Fall Arts Preview: classical music is back in Vancouver, with the VSO leading the way
Classical music is back in Vancouver this fall with a wide range of in-person and online performances presented by companies like the Vancouver Symphony, Early Music Vancouver, Music on Main, and the Vancouver Recital Society.
VSO: We're Back Gala Concert at the Orpheum Theatre, September 18. Maestro Otto Tausk and the full Vancouver Symphony Orchestra open the season with a gala performance featuring Beethoven’s Fidelio Overture, excerpts from Massenet and Berlioz, compelling new Canadian voices Dinuk Wijeratne and Barbara Assiginaak, and closing with Tchaikovsky’s powerful 5th Symphony.
Wednesday Noon Hours at the Chan Centre, September 22 to December 1. Wednesdays at noon hear classical and chamber-music performances by Ad Mare Wind Quintet (Sept. 22), Silk Road Music (Sept. 29), Vancouver Brass Orchestra (Oct. 6), Four Jays (Oct. 13), 44th E-Gré Competition Winner (Oct. 27), There is a Season (Nov. 17), and Brian Wendel (Dec. 1).
VSO: Back to the Future in Concert at the Orpheum Theatre, September 23 to 25. Screening of the 1985 hit action-comedy Back to the Future on a hi-def screen with a full symphony orchestra performing Alan Silverstri’s musical score, with roughly 20 minutes of brand new music added by Silvestri.
VSO: Fred Penner at the Orpheum Theatre, October 3. Beloved children’s entertainer Fred Penner joins the VSO and associate conductor Andrew Crust to welcome back families to the Orpheum.
Chaconne: In Memory of Jeanne Lamon, online, October 6. Early Music Vancouver presents violinists Chloe Kim and Christi Meyers, cellist Christina Mahler, and harpsichordist Christina Hutten in a program that presents two rarely heard suites from Pachelbel’s major surviving chamber music work, Musikalische Ergötzung (Musical Delight).
Pilgrimage to Bach: Cantata BWV 82, online, October 13. Early Music Vancouver's summer artist-in-residence, Jonathon Adams, a Two-Spirit, nêhiyaw michif (Cree-Métis) baritone, and the Pacific Baroque Orchestra led from the organ and harpsichord by Alexander Weimann, perform J.S. Bach’s BWV 82 “Ich habe genug” (It is enough).
VSO: A New World at the Orpheum Theatre, October 15 to 16. Maestro Otto Tausk leads the Vancouver Symphony in works by Mussorgsky and Dvořák and Indigenous cellist/composer Cris Derksen’s powerful braiding of the traditional and contemporary.
Danish String Quartet at the Orpheum Theatre, October 17. The Vancouver Recital Society presents a concert which pairs world premieres from four renowned composers—Bent Sørensen, Lotta Wennäkoski, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, and Thomas Adès—with four major works from the chamber music repertoire of Franz Schubert.
Andreas Staier at Christ Church Cathedral, October 20. One of the world’s most prominent fortepianists and harpsichordists inaugurates Early Music Vancouver's Graf piano with a program of works by Mozart, Haydn, and Schubert.
VSO Surrey Nights: Robert Silverman plays Bach at the Bell Performing Arts Centre, October 24. Vancouver pianist Silverman is featured in performances of Bach's Keyboard Concerto in D minor, A Musical Offering, and Preludes & Fugues (selections).
Toni Siqi Yun at the Vancouver Playhouse, October 24. The Vancouver Recital Society presents young Canadian pianist in a program of works by Bellini/Liszt (Réminiscences de Norma S. 394), Bach/Busoni (Chaconne in D minor; Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, Chorale Prelude BWV. 639), Beethoven (Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 “Pastorale”), Wagner/Liszt (Solemn March to The Holy Grail from Parsifal, S. 450), and Stravinsky/Agosti (The Firebird Suite: Danse infernale–Berceuse–Finale).
