• By: Kat Walcott

Annual Music & Beyond festival goes virtual this year

We’re all sad about Ottawa’s festival season being cancelled this year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Music and Beyond is here to put a smile on your face and treat your ears in a very special way!

Starting today, the classical music fest will be releasing a series of 100 performance videos via their YouTube channel. The mixed bag of musical performances include dance by the National Ballet of Canada’s principal dancer Sonia Rodriguez, singing by Ottawa’s very own Kelly Lee Evans, and much much more.

The festival is divided into three parts: Music and Nature, filmed throughout the Canadian Museum of Nature and offering performances that reflect the exhibits and galleries of the museum; Music and Law hosted by The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, who will relate stories of the legal problems of some of history’s great composers; and Music and Circus featuring Montreal’s Cirque Fantastic. Additionally, the festival is fully bilingual with half the performances being in English and half in French.

“I hear from people every day, who all tell me how much they miss the music this year,” states the festival’s director Julian Armour. “We are truly saddened to be cancelling the Music and Beyond festival this year, so instead, this will be our way of reaching out to everyone and sharing some beautiful performances as well as some great “beyond” content.”

Music and Beyond will release on average eight short video presentations each day for 12 days. All videos will be available for viewing without charge and will remain available once they are released.

“While nothing can replace the great experience of a live performance, we hope these will offer something totally different, yet equally wonderful,” Armour adds. “Viewers will be able to see many different camera angles, hear fascinating introductions, and will be seeing videos and pictures carefully edited into the music, which will enhance the whole experience. As well, we can reach a much wider audience, thanks to the internet. A video from one of our concerts featuring Wallis Giunta already has an astonishing 3.4 million views!”

More information about the virtual festival can be found on the Music and Beyond website.