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The new season begins on September 14 with a return visit from acclaimed violinist Vadim Gluzman.

On Thursday September 14, the Centennial Concert Hall opens its doors once again for the WSO’s season opening concert. At 7:30 pm, WSO music director Daniel Raiskin welcomes violinist Vadim Gluzman to the stage for ‘Opening Night with Gluzman + Dvořák’. Gluzman performs two works for this concert– Ernest Bloch’s powerful and heartfelt suite for violin and orchestra, Three Pictures of Chassidic Life and Max Bruch’s Concerto No. 1, one of the most popular violin concertos in the solo violin repertoire.

“Both works on the programme with the Winnipeg Symphony this season have a very special place in my heart,” says Gluzman. “Ernest Bloch’s Baal Shem Suite, in particular, is a work very near and dear to me. Being an Israeli musician, it is always very emotional and important to play music so deeply rooted in Jewish tradition, and this time, performing it just at the very beginning of the Jewish High Holidays season is especially precious.”

The evening’s concert begins with a performance of Bedrich Smetana’s instantly recognizable and cinematic Vltava (The Moldau) from Smetana’s Ma vlast.

“Did you know that the main theme of this iconic work and the Israel National Anthem are almost identical?” asks Raiskin. “Paring Smetena’s Vltava with Baal Shem by Ernst Bloch is also a conscious choice in acknowledgement of the State of Israel’s 75th anniversary this year.”

Gluzman’s first work of the evening is Max Bruch’s Concerto No. 1 for Violin & Orchestra.

“Bruch’s evergreen Concerto No. 1 belongs to the category of perfect masterpieces, where not a note is too much or too little, everything is in a truly extraordinary balance,” says Gluzman. “The energy and deep emotion of the first movement, followed by the heartbreaking lyricism of the second, finally results in the overwhelming fireworks and an incredible excitement of the third. This piece has been with me for my entire career, I have played it on every continent, and I am as thrilled about performing it today as I was 30 years ago!”

The opening night concert culminates with one of Dvořák’s most spirited works, his Symphony No. 8.

“Over the past 20 years I have had a unique opportunity to conduct music by Smetana and Dvořák with many leading orchestras of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. I grew up there when it was still one country – Czechoslovakia,” says Raiskin. “I can tell you that there is something magical in the way musicians from these countries play ‘their’ music – the level of dedication, pride, responsibility and above all LOVE for what they play is really second to none! I have learned so much from these encounters and cannot wait to share my passion for this music with you!”

Another special element of this season opening concert is that Gluzman and Raiskin happen to be very good friends. Unfortunately, Raiskin was unable to lead Gluzman’s first appearance with the WSO during the 2021/2022 season. The WSO music director was in Poland desperately trying to reunite with his Ukrainian wife and mother-in-law during the first weeks of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Performing with my dear friend and one of the most trusted musical partners Daniel Raiskin, is an absolute joy!” says Gluzman. “We have shared the stage in so many fantastic concerts over the years, covering an enormous range of repertoire, I know the performance in Winnipeg is going to be most memorable!”

“I believe the opening concert of the WSO’s 2023/24 season is going to be something really special and emotional,” says Raiskin. “I invite you all to attend this performance and many more of our exciting concerts during the season!”

Individual concert tickets are still available for Opening Night with Gluzman + Dvořák at or by calling the WSO Box Office at 204-949-3999.

If you have a season subscription but not for this series, you’re eligible for a 20% discount on single-ticket purchases. Purchase tickets using your WSO account, and the 20% deduction will automatically be made. You can also call the WSO box office at 204-949-3999 for assistance.

Opening Night with Gluzman + Dvořák is presented by: