in 1989.  He is also known for his full length ballet Beauty and the Beast which has toured internationally since its premier in 2003.  Buhr is a Professor of Music Composition and Improvisation in the Contemporary Music Program at Wilfred Laurier University.

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 was written in 1802 at a time when his deafness was becoming more pronounced and he was realizing it might be incurable.  The symphony itself shows no sign of his condition and is considered to be one of Beethoven’s most joyful and exciting symphonies.

This concert will span the generations covering much loved traditional works and showcasing a new generation of Canadian composers, emerging artists and conductors.

Ticket Information

Special hpoGO tickets for the under 35 crowd are $17 (plus HST) 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.

HPO at the Library

In partnership with the Hamilton Public Library, this FREE program features HPO musicians and guest artists in an intimate community setting. Meet Maestro Stilian Kirov on Friday, November 28 at 12:45pm. Visit staginghpo.wpengine.com for more information

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.