Baroque Orchestra Mentorship Programme

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.

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.


Details on the 2016-17 Season coming soon….


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
(604) 822-3524 | visit website

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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, Cantus Cölln, the Freiburger Barockorchester, the Gesualdo Consort and Tafelmusik, he now focuses on his activities as Artistic Director of the Pacific Baroque Orchestra in Vancouver, and as music director of Les Voix Baroques, Le Nouvel Opéra and Tempo Rubato.

Recently, he has conducted the Montreal-based baroque orchestra Ensemble Arion, Les Violons du Roy, and the Portland Baroque Orchestra; both the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra have regularly featured him as a featured soloist. In the last years, he has repeatedly conducted the Victoria Symphony and Symphony Nova Scotia, most recently with Handel’s Messiah.

Alexander Weimann can be heard on some 100 CDs. He made his North American recording debut with the ensemble Tragicomedia on the CD Capritio (Harmonia Mundi USA), and won worldwide acclaim from both the public and critics for his 2001 release of Handel’s Gloria (ATMA Classique). Volume 1 of his recordings of the complete keyboard works by Alessandro Scarlatti appeared in May 2005. Critics around the world unanimously praised it, and in the following year it was nominated for an Opus Prize as the best Canadian early music recording. Recently, he has also released an Opus Award-winning CD of Handel oratorio arias with superstar soprano Karina Gauvin and his new Montreal-based ensemble Tempo Rubato, a recording of Bach’s St. John’s Passion, various albums with Les Voix Baroques of Buxtehude, Carissimi and Purcell, all with rave reviews. His latest album with Karina Gauvin and Arion Baroque Orchestra (Prima Donna) won a Juno Award in 2013, and a complete recording of Handel’s Orlando was released in the fall of 2013, with an exciting group of international star soloists and the Pacific Baroque Orchestra performing.

Alexander Weimann was born in 1965 in Munich, where he studied the organ, church music, musicology (with a summa cum laude thesis on Bach’s secco recitatives), theatre, medieval Latin, and jazz piano, supported by a variety of federal scholarships for the highly talented. In addition to his studies, he has attended numerous master classes in harpsichord and historical performance. To ground himself further in the roots of western music, he became intensely involved over the course of several years with Gregorian chant. Alexander Weimann has moved to the Vancouver area with his wife, 3 children and pets, and tries to spend as much time as possible in his garden and kitchen.

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 Boreades, the Theatre of Early Music, Les Idees 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 School of Music, UBC, 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 , Portland, and Seattle Baroque Orchestras, Les Voix Humaines, Tempo Rubato, Les Voix Baroque, Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra, Victoria Baroque Players, and 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.