Over the course of ten days this summer, the city will overflow with a wide range of glorious music as MusicFest Vancouver returns to celebrate its 12th season. Over 40 live music performances will take place, spread over 13 venues, drawn from a lineup that includes some of Canada’s and the world’s best classical, world music, and jazz artists. All tickets go on sale starting today.
Friday, August 10, Orpheum Theatre
Odlum Brown Gala Opening Concert: Canadian premiere of Here to Stay: The Gershwin Experience
Multimedia concert event celebrating one of the greatest teams of collaborators in the history of American music.
Saturday August 11, Chan Centre, UBC
BMO Main Stage Concerts Series: Vancouver debut of Nordic Voices at the Chan Centre. This six voice a cappella group from Oslo, Norway, is regarded as one of the world’s leading ensembles of its genre. Performing a repertoire ranging from mediaeval to contemporary works, the six singers are unrivaled in the fine art of sophisticated music-making and stylish performance.

La Bottine Souriante
[La Bottine Souriante]
Tuesday, August 14, Vogue Theatre
Be prepared to party as MusicFest Vancouver presents the sensational group La Bottine Souriante. Featuring big brass, step dancing, and fiddles, this world famous Québécois ensemble will have you dancing in the aisles to their infectious combination of pure folk music infused with a dash of jazz and salsa!

Wednesday, August 15, Chan Centre, UBC
Early Music Vancouver’s opera-in-concert performance of G.F. Handel’s Orlando will feature Vancouver’s own Pacific Baroque Orchestra and a roster of renowned soloists including countertenor Tim Mead, soprano Karina Gauvin, alto Allyson McHardy, soprano Amanda Forsythe, and bass Harry van der Kamp, under the direction of Alexander Weimann.

Pink Martini. Photo Credit: Autumn de Wilde
[Pink Martini. Photo credit: Autumn de Wilde]

Friday, August 17, Orpheum Theatre
Dress up for a grand night of seriously cool music as Pink Martini brings its lush 60’s technicolor sound to a hot Vancouver summer night. Pink Martini rediscovers beautiful songs – bridging the divide between highbrow and pop culture.

Saturday August 18, The Vancouver Playhouse
Deux Pianos: Hommage à Debussy – French pianists Philippe Cassard and François Chaplin will honour the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

Sunday, August 19, 11 am, VanDusen Botanical Garden
MusicFest Vancouver welcomes music lovers of all ages to Music in the Garden: BMO Family Day. This family-friendly event at will feature performances by Charlotte Diamond as well as The Kerplunks, and The Green Man. Face painting, crafts, the popular Tom Lee Musical Petting Zoo, and an interactive drumming circle will complete the picture. The fun begins at 11 am, with four hours of fun for the little ones (parents will love it too).

Sunday, August 19, VanDusen Botanical Garden
The BMO Main Stage Concerts series closes with World at the Garden: New York Voices. Celebrating its 25th year, this Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble is renowned for its excellence in jazz.

Monday August 13, Christ Church Cathedral
The Industrial Alliance Morning Chamber Music Concerts series opens with Fandango, featuring guitarist Daniel Bolshoy, along with festival favourites the Borealis String Quartet, in a joyous program of works from Spain and Italy. Canada’s renowned Gryphon Trio will anchor the series with two performances.

Wednesday, August 15, Christ Church Cathedral
Gryphon Trio: Beethoven’s Best, featuring the “Ghost” and “Archduke” piano trios

Friday, August 17, Christ Church Cathedral
Gryphon Trio: Around the Great War – works by Maurice Ravel and Rebecca Clarke
MusicFest Vancouver’s popular Industrial Alliance Pre-Dinner Concerts series offer hour long performances at Christ Church Cathedral.

Monday, August 13, Christ Church Cathedral
Cristina Braga with Sal Ferreras: Harpa Bossa Jazz. Cristina is a compelling vocalist with a deep melancholy in her voice that seems well carved for the compositions of Tom Jobim, Luiz Bonfá, Roberto Menescal and other masters of Música Popular Brasileira.

