Fall arts preview 2017: Music insiders reveal this season’s hidden gems

We asked those in the know to reveal their season’s hidden gems.

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      Heritage: Singing Canada’s Choral Songs

      Presented by the Vancouver Chamber Choir on September 22 at Dunbar Ryerson United Church

      “Our opening concert on September 22 is our final Canada 150 celebration. Called Heritage, it features great Canadian composers—there are Canadian icons, B.C. icons, the past, the future, even some long-hidden treasures... A fun night of terrific music!” says Jon Washburn, artistic and executive director of the Vancouver Chamber Choir.


      Jane Coop, Piano

      Presented by Music on Main on October 1 at the Vancouver Playhouse

      “Music on Main may be better known for presenting new music, but we remain dedicated to great classical music, too. Jane Coop is a towering figure in the classical scene, and having a chance to present a rare Vancouver solo concert with her is a complete thrill!” says David Pay, artistic director of Music on Main.


      Zakir Hussain And Dave Holland: Crosscurrents

      Presented by the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts on October 28

      “Improvisation is essential to both jazz and Indian classical music. The Crosscurrents project, headed by tabla player Zakir Hussain and jazz bassist Dave Holland, will be an unforgettable artistic meeting of the minds with a killer band including New York saxophonist Chris Potter and Bollywood vocalist Shankar Mahadevan. You won’t want to miss it!” says Joyce Hinton, co–managing director of the Chan Centre.


      Monteverdi’s Orfeo

      Presented by Early Music Vancouver on October 29 in the Chan Shun Concert Hall

      “Monteverdi’s Orfeo is the first unqualified masterpiece in operatic history, and conductor/star lutenist Stephen Stubbs knows the score as well as anybody on the planet. The score is full of dramatic word painting, narrative urgency, and rich orchestration of exotic instruments as well as exquisite writing for small vocal ensemble—it is one of my favourite works of all time,” says Matthew White, executive and artistic director of Early Music Vancouver.


      The Dream Of Gerontius

      Presented by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra on November 4 and 6 at the Orpheum

      “In early November, we’ll feature [Sir Edward] Elgar’s colossal work for three vocal soloists, chorus, and orchestra, The Dream of Gerontius, in which an everyman character faces death, meets his guardian angel, and stands before his god to seek the promise of everlasting glory. It is epic!” says Bramwell Tovey, music director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.


      Seriously Strings

      Presented by Vetta Chamber Music on November 23 and 24 at West Point Grey United Church, and November 26 at Pyatt Hall

      “Strings are Vetta’s thing, so if I had to choose one program, it would be Seriously Strings, which brings together six of Vancouver’s finest musicians performing [Peter Ilich] Tchaikovsky’s famous sextet Souvenir de Florence and [Wolfgang Amadeus] Mozart’s quintessential Quintet in G Minor,” says Joan Blackman, artistic director of Vetta Chamber Music.


      Nikolaj Znaider, Violin With Robert Kulek, Piano

      Presented by the Vancouver Recital Society on February 4 at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts

      “After his stunningly successful VRS performances at the Chan Centre in 2006 and 2008, we’ve been trying to bring Nikolaj Znaider back to Vancouver for the best part of a decade. He’s hugely successful and in demand in Europe, both as a violinist and conductor, and this is the first opportunity we’ve had to get him back to Vancouver. We seized it!” says Leila Getz, artistic director of the Vancouver Recital Society.


      Yoshihara + Sawai (Japan)

      Presented by Vancouver New Music on March 17 at the Annex

      “Among the rich offerings of VNM’s 2017-18 season, we are excited to welcome ancestral and radical sounds from two of Japan’s most celebrated musicians devoted to new sounds and composition [Sumire Yoshihara, percussion, and Kazue Sawai, koto]. This will be a unique and rare opportunity to experience two amazing sound explorers of the Japanese contemporary-music scene,” says Giorgio Magnanensi, artistic director of Vancouver New Music.


      Take 6 In Concert

      Presented by Chor Leoni on April 6 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre

      Chor Leoni’s VanMan Male Choral Festival has become a phenomenon for singers and audiences alike, and in our 25th year, we are proud to present the most decorated a cappella group of all time, TAKE 6, to this year’s weekend festival,” says Erick Lichte, conductor of Chor Leoni Men’s Choir.


      Tapestry International: Celebration Of Women’s Choirs

      Presented by Elektra Women’s Choir on May 4 at St. John’s Shaughnessy Anglican Church, and May 5 at Christ Church Cathedral

      “Vancouver meets Iceland meets Kyoto meets Los Angeles in May 2018. Elektra’s Tapestry International: Celebration of Women’s Choirs is a collaboration between four outstanding women’s choirs. We bring the world and its music to Vancouver!” says Morna Edmundson, artistic director of Elektra Women’s Choir.