Weyburn pianist to be featured performer with RSO

Pianist Meagan Milatz will be a featured performer for the season-ending performance of the Regina Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, May 11.

The concert is in celebration of the RSO’s 110th anniversary, and is the final MasterWorks concert of the season.

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Meagan, born and raised in Weyburn, is a recent graduate of McGill University in Montreal where she is now based.

She will be performing a work by Regina composer David McIntyre, “Piano Concerto No. 1”. This will be only the second time the concerto has been performed with a full orchestra.

“It’s a 26-minute piece in three movements,” said Milatz, noting it had been written in 2003.

“He wrote it with a certain pianist in mind, Catherine Vickers. I think it’s written really well. I find his writing really enjoyable to play,” she added.

The piece was performed by Vickers for its premiere performance with the RSO at the Saskatchewan Centre of the Arts in April of 2003.

Milatz said she is very intrigued by this composition, and has been practicing it with a recording of Vickers’ performance so she will know how the orchestral parts fit into the piece.

“There are so many different characters in the piece and such variety. There are moments that are really exciting, and it’s very spirited in the first movement,” said Milatz. “It’s really fun to play.”

She will get one rehearsal with the RSO on Friday, the day before the performance, and a dress rehearsal on the day of the concert, but she’s also hoping to be in the area a few days before the concert so she can also perform it for McIntyre and get his comments on how she plays it.

Milatz is greatly looking forward to this performance, as “growing up it’s always been a dream of mine to play with the RSO.”

As a young girl, her parents took her and sister Danica to see the RSO, which was the first orchestra she ever heard play. As she is realizing her dream, she will have her family there along with her long-time piano teacher, Cherith Alexander, and McIntyre will also be present.

Milatz graduated from McGill two years ago, and has remained in Montreal since then, performing and collaborating with other musicians, particularly those attending the fine arts program at McGill who require a pianist for exams or competitions.

“It’s helped me feel more comfortable on the stage,” said Milatz, who has also formed a duet with violinist Amy Hillis, and will be touring with her beginning this fall and going into 2020 across Canada.

One of the stops on their tour will be in Weyburn for the Weyburn Concert Series on Friday, Nov. 29, at the Cugnet Centre.

“We were just in Vancouver a few weeks ago to perform at a showcase, and also in Ottawa. If all goes well, we’ll be touring across Canada about 40 to 50 performances from September until May,” said Milatz, adding she’s been getting a lot of work, which she is happy with.

She admits she misses the wide-open skies of the prairies, but she loves the cultural diversity of Montreal, and is able to be outdoors as much as possible to take walks or to go biking.