Arts & EventsThirteen Strings presents Britain's favourite piece of classical music, The Lark Ascending

Thirteen Strings presents Britain's favourite piece of classical music, The Lark Ascending

Thirteen Strings presents Britain's favourite piece of classical music, The Lark Ascending

If there was ever a time to retreat into the green English countryside, it’s in these cold and dark winter days! On February 26, Thirteen Strings, Ottawa's premier professional chamber orchestra, will soothe the harshness of winter as they present Vaughan Williams' "The Lark Ascending" at Dominion-Chalmers Church.

The Lark Ascending is a musical work inspired by the poem of the same name by English poet George Meredith. Written at the outbreak of World War I, the premier of Vaughan Williams' piece had to be put on hold. The image of a peaceful countryside seemed far removed from the reality of the war and it was not until 1921 that the piece was performed for the first time. Now, many decades later, The Lark Ascending remains one of of Vaughan Williams' most popular works and continues to amaze audiences everywhere. 

To start the concert, British composer Edward William Elgar is given the Thirteen Strings treatment with their interpretation of his majestic, lush and nostalgic sounding Introduction & Allegro for Strings. The work was written for and premiered by the newly formed London Symphony Orchestra.

Following Elgar will be rising Canadian star violinist, Marc Djokic. Born and raised in the Maritimes, Djokic is the son of Philippe Djokic, one of Canada's great soloists and a pupil of the master Ivan Galamian. 

“I grew up in a musical family where both my parents were musicians," says Djokic. "My dad taught me violin from an early age and realized my potential. I enjoyed the violin so much growing up that it might have created un-interest in other career paths.”

Djokic has been described as a “musician without limits” by la Scena Musicale, is the winner of the 2017-2018 Prix Goyerand a Prix Opus and is a former Canada Council Instrument Bank recipient. He has performed with prestigious ensembles including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the McGill Chamber Orchestra and many more!

"I have performed as part of Thirteen Strings on a few occasions and know most of the musicians quite well," says Djokic. "It's always very gratifying to make music with good friends!”

His debut album, Solo Seven (fall, 2018), is a collection of pieces for solo violin by great Canadian composers.

“On the surface, this album represents my choice of music for solo violin by some of Canada's great composers," says Djokic. "But digging deeper, it is an expression of the raw, naked truth of the violin.”

Djokic says his goal for the future is to "bring Canadian music and collaborations to more audiences worldwide." This year, he plans to do so by travelling to Italy, Switzerland and the Netherlands. He describes the opportunity to share Canadian compositions with international audiences as an "honour." 

The young violinist is an appropriate choice as there is a decidedly youthful component to this concert. Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending and Elgar’s Introduction & Allegro, are the launching pad for a new, crack ensemble called the Camerata. In association with the Ottawa Youth Orchestra Academy (Director Donnie Deacon), they have invited the best of the city’s young string players to join Thirteen Strings on Stage.

Rounding off the concert is the Ouverture-Suite 'Burlesque de Quixote' by German composer, Georg Philipp Telemann. Musical Director, Kevin Mallon - being the storyteller he is - weaves this music into the magic of the Spanish novel: The Ingenious Nobleman Sir Quixote of La Mancha (El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha). Excerpts will be read in Spanish and English.

Without a doubt, this concert will be a rich experience for all who attend.

Concert tickets for “The Lark Ascending” on February 26 are available at Leading Note, Books on Beechwood, Compact Music and at

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