All-star octet of Canadian chamber musicians to premiere new Kevin Lau work at Chamberfest

JUNO nominees and acclaimed orchestra principals will join forces when Canada’s chamber supergroup Octagon Ensemble plays Ottawa’s Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre.

The lineup prides violinists Martin Beaver (formerly of the Tokyo String Quartet) and Mark Fewer, violist Rivka Golani, NACO principals cellist Rachel Mercer and bassist Joel Quarrington, horn player Ken MacDonald, bassoonist Kathleen McLean, and clarinetist James Campbell (Festival of the Sound).

At the centre of their programme is a world premiere by Canadian film and ballet composer Kevin Lau. Lau is known for his work with the National Ballet of Canada (Le Petit Prince), Afiara Quartet and DJ Skratch Bastid (Spin Cycle) and Against the Grain Theatre (Bound). This new work, A Drop of Light, is inspired by both his childhood and the works of Michael Ende and Dylan Thomas.

The octet will also play unusually lighthearted works by Beethoven and Strauss: the Septet in E-flat major, Op. 20, and Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, respectively.

Octagon Ensemble is part of the 2019-20 Chamberfest Concert Series. Tickets are available online at, by phone at 613-234-6306, or in person at 4 Florence St., Suite 201.

Chat with Kevin Lau: Sun. Nov 24, 6:00 p.m.
Concert: Sun. Nov 24, 7:30 p.m.

Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre
355 Cooper St. (O’Connor and Lisgar)

Lau: A Drop of Light
Beethoven: Septet in E-flat major, Op. 20
Strauss: Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche

Martin Beaver, violin
Mark Fewer, violin
Rachel Mercer, cello
Rivka Golani, viola
Joel Quarrington, double bass
Kenneth MacDonald, french horn
James Campbell, clarinet
Kathleen McLean, bassoon
Kevin Lau, composer
Ottawa Chamberfest

Ottawa Chamberfest
Ottawa Chamberfest brings together the boldest names in ensemble and solo performance for musical celebration in the nation’s capital, through its concert series, community engagement and education (CEE), and its summer festival. The world’s largest festival of its kind, Ottawa Chamberfest is a 2019 Festivals and Events (FEO) Ontario “Top 100” and winner of seven consecutive Lieutenant-Governor’s Awards for the Arts.