Christ Church Cathedral is pleased to announce the return of its ever-popular Summer Recital Series, offering weekly concerts in July and August that are sure to delight Victoria’s classical music lovers. From pianists to classical guitarists, cellists to the cathedral’s own sixty-voice choir, each concert will showcase talented musicians playing diverse repertoire, from birdsong to Beethoven!
The Summer Recital Series, now in its 61st season, has become a staple of Victoria’s summer music scene for locals and visitors alike, drawing thousands of concertgoers to Christ Church Cathedral. This year's series promises to be a true musical feast, with a blend of local and international artists who will deliver an exciting line up of nine concerts throughout the summer.
One of the highlights of this year's series is a whimsical concert by renowned pianist-comedienne Sarah Hagen. Hagen will take the audience on a delightful journey exploring music inspired by birdsong, infusing the performance with her unique blend of musical virtuosity and humor.
"We're excited to welcome music enthusiasts of all kinds to our Summer Recital Series," said Donald Hunt, Christ Church Cathedral's Director of Music. “We make a particular effort to engage some of Victoria’s most skilled professional musicians for these summer programs which are both light and accessible without sacrificing on quality.”
The Summer Recital Series will run every Saturday in July and August under the beautiful gothic arches of Christ Church Cathedral. Admission to the concerts is by donation, allowing attendees to contribute according to their own means and supporting the continuation of this cherished chamber music series.
"We invite the Victoria community to join us for these wonderful afternoons of classical music," added Hunt. "Whether you are a longtime classical music lover or new to the genre, there will be something for everyone to enjoy in our Summer Recital Series."
More information on the individual programs is available below. Visit www.christchurchcathedral.bc.ca/events
Singers That Fly! – Saturday, July 1, 2023, 4.00pm
The Cathedral Choirs and Organists’ UK Tour send-off
In their final concert before they set off on a whirlwind tour of the United Kingdom to sing services at Windsor Castle, Edinburgh Cathedral, and Westminster Abbey, our own cathedral musicians share some of the music they will singing in these special places of pilgrimage. Featuring music by Stanford, Gibbons, Mendelssohn, Parry, and others. Hosted by former CTV bureau chief Janet Dirks.
Fingers That Fly! – Saturday, July 8, 2023, 4.00pm
Sarah Hagen, piano
Pianist Sarah Hagen brings a cheerful program of piano works inspired by birds and birdsong to the Summer Recital Series. Originally from Vancouver Island, Sarah enjoys a rich and diverse touring life across Canada and the world as both a soloist and humorist. Join Sarah for an afternoon of joyous music by Schumann, Messiaen, and Liszt, peppered with insightful commentary and a dash of humour!
This recital is part of the Re-Connect Festival presented by Climate and the Arts & CreativelyUnited.org
Music on Loan – Saturday, July 15, 2023, 4.00pm
Hannah Craig, cello
Kimberley-Ann Bartczak, piano
Hannah Craig and Kimberley-Ann Bartczak return to our series for the second summer in a row. This time, they're bringing a twist: a program of cello and piano transcriptions originally composed for violin, oboe, and arpeggione. Under these two accomplished musicians, this "music on loan" is sure to fit like a glove!
Crumbling Empires: 1915 – Saturday, July 22, 2023, 4.00pm
Alexandra Roedder, cello
Nancy Lee Harper, piano
The paradox of the disastrous events of the first world war ironically gave way to some of the most beautiful and poignant music of the 20th century. Debussy’s cello sonata, de Falla’s beloved Seven Popular Spanish Folksongs, and Dora Pejačević’s gorgeous cello sonata offer listeners a thrilling musical experience of a wartime enigma. Music from France, Spain, and Croatia is performed and commented on by internationally-renowned musicians, Alexandra Roedder (cello) and Nancy Lee Harper (piano).
Fingers That Pluck! – Saturday, July 29, 2023, 4.00pm
Ibison Guitar Duo
Husband and wife duo Janet Grohovac & Chad Ibison return for their third appearance in the Summer Recital Series. Based in Austin, Texas, but with roots in Victoria, their program explores classical guitar repertoire from Italy to South America.
The Ant and the Grasshopper – Saturday, August 5, 2023, 4.00pm
Nancy DiNovo, violin
Monica Pfau, piano
Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra’s founding concertmaster Nancy DiNovo has been described as “stunning – a superlative mix of virtuosity and earthy vigour.” In collaboration with Monica Pfau, who has been praised for her “tonal warmth and sensitivity,” this recital will feature sonatas by Ludwig van Beethoven and 20th-century Italian composer Ottorino Respighi.
Beethoven and The Others – Saturday, August 12, 2023, 4.00pm
David Boutin-Bourque, clarinet
Katrina Russell, bassoon
Alana Despins, horn
Tori Gould, violin
Kay Cochran, viola
Alasdair Money, cello
Darren Buhr, bass
The curiously named chamber ensemble, The Others, is a group of accomplished Vancouver Island-based classical musicians, including members of the Victoria Symphony, the Emily Carr String Quartet, and, well... others! For their return to the Summer Recital Series, they will pair Carl Nielsen’s Serenata in vano (literally “Serenade in vain”) with Beethoven’s Septet, opus 20.
"Abegg” your pardon? – Saturday, August 19, 2023, 4.00pm
Carey Wang, piano
This young piano virtuoso returns to our series for a second time. Prepare to be charmed with Carey Wang as your guide on a musical voyage from Bach to Mozart, Chopin to Prokofiev. The program includes Robert Schumann’s Variations on the name “Abegg,” a name which is believed to refer to Schumann’s imaginary friend, Meta Abegg, brilliantly transformed into a charming musical theme.
Goths and Vikings – Saturday, August 26, 2023, 4.00pm
Domagoj Ivanovic, violin
Noel McRobbie, piano
Domagoj Ivanovic (violin) and Noel McRobbie (piano) are two young Vancouver-based musicians with plenty of accolades as well as international touring experience. Their program, “Goths and Vikings” features music from around the Baltic Sea region.