Vancouver Bach Festival Brings Back Bach

The Vancouver Bach Festival, presented by Early Music Vancouver (EMV) returns to Christ Church Cathedral and the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, July 30 – August 9, 2019. 

J.S. Bach (1685 – 1750) is regarded as one of the greatest composers in Western musical history. His legacy includes some of the most beautiful and well-crafted music ever written. Almost three centuries after Bach’s passing, his vast catalogue of works is still revered, studied, and reinterpreted by music lovers across the globe.

Ensemble Les Boréades de Montréal
photo: Hugo B Lefort

Celebrating EMV’s 50th anniversary, this year’s festival features performances by many the most gifted artists from across Europe and North America. For their second annual ensemble-in-residence program, EMV welcomes Montreal’s internationally acclaimed Ensemble Les Boréades, members of the ensemble perform in multiple concerts throughout the festival.

“For our 50th anniversary we have spared no expense in order to bring our audiences a truly world-class offering of some of the finest artists working in period performance today,” says Matthew White, Executive and Artistic Director of EMV. “I think the personal, aesthetic, and intellectual connections one can make during a festival are the happy result of a ‘total immersion’ — multiple events in a shorter window of time provide a perspective and engagement that is otherwise near impossible to achieve. By offering concerts from a wide range of exciting composers like Strozzi, Shostakovich, Purcell, Faure, Poulenc, Chopin, Handel, Mozart, and of course, Bach, the opportunities to explore links and parallels are limitless.”

The 14-concert festival commences with Ensemble Les Boréades, bringing a spectacular two-night performance of J.S. Bach’s Complete Brandenburg Concertos at The Chan Centre. The Vancouver Bach Choir also partners with the festival for the first time to perform a programme featuring Faure’s beloved Requiem with a professional core of twenty of the region’s best professional singers, accompanied by award-winning organist Christina Hutten. This year’s Vancouver Bach Festival also collaborates with Vancouver Chopin Society, the Pacific Baroque Orchestra (PBO), and Pacific MusicWorks.

Vancouver Bach Choir
Photo: Sophie Song

Further highlights include the return of audience favourite soprano Amanda Forsythe with Pacific MusicWorks, in a performance of Handel’s early cantatas, as well as sopranos Suzie LeBlanc and Dorothee Mields’ dramatic interpretations of female composer Barbara Strozzi’s 17th century musings on love and loss. The festival’s popular weekday afternoon concert series also returns, offering diverse and delightful selections of acclaimed musicians and performers.

The festival will come to a conclusion with the presentation of Purcell’s Hail Bright Cecilia at the Chan Centre, featuring six internationally renowned vocal soloists and the PBO led by Alexander Weimann.

To complement the musical lineup, EMV will compliment the festival with an array of thought-provoking film screenings and expert talks, which audiences can enjoy with wine and refreshments in a relaxed atmosphere. 

For tickets and a more details and a complete schedule of all Vancouver Bach Festival events, visit: earlymusic.bc.ca 

Good Noise Choir brings the season to a close

Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir presents the final concert of their season, The Return of Soul Gospel, May 25th at Christ Church Cathedral. Good Noise will be joined by award-winning gospel singers Dawn Pemberton and Warren Dean Flandezin a high-energy celebration of gospel music that will have audiences raising the roof with pure joy and adoration.

Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir
Photo: Alex Law Photography

“Our 15th season has been nothing short of spectacular,” says Gail Suderman, Artistic Director of Good Noise. “We decided to celebrate our success by bring together two of Canada’s most powerful gospel singers as guest artists for our grand finale. Dawn and Warren don’t get the chance to sing together very often, so to have them both available was a minor miracle, given their very busy performing schedules —and having them both on stage along with Good Noise and the Good Noise gospel band will be exhilarating beyond belief. The Return of Soul Gospel will be a concert like no other and audiences for these two performances will be on their feet singing right along with us!”

