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Harpsichordist Colin Tilney

The 2014 Early Music Vancouver Festival will explore musical representations of the times of day, play with how we measure and keep time in music, and present some of the most compelling musical arguments ever written for the essential value of ephemeral beauty in our lives. Here are a few key highlights of the festival:

Colin Tilney Celebrates LXXX

Date: Friday, July 25, 8 pm
Venue: Roundhouse Community Centre, 181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver

EMF’s opening concert is a rare recital by world-renowned keyboardist Colin Tilney. Turning 80 this year, Colin is a giant in early music: one of the first musicians to bring historically-informed performance to the general concertgoer’s awareness, and one of the few still actively performing today. Tilney will perform Quinque by the South African composer Priaulx Rainier, composed in 1973, Bach’s 6th English Suite, and elegant works by 18th-century French clavecinistes. A special presentation in collaboration with the Queer Arts Festival.

Rameau Cantatas and Pièces de Clavecin

Date: Sunday, July 27, 8 pm; pre-concert chat with host Matthew White at 7:15 pm
Venue: Roy Barnett Recital Hall UBC School of Music, 6361 Memorial Road, Vancouver

Hot on the heels of a performance by a grand master of early music is a concert featuring a rising star, renowned soprano Ellen Hargis. She’ll perform while lending her guidance and expertise to young mezzo-soprano Sylvia Szadovszki. Recently seen as Nancy in Vancouver Opera’s Albert Herring, Sylvia joins Ellen and a team of seasoned performers of early music in her first appearance with Early Music Vancouver.

A Moment in Time: Weiss Meets Bach

Date: Tuesday, July 29, 8 pm; pre-concert chat with host Matthew White at 7:15 pm
Venue: Roy Barnett Recital Hall UBC School of Music, 6361 Memorial Road, Vancouver

Two venerated composers, two eminent soloists, and two distinguished instruments: this shared recital explores the blurring of the lines between lute and harpsichord repertoire in the 18th century, when lutenists imitated harpsichord music – and vice versa. Our exploration begins in Italy, continues to France, and finishes in Germany with a tête-à-tête between two compositional masters: Sylvius Leopold Weiss and Johann Sebastian Bach.

Sequentia
[Sequentia performs music by Hildegard von Bingen during 2013-2014 season; photo by Jan Gates]

Sequentia: Fragments for the End of Time

Date: Friday, August 1, 8 pm; pre-concert chat with host Matthew White at 7:15 pm
Venue: Roy Barnett Recital Hall UBC School of Music, 6361 Memorial Road, Vancouver

From the time of Christianity’s introduction into Europe until the end of the first millennium, apocalyptic images of the End of Days and the Last Judgement were widespread. Pagan and Christian sources share many characteristics: the terrifying words of female oracles, the massing of armies from below and above, the breakdown of material reality, and the final destruction of the world by fire. In this program, Sequentia explores the musical world of these surprising, powerful texts, some of which survived only as fragments.

Matin, Midi, Soir: Early Haydn Symphonies

Date: Sunday, August 3, 8 pm; pre-concert chat with host Matthew White at 7:15 pm
Venue: Roy Barnett Recital Hall UBC School of Music, 6361 Memorial Road, Vancouver

The Mentorship Orchestra Project is a new initiative: students of exceptional ability receive full scholarships and coaching from some of the most prominent instrumentalists in their field. After five days of intensive work on Haydn’s early symphonies – Le Matin, Le Midi, and Le Soir – these up-and-coming artists will perform with the faculty and other renowned professional artists. Read more about the Mentorship Orchestra Project online.

Krisztina Szabo, mezzo-soprano Amanda Forsythe
[Krisztina Szabó, mezzo-soprano; Amanda Forsythe, soprano]

Handel – Theodora

Date: February 14, 2015, 7:30 pm
Venue: Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at UBC, 6265 Crescent Road, Vancouver

Love conquers all! Featuring some of Handel’s most glorious music, this tragic work – one of his largest-scale oratorios – depicts the self-sacrificial love between a Christian virgin and a Roman imperial bodyguard. It serves as a timeless parable of spiritual resistance to tyranny and an indictment of persecution, topics that still resonate with audiences today. Program features several key talents along with the Pacific Baroque Orchestra and Vancouver Cantata Singers.

Tickets for concerts are $63/$48/$32; $31.50/$24/$16, 35 and younger; available at the Chan Centre Ticket Office (in person), online, or via phoning Ticketmaster at 1.855.985.ARTS (2787).

This is just a sampling of what’s on offer this season. Visit the Vancouver Early Music Festival website for series discounts and the entire concert roster. All concerts presented in cooperation with the UBC School of Music.

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