Pacific Baroque Festival artistic director Marc Destrube (left) rehearses with fellow musicians. The festival runs Feb. 7-10 in Victoria. Photo by J.R. Kirkpatrick

15th Pacific Baroque Festival promises musical, historical discoveries

Victoria audiences will experience compositions they’ve never heard: artistic director

In the 15 years the Pacific Baroque Festival has been running, some interesting things have happened.

Not only has the number of musicians interested in and actively playing this style of music grown in Victoria, a relationship with Early Music Vancouver has allowed this annual celebration to flourish and become a premiere event in the Pacific Northwest.

“Looking a little bit from the outside, Victoria has really developed into a mecca for early music,” says artistic director Marc Destrube. “In the early years of the festival, we made a point of bringing in musicians who had some connection to Victoria. Now, there’s such a tribe of musicians here that most of this year’s performers are actually living here.”

Many notable early music musicians have relocated to the Island, he notes, while that has also given newcomers to the genre a chance to learn more about it.

This year’s festival, running Feb. 7-10 at Christ Church Cathedral and Alix Goolden Performance Hall, once again allows local classical music lovers to hear compositions they likely haven’t heard before. Destrube and other performers continue to search out little-known material and composers, to let listeners experience musical discoveries and historical ones.

The first concert, titled Music That Deserves to be Heard (11 a.m., Feb. 7, Alix Goolden Hall), is a good example. It features “rarely heard gems from the Düben Collection,” as played by the ensemble La Modestine. The Swedish family has collected a variety of pieces, including sonatas by Buxtehude, Becker and Reincken that will be played here.

“We find that many great (baroque) composers lost their sheen because a composer who came immediately after them became famous,” Destrube says, noting that the triumphant work of Bach and Handel, for example, may have overshadowed that of the prolific Telemann, Albinoni and others from the late 1600s.

“I always hope that people will come to as many concerts as they can. The festival is a way of sparking people’s curiosity and giving them a richer experience.”

Tickets and more festival information can be found online at pacbaroque.com. You can also pick up tickets in person at the Victoria Conservatory of Music box office on Johnson Street, the cathedral office on Burdette Avenue, plus Ivy’s, Tanner’s and Munro’s bookstores, or Long and McQuade.

Individual performance prices are $25 and $30 for adults, $20 and $25 for students and seniors. If you’re keen on attending all four performances, consider a festival pass for $100 (adults) of $80 (students/seniors).

editor@mondaymag.com

 

Musicians and singers in rehearsal for the Pacific Baroque Festival, which runs Feb. 7-10 at Christ Church Cathedral and the Alix Goolden Performance Hall. Courtesy Pacific Baroque Festival

Just Posted

Penelakut filmmaker Steve Sxwithul’txw finds success in film and TV

Cop-turned-storyteller reaches back to his past for Tribal Police Files

Choir offers a capella take on Beatles hits

Soundings will perform concerts in Oak Bay and Sidney May 24 and 25

VIDEO: Scorpion found in B.C. woman’s kitchen finds new home in Victoria

The Victoria Bug Zoo welcomed the scorpion on Saturday

B.C. getting less bang for its buck

B.C.’s CPI topped 2.7 per cent in April 2019, compared to two per cent for all of Canada

VIDEO: Horseshoe pitching association appeals to Greater Victora youngsters

Youth horseshoe pitching club offers fun for all ages, says GVHPA

Update: Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Vancouver Island MusicFest: ‘House bands’ from the golden age of rock and R&B

Some of America’s greatest session musicians are coming to the Comox Valley this summer

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

Bucks hammer Raptors 125-103 to take 2-0 playoff series lead

Toronto heads home in a hole after second loss to Milwaukee

Most Read