Ottawa Chamberfest, the capital city’s international chamber music festival, has announced its lineup for this year’s summer performances.
The two-week music extravaganza combines the classical and the modern, and celebrates musical traditions from around the world. The common thread of the festival is the intimate nature of the performances—the defining characteristic of chamber music.
As opposed to large philharmonic and symphony orchestras, chamber music embraces music that can be played by an ensemble that might fit comfortably in a large living room, a testament to the origins of the genre where small ensembles would gather and entertain in homes and palace chambers.
Chamber music, sometimes called “the music of friends” because of its intimate nature, has evolved over the last 200 years, and while the instruments, styles, and compositions have changed, the basic idea of a small group of musicians playing for appreciative audiences has not.
This year the trend continues with a varied lineup featuring some of the brightest and rising stars of their genres.
Opening night will feature the Grammy award-winning acappella group, the Swingle Singers. The seasoned group has 50 albums and 4,000 performances under its belt.
The Gryphon Trio join soprano superstar and judge of “Canada’s Got Talent” Measha Brueggergosman for a gala evening that includes songs by Poulenc and a “Porgy and Bess” suite by Gershwin.
Local Ottawa mezzo soprano Wallis Giunta will pair with Austin’s Miró Quartet in an evening of strings and song, featuring pieces from Respighi’s “Il tramonto” and Barber’s “Dover Beach.”
The Chamberfest acknowledges the past and embraces the present by incorporating performances by acts such as The Montreal Guitar Trio, who play high-spirited jazz and world music, and the Luis Mario Ochoa Cuban Quintet, one of Canada’s most exciting Cuban ensembles.
Of course, the classical traditions still hold sway, and from Haydn to Mozart, from Chopin to Brahms, the Chamberfest presents the classics in a unique fashion played by virtuoso musicians.
Founded in 1994 and the largest festival of its kind, Ottawa Chamberfest is a Festivals and Events Ontario “Festival of Distinction,” and winner of seven Lieutenant-Governor’s Awards for the Arts.
The Ottawa Chamberfest will be held July 25–Aug. 8. Early bird passports and Festival Gala tickets are available on March 21 and single tickets to the full concert program go on sale June 1. For more information visit www.OttawaChamberfest.com/tickets.
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