With over 75 concerts spread out over the entire city, there’s gotta be something that will tickle your fancy at Ottawa’s Music and Beyond Festival this season, which runs July 4 to 17. With their festival passes, festivalgoers will experience a veritable buffet of multi-disciplinary artistic collaborations that pair classical music with drama, dance, visual art, poetry, comedy – even yoga and wine.
Invited guests include soprano Myriam Leblanc (5), the Elmer Iseler Singers (July 5), Quartango (6), next-gen recorder ensemble Flûte Alors! (7), the Canadian Brass (7), the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra with soprano Measha Brueggergosman (7), Quartetto Gelato (9), pianist Sergei Babayan (10), violinist Alexandre Da Costa (10), pianist Frank Horvat (13), pianist Arsentiy Kharitonov (13), cellist Stéphane Tétreault (15), and cellist Johannes Moser (15). The Orchestre de la Francophonie training orchestra under Jean-Phillipe Tremblay is joined by violinist Kerson Leong on July 16. There is also a series of five concerts that will celebrate the music of Canada since 1867 (July 6, 8, 11, 13 and 15). On July 10, Russian-Canadian virtuoso accordion player Alexander Sevastian will play a concert of Bach and Paganini, which will be preceded by a pizza lunch where you can meet the artist and learn about the instrument.
The Auryn Quartet will play three separate programs with selections by Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Haydn, and Brahms at three different churches July 5, 6 and 7, while the Vienna Piano Trio will play in Dominion-Chalmers United Church for three consecutive nights, July 10–12. The Bennewitz Quartet, in their first-ever Canadian tour, also has a series of three concerts; the first explores music that was lost during the Holocaust, the second celebrates Czech Composers of their homeland, and the third is devoted to Schubert and Dvořák, July 12–14.
Festival-plus events – for valid ticket holders only – include the July 4 opening gala with violin virtuoso Sarah Chang accompanied by Julio Elizalde, the Kronos Quartet on July 5 (read an interview with founder and artistic director David Harrington), music of the Cold War in the Diefenbunker on July 8 with over 150 musicians, pianist Garrick Ohlsson in a program of Brahms, Scriabin, and Schubert on July 8, and Bach’s B minor Mass with the Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal conducted by Kevin Mallon on July 16. The closing gala will be held July 17 at 7:30PM at Dominion-Chalmers – program to be determined. Things are bound to sell out fast, so plan your festival experience as soon as possible!