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International star pianist returns for 'home crowd' in Nova Scotia

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Lucas Porter, an internationally recognized pianist from Port Williams, N.S., tries to practice for about four hours a day, but he used to manage between six and eight hours.

When he was six-years-old, he heard Beethoven and Chopin.

“I was addicted to it,” says Porter.

His parents decided to put him in lessons, and he says he went from there.

During his career, Porter went to the Japan World Expo in 2005 to play at the Canadian Pavilion. He’s also been to a number of international competitions. These, he says, were nerve-racking.

“And of course, playing back in Nova Scotia for the home crowd is always heartwarming to me,” he says.

On Thursday night, he may find the hometown crowd is heartwarming again when he plays George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue at the Rebecca Cohn theatre in Halifax.

Gershwin, an American composer from Brooklyn, New York, wrote the Rhapsody in Blue as a fusion of classical and jazz music.

“I get to have a lot of fun with the piece,” he says.

Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser will conduct the show. Award-winning Canadian soprano Marie-Josée Lord will also perform.

“As Lucas was playing, even myself and the orchestra members, we were chuckling because there’s so much character and there’s so much fun in what (Porter’s) doing. He really, really brought the piece to life,” says Bartholomew-Poyser.

He is also the artist in residence and community ambassador for Symphony Nova Scotia, who marked a large milestone his year.

“We’re celebrating 40 years, and really it’s us celebrating 40 years of community support, people coming to our show, supporting us in all the different ways that a community can support. It means that, for 40 years, we’ve been able to be relevant.”

Bartholomew-Poyser says experiencing music live, while at the same time hearing brave and courageous soloists put so much effort into their performances, and to know that is all for you, it breaks the routine of a regular day.

“There’s nothing like seeing a live performance, being there in the moment, and experiencing it with many other people at the same time,” says Porter.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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