Review by Sylvie Di Leonardo
The Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra hosted their annual cocktail fundraiser Mozart and Martinis at Bight Restaurant last week. The symphony musicians appeared in chamber groups to perform the works of Mozart and his contemporaries in an intimate, elegantly decorated setting at the waterfront. Carefully-crafted cocktails including the Salzburg Spritz and Salieri’s Revenge were accompanied by artisanal appetizers, curated specially for the event by Bight’s Bianca Garofalo.
This evening’s program began with the overture course and Salzburg Symphonies No. 1 followed by the Flute Quartet in D, K. 285. The uplifting melodies of the third movement Rondeau were accompanied by aperol and orange flavors,
breathing life into the cold evening breeze, making for an exciting start to the programme. The aria course featured selections from Reicha’s Horn Trios and the familiar Marriage of Figaro Divertimento alongside an earthy gremolata and Wolfy’s Mint Julep, followed by string selections and a daring combination of harissa, couscous, and quail egg, paired with the sweetly striking ‘Salieri’s Revenge’.
Each year, guests of Mozart and Martinis participate in the silent auction, which featured a diverse selection of prize experiences, including private painting classes, helicopter tour, and a spa get-away, among many others. This commitment to celebrating the prizes of the senses carried over into the Envelope Blitz and Wine Pull, where patrons were intrigued by the wine and dining experiences hidden inside their gifts, opened together at the end of the evening.
Mozart and Martinis annually celebrates the TBSO’s embrace of the elegance of the holiday season. This year, the event had so much more to celebrate, including the welcome of new artistic and administrative leadership and dedicated sponsor Laura Fralick of Investor’s Group, in addition to the launch of their latest recording Into the Wonder. During its production in early 2016, the orchestra welcomed the distinguished artists of the Canadian piano and strings ensemble, Gryphon Trio, and executive producer Danny Johnson, to produce these new works by Juno-nominated Canadian composer Jordan Pal. Mozart and Martinis is the first themed fundraiser of the year, and will be followed in February by Brew & Beethoven at the O’Keefe Armoury, where patrons and musicians will enjoy a denim-friendly, relaxed performance by the orchestra and surprise guest artists in the company of SHIFT young professional’s network and Sleeping Giant Brewery.