Pictures at an Exhibition Release

The Regina Symphony Orchestra (RSO) is thrilled to conclude their 2016-2017 season with the sonic blockbuster Pictures at an Exhibition this Saturday, May 13, 2017 - 8PM at the Conexus Arts Centre.  RSO Music Director Gordon Gerrard will lead patrons through a kaleidoscopic collection of vivid orchestral scenes in the last performance of his inaugural season. Highlighting the concert is a performance by internationally acclaimed pianist Avan Yu performing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18, and the return of the South Saskatchewan Youth Orchestra, who are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year.

Originally conceived as a set of show pieces for a virtuoso pianist, Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition more commonly appears now in concert programs as a tour de force for orchestra in an arrangement done many years later by the master French orchestrator, Maurice Ravel. It is astonishing in its palette of sonic colours and its melodic originality. The last of the pictures in the series, The Great Gate at Kiev is as hair-raising a finale as any in the orchestral canon.

On top of the electrifying performance of Pictures at an Exhibtion, the RSO is delighted to welcome Avan Yu to perform one of the greatest works in the piano repertoire, Rachmaninoff’s second piano concerto.  One of Canada’s most exciting young pianists, Avan Yu achieved international recognition when he triumphed at the Sydney International Piano Competition in 2012, winning First Prize along with nine special awards.  Avan decided to pursue a life in music shortly before winning his first international piano competition at the age of fourteen.  Although initially aspiring to be an astronaut while growing up in Canada, his ideas changed after opportune meetings with several important musical mentors.  He was first noticed by Pinchas Zukerman and Bramwell Tovey who invited him to perform with their respective orchestras, the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Vancouver Symphony. Yo-Yo Ma, after hearing Avan play at the age of sixteen, invited him to perform with him in Ottawa a few years later. Since then, he has appeared with conductors and musicians such as Rafael Fruehbeck de Burgos, Christian Arming, Juanjo Mena, Johannes Moser, and the Armida Quartet. He has performed extensively throughout Europe, North America, Asia and Australia and at venues such as the Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Philharmonie in Berlin, the Salle Cortot in Paris, and the Sydney Opera House.

Visual artist Kimberly Kiel will be presenting a collection of paintings in a pop-up gallery in the Conexus Arts Centre’s Theatre Lobby on the evening of the concert as the culmination of a season long partnership with the RSO and Kimberly Kiel as the RSO’d Featured Artist.  Paintings featured are available through the Assiniboia Gallery with 20% of the proceeds graciously being donated back to the RSO.

The RSO would like to acknowledge our long-standing partner SaskTel for their generous sponsorship of Pictures at an ExhibitionKimberly Kiel & the Assiniboia Gallery for their contributions over the season as partners, and the Estate of Arthur Goldman (Anthony Thorn) to whom the concert is dedicated.

Tickets are on sale now! Regular concert tickets are available at or by calling the RSO Box Office from Monday to Friday between 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Tickets will also be available at the door prior to each concert. For more information regarding this concert, the upcoming season, and/or to purchase tickets, please visit or call the Box Office at 306-586-9555.