The Montreal Chamber Music Festival, May 5–28, is celebrating 16 sold-out years. This year the fest spotlights Beethoven’s string quartets for the first time in over a decade. There are also FREE pre-concert presentations before the Beethoven Series on Tuesdays and Wednesdays…
Spring into music in Montreal with the something-for-everyone appeal of the Montreal Chamber Music Festival. Classical music aficionados can enjoy some of the world’s best quartets and everyone will love “Hot Sax” – part of the Jazz & Jeans Series. Here’s a quick run-down of the don’t-miss-dates…
May 10-25 (Tuesday and Wednesdays): Beethoven played by three world-class quartets: The Tokyo Quartet, the Afiara Quartet (pictured above) and the Chiara String Quartet, Harvard University’s quartet in residence, premiering in Montreal. TIP: included in the price of admission is a free pre-concert lecture. Arrive at 7 p.m. for an explanation of the Beethoven piece to be performed at 8 p.m.
May 6–27 (Fridays): Jazz and Jeans. What could be more fun! A relaxing way to segue way into the week-end. These Friday night jazz performances couldn’t be ‘cooler’, kicking off with Hot Sax featuring André Leroux (May 6). Next up is vocalist Carol Welsman (May 13), award-winning pianist and composer Lorraine Desmarais (May 20), and Denis Plante (May 27), with his dynamic take on tango.
May 5–26 (Thursdays): World-renowned pianists and violinists. Opening on May 5 with the première of James Ehnes Piano Trio. Considered one of the world’s finest violinists, Ehnes is joined by Canada’s 16-year old piano sensation and newly-signed Deutsche Grammophon recording artist Jan Lisiecki. Enjoy the Swingle Singers on May 12 and, on May 19, violinist Jonathan Crow, performs with pianist Jean Philippe Collard.
The Montreal Chamber Music Festival is totally unique. How unique? Well, U.S.-based NPR (National Public Radio) is coming to Montreal in order to record all the performances. Premiering in St. George’s Church, one of the finest examples of Gothic Revival architecture in Canada, the concerts take place in a perfect space. The church’s vaulted wooden ceilings offer perfect acoustics. And metro, bus stops and parking are mere minutes away.
My favourite bit? FREE CONCERTS. May 2-4 at 7 p.m at the Espace Culturel Georges-Émile Lapalme.
FUN FACT: You will of course hear some fabulous music but you can also see $20,000,000 worth of instruments on stage.
Montreal Chamber Music Festival, May 5 to May 28, 2011
St. George’s Church (Corner Peel and de la Gauchetière)