The guest conductor for tonight’s Regina Symphony Orchestra Masterworks concert is Patricio Aizaga who is the musical director and principal conductor of the Ecuador Philharmonic Orchestra. Guest artist is Saskatchewan violinist Samuel Milner, and the program will consist of two works by Dvorak and one by Mendelssohn.
As far as the program’s title goes, Bohemia is a region in what is now known as the Czech Republic. As a native of the region himself, Dvorak (1841-1904) lived at a time when his homeland was part of the Austrian Republic and through his music he celebrated Czech history and culture. That spirit will undoubtedly be in evidence tonight, although hopefully there will also be a nod to the broader notion of Bohemianism.
As for that term’s origin, which is used to describe socially unconventional behaviour, it’s derived from the French word “bohémien”. That, in turn, relates to the belief alive in Western Europe in the 19th century that gypsies came from Bohemia although the actual roots of the Romani people stretch further east to the Indian subcontinent.
Tonight’s concert is at Conexus Arts Centre at 8 p.m. To give you a taste, here’s an excerpt from Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8 that will be performed tonight: