The Prince Edward County Classical Music Festival is celebrating its 14th season this year. Our Festival was started in 2004 with the intention of bringing the finest of Canada’s performers to local audiences and visitors to the County.
The main focus of the Festival is western classical chamber music. Additionally, we have considered it our unique mandate to highlight works of living Canadian composers in the larger context of music of all times, showing whenever possible the fascinating connections that exist between various musical styles. The festival has hosted some of Canada’s most celebrated composers: Jacques Hétu, Malcolm Forsyth, Chan Ka Nin, Andrew MacDonald, Alexina Louie, John Burge, Steven Gellman, Ana Sokolovic, and Marjan Mozetich. As a result, our audience has received an exceptional amount of exposure to the Canadian chamber music repertoire. All composers have been present for the duration of the festival, and were therefore able to forge meaningful relationships with audience and musicians alike.
The Festival started as a three- concert weekend at Picton’s St. Mary Magdalene Anglican Church. The church with its exceptional acoustics and intimate setting remains our home but the festival now spans over two consecutive weekends, and includes a number of wonderful County venues. Each year has seen the introduction of a new feature. We presented opera in three of our recent festivals, and we also went beyond the small ensemble format and in 2014 brought in a chamber orchestra – I Musici de Montréal. The following year we went out on a limb and presented an evening of cabaret music.
Another component of our Festival – one that we take quite seriously – is to offer school children from Prince Edward County an opportunity to experience a live music event that is not necessarily pop. With the support of our sponsors, we have been putting on schools concerts since the beginning. In 2012 the percussion group Bangers & Smash of music from around the world was received with such rapt attention and enthusiastic response that the following year we decided to double the capacity, and started offering two concerts with a total audience of close to 500 children. Over the years we have featured percussion, brass and a capella ensembles. All performances are designed for young audiences and include a measure of educational content.
Composer-in-residence: Jacques Hétu Performers: Robert Cram, flute, Arthur-Leblanc String Quartet, Stéphane Lemelin, piano
Composer-in-residence : Chan Ka Nin
Performers: Simon Aldrich, clarinet, Donna Brown, soprano, Jonathan Crow, violin, Stéphane Lemelin, piano, Paul Marleyn, cello, Jean-Éric Soucy, viola
Composer-in-residence: Malcolm Forsyth
Performers: Donna Brown, soprano, Jonathan Crow, violin, David Harding, viola, Stéphane Lemelin, piano, Suzanne Lemieux, oboe, Paul Marleyn, cello, Tanya Prochazka, cello, David Stewart, violin
Composer-in-residence: John Burge
Performers: Martin Bruns, baritone, James Campbell, clarinet, Stéphane Lemelin, piano, Paul Marleyn, cello, Graham Oppenheimer, viola, Anne Robert, violin, Lawrence Vine, horn
Composer-in-residence: Alexina Louie
Performers: Simon Aldrich, clarinet, Canadian Guitar Quartet, Stéphane Lemelin, piano, Penderecki String Quartet, Tanya Prochazka, cello
Composer-in-residence: Andrew MacDonald
Performers: James Campbell, clarinet, David Currie, double bass, Stéphane Lemelin, piano, Joseph Petric, accordion, Penderecki String Quartet, Veronica Tennant, dancer, Kristen Zander, oboe
Composer-in-residence: Steven Gellman
Performers: Alcan String Quartet, Aaron Au, viola, Donna Brown, soprano, Susan Hoeppner, flute, Stéphane Lemelin, piano, Judy Loman, harp, Paul Marleyn, cello, Martin Riseley, violin, Margaret Tobolowska, cello
Composer-in-residence: Ana Sokolovic
Performers: Tom Allen, host, Julian Armour, cello, Marie Bérard, violin, Camille Churchfield, flute, Stéphane Lemelin, piano, Peter McGillivray, baritone, NACO Winds, SuperNova String Quartet, Margaret Tobolowska, cello, Trio Hochelaga, Ellen Wieser, soprano
Composer-in-residence: Marjan Mozetich
Performers: Eric Friesen, host, New Orford String Quartet, Penderecki String Quartet, Luke Bell, piano, Stéphane Lemelin, piano, Ellen Wieser, soprano, Jeunesses Musicales du Canada (Cosi fan tutte), Bangers & Smash, percussion
Performers: Aaron Au, viola, Luc Beauséjour, harpsichord, Donna Brown, soprano, Ross Edwards, clarinet, Mary Lou Fallis and Peter Tiefenbach, comedy, Gryphon Trio, Jacques Israeliévitch, violin, David Jalbert, piano, Grégoire Jeay, flute, Jeunesses Musicales du Canada (La Bohème), Marek Krowicki, piano, Stéphane Lemelin, piano, Tanya Prochazka, cello, Alexandra Smithers, soprano, True North Brass, Andrew Tunis, piano
Performers: Andréanne Brisson-Paquin, soprano, Philip Chiu, piano, Nikki Chooi, violin, Denise Djokic, cello, Ensemble Made in Canada, I Musici de Montréal – Jean-Marie Zeitouni, cond., André Laplante, piano, Stéphane Lemelin, piano, Penderecki String Quartet, Cast of Carmen on Tap: Julie Nesrallah, mezzo-soprano, Keith Classen, tenor, Correy Arnold, tenor, Pierre-Etienne Bergeron, baritone, Johnathon Kirby, baritone, Gabrielle Lazarovitz, soprano, Maghan McPhee, soprano, Whitney O’Hearn, mezzo-soprano, Frederic Lacroix, piano.
Arion Baroque Orchestra, Cadence (a capella ensemble – schools concert), Gryphon Trio, Laurence Kayaleh, violin, Stéphane Lemelin, piano, Caroline Léonardelli, harp, Paul Marleyn, cello, Douglas McNabney, viola, Julie Nesrallah, mezzo-soprano, New Orford String Quartet, Patricia O’Callaghan, singer, Joel Quarrington, double bass, Carole Sirois, cello, Axel Strauss, violin, Marina Thibault, viola.
James Campbell, clarinet; I Furiosi Baroque Ensemble; Lafayette String Quartet; Stéphane Lemelin, piano; Opera McGill (Paula Berry, soprano; Simone McIntosh, mezzo-soprano; Jean-Philippe McClish,baritone, AsithaTennekoon, tenor; Ana Toumine, soprano; Patrick Hansen, piano).