LSM Newswire

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ottawa Chamber Music Festival

Chamberfest ’09 –

Exceptional entertainment, Exceptional value!

July 25-August 8

“…one of the genre’s most anticipated annual events.” -- Where Ottawa 13/08/2008

From July 25 to August 8, more than 250 of the world’s finest musicians will gather for the 16th Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival – Chamberfest 09 for two weeks of superb music-making. Over 90 indoor and outdoor concerts and events will be presented at venues including some of the city's most beautiful churches and heritage sites, including free concerts along the world-famous Rideau Canal (UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the Governor General’s residence, on the grounds of Rideau Hall. From Mozart to Miles Davis, savour a summer sampling of unforgettable sounds!

“Chamberfest 09 is a delicious mix of core favourites blended with the bold flavours of new collaborations. I encourage patrons to use their Festival pass as a passport taking them on an extraordinary journey of musical discovery, “says Ottawa Chamber Music Society Executive Director Glenn Hodgins.

This year is the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the year of Haydn’s death and Mendelssohn’s birth. Over a dozen string quartets from around the world and a handful of piano trios and other ensembles will perform masterpieces by these musical giants during the fourteen days of Chamberfest ’09. Another celebration will be a lively concert by James Campbell and Gene DiNovi to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Benny Goodman’s birth.

“This is a celebration of that special bond between performer and audience, where the magical communication of music happens. We all know and love that exchange of energy that has kept us all coming back for more,” says Roman Borys, on behalf of Artistic Directors, the Gryphon Trio.

Chamberfest begins with an outstanding opening benefit concert featuring Grammy and Juno award winner James Ehnes and Jon Kimura Parker partnering on an Ottawa stage for the very first time. Their powerful yet intimate performance will include selections from Prokofiev, Mozart and Ravel.

Early Music aficionados will be thrilled with performances by Les Voix Baroques, the Juno award wining Ensemble Caprice, and world-renowned soprano Ann Monoyios accompanied by the Ottawa Bach Choir and the Festival Baroque Consort.

New Music fans will be captivated by performances by the Molinari Quartet, Gary Hayes and members of the Ottawa New Music Creators, and Toca Loca, to name but a few. Ottawa’s own Doreen Taylor-Claxton and Frédéric Lacroix will perform Elemental Voices, a concept created by Ms. Taylor-Claxton that incorporates voice and dance. Esteemed Canadian composer, performer and educator, Gary Kulesha will offer insights as he hosts New Music Dialogues, a series of concerts featuring many Ottawa performers.

The next generation of virtuosos will be well represented at Chamberfest 09 by the extraordinarily talented Calgary pianist 14 year old Jan Lisiecki and the Afiara Quartet, Canada’s hottest new entry on the international quartet scene. The ever-popular Rising Stars concert will feature incredibly accomplished young local artists.

Soaring Beyond Expectation – Women in Composition is a series of concerts, including the world premiere of a piece by pianist and composer Heather Schmidt, dedicated to 19th century and contemporary women composers who have made their mark on the musical world. Fanny Mendelssohn and Clara Schumann, both women who were limited by prevailing attitudes of the time, are but two women composers celebrated during the festival.

"I once believed that I possessed creative talent, but I have given up this idea; a woman must not desire to compose — there has never yet been one able to do it. Should I expect to be the one?" - Clara Schumann at age 20

Renowned European musicologist Harry Halbreich returns this summer for eight days to offer his Musical Musings on the repertoire of the day. A new feature to this musical start to the festival day will be Highlights from Haydn, the addition of a live performance of a piece by Haydn in honour of the 200th anniversary of his death. In addition to the Musical Musings will be two morning presentations by master bow maker Yung Chin, one of the most respected and sought-after bow makers in the world, to share with festival-goers the Mysteries of the Bow.

Young People’s Concerts make their popular return, as well as family friendly presentations offered in partnership with the Rideau Canal Festival on Saturday, August 1 and Sunday, August 2. The first of two concerts involves participation from the crowd making music while participating in the Rideau Canal Festival’s Bicycle Parade! The second concert will see Chamberfest musicians animating the Canal Festival’s Flotilla, which features dozens of elaborately decorated boats. Festival-goers will be captivated by brass musicians performing from flotilla boats, on the shore, on the bridges above, and throughout surrounding areas.

In another new partnership, the OCMS is happy to announce the return of the very popular Late Night Series. Chamberfest brings Late Night concerts to Ottawa’s coolest hot spot, Saint Brigid’s Emerald Club (Saint Brigid’s Centre for the Arts and Humanities, 314 St. Patrick Street at the corner of Cumberland and St. Patrick). Festival-goers can relax with their favourite brew as they enjoy 15 nights of classical, jazz and world music while mingling with musicians in an informal, relaxed atmosphere. Doors open at 9:30 pm, with a 10:30 soft start for performances. Admittance is free with a festival pass.

The festival closes with a dazzling benefit concert. CelebrEIGHT! will include Ottawa’s own Donna Brown and the Festival Cello Ensemble (eight cellos!) performing the glorious Bachianas Brasilieras No. 5 and the St. Lawrence String Quartet and the Ying Quartet performing Mendelssohn’s famous Octet.

We have created a range of fairly priced passes with an option to suit every budget. Festival passes and tickets for the Opening and Closing Benefit Concerts are available for purchase as of May 21. All ticket information and the full schedule is available online at

Passes and tickets are available at the Ottawa Chamber Music Society office at 201-4 Florence Street (at the corner of Bank Street), the OCMS Box Office situated at Dominion-Chalmers United Church, 355 Cooper Street, and online at

The Ottawa Chamber Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of its sponsors, partners and donors.

City of Ottawa

Ottawa Arts Council

Canadian Heritage

Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund

The Ontario Trillium Foundation

Canada Council for the Arts

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