St. Lawrence String Quartet, pianist Janina Fialkowska, violinist James Ehnes at week one of Chamberfest

Ottawa Chamberfest’s two-week summer festival concludes the organization’s 25th anniversary celebrations, complete with a screening of Buster Keaton’s College with live score, all-Beethoven concerts featuring James Ehnes and German pianist Hinrich Alpers, classical’s court jesters Joe Trio, and a cannabis cantata.

The festival will continue through the first week of August and finish with Art of Time: Abbey Road. a celebration of the Beatles’ legendary album, on Aug. 8.

Details of Chamberfest week one:
When: July 25 – July 31, 2019

Where: Downtown Ottawa – Dominion-Chalmers United Church, La Nouvelle Scène Gilles Desjardins, Ottawa Art Gallery, National Gallery of Canada, Beechwood Cemetery – The National Cemetery of Canada, Ottawa City Hall, etc.

St. Lawrence String Quartet and Friends
Thursday July 25 / 7:00PM / Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre
The much-admired St. Lawrence String Quartet brings along pianist Stephen Prutsman and guitarist Benjamin Verdery to open our festival, featuring core works by Haydn and Franck. Also on the program is the Canadian premiere of the Quintet for High Strings by American composer and rock guitarist Bryce Dessner, acclaimed for his collaborations with Sufjan Stevens, Kronos Quartet, and Philip Glass.

Baroque Treasures: Apollo e Dafne and Strozzi
Friday July 26 / 7:00PM / Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre
$52 (A), $41 (B), $30 (C)
Discover the hidden treasures of baroque in an evening of song, dance, and opera. Chamberfest favourite soprano Suzie LeBlanc opens with a celebration of the brilliant Venetian composer Barbara Strozzi, on the occasion of her 400th anniversary. Then, Les Boréades de Montréal and Les Jardins choréographiques pair music and dance in their staging of Handel’s cantata for soprano and baritone, Apollo e Daphne.

Scenes from Ellis Island: Benjamin Verdery and Company
Saturday July 27 / 2:45PM / National Gallery of Canada
Free Admission
If Benjamin Verdery is the mayor of Guitartown, as WNYC says, this concert is Guitartown. The guitarist shares a musical snapshot of the American landscape through his ears, including selections from his album Some Towns and Cities. He’ll also perform his epic piece Scenes from Ellis Island, featuring the St. Lawrence String Quartet and Louis Trépanier of the Canadian Guitar Quartet: string quartet and guitar orchestra on one stage.

KUNÉ: Canada’s Global Orchestra
Saturday July 27 / 7:00PM / Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre
KUNÉ’s eleven vibrant musicians play instruments as diverse as they are, from the tar of Iran to the bouzouki of Greece to the sitar of Pakistan. With a name that means “together” in Esperanto, the ensemble, formed by Mervon Mehta at Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music, shares a common language and joy through music.

Janina Fialkowska: Les sons et les parfums
Sunday July 28 / 7:00PM / Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre
$52 (A), $41 (B), $30 (C)
After her last visit in 2016, the Ottawa Citizen declared Janina Fialkowska’s playing “vibrant, daring, intellectually curious, and continuously evolving.” Fialkowska makes a much-anticipated return with a dream piano set including Mozart, Debussy, Ravel, and Chopin.

Coffee, Cannabis, and other substances…
Monday July 29 / 10:00PM / Ottawa Art Gallery
Illegal no more! Soprano Mireille Asselin, tenor Matthew Dalen, and baritone Adam Harris explore the new landscape of legal weed in Canada, with the composer at the piano. Bring your buds (the human kind) and indulge in a new work ‘of substance’ by Peter Tiefenbach, commissioned by Stratford Summer Music and Ottawa Chamberfest. Then, let The Lonely Barista serenade you with a humorously reimagined libretto of Bach’s Coffee Cantata. No need to pick your poison here.

Essential Beethoven: James Ehnes and Andrew Armstrong
Wednesday July 31 / 7:00PM / Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre
The internationally-acclaimed Canadian violinist brings his graceful, emotive interpretation to the violin sonatas through two performances, alongside longtime collaborator Andrew Armstrong.

*$25 for 25: In celebration of 25 years, we invite Ottawa to come along for a chamber music experience at the special reduced price of $25.

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