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Top-notch classical musicians cap off 2021 in Coquitlam

The QuiRing musicians will say goodbye to 2021 with a special New Year’s Eve show in Coquitlam.

The QuiRing musicians will say goodbye to 2021 with a special New Year’s Eve show in Coquitlam.

But given that the world is still reeling from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the classical musicians will launch their program with a long, serious piece meant to reflect on the year that was.

The first half of the QuiRing In the New Year will feature Brahms’ Piano Quintet in F-minor Opus 34, a work that’s often called the composer’s crowning achievement in his chamber music repertoire.

Split into four movements, the 40-minute piece “is one that we’ve avoided in the past on New Year’s Eve because it’s too much,” said Coquitlam pianist Rosemary O’Connor who stages the yearly shows with her husband, violist Reg Quiring.

“But I feel like after the year that we’ve had with COVID, we shouldn’t shy away from it because it’s so meaningful and powerful. We just love it so much.”

Along with O’Connor and Quiring, it will be played by three well-known musicians in Metro Vancouver: 

  • Sungyong Lim is the cellist for the Borealis String Quartet and teaches at Kwantlen Polytechnic University
  • Jae-Wong Bang, a graduate of the Colburn School and Yale School of Music, as well as The Juilliard School, is a member of the first violin section in the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
  • Lucia Hyunsil Roh, a past QuiRing performer, is the first violinist of Pro Nova Ensemble and conducts the junior division of the Coquitlam Youth Symphony, which Quiring founded

Still, there are more musicians lined up for the concert that takes place at the Evergreen Cultural Centre on Dec. 31.

After the intermission, eight players will showcase Mendelssohn’s Octet in E-flat Major Opus 20 — a piece penned by the composer when he was 16.

“It’s one of his greatest pieces,” O’Connor said.

Besides Quiring, Lim, Bang and Roh, the 30-minute performance will also include 

  • Janet Steinberg, the associate principal cellist for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
  • Meredith Bates, a Coquitlam violinist and well-known collaborator who, last December, released her solo album If Not Now
  • Veronica Lee, a Port Moody Secondary School student and violinist and violist who founded the non-profit society Music X Connect
  • Amanda Chin, a violinist and former concertmaster with the Coquitlam Youth Orchestra

Unlike the Brahms work, the Mendelssohn piece is “very joyful and energetic,” O’Connor said. “It’s a great way to end the year.”

Still, there won’t be any sparkling wine and hors d’oeuvres to wrap up the New Year’s Eve show, as in past years.

Instead, Evergreen staff will serve hot chocolate and sparkling (non-alcoholic) cider, and they will provide a take-home bag of goodies for the audience to pick up on their way out to the lobby.

As well, to follow the provincial health orders and avoid close contact, a tent will be outside for ticket-holders to socialize and enjoy their beverages afterwards while physically distancing.

For tickets to QuiRing In the New Year at the Evergreen Cultural Centre (1205 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam) at $44/$39/$15, call the box office at 604-927-6555 or visit



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