The Early Music Vancouver Summer Festival is a series of live concerts and events with traditional music at various venues in Vancouver.
The festival features music by Johann Sebastian Bach, but also by different composers too including Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Strozzi and others. In 2023 the summer festival ran from July 27th until August 5th (which included the BC Day Long Weekend). Dates for the 2024 summer festival are still to be confirmed. If you like classical music, especially music played as it was originally done in the era of its composers, you’ll love this series of concerts!
EMV Summer Music Festival in 2023
Formerly known as the Vancouver Bach Festival, the EMV Summer Festival is an exploration of traditional music presented by Early Music Vancouver (EMV). Each year the festival has a different theme. In 2023 the theme was “Women in Sight.”
Celebrating its seventh year in 2023, the EMV Summer Festival ran from July 27th until August 5th. Performances were inspired by Christine de Pizan who questioned the overall treatment of women in society. The shows explored the role of women throughout history from a musical perspective. There were 11 concerts and one special event in 2023. The events happened in-person at various venues.
2023 Schedule of Events
The schedule for the 2023 EMV Summer Festival is below. Exact details, however, were subject the change.
Thursday, July 27th, 2023
- Rondeau in Carthage – EMV’s 2023 fundraising event took place at the Nuba restaurant at 207 West Hastings Street in Vancouver. The formal event began at 6:00 pm and featured a dinner, performance and a live auction. Guests also got VIP seats to The Queen of Carthage show at the SFU Goldcorp Centre. Early bird admission to the full event cost $225 per person.
Friday, July 28th, 2023
- Il Ponte di Leonardo – this concert was held at 7:30 pm at Christ Church Cathedral which is at 690 Burrard Street in Vancouver. The event featured Marco Beasley, Kiya Tabassian and Ensemble Constantinople. The performance took audiences into the works of Leonardo da Vinci.
Saturday, July 29th, 2023
- The Well-Tempered Organ! – inspired by Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, this show featured Alexander Weimann on the organ. The concert took place at 2:00 pm at the West Vancouver United Church. The venue is on Vancouver’s North Shore at 2062 Esquimalt Avenue.
Sunday, July 30th, 2023
- Songs Without Words: Women in Music in the Middle Ages and Renaissance – a recital by an EMV Artist-in-Residence. Catalina Vicens performed songs on the keyboard at Pyatt Hall at 843 Seymour Street in Vancouver starting at 3:00 pm.
Tuesday, August 1st, 2023
- Our City of Ladies – a continued exploration of The City of Ladies with vocals and instrumentation by the Servir Antico Ensemble. The show was directed by Catalina Vicens. It began at 7:30 pm at Christ Church Cathedral.
Wednesday, August 2nd, 2023
- The Bach Parodies – an homage to Bach that also included parodies of works by Mozart, Gounod and Korotikin. Performers were Jessica Korotkin, Majka Demcak, Elana Cooper and Diederik van Dijk. The show took place at Christ Church Cathedral at 1:00 pm.
- The Ladies Vespers – featuring works from Italy during the 1600s, this concert was full of energy. Performers included Nadine Balbiesi, Myriam Leblanc, Jane Long, Ellen Torrie, the Elektra Women’s Choir, and more. The show began at 7:00 pm at Christ Church Cathedral.
Thursday, August 3rd, 2023
- Atempor/Elle: In Search of Inner Coherence – a duet with music by Margaret Little and dance by Stéphanie Brochard. The show took place at The Annex at 823 Seymour Street in downtown Vancouver starting at 1:00 pm.
- Milton in Love: The Birth of Opera in the Eternal City – the second show of the day was at 7:30 pm at Pyatt Hall at 843 Seymour Street. This concert featured singers Nadine Balbiesi, Myriam Leblanc and Ellen Torrie, as well as live music. It was all about John Milton’s poetry in Rome and his admiration of Leonora Baroni.
Friday, August 4th, 2023
- Party Like it’s 1964! Celebrating Elizabeth Jacquet de la Guerreo – an exploration of the artist’s music at St. James Community Square at 3214 West 10th Avenue. The show started at 7:30 pm and featured Ai Horton, Elana Cooper, Stéphanie Brochard and more.
Saturday, August 5th, 2023
- A Woman’s Voice in Bach’s World: Christiane Mariane von Ziegler – the last show of the festival began at 7:30 pm and was held at Christ Church Cathedral. It featured Krisztina Szabó, Phillipe Gagné, Sumner Thompson, Alexander Weimann and the Pacific Baroque Orchestra. The show was a celebration of the poet’s advocacy for women’s rights.
The EMV Summer Festival is presented by Early Music Vancouver (EMV). The performing arts organization is one of the largest in North America. EMV has been a big part of Metro Vancouver’s cultural scene for over 50 years. The team hosts over 40 events each year, much to the delight of music-lovers in Metro Vancouver.
Early Music Vancouver presents artists from different parts of the world to local audiences. The organization also produces its own shows with its in-house band, known as the Pacific Baroque Orchestra. EMV tends to focus on music from the Baroque times in the 1800s.
For more information about the festival visit, the official Early Music Vancouver website.
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