A collaboration between UBC, Pacific Baroque Orchestra, and Early Music Vancouver
Nearly every major city in North America and Europe is now home to a baroque orchestra playing on period instruments. Large-scale organizations including Toronto’s Tafelmusik, Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society, San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque, Montréal’s Ensemble Arion and Houston’s Mercury Baroque have built themselves into major players in the cultural scenes of their respective regions. This success has created new and exciting opportunities for musicians and audiences alike.
Over the last few years, a critical mass of world-class musicians experienced in baroque period performance have also moved to the west coast. This is translating into a more active professional scene in this repertoire throughout the whole region. As a result, we feel that the time is right for UBC to provide students with regular access to these musicians and their skills. Students who add this knowledge and experience to their resumes will see more opportunities to work professionally wherever they decide to live.
To this end, the UBC School of Music, the Pacific Baroque Orchestra (PBO), and Early Music Vancouver (EMV) have established a Baroque Orchestra Mentorship Programme that is open to selected students who are taking Music 157A/557 Early Music Ensemble (EME) as well as to selected members of the professional community wishing to learn about period performance practice. This new initiative is aimed at increasing the long-term sustainability of the local period instrument scene.
This programme is generously supported by Vic and Joan Baker.
How does it work?
Students rehearse weekly over each academic term at UBC with a core group of five professional musicians led by internationally renowned conductor and harpsichordist Alexander Weimann. The rehearsals will lead to an end-of-term concert in each semester where students and professionals will perform side by side. The EME and Mr. Weimann have recruited a select group of students to register in the year-long course and participate in the programme. Instruments have been made available for loan to all participants through the UBC School of Music and Early Music Vancouver instrument collections.
Membership in the orchestra comes with a free subscription to both the Pacific Baroque Orchestra’s season and Early Music Vancouver’s Masterworks at the Chan Centre.
For more information about the Baroque Orchestra Mentorship Programme, contact Alex Fisher at the coordinates below.
Alexander J. Fisher, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Music
Chair, Graduate Committee
School of Music, Room 407
University of British Columbia
6361 Memorial Road
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2 Canada
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Alexander Weimann, director
Alexander Weimann is one of the most sought-after ensemble directors, soloists, and chamber music partners of his generation. After traveling the world with ensembles like Tragicomedia, and as frequent guest with Cantus Cölln, the Freiburger Barockorchester, Gesualdo Consort and Tafelmusik, he now focuses on his activities as conductor of the Pacific Baroque Orchestra in Vancouver, Music Director of the Seattle Baroque Orchestra and regular guest conductor of ensembles including the Montreal Symphony, Symphony Nova Scotia, Arion Baroque Orchestra in Montreal and the Portland Baroque Orchestra.
Weimann was born in 1965 in Munich, where he studied the organ, church music, musicology (with a summa con laude thesis on Bach’s secco recitatives), theatre, mediæval Latin, and jazz piano, supported by a variety of federal scholarships. From 1990 to 1995, Weimann taught music theory, improvisation, and Jazz at the Munich Musikhochschule. Since 1998, he has been giving master classes in harpsichord and historical performance practice at institutions such as Lunds University in Malmö and the Bremen Musikhochschule, and at North American universities such as The University of California in Berkeley, Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, McGill in Montreal, and Mount Allison in New Brunswick. Since 2007, he has conducted several acclaimed opera productions at the Amherst Early Music Festival. He now teaches at the University of British Columbia and directs the Baroque Orchestra Mentorship Programme there.
A multiple Juno and Grammy nominee, Weimann can be heard on some 100 CDs. Recent highlights include an Opus and Juno award winning CD of Handel oratorio arias with soprano Karina Gauvin, a recording of Bach’s St. John’s Passion with Les Voix Baroques/Arion Baroque Orchestra, and a Juno nominated recording of Handel’s Orlando with the Pacific Baroque Orchestra that was also awarded a Gramophone Editor’s Choice award.
Alex lives with his wife, three children and pets in Ladner BC, and tries to spend as much time as possible in his garden.
Chloe Meyers, violin
Violinist Chloe Meyers is a regular guest leader and orchestra member of baroque ensembles all over North America. She has worked with ensembles including Les Violons du Roy, Tafelmusik, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Les Boréades, the Theatre of Early Music, Les Idées Heureuses and Les Voix Baroques. She recently joined the Pacific Baroque Orchestra as concertmaster and will continue to play principal second with Arion Baroque Orchestra in Montreal. Most recently she played first violin on a Juno Award winning recording of Handel arias featuring Canadian soprano Karina Gauvin on the Atma Classique label.
Natalie Mackie, viola da gamba & cello
Natalie Mackie studied cello at the Conservatoire de Musique (Québec), followed by a degree from the UBC’s School of Music, where she was introduced to the viola da gamba.
She pursued further studies at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague. Natalie has played with many ensembles in Canada and the US, including New World Consort, Les Coucous Bénévoles, Tafelmusik, the Portland and Seattle Baroque Orchestras, Les Voix Humaines, Tempo Rubato, Les Voix Baroque, Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra, Victoria Baroque Players, and the Vancouver Intercultural Orchestra among others. Natalie is a member of Pacific Baroque Orchestra and the chamber ensemble La Modestine, both Vancouver-based ensembles. She has toured throughout Canada, Europe, and the US and recorded for Radio France, German Radio, BBC, CBC, and NPR, as well as the Canadian label ATMA Classique. Natalie is a regular performer in the Pacific Baroque Festival, held annually in Victoria, BC, and teaches in the Baroque Orchestra Mentorship Program at the University of British Columbia.