“Chamber music is an unparalleled medium of musical communication. It never ceases to amaze that musicians who don’t necessarily play with each other every day can come together and, without much talking, enter into deeply intimate conversations through the music they play. The exchange of ideas, sharing of emotions, and openness to the other are all meant to invite the listener in. The listener’s presence in the moment of musical re-creation is essential; it feeds the performer’s imagination, opens hearts, and adds meaning to the musical conversation.”
Stéphane Lemelin, founding Artistic Director, 2004 programme
Since its inaugural season in 2004, The Prince Edward County Chamber Music Festival has consistently presented the finest of Canada’s musicians offering performances that explore the depth and magnitude of the western chamber music repertoire. Audiences have been thrilled, deeply moved and even transformed by these outstanding musical moments.
For the first ten years, the Festival adopted a unique mandate to highlight works of living Canadian composers in the larger context of music of all times. Each composer was present for the duration of the festival, and was therefore able to forge meaningful relationships with audience and musicians alike. The festival 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, audiences have also received considerable exposure to the world of Canadian chamber music and its repertoire.
In 2017-2018, the role of Artistic Director passed from Stephane Lemelin to the New Orford String Quartet–violinists Andrew Wan and Jonathan Crow, violist Eric Nowlin, and cellist Brian Manker. Rising from the fame and tradition of their famous predecessor the Orford String Quartet ,these four like-minded musician–all principal players in the Montreal, Toronto and Detroit symphony orchestras–came together in 2009 to revolutionize the concept of string quartet playing in Canada. Rather than committing to a year-round touring schedule, the members of the quartet meet for residencies in various centres for short periods of time with the aim of providing a fresh perspective on the interpretation of standard string quartet repertoire. Winners of a Juno award in 2017, the NOSQ are also dedicated to promoting Canadian works, both new commissions and neglected repertoire from the previous century. Now in their 10th year, they remain committed to these ideals as they continue to enthrall audiences everywhere.
Over its 15 years of providing exceptional chamber music, the Festival has attracted audiences of all ages from Prince Edward County, the Quinte and Eastern Ontario regions and beyond. Many have become loyal patrons returning annually to experience once again the delights of the chamber music experience.
The Festival, with support from its sponsors, is also committed to education. Since the beginning we have presented inter-active concerts specifically designed with an educational component for young audiences. These concerts give local school children an opportunity to experience a live music event, and to learn about the art and craft of music-making. Over the years, the response to these concerts has been so enthusiastic that the Festival has had to double the capacity by offering two concerts with a total audience of more than 500 children annually.
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).
Luke Bell, piano; Donna Brown, soprano; Isaac Chalk, viola; Hannaford Street Silver Band; Amy Hillis, violin; Laurence Kayaleh, violin; Stéphane Lemelin, piano; Benoît Loiselle, cello; Paul Marleyn, cello; Elizabeth McDonald, soprano; Douglas McNabney, viola; Mélisande McNabney, harpsichord; Milton String Quartet (Roman Fraser & Maithéna Girault violin, Evan Robinson viola, Joshua Morris cello); Axel Strauss, violin; Veronique Vychytil, violin.
Featured composer: John Burge
Architec Percussion (schools concert); David Braid, piano; Mark Fewer, violin; Joseph Johnson, cello; André Laplante, piano; Bénédicte Lauzière, violin; Jethro Marks, viola; Carolyn Maule, piano; New Orford String Quartet; Joseph Phillips, double bass; Wonny Song, piano; Studio de musique ancienne de Montreal; Erin Wall, soprano.