Archive For: Chamber

Beyond Description

When violinist Corey Cerovsek, cellist Adrian Brendel and pianist Michelle Mares walked onto the stage at the Pender Harbour Chamber Music Festival Mid Winter Weekend, February 25 and 26, it was a reunion of dear friends who share spectacular talents and passionate souls. Their two concerts, presented on concurrent afternoons, brought many in the audience alternately to tears and to their feet for ovations the like of which few can remember.




More wonderful chamber music coming August 18 – 20. Please check this website in April for details about musicians, programs and tickets.


Romance in the Afternoon

It is always a great pleasure to welcome back wonderful musicians who played for us in past years. On January 23 and 24, the Chamber Music Festival’s midwinter weekend saw Gary Levinson, violin, and Baya Kakouberi, piano, return to the Harbour to offer a memorable programme of music by Robert and Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms. On Sunday, they were joined by distinguished cellist Andres Diaz, whose playing managed to be both powerful and tender. Music lovers often are amazed to find artists of such international repute on our diminutive stage but, as Mr. Levinson and Dr. Kakouberi explained, they are delighted to play in such beautiful natural surroundings and for our knowledgeable and appreciative audience.

> Related article by Jan Degrass in the Coast Reporter


Photo by Marg Penney


Important North American Premiere at the Chamber Music Festival

Chausson’s most beloved work in a chamber music setting!

The 2014 Music Festival, already slated to be a venerable feast of new and traditionally loved masterpieces is proud to be the site of an important North American premiere. On August 16, 2014 at 2:00 pm to close the program dubbed Aprés Midi, the festival presents the Chausson Poéme in its rarely heard guise – a piano sextet version. The genesis of the Poéme was catalyzed by the great Belgian violin virtuoso Eugène Ysaÿe, who asked Chausson to compose a violin concerto. Chausson felt overwhelmed by the request, countering with a shorter work which Ysaÿe championed. It was commenced in April 1896 and was written while Chausson was holidaying in Florence, Italy. He wrote three different versions of Poème: with orchestra; with piano accompaniment (later rewritten); and a recently discovered version for violin, string quartet and piano, a companion to his Concert in D for piano, violin and string quartet, Op. 21 (1892). The arrangement of the manuscript for the piano sextet was reconstructed by Jason Calloway, noted cellist of the Amernet String Quartet. Violinist Gary Levinson who helped reconstruct the work comments, “The Poeme is a work of mystical beauty loosely based upon Turgenev’s 1881 novella The Song of Love Triumphant. All. my life I have had an admiration for Ysaÿe, bred from summers studying with the legendary Josef Gingold, so when I got the opportunity to perform the Poéme in its less familiar setting of piano sextet, I jumped at the opportunity. Identification with Turgenev’s novella invokes my Russian roots, plus my love for the art of Ysaÿe make me look forward to this very special occasion.”

“I’m very excited about our Festival’s 10th Anniversary. There is a lot to celebrate this year. The North American premiere of Chausson’s Poem newly arranged and performed by the Festival’s artist and excellent violinist Gary Levinson together with wonderful artists the Lafayette String Quartet and pianist Baya Kakouberi. Also, the Lafayette String Quartet and I have recently issued a new CD. On this recording we feature “In A World Of Motion And Distance”, the newly-commissioned piano quintet by the well-known Canadian composer Kelly-Marie Murphy which will receive its world premiere on Thursday, August 14th at 7:30 pm as part of the Sound Impressions concert.” Alexander Tselyakov, Artistic Director the Pender Harbour Chamber Music Festival.


2013 Chamber Music Festival a Great Success


VIEW PHOTOS from the 2013 Festival

Eight musicians from around North America, as far away as New York City, came to the Sunshine Coast to provide four glorious days of chamber music for fans of all ages. From 2 to 92 everyone found something to grab their hearts and minds. There were fantastic and sometimes unusual works by contemporary composers as well as some time-honoured classics – all performed by some of the finest ensemble playing to have been heard on the Coast. It is hard to imagine this diverse group coming together so quickly to such an astounding level of play, but they managed precisely that.

For the first time, the bandoneón was featured in tango works by Piazzolla and in fugues by Bach, spanning three centuries. And, we were treated to the full range of what a clarinet can do, from gems of the chamber repertoire such as Brahms’ Clarinet Sonata No. 2 to François Houle’s own Aerial XXI. Who knew that two clarinets could be played at one time by the same person, or how often has anyone heard two notes played simultaneously on one clarinet?

You could feel the electricity when internationally recognized violinist, Lara St. John, took the stage, and the audience was dazzled by the playing of: Yehonatan Berick, violin and viola; Joyce Lai, violin; Ian Clarke, viola; Rachel Mercer, cello; François Houle, clarinet; Jonathan Goldman, bandoneón; and Artistic Director Alexander Tselyakov on piano.

The Beethoven “Spring” Sonata, probably the most popular of the violin sonatas, had the audience on its feet and a less frequently heard piece of music, Kodály’s Serenade for Two Violins and Viola, was also an audience favourite. The Glazunov Oriental Reverie had music fans so mesmerized that there was simply dead silence for a number of seconds before they broke into wild applause, and Sarasate’s Navarra for Two Violins and Piano was an absolute tour de force.

The free concert, Chamber Music Doesn’t Bite, donated by the musicians, made a rainy Friday afternoon special for many young people and for those new to the chamber music genre. The School of Music was full to the rafters with over 25 young children and their families, people new to the event, and a few seasoned concert goers. It was a particularly fun afternoon, full of great music and funny moments.

