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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Early Music Vancouver celebrates 50 years

Dedicated to sharing period music using the instruments and performance traditions for which it was originally composed, Early Music Vancouver (EMV) announced its 50th anniversary season, and the return of the Vancouver Bach Festival.

“This season is a balanced reflection of both our past and future,” says EMV executive and artistic director Mathew White in a recent press release. “It promises more opportunities than ever for engagement, enrichment, and education via time travel through almost a thousand years of rich musical history.”

The largest presenter of early music in Canada, EMV focuses on the understanding and
appreciation of music from the Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical periods. It continues that tradition in this milestone season with a line-up of returning favourites and international artists.

Highlights from EMV’s 2019-2020 programming include Benjamin Bagby’s one-man musical telling of Beowulf, and an unconventional collaboration with Chor Leoni Men’s Choir and Ensemble La Nef in an exploration of sea songs and shanties dating back to the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.

Other highlights in its main season include the return of EMV’s holiday offering with Handel’s Messiah, and a 50th anniversary gala featuring the largest-scale period instrument orchestra ever assembled in Vancouver.

EMV’s annual Vancouver Bach Festival also returns with 11-days of classical music at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Vancouver and the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at UBC.

The 15-concert festival will open with a concert by Montreal’s early music ensemble Les Boréades in a two-night performance of Bach’s Complete Brandenburg Concertos, and the Vancouver Bach Choir partners with the festival for the first time to perform Faure’s Requiem featuring a professional core of twenty singers.

“With the support of our growing audiences, donors, staff, and volunteers, we have put together an offering overflowing with some of the world’s most esteemed artists specializing in period performance,” continues White. “The opportunity to program such diverse music, stunning talent, and ambitious collaborations is a rare privilege; one for which I continue to be deeply grateful.”

For more information on Early Music Vancouver’s 2019-2020 visit

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