Warren Dean Flandez and the Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir
Photo: Alex Law Photography

Good Noise, Pemberton, and Flandez will join forces in performances of the Reverend Al Green’s “Everything’s Gonna be Alright,” Stevie Wonder’s inspirational “Love’s In Need of Love Today” from his iconic album Songs in the Key of Love, and finally Gail Suderman’s unique arrangement of “Put a Little Love in Your Heart” inspired by the Al Green/Annie Lennox performance. Solo sets will be offered by both Pemberton and Flandez, and Good Noise will then perform classic gospel songs including “Lean on Me,” by Bill Withers, “Hosanna,” by Kirk Franklin, and “Souled Out” by contemporary gospel artist Bishop Hezekiah Walker who is the pastor of the prominent Brooklyn megachurch, Love Fellowship Tabernacle.

Accompanying Good Noise, Pemberton and Flandez in this season finale concert will be Michael Kalanj (Hammond B3), Laurence Mollerup (bass), Elliot Polsky (drums), Ingrid Stitt (saxophones), and Good Noise Artistic Director Gail Suderman (piano).

For show details and tickets visit goodnoisevgc.com

Early Music Vancouver Announces Its 50th Season

Early Music Vancouver (EMV) recently announced its 50th Anniversary, 2019 Vancouver Bach Festival and 2019/20 Main Season programs. 

Dedicated to sharing period music using the instruments and performance traditions for which it was originally composed, EMV is celebrating the anniversary with a season of renowned masterworks and illustrious guest artists. The season’s program includes such diverse works as Benjamin Bagby’s one-man musical telling of Beowulf; masterworks for choir and orchestra by Bach, Handel, and Purcell; early romantic creations by Chopin, Faure, and Schubert; 20th century solo piano pieces by Shostakovich; and world premieres challenging contemporary composers to write for Baroque and period instruments.

As in recent years the 50th anniversary season will host a stellar line-up of returning favourites and international artists, and collaborations with similar music and cultural organizations from Vancouver and abroad. 

Chor Leoni presents Sea Songs & Shanties on February 22, 2020

“This season is a balanced reflection of both our past and future. It promises more opportunities than ever for engagement, enrichment, and education via time travel through almost a thousand years of rich musical history,” says Matthew White, Executive and Artistic Director of EMV. “With the support of our growing audiences, donors, staff, and volunteers, we have put together an offering overflowing with some of the world’s most esteemed artists specializing in period performance. The opportunity to program such diverse music, stunning talent, and ambitious collaborations is a rare privilege; one for which I continue to be deeply grateful.” 

Running July 30 to August 9, the fourth annual Vancouver Bach Festival will bring an all-encompassing celebration of classical music to downtown Vancouver’s Christ Church Cathedral and the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. The 15-concert festival features evening and afternoon performances at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Vancouver and Chan Centre for Performing Arts at UBC. 

The Pacific Baroque Orchestra presents Handel Messiah’s November 30 Photo: Jan Gates

EMV’s Main Season running from September 28, 2019 to May 3, 2020; includes the Masterworks Series, mainly performed at Chan Centre, and the Cathedral Series, presented at Christ Church Cathedral. 

On April 5, 2020, EMV hosts its 50th Anniversary Gala, offering a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1, Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony, and excerpts from Haydn’s Creation with the participation of the Vancouver Bach Choir and the Vancouver Cantata Singers. The concert will feature the largest-scale period instrument orchestra ever assembled in Vancouver, demonstrating the recent growth of the regional period instrument scene on the West Coast.

For the dates and details of all of Early Music Vancouver’s Bach Festival and 2019/20 Main Season visit earlymusic.bc.ca

Good Noise Choir & Guests deliver good noise

Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir

This past weekend, Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir closed their season with concerts at the beautiful Christ Church Cathedral.  Jazz Meets Gospel brought together two genres, along with special guest collaborations with multi-instumentalist Daniel Lapp and the award-winning ViBE Senior Choir from Holy Cross Regional High School.

ViBE Senior Choir from Holy Cross Regional High School.

Before a full house, the 80+ members of the Good Noise choir, joined by Artistic Director Gail Suderman on piano, Elliot Polsky on drums, Ingrid Stitt on Saxaphones, Laurence Mollerup on bass and Michael Kalanj on Hammond B3 organ,  delivered a set filled with beautiful voices performing some well known gospel tunes with a jazz arrangement.  Then the youth from the sensational ViBE Senior Choir took the stage in equal numbers for a trio of songs fitting the theme. Guest star Daniel Lapp brought a set of popular standards to the cathedral’s stage before everyone joined together, closing the show with more rousing songs.

with Daniel Lapp on Trumpet

The audience was on their feet as the Choirs and Lapp encouraged participation on When The Saints Go Marching In.

