EVERY MIDSUMMER SINCE 1996, the Victoria Summer Music Festival has treated its audiences to distinctive, high-calibre, evening chamber music concerts—that’s 129 in 24 years—often to sold-out houses. Performers are chosen not only for their purely musical strengths but also for their ability to communicate with each other and the audience.
This season of the Victoria Summer Music Festival, artistic director Arthur Rowe is bringing several performers and groups to the festival for the first time, presenting five concerts in all.
Spanish clarinetist Jose Franch-Ballester, a recipient of a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant and the new clarinet professor at the University of British Columbia, will open the festival on July 23 and 25 with two concerts.
He joins the multi-award-winning Pacifica Quartet in the first performance, and for the second will be in recital with Victoria Symphony musicians Terence Tam, violin, and Brian Yoon, cello, and VSMF artistic director Arthur Rowe.
Next up, are two concerts by the Rolston String Quartet, winners of the 2016 Banff International String Quartet Competition on July 30 and August 1 (the latter with Arthur Rowe).
The Ensemble Made In Canada: (l-r) Elissa Lee, Angela Park, Sharon Wei, Rachel Mercer
The final concert of the festival is Ensemble Made In Canada, which is regarded as one of Canada’s premier piano quartets. Awarded the 2006 CBC Galaxie Stars Award from the Banff Centre for the Arts, EMIC was featured in 2008 Chatelaine Magazine’s 80th anniversary issue as “Women to Watch” and an ensemble that is leading the next generation of classical musicians. Featuring Elissa Lee, violin; Sharon Wei, viola; Rachel Mercer, cello; and Angela Park, piano, these highly acclaimed musicians will perform Mosaïque Project—a suite of newly commissioned piano quartets by Canadian composers, each inspired by a particular region of Canada.
Get to concerts by 6:40pm to hear the informative pre-concert talks by the performers.
All concerts are at the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall at the University of Victoria at 7:30pm, preceded at 6:40pm talk. Tickets ($35 each with 10% off for 4 or more concerts) available online. www.vsmf.org, 250-294-7778.