Tuesday, August 14, Christ Church Cathedral
Duo Brazil (soprano Donna Brown and guitarist Andrew Mah) will bring a program ranging from the dreamy sounds of the Bachianas Brasileiras of Villa-Lobos to the exuberance of Carnaval season in Rio.

Wednesday August 15, Christ Church Cathedral
Globe-hopping banjoist Jayme Stone will be featured in Bach to Africa and Back, a program that will include many classical transcriptions, including arias, two-part inventions and fugues by J.S. Bach, as well as a passepied by Claude Debussy.

Friday August 17, Christ Church Cathedral
Soprano Donna Brown and pianist Philippe Cassard will close the series on with Ariettes oubliées, a recital of forgotten songs to celebrate Debussy’s 150th birthday.
MusicFest Vancouver is pleased to partner once again with Early Music Vancouver to present a stellar line up of Early Music Concerts, with performances at the UBC School of Music’s Roy Barnett Recital Hall as well as Christ Church Cathedral.

Friday, August 10, Christ Church Cathedral
Gabrieli’s Venice: A Polychoral Celebration will mark the 400th anniversary of Gabrieli’s death with a concert focused on the sonorous compositions for separated choirs, strings, and brass. The faculty of Early Music Vancouver’s Baroque Instrumental Program will join together for a dynamic performance of richly textured French baroque chamber music.

Sunday, August 12, Roy Barnett Recital Hall, UBC
The Legacy of the Baroque: Works by Charpentier, Guillemain, Rameau, and more

Friday, August 17, Roy Barnett Recital Hall, UBC
The series will close with Love’s Lament: Italian Cantatas circa 1700, featuring bass Harry van der Kamp with Alexander Weimann at the harpsichord and chamber organ.
Jazz at the Cellar features jazz artists from Vancouver and around the world in an intimate restaurant setting.

Saturday, August 11, The Cellar
New York City-based trumpeter Jim Rotondi and the Cory Weeds Quartet open the series with an evening of fiery, elegant trumpet and warm, engaging tenor sax.

Tuesday, August 14, The Cellar
Marc Atkinson Trio: Sizzling, supremely melodic music for guitar trio.

Wednesday August 15, The Cellar
Van Django: Vancouver gypsy swing favourites

Thursday August 16, The Cellar
Campbell Riga (sax) and Mark Eisenman (piano)

Saturday August 18, The Cellar
Closing this extremely popular series is Phil Dwyer: Generations, a jazz encounter with Phil Dwyer (sax/piano), his son Ben Dwyer (bass), and fellow BC musician Hans Verhoeven (drums).
The Industrial Alliance MusicFest Flavours series offers six concerts spread over three venues. Each concert is two hours long, including intermission.

Saturday, August 11, Christ Church Cathedral
The Schweizer Klaviertrio: Chamber Gems program features works by Mozart and Brahms, as well as Swiss composers Rudolf Kelterborn and Paul Juon.

Sunday, August 12, Christ Church Cathedral
Montreal’s Quartango presents Tangos from the Barrios to the Ballroom, a program ranging from classic tangos to tango nuevo and Piazzolla.

Sunday, August 12, Vancouver Playhouse
Legends: The Whitening of the Ox & The Firebird. This concert with the Turning Point Ensemble and baritone Tyler Duncan incorporates multi-media components in a compelling musical response to works of the past.

August 13, Christ Church Cathedral
Ancient Cultures New Sounds: Bergmann Piano Duo and Gamelan Si Pawit. The piano duo (and musical couple) of Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann explore some of the Balinese music that Colin McPhee transcribed for two pianos decades before “world music” became widespread. For this performance, they’ll team up with Vancouver Community College’s Gamelan Si Pawit, for a work that juxtaposes gongs with Glenn Gould and the Goldberg Variations.

Thursday, August 16, Orpheum Annex
The Gryphon Trio will be joined by vocalist Patricia O’Callaghan (hailed by Billboard as “the most promising cabaret performer of her generation”) to present their genre-stretching concert of songs and tangos from the Americas. Their engaging program, Broken Hearts & Madmen includes songs by Nick Drake, Leonard Cohen, Lhasa de Sela, Laurie Anderson, Elvis Costello, Astor Piazzolla and more.

