Vancouver Academy

Photo Credit: Henry Chen


Vancouver Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra Heralds the Holidays with Soaring, Sublime Programme of Tchaikovsky

Afternoon of symphonic favourites marks Kathleen Allan’s official introduction as VAM Director of Choral Studies & VAMSO Associate Conductor

Orpheum Theatre, 601 Smithe St
Tickets $10 general, $5 students/seniors available at

The Vancouver Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra (VAMSO) heralds the start of the holiday season with The Genius of Tchaikovsky on November 22, 2015 at 2pm at the Orpheum Theatre. Under the baton of lauded conductor Kathleen Allan, the exuberant young musicians will present an all Tchaikovsky programme featuring some of the Romantic composer’s most beloved & revered masterworks.

“We are overjoyed to welcome Kathleen Allan, who is joining VAM in two brand-new positions – as Director of Choral Studies with VAM, and Associate Conductor of VAM Symphony Orchestra. I can think of no better way to celebrate Kathleen’s appointment than through the musical fireworks of Tchaikovsky,” said Joseph Elworthy, Executive Director of the Vancouver Academy of Music. “Kathleen is an enormously accomplished soprano, composer, and conductor, whom we feel very fortunate to work with. I believe audiences in attendance will feel much the same way, as she lends her passion, insight, and musicality to this exquisite programme.”

The concert opens with the seasonal favourite Nutcracker Suite, before progressing to the lyrical, emphatic Piano Concerto No. 1. Brilliantly talented pianist Amanda Chan, recently appointed as Head of Piano at VAM, will join the orchestra as the concerto’s soloist. Chan is a celebrated artist who has performed across the globe, and whose early career highlights included First and Top prizes in the Canadian Music Competition National Finals, CBC National Young Performers Competition, CIBC National Canadian Music Festival, and more.

The afternoon concludes with Symphony No. 5 in E minor, a monumental work with an infamous main theme that gradually transforms from funereal sobriety to triumphant march through four movements. This indomitable characteristic – combined with a historic WWII performance, where Leningrad Radio Symphony Orchestra continued through shellfire outside the concert hall – has come to associate the masterwork with the concept of ‘ultimate victory through strife’.

Conducting the full programme is Kathleen Allan, an artist who is becoming internationally respected for her compelling performances and engaging competitions. Holding a Master of Choral Conducting from Yale University, the sought-after Allan has lead an incredible variety of acclaimed groups, including Vancouver Bach Choir, St. Michael’s Choir School, and the Canadian Chamber Choir. As a composer, her work has been featured at the World Symposium on Choral Music. As a soprano soloist, she has performed with National Broadcast Orchestra of Canada, Berkshire Choral Festival, and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, among others.

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About Vancouver Academy of Music (

Founded in 1969, the Vancouver Academy of Music (VAM) is a non-profit institution that has been spreading a love of learning and musical excellence for generations of aspiring musicians. Located minutes away from downtown, VAM’s spacious facility features teaching studios, expansive classrooms, a library, and two recital halls – all set against the scenic backdrop of Vanier Park.

VAM’s fundamental purpose is to explore the transformative power of music through fostering an inclusive learning environment led by a team of devoted faculty with strong professional backgrounds. From Early Childhood Education to adult learning, VAM delivers world-class music education to students of all ages and abilities.

In addition to private lessons and class instruction, VAM students engage with worldrenowned visiting artists in master classes, cooperate with other national and international music education organizations, and participate in numerous performances and competitions. VAM’s Orchestral Training Program is home to four levels of orchestra, which culminates in the Orpheum Series – four concerts that spotlight the VAM Symphony Orchestra in one of Vancouver’s most iconic cultural venues, the Orpheum Theatre.



Editor in Chief of Fabulously Frugal in Vancouver.

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