Fantastic Review of ‘Handel and his Rivals’ in the Vancouver Sun

Our season opener, Handel and his Rivals with the Pacific Baroque Orchestra and Amanda Forsythe, was a huge success! In his review for the Vancouver Sun, David Gordon Duke agrees:

Until time travel is a possibility, we will never know the exact sound of early 18th century music. But I’m convinced that had Handel and his rivals been in the front row of the cathedral, they would have led the bravas for the enchanting Forsythe.

photo by Jan Gates


Read the full review here, and don’t forget to check out the rest of our incredible season lineup here.

2016/2017 Season Announced!

Early Music Vancouver Announces Vancouver Bach Festival & Resplendent 2016/17 Season

Lineup of Prestigious Artists & Timeless Masterworks Offers Classic Concert Hall Experiences & New Artistic Adventures

Vancouver, BC – Early Music Vancouver (EMV) announces its Vancouver Bach Festival and 2016/2017 Season, bringing a staggering list of events to venues in and around Vancouver.
This year, concert-goers are invited to revel in the genius of Bach, discover a brilliant but disregarded composer who surmounted adversity (Le Mozart Noir), and enjoy an up-close-and- personal encounter with one of the world’s greatest choral ensembles – Stile Antico. EMV’ s programming offers an opportunity to travel back through time and hear masterpieces illuminated by an in-depth knowledge of the specific musical culture, instruments and style in which they were written.

A major highlight of the upcoming season, the first ever Vancouver Bach Festival will welcome acclaimed musicians to perform J.S. Bach’s greatest works in the heart of the city at Christ Church Cathedral in August. Combining magnificent architecture and acoustic splendour, Vancouver’s oldest church offers an embracing and uplifting space in which to enjoy the sounds of EMV artists & ensembles performing on period instruments.

“As EMV’s audience grows, we continue to seek out fresh, engaging ways to present musical treasures that have withstood the test of centuries,” explains Matthew White, Executive and Artistic Director of EMV. “The upcoming season boasts some of the world’s top talent performing iconic works that have shaped Western music as we know it. We are honoured and proud to host such an incredible line up of distinguished artists throughout the season in Vancouver and to build on our reputation as a hub for early music in North America.”

The Vancouver Bach Festival, August 2 through August 12, offers local enthusiasts a veritable ‘Best of’ collection of the German composer’s masterworks, from exquisite chamber music to monumental orchestral undertakings. Headlining the programme will be Bach’s crowning achievement – the Mass in B Minor. Led by esteemed conductor Alexander Weimann, this performance will feature Montreal’s Arion Baroque Orchestra and eight internationally – renowned Bach specialists as soloists. Among intimate recital offerings, innovative Jazz pianist Dan Tepfer will find the common ground between Baroque and Jazz with his New York Times praised Goldberg Variations/Variations, Beiliang Zhu, who recently won the International Bach competition in Leipzig, will perform the famed Cello Suites, and Davitt Moroney will play the Art of the Fugue.

Commencing in September with a brilliant Handel Arias recital starring Soprano Amanda Forsythe and the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, the 2016/2017 season also offers a number of unconventional, and intriguing collaborations. Breathtaking, will feature Czechoslovakian soprano Hana Blazikova with the world’s leading cornetto player, Bruce Dickey, in a programme demonstrating the close relationship between the human voice and the cornetto. Toque of the Town is a theatrical celebration and tantalizing tribute to the history of French gastronomy. Boasting an on-stage chef, two singers, an instrumental ensemble, and a wonderfully convivial tasting menu at the end of the performance, this is a unique event to suit all lovers of food, wine, and theatre.

A February must-see spotlights one of the early classical era’s most fascinating figures:
Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-George (Le Mozart Noir). In this eye-opening evening, GRAMMY nominated violinist Monica Hugget and the Pacific Baroque Orchestra share symphonies from the little known, yet extraordinary composer of African ancestry alongside works by Mozart and Haydn. The season will culminate with Canada’s superstar soprano, Karina Gauvin, singing works by Henry Purcell with accompaniment by Les Boréades de Montréal.

EMV Masterworks at the Chan Centre features EMV’s largest scale events. This season, in addition to a performance of Bach’s B Minor Mass, a beloved Vancouver Christmas tradition, Festive Cantatas, will return with Bach’s Magnificat in D Major, A special spring highlight will be The Choir of Kings College Cambridge, celebrated worldwide and best-known for their annual BBC Christmas Eve broadcast.

Early Music Vancouver is proud to offer a flexible subscription model allowing patrons to purchase any three concerts and attend a fourth free. All subscription packages including more than four concerts also enjoy a 25% discount. For more information, click here.

The full Vancouver Bach Festival and 2016/17 Season includes:


Common Grounds: June 30, 2016 at 7:30pm (A Co-production with the Vancouver Independent Music Centre and Vancouver Coastal Jazz), at Christ Church Cathedral


Goldberg Variations/Variations – a collaboration with Vancouver Coastal Jazz: August 2, 2016 at 7:30pm
Schübler Chorales: August 3, 2016 at 1pm
The Art of the Fugue: August 3, 2016 at 7:30pm
Sonatas for violin and harpsichord: August 4, 2016 at 7:30pm
J.S. Bach – Mass in B Minor at the Chan Centre*: August 5, 2016 at 7:30pm
Anna Magdalena Songbook with Ellen Hargis: August 6, 2016 at 7:30pm
The Musical Offering: August 9, 2016 at 7:30pm
Sonatas and Partitas: August 10, 2016 at 1pm
Cello Suites: August 11, 2016 at 7:30 pm
Orchestral Suites for a Young Prince with Monica Huggett: August 12, 2016 at 7:30pm

All concerts at Christ Church Cathedral at 7:30pm unless noted otherwise


J.S. Bach – Mass in B Minor*: August 5, 2016 at 7:30pm
Festive Cantatas – J.S. Bach Magnificat*: December 18, 2016 at 3pm
The Choir of Kings College Cambridge*: March 26, 2017 at 2pm


Handel and his Rivals – Amanda Forsythe, soprano: September 16, 2016 at 7:30pm
Fretwork – The Cries of London: October 21, 2016 at 7:30pm
Breathtaking – A Voice and a Cornetto Entwined: November 4, 2016 at 7:30pm
Tibia ex tempore: November 16, 2016 at 7:30pm
Ensemble Fuoco e Cenere – Toque of the Town: November 25, 2016 at 7:30pm
Ensemble La Galinia – Yo Soy la Locura: January 20, 2017 at 7:30pm
New Music for Old Instruments I: January 25, 2017 at 7:30pm
New Music for Old Instruments II: January 28, 2017 at 7:30pm (A Co-presentation with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s New Music Festival)
Le Mozart Noir (Film Screening & Concert at Vancouver Playhouse): February 4, 2017 at 7:30pm
Stile Antico – In a Strange Land – Elizabethan Composers in Exile: March 5, 2017 at 2:00pm
Karina Gauvin with Les Boréades – Works of Henry Purcell: April 21, 2017 at 7:30pm

All concerts in the Main Series at Christ Church Cathedral unless noted otherwise