The buzz of anticipation in the audience was palpable before performances and during intermissions, and there was a babble of comments at the end of every concert. It was truly a magical musical experience.



Festival Commissions Work for 2014

kmmTo celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2014, the Pender Harbour Chamber Music Festival has commissioned Canadian composer Kelly-Marie Murphy to compose a new work for piano quintet to be performed by the Lafayette String Quartet and Alexander Tselyakov, Pianist and Artistic Director at our Chamber Music Festival in Aug 2014.

Kelly-Marie Murphy grew up on Armed Forces bases all across Canada. She began her studies in composition at the University of Calgary and later received a Ph.D. in composition from the University of Leeds in England. She is now based in Ottawa.

Dr. Murphy has completed short residencies at the Snowbird Institute for the Arts, Utah; Tapestry Music Theatre/Canadian Opera Company, Toronto; rESOund Festival of Contemporary Music, Edmonton; Strings of the Future International String Quartet Festival, Ottawa; Soundstreams/Encounters, Toronto; and at the Banff Centre for the Arts. In 2004 Dr. Murphy was honoured with The Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Calgary, and in 2005 as the Roger D. Moore Distinguished Visitor in Composition from the University of Toronto. Most recently, Dr. Murphy was granted the distinction of Honorable Mention in the 2008 Barlow Prize for composition.

Dr. Murphy’s music has been performed in the UK, Japan, across Europe, and throughout North America by outstanding soloists and ensembles, and has had radio broadcasts in 22 countries. Her music has been interpreted by renowned conductors such as Sir Andrew Davis, David Brophy, and Mario Bernardi. She is the recipient of many commissions from the CBC and the Canada Council for the Arts, and has written for some of Canada’s leading performers and ensembles such as the Winnipeg, Toronto, and Vancouver Symphony Orchestras, Shauna Rolston, James Campbell, the Gryphon Trio, Borealis String Quartet, Rivka Golani, Judy Loman, and James Sommerville. (

Selected Works:

  • Give Me Phoenix Wings to Fly (1997). Piano trio. Commissioned by the Gryphon Trio
  • Postcards From Home (2000). Violin, clarinet, piano. Commissioned by the Music Canada 2000 Fund for James Campbell and the Festival of the Sound
  • Departures and Deviations (2001). Violin, horn, piano. Commissioned by the CBC for Ottawa Chamber Music Festival
  • Living Metal, Continuous Poses (2003). String quartet. Commissioned by the Molinari Quartet through the Canada Council for the Arts
  • Ashes (2007). String quartet. Commissioned by the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music
  • Signals (2009). 9 brass instruments. Commissioned by the Ottawa Chamber Music Society with support from Roger D. Moore

In 2010 the Gryphon Trio performed Kelly Marie Murphy’s “Give Me Phoenix Wings to Fly” at our Chamber Music Festival, and in 2011 the Borealis String Quartet performed Murphy’s “Ashes”. Summing up the reaction of many, an audience member initially responded to a survey question regarding new &/or non-traditional music performances with “…sorry I’m a traditionalist…” later adding in different coloured ink “OK, I just changed my mind. More Kelly-Marie Murphy would be great.”

The Pender Harbour Chamber Music Festival thanks the BC Arts Council and the Sunshine Coast Community Foundation for the grant assistance they have provided, which has made this commission possible.


Our New Patio

Our newly renovated patio, complete with carpet this year, is waiting to be filled with music fans for our 9th annual Pender Harbour Chamber Music Festival. It is a fantastic addition to our already idyllic setting.






Variety at the 2012 Festival

From the black leather jackets and dark glasses worn during the opening night performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Jet Song from West Side Story, to the casual style of the free Friday afternoon concert, to the more formal concerts throughout the weekend, there was great variety and so much to enjoy during the 2012 Chamber Music Festival. Music lovers were captivated by the quality of the music, the creativity of Alexander Tselyakov’s programming and the brilliant performances of the musicians. The concerts presented works ranging from 20th century classical music to a celebration of Debussy’s 150th birthday, with a highlight being Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet in A major, featuring James Campbell. Trumpet virtuoso Guy Few’s performances were extremely well-received: songs by Fauré and Duparc and the poems that inspired them, brought tears to more than a few eyes. In keeping with past years, there were again Festival firsts: a full concert was added to the schedule; and trumpet, matching Yamaha pianos, and percussion were featured on our stage for the first time.


PH Chamber Music Festival on CoastTV!

The 8th Annual Pender Harbour Chamber Music Festival was a huge success and a favourite with everyone was once again the free concert “Chamber Music Doesn’t Bite” offered by the musicians to the community.”

CoastTV has provided us with the following air dates for this free concert:


Tuesday August 21, 2012

07:00 pm

Wednesday August 22, 2012

09:00 am
08:30 pm

Thursday August 23, 2012

10:30 am
07:30 pm

Friday August 24, 2012

10:00 am
07:30 pm

Saturday August 25, 2012

09:30 am
07:00 pm

Sunday August 26, 2012

09:00 am
08:30 pm

Monday August 27, 2012

10:30 am
07:30 pm

Tuesday August 28, 2012

10:00 am


Chamber Tickets Going Fast!

Only tickets for the Thursday concert are available online. Ticket sales have been brisk, so please call 604.989.3995 if you are interested in the other concerts as there are still a limited number of tickets available.