We’re stealing a riff from Netflix to describe the incredible array of solo artists and women-led ensembles coming to Chamberfest this summer. We proudly celebrate the strength and virtuosity of projects led by women for Chamberfest 2023.
Sarah Slean & Ironwood Quartet
This evening features Canadian indie bright light Sarah Slean in the company of the women of Ironwood Quartet, in a special collaboration that will feature Sarah’s original chamber compositions, vintage Slean songs from the vault, and the world premiere of three new works for voice, piano, and string quartet.
Aline Homzy’s Étoile Magique
Violinist Aline Homzy delves into her Québecois and Eastern European roots with her group Étoile Magique; her original compositions sparkle with jazz, folk, and classical elements. Joined by four of Toronto’s most in-demand improvisational collaborators, Homzy’s compositions and performances deftly usher the jazz violin tradition into the contemporary world with both nuanced writing and space for improvisation to flourish, creating a dazzling musical world.
Irish-Canadian mezzo Wallis Giunta is an international sognstress, returning from a run in Europe to her hometown for a special performance. She has been praised for her “delectably rich, silver-toned mezzo-soprano, with a beautiful sense of line and effortless, rapid runs”.
Dark Butterflies: Patricia O’Callaghan, with David Braid & Gryphon Trio
Toronto Soprano Patricia O’Callaghan is something of a wandering minstrel, travelling across genres, continents, and a range of disciplines and passions. O’Callaghan’s ability to blend languages and musical genres together seamlessly while embodying whatever style she is performing in allows her to “…sing her diverse material as if it was always meant to go side-by-side..” (Chart Attack) Don’t miss the magic as Dark Butterflies brings together some of Canada’s favourite musicians for the reduction of an original orchestral song cycle that promises to be epic in scope and personal in delivery.
Skye Consort & Emma Bjorling
Emma Björling, award-winning Swedish singer, composer, and arranger, met Alex Kehler (fiddle, nyckelharpa), Amanda Keesmaat (cello), and Seán Dagher (cittern/bouzouki, banjo) during a La Nef project in Montréal in October 2017 and “thanks to” Emma’s cancelled flight and their mutual love for each other’s celebrated musicianship, the Skye Consort & Emma Björling partnership was born. With voice, fiddle, nyckelharpa, cello, bouzouki, banjo, and percussion, each musician brings their unique slant to these musical traditions to create a program of whirling polskas, groovy reels, passionate love songs, breathtaking hymns, and original compositions.
Duo Concertante celebrates women composers with a programme including three works commissioned by the duo: Ottawa’s Kelly-Marie Murphy’s “Dance Me to your Beauty with a Burning Violin,” Jocelyn Morlock’s “Petrichor,” and Dawn Avery’s “Iotsistokwaronion.” For over twenty years, Canadian musicians Nancy Dahn (violin) and Timothy Steeves (piano) have built an acclaimed international career as Duo Concertante. Their name references Beethoven’s “Kreutzer” sonata – “in stilo molto concertante” – and these two performers, like the inscription suggests, perform with equal, dynamic voices.
Duo Concertante are also presenting an adaptive concert on the theme of Girl Power!
Lafayette String Quartet
With more than a dozen albums and a thousand appearances worldwide behind them, this milestone concert marks the final touring season for the Lafayette String Quartet. As Canada’s original all-female quartet, the ground-breaking foursome’s concerts are hailed as “passionate, riveting, and with flawless ensemble.” This is the last performance at Chamberfest for the Lafayettes. Don’t miss it.
For one night only, Ottawa’s darling piano virtuoso Angela Hewitt returns to Chamberfest ready to wow. As “one of those rare musicians who … get something into their heads and hearts and find it at their fingertips instantaneously,” (The New York Times) Angela Hewitt is pure expressive joy. Hewitt combines forces with Chamberfest Artists-in-Residence and the Chamberfest Festival Orchestra to present Mozart’s Woodwind Quintet and Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, featuring violinist Jessica Linnebach and flutist Joanna G’froerer. Finally, Chamberfest pulls out all the stops for Mozart’s epic Concerto for Three Pianos, interpreted by Hewitt, Silvie Cheng, and Katherine Dowling. Don’t miss this performance of seldom-heard works by stellar musicians; this combination will never be seen again!