The final concert of the series features Carpe Diem String Quartet in a concert called Big Sky Big City. This concert showcases works inspired by both rural and urban settings, including Dvořák’s much-loved American string quartet and Fiddle Suite: Montana, written by Carpe Diem’s violist Korine Fujiwara in tribute to favorite scenic spots in the state where she grew up. Serving as a contrast will be music of George Gershwin and Duke Ellington.
In addition to concert series, MusicFest Vancouver is pleased to present two special events:

Saturday August 11, Holy Trinity Church, 12th Avenue at Hemlock
Centennial Celebration features self-described “organblaster” Michael Dirk in Casavant Frères: 100 Years of Good Vibrations, showcasing the mighty Casavant Frères Opus 485 pipe organ at Holy Trinity Anglican Church. This lighthearted performance will mark its centenary and will feature music by J.S. Bach, Willan, and Denis Bedard, plus improvisations to a Laurel & Hardy silent movie, complete with popcorn for the audience.
Sunday, August 12, VSO School of Music, Seymour Street
Guitar Day: MusicFest Vancouver invites you to discover the sonic pleasures of Pyatt Hall in a series of guitar concerts in solo, duo, and trio configurations.

11 am: Oberon Guitar Trio opens the day with Music of Our Time, sharing their passion for contemporary works with a focus on Canadian composers.

1 pm: Guitar Encounters: Two of Vancouver’s most versatile guitarists, Celso Machado and Ed Handerson, share musical views with a global perspective.

3 pm: Brasileiras: Guitarist Daniel Bolshoy and cellist Ariel Barnes; music by Villa-Lobos, Radamés Gnatalli, Luiz Bonfá and others
The following three events are offered in lecture/demonstration format, offering fascinating insights into other MusicFest Vancouver events:
Friday August 10, Christ Church Cathedral
Trios from Haydn to Today

Saturday August 11, Tom Lee Music Hall
Open Rehearsal: The Whitening of the Ox

Thursday, August 16, Christ Church Cathedral
Mark Eisenman: Jazz Piano 101

MusicFest Vancouver will team up with CBC’s Musical Nooners team to present the free CBC Plaza Series each weekday at CBC’s outdoor stage, 700 Hamilton Street.

Monday, August 13: Ezra Kwizera: Sounds of Africa – Traditional African and reggae-roots music
Tuesday, August 14: Jayme Stone: Banjo Virtuoso – Inspired by folk dances from around the world
Wednesday, August 15: Marc Atkinson Trio: Jazz Guitar Gypsy Flair – the music good-naturedly welcomes all listeners aboard for an intriguing, exhilarating, and unforgettable ride
Thursday, August 16: Khac Chi: Bamboo Music – Classical, folk, and contemporary music from Vietnam performed on rare and unique instruments
Friday, August 17: Carpe Diem String Quartet: Seize the Day! The premiere American indie string quartet rocks the plaza
Visit the MusicFest website for ticket information, full concert details, and performer video and audio samples. Purchases can be made either online or via Tickets Tonight (1.877.840.0457). Below are a few exceptions to concerts not available for purchase via MusicFest.

Tickets to La Bottine Souriante Rocks the Vogue are available online or by calling 604.569.1144. The Early Music Concerts are available online or by calling 604.732.1610. Tickets for Chan Centre events are available via Ticketmaster or by phoning 1.855.985.2787. Admission to the Music in the Garden: BMO Family Day is included in VanDusen Garden’s regular admission price. Jazz at the Cellar tickets are available exclusively through Cory Weed’s Cellar Jazz Club, 604.738.1959.


  • Comment by Bruce — May 31, 2012 @ 10:40 am

    Thank you SO much for posting this! It looks great.


  • Comment by arianec — May 31, 2012 @ 10:43 am

    You’re very welcome! A full house of programming this summer – looking forward to it as I’m sure you are as well.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.