The Canadian Music Centre in BC Unveils New Performance Space & Signature Concert Series



Renovated Vancouver Creative Hub with 40-seat salon will host  intimate recitals celebrating Canadian composers 


The Canadian Music Centre in British Columbia (CMC BC) proudly reveals its renovated home, the Vancouver Creative Hub (837 Davie Street) with 40-seat black box theatre, the Murray Adaskin Salon, an urban cultural hotspot for Canadian music & the local arts community. The newly upgraded CMC branch will open October 14, 2016 with the first performance of CMC BC’s inaugural Murray Adaskin Salon Concert Series – four recitals dedicated to iconic Canadian composers.

“CMC BC is thrilled to unveil a new era in its history as we become for the first time a presenter of Canadian works performed by acclaimed artists,” says Sean Bickerton, recently appointed Director of CMC BC. “We are delighted to host the Murray Adaskin Salon Concert Series in our modern and intimate venue, bringing local audiences up close to Canadian new music like never before. Since 1959, we have promoted Associate Composers through our extensive lending library, and JUNO Award-winning label Centrediscs – treasured resources we continue providing now alongside our first-ever performance season, and a range of new educational offerings & service enhancements. Through this evolution, we will have the opportunity to engage more deeply with the community in our mission to boost awareness around the exciting world of Canadian composition.”

The Murray Adaskin Salon is named for one of BC’s most beloved composers. With new lobby and box office in association with Tourism Vancouver’s Tickets Tonight, the venue is rentable by local arts groups at affordable rates serving as a much-needed accessible space for creative exploration. A refurbished Heintzman Salon Grand piano, once played by Benjamin Britten, is the stunning centerpiece of the new theatre. Owned by Adaskin during the time he penned the majority of his great works, the keyboard was purchased by CMC BC from his estate in 2002. A revered educator, Adaskin taught many of today’s generation of BC composers who studied with him at the same Heintzman piano.

CMC BC’s Murray Adaskin Salon Concert Series comprises of four recitals, each in tribute to an esteemed CMC Associate Composer who left a lasting mark on Canada’s music landscape: Murray Adaskin, Barbara Pentland, Jean Coulthard, and Elliot Weisgarber. Each performance was curated by individual Artistic Advisors appointed by CMC BC as champions of Canadian music with a special connection to the composer they will commemorate. Every recital will begin with the premiere of a CMC commissioned documentary on the highlighted composer produced by local, award-winning filmmaker John Bolton.

Along with its new performance space, CMC BC will welcome several service and infrastructure improvements. In addition to new workstations, and state-of-the-art score printing & binding equipment, CMC BC will introduce interactive public tours allowing visitors to engage with scores through onscreen presentations & listening stations. CMC BC will also re-launch its signature Composer in the Classroom program, an outreach initiative sparking student passion for music composition in Greater Vancouver schools.

The 2016/17 Murray Adaskin Salon Concert Series includes:

Murray Adaskin Celebration, October 14, 2016 at 7pm 

Artistic Advisor: Rodney Sharman, Composer

Adaskin (1906 – 2002) is largely credited with bringing Western Canada into the new music spotlight. He’s known for his distinctly conservative embrace of the contemporary genre, and more than 130 works often described as lyrical, witty, and rhythmically vital. The first concert of the season offers an exquisite selection of Adaskin repertoire featuring local soprano Jessica Tovey, Victoria soprano Catherine Fern Lewis, Japanese pianist Chiharu Linuma, VSO bassoonist Gwen Seaton, former VSO Associate Concert Master Joan Blackman on violin, and Ventos Wind Quintet’s Nick Anderson on French horn.

Barbara Pentland Celebration, November 18, 2016 at 7pm 

Artistic Advisor: Barbara Pritchard, Pianist

Pentland (1912 – 2000) is considered one of Canada’s first avant-garde composers with an output spanning 60 years. Inspired by Igor Stravinsky and Anton Webern, her evocative works are characterized by their elegant construction and rich textures. This evening recognizing an exceptional female force in music will spotlight acclaimed Halifax pianist Barbara Pritchard, pianist Jane Hayes (previously of Turning Point Ensemble), soprano and new music specialist Janice Isabel Jackson, Albertina Chan of celebrated Cordei chamber duo, and Aventa Ensemble’s renowned flutist Mark McGregor.

Jean Coulthard Celebration, February 10, 2017 at 7pm 

Artistic Advisor: David Gordon Duke, Composer

Vancouver-born Coulthard (1908-2000) studied under Ralph Vaughan Williams at the Royal College of Music, and worked with such visionaries as Arnold Schoenberg, and Béla Bartók. As one of few woman composers of her time, she established a remarkable international profile and produced a massive catalogue of works known for their purity of expression, colouristic harmonies and robust rhythms. Koerner Piano Trio members – cellist Joseph Elworthy, violinist Nicholas Wright, and pianist Amanda Chan – join lauded soprano Robyn Driedger-Klassen in a special program of Coulthard works.

Elliot Weisgarber Celebration, April 7, 2017 at 7pm

Artistic Advisor: Karen Smithson, Flutist and Daughter to Weisgarber

A graduate of Eastman School of Music, Weisgarber (1919-2001) studied in the US with such composer greats as Howard Hanson, and Nadia Boulanger. He came to BC to become immersed in the flourishing Asian community and pursue his passion for Japanese music. Weisgarber is hailed for uniquely merging Eastern musical influences with North American styles – his repertoire often melds chamber music forms with Japanese folk elements. Renowned British flutist Roderick Seed, the widely recorded clarinetist Gene Ramsbottom, distinguished bassoon player Gregory Cukrov, veteran horn player Brian G’froerer, UBC School of Music’s Richard Epp (piano), and expert oboist Tony Nickels will bring Weisgarber’s Empty Sky and Five Pieces to life.

For complete details of the Murray Adaskin Salon Concert Series lineup, visit:

Season Subscriptions ($99) are now available at:


About the Canadian Music Centre (

The Canadian Music Centre connects you to the ever-evolving world of Canadian musical creation through performance, education, and promotion. The CMC provides unique resources for exploring, discovering, and performing Canadian music. We are passionate about nurturing a musical community that honours our legacy and supports the professional development of Canadian musicians and composers. The CMC inspires fresh perspectives, celebrates inventive composers, and provides transformative musical and educational experiences. We champion artistic diversity and embrace Canada’s rich cultural heritage in creative centres across the country and internationally.

About the Canadian Music Centre in BC (

Based in downtown Vancouver, CMC BC is a presenter of concerts exploring the rich musical heritage of this province. CMC BC also offers an extensive, free lending library of Canadian music, presents films & documentary screenings, lectures & workshops, and provides many other vital services to the musical and artistic community of BC.  The Vancouver Creative Hub and Victoria Creative Hub are both virtual and real-life initiatives that help CMC BC expand its role as an active member of the arts community by offering a platform for collaboration, engagement and exploration of Canadian contemporary music. Through outreach, workshops, performances, festivals and more, CMC BC is committed to making its Canadian music collections and services more accessible to everyone in the province.


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