A thrilling two hour set like this is the perfect end to the Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir’s season, the choir in residence at Christ Church.  Even though this season is just wrapping, the Good Noise is preparing for next season by holding auditions to join the choir in the next weeks.  Following the auditions, the choir will release their 2019 season information in early July.

For more information on Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir, auditions and events visit goodnoisevgc.com

Good News! Good Noise Choir: Jazz Meets Gospel

Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir

Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir (Good Noise) brings their 2017-2018 season to a close with a cross-genre concert: Jazz Meets Gospel.  On June 2 at 3pm & 8pm, Good Noise, the choir-in-residence at Christ Church Cathedral,  will bring audiences to their feet, as the high-octane ensemble explores the intersection of the two music genres.  For this season finale, Good Noise are joined by multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer Daniel Lapp and the voices of the award winning Holy Cross High School’s ViBE Senior Choir.

Daniel Lapp

“At Good Noise concerts, we aim to explore music’s multidimensionality. For this upcoming finale, we were inspired by jazz and gospel music’s shared roots in improvisation — and crafted a program to traverse the past century of spontaneous music-making,” says Gail Suderman, Artistic Director, Good Noise. “From swing-influenced gospel arrangements to soaring spirituals, from Latin jazz to Duke Ellington’s Sacred Music, this will be an in-depth adventure into two influential genres inextricably connected to socio-cultural histories.”

Jazz Meets Gospel’s program includes the high-energy song Revelation by the Yellowjackets, as well as more soulful notes of Walk With Me Lord and When the Saints Go Marching In (both in new arrangements by Suderman). Also on the program is the 60’s civil rights anthem I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to Be Free, performed by Good Noise soloist Syllona Kanu in tribute to Nina Simone.

Holy Cross ViBE Senior Choir

Good Noise, Lapp and ViBE will be backed by a superb band consisting of Michael Kalanj on Hammond B3,  bass player Laurence Mollerup, Elliot Polsky (drums), Ingrid Stitt (alto and soprano saxophones), and on piano and vocals Artistic Director Gail Suderman.

Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir’s Jazz Meets Gospel fills Christ Church Cathedral with sounds on June 2, 2018 at both 3pm and 8pm, for details visit goodnoisevgc.com.  Tickets are available online at brownpapertickets.com

2nd Annual Vancouver Bach Festival Aug 1-11, 2017

Photo: Jan Gates

Following the success of last year’s festival, Early Music Vancouver welcomes the 2nd Annual Vancouver Bach Festival, August 1 – 11, 2017.   With performances at the Christ Church Cathedral downtown Vancouver, and at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at UBC, EMV offers a remarkable program of 14 concerts, ranging from intimate chamber music programmes to a full Passion Oratorio, and features over 60 performers from around the world.

Inspired by the 500th Anniversary of Martin Luther’s Protestant Reformation, this year’s festival is a celebration of music’s ability to transform and persuade. The festival honours the genius of Bach and other composers who were so profoundly shaped by Luther’s influence.  The Vancouver Bach Festival opens August 1st with Overtures to Bach, Canadian cellist Matt Haimovitz performing four of Bach’s Cello Suites.  The festival then reaches its stirring finale with Bach’s St. John Passion on August 11 at the Chan Centre.  Special guests performing in 2017 include two world-class vocal ensembles from Europe: Cinquecento and Gli Angeli Genève, whose internationally-acclaimed members will perform both as ensembles and soloists in other programmes throughout the festivities.

“Our second annual Vancouver Bach Festival is a celebration of music’s power to move people’s hearts and minds,” says Matthew White, Executive and Artistic Director of EMV. “More than a historical examination, this year’s festival is an incredible opportunity to be inspired and transformed by wonderful music and gifted artists from all over the world.”

Even 250+ years after his death, J.S. Bach is still regarded as one of the greatest composers in Western musical history, his vast catalogue of beautifully crafted classics are still revered, studied, and reinterpreted by music lovers across the globe.

In addition to the musical programming Early Music Vancouver is offering a  series of free film screenings complementing some of the concerts as well as a range of expert talks. For a full program of the concerts, screenings and talks and to purchase tickets visit earlymusic.bc.ca