Concert by World-Renowned Pianist and Celebrated Interpreter of Bach’s Keyboard Works is Part of EMV’s Ongoing ‘Goldberg Experience’ Series
Early Music Vancouver (EMV) presents Goldberg Variations – Angela Hewitt, on March 7, 2018 at 7:30 pm at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. Hailed as “the pre-eminent Bach pianist of our time” (The Guardian, London), GRAMMY Award-winning Angela Hewitt has captivated listeners around the world with her dazzling musicianship and stunning virtuosity. For this highly-anticipated concert, Hewitt will perform on a modern Fazioli grand piano as part of EMV’s ongoing ‘Goldberg Experience’, in which artists from various traditions interpret the ‘Variations’ from their own unique perspectives and on different instruments.
“Angela Hewitt is a Canadian national treasure and considered to be among the world’s reigning interpreters of Bach’s repertoire for solo keyboard,” says Matthew White, Executive and Artistic Director of Early Music Vancouver. “It is an honour to include an artist of Angela’s stature as part of EMV’s ongoing ‘Goldberg Experience’. Our exploration of this work began with an exciting but controversial performance by American jazz pianist Dan Tepfer, who included his own improvisations before each of the original ‘Variations’. Our second guest in this series was Deutsche Grammophone recording artist, Mahan Esfahani, who played on a French double-manual harpsichord built in Vancouver by Craig Tomlinson. For our third guest, we thought it made sense to invite Angela Hewitt, one of Canada’s most celebrated pianists, to perform these works on a modern grand piano.”
Often compared to Glenn Gould because of her Canadian roots and her internationally-recognized reputation for playing the keyboard works of Bach, Angela Hewitt was born into a musical family in Ottawa, Ontario. She began piano lessons at three, performed in public at four, and one year later won her first scholarship. Hewitt’s first recital was at age nine at Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music, where she studied from 1964 to 1973. She then studied with French pianist Jean-Paul Sévilla at the University of Ottawa, graduating with a Bachelor of Music degree at the age of 18. Prior to her Toronto Bach Competition victory in 1985, she placed first in Italy’s Viotti Competition in 1978, and was a top prizewinner in the International Bach competitions of Leipzig and Washington, DC, as well as the Schumann Competition in Zwickau, Germany, the Casadesus Competition in Cleveland, and the Dino Ciani Competition at La Scala, Milan.
In 1994, Hewitt embarked on a 10-year project to record all the major keyboard works by Bach for the Hyperion label, a series that has been described as “one of the record glories of our age” (Sunday Times, London). Since then, Hewitt has performed throughout North America and Europe, as well as in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, and the former Soviet Union. In addition to her many other national and international awards, including two JUNO and three GRAMMY Awards, she has been recognized by the Government of Canada as a Companion of the Order of Canada.
The ‘Goldberg Variations’ were composed by Johann Sebastian Bach in 1741, and have since become some of the most recognizable works in the classical music repertoire. Though there is no dedication on the title page to the work, Johann Nicholas Forkel, in his 1802 biography of J.S. Bach, suggests that the ‘Goldberg Variations’ were written by Bach to be played by Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, a musician under the employ of Count Kaiserling, a Russian Ambassador to the electoral court of Saxony. The Count is said to have suffered from insomnia and the story goes that the ‘Variations’ were commissioned as a prescription to help him fall asleep at night.
“In the ‘Goldberg Variations’, Bach developed a theme and stretched its infinite possibilities, manipulating it over and over, but in a new and clever way each time. It is, at times, deceptively simple and charming. There are also sections that are technically exceedingly difficult, requiring a flurry of notes performed with ease. This work continues to remain one of the pinnacle high points of Bach’s works and continues to fascinate pianists and scholars today,” says Angela Hewitt. She adds, “We might ask ourselves why this work has such an enormous effect on us, as I believe it does. It is certainly one of the most therapeutic pieces of music in that we always feel better for having listened to it. The beauty, joy and fulfillment that Bach shares with us are powerful healers and give us momentarily the sense of completeness we seek.”
In addition to sharing Hewitt’s performance of the ‘Goldberg Variations’, Early Music Vancouver also looks forward to announcing their captivating 2018-19 Season at the beginning of this concert at the Chan Centre.
ABOUT EARLY MUSIC VANCOUVER (earlymusic.bc.ca)
For close to 50 years, Early Music Vancouver (EMV) has dedicated itself to fostering an understanding and appreciation of musical treasures from the Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical periods. Currently, under the leadership of Matthew White – renowned countertenor and founding director of the Québec-based ensemble Les Voix Baroques – EMV continues to garner international acclaim as the largest presenter of early music in Canada, and as one of the most active and innovative organizations in its field in North America. EMV is proud of its educational outreach initiatives that include its popular annual summer festival at UBC’s School of Music; a new Baroque Mentorship Orchestra; community lectures; and instrument instruction and preservation.
|LISTING INFORMATION||Early Music Vancouverpresents Goldberg Variations – Angela Hewitt|
|Date:||Wednesday, March 7, 2018, at 7:30pm|
|Pre-Concert Talk:||6:45pm with Angela Hewitt and Ian Alexander, hosted by EMV’s
Executive & Artistic Director Matthew White
|Address:||Chan Centre for the Performing Arts
6265 Crescent Road, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
|Ticket Prices:||From $18|
|Box Office:||earlymusic.bc.ca or 604-822-2697|
Feature image: Angela Hewitt, London 2016 copyright Keith Saunders