VSO: Sal Ferreras "Latin Nights" at the Orpheum Theatre, October 29 and 30. Vancouver percussionist Sal Ferreras joins his Latin-jazz sextet and the Vancouver Symphony in a celebration of Latin American rhythm, dance, and joy.
Juho Pohjonen at the Vancouver Playhouse, October 31. The Vancouver Recital Society presents Finnish pianist in a program of works by Mozart (Fantasia in C minor, K. 475; Sonata No. 14 in C minor, K. 457) and Prokofiev (Piano Sonata No. 6 in A major, Op. 82).
Modulus Festival at various venues and online, November 4 to 10. With live music, behind-the-scenes artist talks, and an extension of Music on Main’s digital offerings, the 2021 Modulus features include flutist Mark Takeshi McGregor with a program including the world premiere of Keiko Devaux’s “Hōrai”, along with music by Alfredo Santa Ana, James O’Callaghan, and Nicole Lizée.
VSO: Rachmaninoff & Strauss at the Orpheum Theatre, November 5 and 6. Pianist Stewart Goodyears joins music director Otto Tausk and the Vancouver Symphony in a program of works by R. Strauss (Don Juan) and Rachmaninoff (Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and Symphonic Dances).
As dreams are made at the Annex, November 5 to 10. Music on Main artistic director David Pay‘s very personal response to the global pandemic, inspired by the magic of musicians in live performance, is a 15-minute production created specifically for one audience member and one performer to connect safely through music that brings us together.
Augustin Hadelich at the Vancouver Playhouse, November 7. The Vancouver Recital Society presents solo violinist performing works by J.S. Bach (Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004; Partita No. 3 in E major, BWV 1006), Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson (Blue/s Forms), and Eugène-Auguste Ysaÿe (Sonata No. 2, Op. 27, “Obsession”).
Alexander Malofeev at the Orpheum Theatre, November 9. The Vancouver Recital Society presents young Russian pianist in a program of works by Schubert (Piano Sonata No. 14 in A minor, D.784), Medtner (Piano Sonata in G minor, Op. 22; 2 Skazki, Op. 48), and Rachmaninov (Piano Sonata No. 1 in D minor, Op. 28).
Lab’rinths: Purcell and his Contemporaries, online, November 10. Early Music Vancouver presents devotional songs by Purcell sung by baritone Jonathon Adams and accompanied by Mélisande Corriveau on viola da gamba and Eric Milnes on organ and harpsichord.
VSO: Bronfman, Tovey & Beethoven at the Orpheum Theatre, November 12 and 13. VSO music director emeritus Bramwell Tovey is joined by pianist Yefim Bronfman, who brings his deep and passionate playing to Beethoven’s 3rd Piano Concerto.
Miloš Karadaglić & Avi Avital at the Vancouver Playhouse, November 14. The Vancouver Recital Society presents guitarist Karadaglić and mandolinist Avital in a program of works by J.S. Bach (Italian Concerto in F major, BWV. 971), Schubert (Selected song transcriptions), Villa-Lobos (Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5), and Glass (Metamorphosis No. 4, Etude No. 9).
Bach's Sons, online, November 14. Vancouver New Music presents cellist Elinor Frey and the Pacific Baroque Orchestra in a program of works by J.S. Bach's sons.
VSO: Romeo and Juliet at the Orpheum Theatre, November 19. Music director Otto Tausk leads the Vancouver Symphony in Prokofiev's dramatic musical masterpiece, with special guests helping to bring the story to life.
Hasalala Danxalax: Marion Newman & Friends at the Chan Centre, November 20. Four operatic voices—Melody Courage, Asitha Tennekoon, Jonathon Adams, and curator Marion Newman—celebrate the ever-growing repertoire of Indigenous composers, interpret works from the Western canon, and confront the devastating impact of colonialism on the lives and culture of this land’s First Peoples.
VSO: The Valkyries Ride Again at the Orpheum Theatre, November 26 and 27. Music director Otto Tausk and cellist Henry Shapard join the Vancouver Symphony in a program of works by Lalo (Cello Concerto) and Wagner (Highlights From the Ring).