A Symphony of Choice! Get Classical with These Chamberfest 2018 Concerts
Whether you’re a classical music aficionado well-versed in everything from Amadeus to Záviš of Zápy or you simply can’t tell Mendelssohn from Metallica, narrowing down which of the 80+ concerts you can see this year at Ottawa Chamberfest is a pretty daunting task. This isn’t Pokémon, my friends, and you can’t catch them all.
With this being the 25th Anniversary of the festival, organizers have pulled out all the stops to put together an impressive list of choices, including some outside the chamber options that genre-hop into jazz and even a little bluegrass.
Andre Gagne has taken this mammoth anniversary symphony and condensed it into a partita with these eight choices that showcase the diversity of the festival. Bach, Gershwin, Leonard Cohen and…a master mixing DJ?
These are the shows you have to check out:
“I’VE GOT RHYTHM”: BUZZ BRASS AND MATT HERSKOWITZ SALUTE GERSHWIN
Saturday 28 July 2018 / 10PM / La Nouvelle Scène Gilles Desjardins
Inventive and witty piano virtuoso Matt Herskowitz and Montreal’s Buzz Brass honour the timeless work of George Gershwin, from “Summertime” to “Rhapsody in Blue.” Pianist and brass quintet astound and delight with their wondrous re-imaginings of the American icon’s much loved melodies.
CHAMBERFEST 25TH ANNIVERSARY MASHUP
Sunday 29 July 2018 / 7PM / Dominion-Chalmers United Church
Celebrate the festival’s birthday with this extravaganza! Experience a mosaic of music that spans many centuries and defines the spirit of Chamberfest. Hosted by Eric Friesen, this musical mashup will feature small ensembles in every form, from baroque to blue grass.
SOUNDING THUNDER: THE SONG OF FRANCIS PEGAHMAGABOW
Tuesday 31 July 2018 / 7PM / École secondaire publique De La Salle
A musical journey into the life of the renowned Ojibwe military officer and sniper, Francis Pegahmagabow. Composed by Timothy Corlis and written by Ojibwe poet Armand Garnet Ruffo, Sounding Thunder comes in three dramatic acts. It explores Pegahmagabow’s early years immersed in the world of the Anishinaabe spirits, his extraordinary accomplishments in the trenches of WWI, and finally his political life as Chief of the Wasauksing Ojibwe and founder of the early Indigenous political movement in Canada.
Wednesday 1 August 2018 / 10PM / La Nouvelle Scène Gilles Desjardins
Meet Koszika, Transylvania’s rising star of the folk-jazz scene. Become spellbound as she unveils the unlikely friendship between tango and the jazz standard, together with the Tiberius String Quartet, clarinetist James Campbell, jazz guitarist Graham Campbell, double bassist John Geggie, and pianist Jamie Parker.
¡DUENDE! : LORCA, COHEN, AND THE SPIRIT OF SPAIN
Thursday 02 August 2018 / 7PM / Dominion-Chalmers United Church
The poetry, music, and very essence of Spain has been an inspiration for generations of artists, ranging from De Falla to Canada’s own Leonard Cohen. Vocalists Patricia O’Callaghan and Maryem Tollar join forces with a diverse group including pianist David Braid and members of the Canadian Guitar Quartet, in a mix of traditional melodies and re-imaginings of Cohen’s songs.
BRING THE KIDS!: SONIC ESCAPE
Friday 03 August 2018 / 10 PM / Ottawa City Hall
Join dancing violinist Maria Millar and flutist Shawn Wyckoff for music that moves. With Maria and Shawn, music isn’t just fun to dance to – the music dances too!
ANGELA HEWITT: BACH ODYSSEY V
Saturday 04 August 2018 / 7 PM / Dominion-Chalmers United Church
Soaring to the halfway point of her fantastic performance of Bach’s entire collected works for keyboard, Angela Hewitt performs Bach’s ethereal Aria and 30 variations known the world over as the Goldberg Variations.
LAST CALL: DJ/VIOLINIST BRENDAN SPELTZ WITH THE SOMA QUARTET / Thursday 09 August 2018 / 10PM / La Nouvelle Scène Gilles Desjardins
Come close out this year’s festival with a party scored by New York DJ Brendan Speltz’s. Groove to a perfectly curated playlist of retro classics and pop. He’ll set the stage for a special closing performance by the SOMA Quartet, wrapping up fifteen incredible days in style. Dancing’s not just welcome – it is encouraged!