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Pianists launch season in Coquitlam with 'Carnival of the Animals'

A married couple's special performance, including music used on major movies like "Harry Potter," will take over the Coquitlam stage Nov. 29.
Marcel and Elizabeth Bergmann perform at Coquitlam's Evergreen Cultural Centre on Nov. 29, 2023.

A piano duo kicks off its season in Coquitlam with a performance of “Carnival of the Animals.”

The husband–wife team of Marcel and Elizabeth Bergmann will launch another round of their Musical Matinées at the Evergreen Cultural Centre by showcasing all 14 movements of the classical music piece, which was penned in 1886 by the French composer Camille Saint-Saens.

The 25-minute frolicking work is famous because it’s been featured in major movies, including Disney’s Fantasia, and has been a source of inspiration for film scores such as Harry Potter.

Saint-Saens also banned the performance of the piece during his lifetime as he believed it was frivolous and would damage his career. The suite was published a year after he died. It was heralded in the newspaper Le Figaro as a masterpiece after the Concerts Colonne premiered it in 1922.

The artistic directors of White Rock Concerts, the Bergmanns have been on faculty at Mount Royal University and the University of Calgary, and have toured the world with piano music.

For tickets at $30/$26/$16 to see the Bergmanns on Wednesday, Nov. 29, at 2:30 p.m. call the Evergreen Cultural Centre box office at 604-927-6555 or visit the centre’s website.

Upcoming Musical Matinées are:

  • Jan. 31, 2024: Reflections with cellist Cameron Crozman
  • March 6, 2024: The Planets
  • April 3, 2024: From Carnegie Hall to Car Radio with trombonist Jeremy Berkman

Hot drinks and treats are served in the lobby before each show.