Backstage Notes



  • Thirteen years of sold-out summer festivals under the skilful artistic direction of Alexander Tselyakov.
  • Past performers include Andrew Dawes, Jonathan Crow, Rachel Mercer, James Ehnes, Matt Haimovitz, Lara St. John, the late Tanya Prochazka, Barry Shiffman, James Campbell, Guy Few, Penderecki String Quartet, Lafayette String Quartet, Borealis String Quartet, and Gryphon Trio, among others. And our audiences have been thrilled to discover other musicians, not as well known, but wonderfully talented.
  • Increasingly, we find that our audiences from across BC and several US states are building their travel plans around our Festival weekend. All roads lead to Madeira Park in August!
  • In 2009 we commissioned and premiered Pender Harbour Suite for piano trio, composed by Stephen Chatman for the fifth anniversary Festival. In 2014, we celebrated our tenth anniversary with a commissioned piano quintet, In a World of Motion and Distance, by composer Kelly-Marie Murphy.

2017 Highlights

  • In February, we featured a Midwinter Chamber Weekend, with the celebrated violinist Corey Cerovsek and pianist Michelle Mares, joined by cellist Adrian Brendel. They performed an electrifying programme that included the Brahms Trio in C major, No. 2 and a Chopin cello sonata that left few in the audience dry-eyed.
  • For our 13th summer Festival, we welcomed the Gryphon Trio, James Campbell, Joan Blackman, Maria Larionoff, Jason Ho, and Brian Yoon; our Artistic Director Alexander Tselyakov shaped the repertoire into 4 stunning ticketed concerts.
  • Our long-standing free concert, now called Rising Tide, true to our seaside roots, and featuring young musicians in a showcase event, was again an enormous success. Pender Harbour’s own mezzo-soprano Rose-Ellen Nichols, Halfmoon Bay’s baritone Louis Dillon, and pianist David Poon (new to the Coast but already a valued member of the musical community), performed a wonderful afternoon programme.
  • Audience response to the entire Festival was generous. The Saturday afternoon concert, Through Rose-Coloured Glasses, was a highlight, as was anything performed by the Gryphon Trio and James Campbell, clearly Festival favourites.

Pender Harbour Community

  • With seating for 100-120 people, our intimate and friendly venue is nestled in a village in bloom, amongst fir trees and soaring eagles, overlooking the harbour. Audiences love our intimate and friendly ambiance.
  • Host families provide accommodation in their homes for the musicians who arrive several days in advance of the Festival for intensive rehearsals. The musicians appreciate the exceptional hospitality that is offered. Community volunteers help with everything from arranging the huge flower displays we’re famous for to taking tickets to setting out chairs and erecting the outdoor tent.
  • In 2017 the Pender Harbour Music Society celebrates 30 years of music-making on our hill top, in a building that originally housed a Forestry workshop. We are grateful to the vision of those early board members for their collaboration with the SCRD to procure and then create the performance centre we all enjoy today. Outstanding artists of every genre have graced our stage, a testimony to the commitment of our loyal organizing committees and audiences over the years. The years pass and the music lingers

Festival 2018

  • We are offering another Midwinter Chamber Weekend in January (the 27th and 28th). Two concerts, both at 2 p.m., will feature four musicians from Victoria area: Terence Tam, violin; Yariv Aloni, viola; Pamela Highbaugh, cello; and Lorraine Min, piano. Summer Festival regulars will recognize these names and we look forward to hearing them play together in our intimate performance space during the dark days of winter.
  • Plans are underway for next summer’s Chamber Music Festival, our 14th, scheduled for the third weekend of August (17th, 18th, and 19th). We are very excited to welcome back the Lafayette String Quartet and will make further announcements at a later date.

For more information please explore our website or call the Festival cell phone: 604.989.3995.