Classical music: A trio of performers gives us something to sing


Three major October events in Vancouver present a quality repertoire, classic and modern, both grand and intimate

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Vancouver Chamber Choir Fully Arvo Pärt Program


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When: Oct 28 at 11 a.m., Oct 29 at 7:30 p.m.

Or: Pacific Spirit United Church, 2195 West 45th Ave.

Tickets and info:

musica intima: the bridge of dreams

When: Oct 22 (full) and Oct 24, 7:30 p.m.

Or: St. Philip’s Anglican Church, 3737 West 27th Ave.

Tickets and info:

Vancouver Bach Choir

When: October 23, 7:30 p.m.

Or: Orpheum Theater, 601 Smithe St.

Tickets and info:

The great musical novelty of this fall returns to the concert hall.

For choirs severely affected by the practical demands of pandemic life, having something to sing about is especially enjoyable. After the terrible lesson in how life-affirming band singing could turn into a super-propagating event – as happened just south of the border in Skagit County, Washington – the choirs had to show special attention.


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It’s finally time to get back to playing and enjoying choral music with three important October events featuring quality, classical and modern repertoire, from the very great Bach Choir to the – well, intimate – musica intima, plus something special from the Vancouver Choir Chamber.

Let’s start with the VCC and performance of an all Arvo Pärt program at the Pacific Spirit United Church. The contemporary Estonian master wowed the world with his Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten in 1977 and today, at 86, he is recognized as one of the outstanding musical creators of our time. His style is almost immediately recognizable, appealing to fans of both contemporary and traditional.

Under the direction of artistic director Kari Turunen, the chamber choir will offer an excellent selection of choral works by Pärt ranging from a motet written in 1976 to works written at the turn of this century. The ensemble’s original plan was to offer the program on October 29 at 7:30 p.m. at Pacific Spirit United Church, but the performance almost immediately sold out. Pacific Spirit United Church.


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A week earlier, intimate music is offering a live performance of their first show of the season, Bridge of Dreams, on October 24 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Philip’s Anglican Church (their October 22 performance is sold out). Although musica intima can sing and sing music from all eras of the choral repertoire, its particular strength is its enthusiasm and commitment to contemporary vocal music, often by Canadian composers.

Together with organist Christina Hutten and cellist Rebecca Wenham, the ensemble plans to deliver “music that blurs the lines between dreams and reality”, including selections by Tawnie Olson and Jocelyn Morlock as well as other contemporary works by Britta Byström, Jonathan Dove, Ann Boyd and David Lang. Olson will be working with Leslie Uyeda and the ensemble on a larger project this season, a new mentorship program for pre-professional composers. Applications for participants should be sent on November 1, with the program running from January to April.


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On October 23 at 7:30 p.m., the Vancouver Bach Choir , the dean of the Vancouver choir, returns to the Orpheum for a program by Mozart, including the incredibly wonderful motet Ave Verum Corpus and the Requiem, the latter performed with a full complement of soloists and members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra.

The return of the Bach Choir to the concert hall underscores the importance of quality programming and the invaluable power of classical music in difficult times. “Considering all of the events of the past 18 months around the world and here at home, we thought the Requiem was the perfect piece to kick off this season,” said musical director Leslie Dala. “We look forward to making music together in person and sharing this incredible masterpiece which we hope will bring solace and renewed hope to our listeners.”

All three organizers take the return to the show very seriously, with reduced seating at events and other cautious safety measures. They also plan to offer streaming options for those who aren’t quite ready to go for in-person performances yet.

  1. Composers and performers working together at Compocon, hosted by the Vancouver Standing Wave Musical Ensemble.

    Classical music: summer programs propel BC’s next wave of composers

  2. We’ve covered Vancouver’s classic music scene here

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