Early Music Vancouver Announces First-Ever Vancouver Bach Festival


  ‘Best of Bach’ Lineup Brings World-Renowned Baroque Musicians to Heart of Downtown this Summer


Early Music Vancouver (EMV) proudly presents its first-ever Vancouver Bach Festival, August 2 –12, 2016, at Christ Church Cathedral and the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. Audiences have the opportunity to experience some of J.S. Bach’s best known works on period instruments, played by international stars in the warmth and acoustic splendor of two of Vancouver’s most cherished venues. Concerts include intimate chamber music like the Cello Suites, the Goldberg Variations, The Musical Offering and The Art of the Fugue, as well as larger scale orchestral and choral works such as the Orchestral Suites, and the monumental Mass in B Minor.

“Vancouver has not hosted a summer classical music event of this size since Music Fest ended in 2013,” says Matthew White, Executive and Artistic Director of EMV. “Any attempt at bringing back a summertime classical music festival to downtown called for programming of universal appeal. No classical music composer is more revered than Johann Sebastian Bach. Like Shakespeare, he is an artist who bridges all divergent tastes and preferences – a celebration of J.S. Bach is a celebration of music and art of every form.”

J.S. Bach (1685 – 1750) is unarguably one of the most influential figures in the development of Western music. His legacy includes a prolific output of some of the most expressive and beautiful music ever written. Almost three centuries since Bach’s passing, the musical and academic worlds continue to uncover new facets of his brilliance.


The Vancouver Bach Festival 2016 programme includes:


Goldberg Variations/Variations *Presented in Partnership with Coastal Jazz

August 2 at 7:30pm

Praised by the New York Times as “riveting, inspired, fresh musical exploration”, Jazz pianist Dan Tepfer not only masters the variations from memory, he dismantles and reassembles the form, audaciously riffing with elegant swing and cohesion. While not a period instrument offering, this concert demonstrates the important role of improvisation in Bach’s music. It is often argued that were he alive today, Bach would be a Jazz musician!

Schübler Chorales

August 3 at 1pm

Organist and harpsichordist Christina Hutten has graced concert halls and grand churches across Europe and North America. She will play Bach’s famed six chorales, showcasing the instrument for which Bach was known as being the undisputed master of his age.

The Art of the Fugue 

August 3 at 7:30pm

Hailed as one of the world’s leading Baroque keyboard specialists, Davitt Moroney shares an unparalleled recital of Bach’s “greatest puzzle”. Moroney’s first recording of the contrapuntal marvel, praised for its “vivid clarity” and “sense of voyage of the spirit” (The New York Times), earned him a Gramophone Award.

Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord

August 4 at 7:30pm

Intended for performance in Leipzig’s 18th century coffee houses, these Sonatas offer a delightful interaction between violin and harpsichord, for the first time bringing the keyboard beyond role of accompanist. Violinist Ingrid Matthews’ elegance and artistry will be matched by award-winning harpsichordist Byron Schenkman.

J.S. Bach – Mass in B Minor at the Chan Centre*

August 5 at 7:30pm

Considered the towering peak of Western choral music, this work cements J.S. Bach as one of the greatest composers of all time. Esteemed conductor Alexander Weimann leads an ensemble of internationally-renowned soloists, backed by a chorus of professional vocalists, and Montreal’s 26-piece Arion Baroque Orchestra.

Anna Magdalena Songbook with Ellen Hargis – Home Suite Home

August 6 at 7:30pm

Five gifted performers welcome audiences into the Bach “family home” sharing select works from his second wife’s private catalogue. American soprano Ellen Hargis and Montreal-based choreographer Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière treat audiences to stirring Baroque music and dance, providing a glimpse at domestic music-making in one of the 18th century’s preeminent musical households.

The Musical Offering

August 9 at 7:30pm

World-renowned keyboardist, Alexander Weimann, leads a chamber ensemble through this spellbinding series of musical inventions. J.S. Bach famously wrote this work in response to an unfair musical challenge presented by King Frederick the Great of Prussia.

Sonatas and Partitas

August 10 at 1pm

Fiendishly complex and profoundly beautiful, artists return to study and perform the Sonatas and Partitas over their entire careers. Tekla Cunningham, first violinist of Pacific MusicWorks in Seattle and Finnish-born flutist Soile Stratkauskas with Christina Hutten on harpsichord offer a few samples from this rich repertoire.

Cello Suites

August 11at 7:30 pm

Beiliang Zhu, first prize winner at the Leipzig International Bach competition, plays four of the most celebrated works for cello ever written. Evoking a different compelling scene and feeling in each movement, she will take audiences on an “extraordinary journey”.

Orchestral Suites for a Young Prince with Monica Huggett

August 12 at 7:30pm

Hear Bach’s Orchestral Suites (penned during his prosperous time in Prince Leopold’s court) led by superstar violinist Monica Huggett, with guest oboist Gonzalo Ruiz and the Pacific Baroque Orchestra. The evening offers a rare reunion of Huggett and Ruiz, whose praised 2009 recording of the suites received a GRAMMY nomination.

Enjoy any four concerts of the Vancouver Bach Festival for the price of three. Purchases of more than four concert packages will also receive a 25% discount.

To compliment the artist lineup, EMV will offer an array of thought-provoking film screenings and expert talks, which audiences can enjoy with wine and refreshments in a relaxed atmosphere.

For tickets and complete details of all Vancouver Bach Festival events, please visit: earlymusic.bc.ca

early music


For 45 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.



Early Music Vancouver Presents: Vancouver Bach Festival



August 2 -12, 2016



$10 – $67



Christ Church Cathedral (690 Burrard Street) and

The Chan Center for the Performing Arts at UBC

(6265 Crescent Road)


Box Office:

earlymusic.bc.ca or 604-822-2697




Leave a Comment

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial