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  • 23 Dec 2020 7:01 PM | Manon Mitchell (Administrator)

    All of us at the Calgary Civic Symphony would like to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Season's Greetings.

    Some of us had a little fun with Christmas tunes and prepared a light hearted video about our Christmas Tunes from a Hat.

    Enjoy our little gift to you!

    It's on youtube so just click here.

    All the best for 2021!

  • 18 Dec 2020 8:37 AM | Manon Mitchell (Administrator)
    On this occasion of the mighty

    Ludwig van Beethoven

    Ludwig van Beethoven's 250th birthday, I pause to reflect on the wonderful times I have had with him, for I feel we spend time not only with the music of the great composers, but also with their humanity. Over a lifetime of several decades, I have had the fortune of playing many of his sonatas for piano, violin, and cello. Likewise, I have played some of his greatest chamber music, including the "Kakadu" variations and "Archduke" trio with cellist Ernst Silberstein, longtime principal of The Cleveland Orchestra

    ; my father was the violinist.

    I'll never forget Mr. Silberstein telling me that my performance of Brahms 2nd concerto, for which he was guest principal cello, reminded him of his performances of that work with Rudolf Serkin. My first piano concerto was Beethoven's 1st, which I performed during my years at Phillips Academy, Phillips Academy Class of 1974.

    I also have the opportunity to perform the 3rd and 5th concertos. I have conducted all 9 symphonies at least once, along with many of the piano concertos, and the Triple Concerto (this with Pinchas Zukerman and Amanda Forsyth and three different pianists - Andrew Burashko, Louis Lortie, and Janina Fialkowska).

    I recently conducted excerpts from his only opera, Fidelio, with the Calgary Civic Symphony and Calgary Concert Opera Company.


    I have had the pleasure of teaching and coaching Beethoven's music to numerous students. Through all of that experience and living with Beethoven's music, I think the highlight has been my experiences conducting the 9th - 3 times. Each time has brought me closer to the "truth", although I still feel I'm wrestling with the slow movement. The last time, the emotion of the work left me in tears as the last few triumphant bars concluded this incredible musical voyage, this testament to humanity. What an extraordinary artistic, philosophical, and human legacy this giant left us!

    Rolf Bertsch
    December 17, 2020

  • 15 Dec 2020 2:31 PM | Manon Mitchell (Administrator)

    Join us for an entertaining musical evening in company of Maestro Rolf Bertsch. He'll present interesting insights into the world of orchestral music. 

    Just register for the FREE event to receive the private ZOOM link.

    See you Monday December 21st at 7:30 pm for our continuing MMM series.

    Just click here  for the event registration.

  • 4 Dec 2020 2:42 PM | Manon Mitchell (Administrator)

    Even if we can't present live performances we can certainly stay in touch with you and engage online.

    We will begin our "Behind the Scenes" series in mid December. Watch for more news on this shortly!

  • 4 Dec 2020 2:40 PM | Manon Mitchell (Administrator)

    As you can imagine we are truly disappointed in not being able to perform a Christmas concert for you. Our musicians are looking forward to the day when we can present great orchestral music again.

    Thank you to all our patrons who have graciously donated their ticket purchase to the orchestra. This will ensure that we will be here for you when things open up again.

  • 16 Nov 2020 6:52 PM | Manon Mitchell (Administrator)

    It is with great regret that the next two weeks of rehearsals are canceled (Nov 16 & Nov 23).  Given the rise in new Covid-19 cases and further clarification concerning the Alberta Government's recent Targeted Public Health Measuresthis action is being taken with everyone's health and safety in mind and in the spirit of the Civic doing its part to reduce the spread of Covid-19.  This decision is not a reflection on the facilities and protocols in place at Arts Commons.  They are excellent, and we are fortunate to rehearse in that space.  Rather, this temporary halt to rehearsals is about limiting unintentional mixing between different cohorts.

    So in the meantime, continue practicing.  All going according to plan, our next rehearsal is on Monday, Nov. 30.  Additional rehearsal will be needed in order to play our Dec. 6th concert.  Please stay tuned for more information, and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at

    John Chik

  • 11 Nov 2020 4:47 PM | Manon Mitchell (Administrator)

    We are pleased to announce that members of the Calgary Civic Symphony has begun rehearsals. But rehearsals are not as they usually are of course!

