Home     Content     Articles      La Scena Musicale     Search   

La Scena Musicale - Vol. 9, No. 9

Coup d'œil sur les festivals / Festival highlights

Par/by Annette Campbell / June 5, 2004

Version française...

Bach on the Beach: Canada's East Coast Chamber Music Festivals

Summer in the Maritimes... great scenery, good food, that slow-paced approach to life; it's not hard to see why thousands head to Canada's East Coast each year for some rest and relaxation. If their only regret is missing those brilliant summer chamber music festivals, here is one of the East Coast's best-kept secrets: there are many world-renowned classical music festivals happening all summer long in the Maritimes, and they are just around the corner from the cottage.

The season begins with the Scotia Festival of Music in Halifax, May 30-June 13. The festival commemorates its 25th anniversary this year with highlight concerts, open rehearsals, master classes, coaching sessions and roundtable discussions with guest artists. Invited musicians include trombonist Alain Trudel, the Super Nova Quartet, violinist Andrew Dawes, horn player James Sommerville, trumpeter Guy Few and pianist Marc-André Hamelin. Find complete program details at www.scotiafestival.ns.ca For tickets call 1 800 528-9883.

On the northern coast of New Brunswick in the town of Dalhousie is the Baie des Chaleurs International Chamber Music Festival, July 8-11. Now in its eighth season, the Baie des Chaleurs Festival will feature musicians from Canada and around the world, including the Borealis String Quartet, soprano Measha Brüggergosman, the Élysée String Quartet from France and accordionist Joseph Petric. The first concert of the season with the Borealis String Quartet, will feature artist Alexandre Robichaud, who will be painting on stage during the performance, drawing inspiration from the music being played. Complete program details and ticket information at www.fmcbc.nb.ca

Baroque aficionados are familiar with another New Brunswick event: the Lamèque International Baroque Music Festival. Located on Lamèque Island, just off the northeastern corner of New Brunswick, this festival will be celebrating its 29th season July 29-August 1. This year's theme is "Voyages," in recognition of the Acadian peoples' 400th anniversary. Invited musicians include the Trio Amarillis from France, Canada's own L'Ensemble Anonymus and American lutist Lucas Harris. A festival highlight this year will be the world premiere of Odysséa, a composition by Pierre Michaud commissioned by the Lamèque Festival. This work will be performed by the Choir of La Mission St-Charles, the Festival Orchestra and soprano Suzie LeBlanc under direction of Denis Menier. For information and tickets, call 1 800 320-2276.

Music lovers in southwestern New Brunswick have an artistic gem in their backyards: the New Brunswick Summer Music Festival, held in Fredericton from August 16-18. The festival celebrates its 11th season by continuing to focus on the music of two composers each year, one well known, and the other lesser known. This year's focus composers are Sergei Prokofiev and Georges Auric. The festival features two series of concerts, a free outdoor concert, a children's workshop, and pre-concert talks. Guest musicians will include emerging artists from across Canada. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.unb.ca/nbsmf or call (506) 453-4697.

As historian Michael Bliss once said, "To be at Indian River in the summertime is to be at the musical centre, not just of Prince Edward Island, but of all of Canada." The Indian River Music Festival is held annually in St Mary's Church in Indian River, PEI. The untouched all-wood interior of this church, built by Island architect William Critchlow Harris in 1902, is said to provide one of the finest acoustic settings in the world. The festival is celebrating its ninth season this year July 4-August 29. This season's guest artists include tenor Terence Mierau, the Quatuor Arthur-Leblanc, Les Voix Humaines, violinist Jasper Wood, soprano Mary Lou Fallis, percussionist Beverly Johnston, flutist Susan Hoeppner and cellist Denise Djokic. A high point of this festival will be the Midsummer Magic Weekend, July 22-25. These four music-filled days also include pre-concert talks, receptions, workshops and Malpeque oysters under the festival tent. For information and tickets, go to www.indianriverfestival.com or call 1 866 856-3733.

Version française...

(c) La Scena Musicale