Wed Aug 2 12:00

Katherine Dowling: The Elegy Project

Award-winning Canadian pianist Katherine Dowling brings The Elegy Project to Chamberfest, delivering a solo piano performance of musical meditations on mourning, loss, grief – and life and love. Says Dowling, “my goal as a contemporary musical artist is to cultivate…a desire for deep and meaningful musical experiences that, while not always “pretty,” do always reflect the threads of our common humanity.” For The Elegy Project, Dowling collected and learned over 100 elegies and filtered them down to a beautiful programme that traverses eras and cultures.

Dowling views the artist’s role as one of service to others, requiring sincerity, vulnerability, empathy, curiosity, compassion, and the courage to venture into dark places of the human experience. This led her to The Elegy Project, in which Dowling hopes to create for her audience a sense of interconnectedness through her own musical responses to our shared human experiences. Like so many others, Dowling lost loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic. “In my grief, I learned and played elegies by composers from eras and cultures different than my own. The time I spent with these diverse works fused my daily life at the piano with my daily processes of grieving.” Join Dowling for an experience she hopes will be an “antidote to the fragmented, superficial, and consumerist messaging that pervades twenty-first century life.”


Maurice Ravel (1875 – 1937)
Pavane pour une infante défunte

Béla Bartók (1881 – 1945)
Elegy op.8/b, no.1

Frédéric Chopin (1810 – 1849)
Mazurka op. 17, no.4

Ferruccio Busoni (1866 – 1924)
Elegy BV 249 – 7 Berceuse

Arnold Schoenberg (1874 – 1951)
Klavierstücke op.19, no.6

Alice Ping Yee Ho (b. 1960)
Elegy: “There is no night without a dawning”

Valentin Silvestrov (b. 1937)

Teresa Carreño (1853 – 1917)
Plaintes au bord d’une tombe, 4eme Elégie, Op.20

Rudolf Escher (1912 – 1980)
I. Preludio
II. Toccata
III. Ciaccona
IV. Finale

Download Programme PDF

More Concerts

Festival 2023

Signature Series

Experience five spectacular programs on our Signature Series, featuring large-scale collaborations between world-renowned musicians at Ottawa’s Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre. The 2024 Signature Series is generously sponsored by Bytek Volkswagen & Carling Volvo.



Sunrise Concerts

Concerts immersed in Beechwood’s history and beauty, from its beloved sanctuary to the expansive grounds, complemented by the serene hours of the early morning.

These performances are outdoors. You will need to bring your own seating and weather protection if desired.

Sunrise Concerts are made possible with the generous support of Beechwood Cemetery.

New Music Now

The New Music Now series is a celebration of the breadth and vitality of today’s new classical culture. Explore the sonic range of today’s most creative musical minds at Chamberfest’s annual miniseries. Join us on Monday, August 5 for multiple events in a variety of spaces within Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre, all accessible with the New Music Now: All-NMN Event Pass.

Buy all-NMN Event Pass


Marina Kun Series

This series celebrates Canada’s world-class standard in chamber performance, featuring string and piano ensembles, choirs, baroque music, singers, dancers, and a bit of jazz. This series also hosts Chamberfest’s 30ᵗʰ Anniversary Celebration on closing night! Taking place at Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre, these concerts are generously supported by Marina Kun (of Ottawa-based and internationally loved Kun Shoulder Rests).

Chamber Chats: Festival Edition

Our Chamber Chats: Festival Edition features interactive interviews with festival musicians in person at Woodside hall.

Chamberfringe Series

Our late-night Chamberfringe concerts cross genres and art forms, pushing the boundaries of chamber music with daring and electric performances. Offering everything from lively Arabic jazz to Middle Eastern-Metal fusion, Indigenous beats, and ambient chamber-electronica to Yiddish folk song, or a full-on Ukrainian-Celtic-Arab mashup, there’s always something fresh to check out!

Our Chamberfringe shows take place at La Nouvelle Scène, Club SAW, and The Gladstone Theatre, providing a more casual setting where audiences can enjoy beverages and immerse themselves in the buzzing late-night atmosphere.

Live From… Series

Fourteen-day Chamberfest 2021 passholders can exclusively enjoy musical experiences – from full-length concerts to bite-sized adventures – featuring Chamberfriends in Berlin, Paris, New York City, and North Macedonia. Including Hinrich Alpers, Quatuor Danel, Rob Kapilow, Lara St. John, and Simon Trpčeski.

The Live From… series is digital-only content, part of your Festival Livestream Pass and available in the Livestream Library until August 6. Single ticket access to Hinrich Alpers Live from Hanover and Quatuor Danel Live from Antwerp will be available in July, with the generous support of the Embassy of Germany and the Embassy of France. All digital content from Simon Trpčeski, Rob Kapilow, and Lara St. John is exclusive for Festival Livestream Passholders.

Midday Matinées
Showcasing seasoned professionals and fresh faces to the scene, Chamberfest’s new series offers a refreshing midday escape at stunning local venues.
Beechwood Series

Held within Ottawa’s historic and beautiful Beechwood Cemetery, the Beechwood Series features performances that lend themselves to reflection and contemplation, both in its beloved Sacred Space and on the expansive grounds. The Beechwood Series is made possible with the generous support of Beechwood Cemetery

Steinway Series

Celebrate the piano at the home of our longtime partners, Steinway Piano Gallery Ottawa.

The Steinway Series is made possible with the generous support of the Steinway Piano Gallery Ottawa.

Outdoor Concerts

Get out into the open air with various festival performers for al fresco concerts in downtown Ottawa.

These performances are outdoors. Seating will be limited, and you may need to bring your own weather protection if desired.

Bring the Kids!

Chamberfest’s visiting artists give fun, family-friendly, and interactive performances that teach young people about music-making in small ensembles. Kids can experience and explore the storied world of chamber music at our summer music festival. Free admission. These performances usually take place at Ottawa City Hall or the National Arts Centre (Glass Thorstenson Staircase) and are intended for kids (and guardians!) of all ages.

The Record Centre Series

Eclectic programming resonates against a backdrop of vinyl, vintage speakers, and reel-to-reel at legendary music destination and beloved Wellington staple, The Record Centre. Here, artists are at play: exploring and expanding their creativity in this casual space.

Seating will not be available.

Livestream Content

This summer, our festival offers a rich selection of online content broadcast live from Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre in Ottawa.

CEE: Community Engagement and Education

Chamberfest’s Community Engagement and Education pillar (CEE) engages community members of all ages through a diverse range of meaningful music experiences. Whether on stage, online, or on the streets, CEE changes lives through music.

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Ottawa ON K2P 0W7 Canada


Ottawa Chamberfest is located on the unceded, unsurrendered Territory of the Anishinaabe Algonquin Nation.

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