    The orchestra is rehearsing in smaller sections:

    • Strings (violins, violas, celli,  string bass)
    • Wood winds (flutes, clarinets, oboes, bassoons)
    • Brass (trumpets, french horns, trombones, tuba)

    We are planning to perform for the public some time in December. Stay tuned and we'll let you know when and where as soon as we have the details!

    In the meantime enjoy listening to some music!

  • 24 Apr 2020 12:57 PM | Manon Mitchell (Administrator)

    Your Civic Symphony is still here even though we are no longer rehearsing as a group and performing. However, we still want to share the joy of music with you. To accomplish this, we are proudly presenting Maestro’s Musical Mondays starting Monday April 27th at 7:30 pm every two (2) weeks. (Apr 27, May 11, May 25, June 8, June 22, 2020)

    Join us online to listen and learn and enjoy a perspective on classical music hosted by our esteemed Artistic Director Maestro Rolf Bertsch.  If you have a burning musical question that you want to share with Maestro Rolf and others please click the “My Musical Question” link and submit it.

    We can’t guarantee all questions will be answered but we will certainly make the effort.

    What will Rolf be presenting? This week its “Ports of Call – Ibert’s Escales and Respighi’s Pini di Roma”.  So grab your favourite beverage or snack, sit down and click on the button below on Monday April 27th at 7:30 to attend this presentation.  It won’t work if you use it any time other than Monday at 7:30 on the dates specified above. It’s the same link for every Maestro Musical Monday so you can put it in your calendar.

    Here is the ZOOM information you can put in your calendar:

    Or Telephone: (587) 328-1099

    Webinar ID: 958 5343 3448


    You may want to listen to this playlist and listen to it from your own computer on Monday night.  Rolf will speak about the following works which can be found on YOUTUBE  at the following:

    Ibert – Orchestre symphonique de Montréal – Charles Dutoit

    1. Palermo

    2. Tunis – Nefta

    3. Valencia

    Respighi – Orchestre symphonique de Montréal – Charles Dutoit

    1.  0:00 Pines of the Villa Borghese
    2. 2:34 Pines near a Catacomb
    3. 8:50 Pines of the Janiculum
    4. 15:44 Pines of the Appian Way

    Thank you to the Rotary Club of Calgary for providing the technology to deliver Maestro’s Musical Mondays!

  • 19 Feb 2020 1:33 PM | Manon Mitchell (Administrator)

    “Sunday Afternoon at the Opera” with Calgary Civic Symphony on February 23rd, 2020, at the Jack Singer Concert Hall in Arts Commons! Tickets start from $19.

    The Calgary Civic Symphony is joined by the Calgary Concert Opera Company and the Foothills Philharmonic Society Opera Chorus for the first time in this program of some of the best-known works of the Italian and German operatic repertoire.

    There’s a saying in Italy about singing that goes: “si canta come si parla.” Translated, this means: “one sings as one speaks.” Preparing a concert with singers and orchestra is actually quite fascinating.

    It’s not about the orchestra “playing under” the singer, or the singer being trained on how to sing really loud, though both are true to a certain extent. Classically-trained singers employ a certain part of the sound spectrum in their tone that most instruments don’t (3000-3500Hz), so they don’t have to compete directly with the orchestra to be heard, regardless of the decibel level.

    We’re sure you’ll enjoy the greatest hits from Operas, including “Va Pensiero” and “The Anvil Chorus” (with a real anvil of course), “Brindisi” and more. You’ll feel the energy and the passion in the voices woven in with the orchestra parts so beautifully orchestrated by composers like Mozart, Donizetti, Verdi and R. Strauss.

    And to kick off our celebration of the mighty Beethoven’s 250th birthday, we’ll feature the Overture and Finale of his opera, Fidelio.

    Purchase tickets through Arts Commons at

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The Calgary Civic Symphony is the performing entity of the Orchestra Society of Calgary. Registered Society in Alberta, CRA # 88754 6661 RR0001 


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