Backstage Notes



  • Twelve 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.
  • Increasingly, we find that our audiences from across BC and several US states are building their travel plans around our Festival weekend.
  • 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.

2016 Highlights

  • We welcomed Mark Fewer, Joyce Lai, David Gilham, Ian Clarke, Ariel Barnes, Simon Fryer, and Heidi Krutzen this summer; Hanna Crudele, Rae Gallimore, and Jenny Dou were the 2016 Rising Tide cohort; and our Artistic Director Alexander Tselyakov, who keeps our repertoire fresh and challenging.
  • Our long-standing free concert, now called Rising Tide true to our seaside roots and featuring young musicians in a showcase concert, was again an enormous success.
  • Audience response to the entire Festival was gratifying. A particular favourite was the closing concert – Mendelssohn’s Octet which included our Rising Tide string artists as well.

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.
  • Host families provide accommodation in their homes for the musicians who arrive several days in advance of the Festival for intensive rehearsals. 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 historical forestry hill top. 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.

Festival 2017

  • We’re excited to confirm this year’s Festival musicians: We welcome the return of the Gryphon Trio, James Campbell and Joan Blackman. Alexander Tselyakov, our founding Artistic Director and key component in the success of the Festival, has developed a challenging and beautiful repertoire. So mark your calendars for August 18-20, 2017. In celebration of Canada’s 150th we look forward to wonderful works by Canadian composers at every concert.
  • In February of 2017 we welcome another Chamber Music favourite, Corey Cerovsek, with colleagues Michelle Mares and Adrian Brendel.
  • Like a piano, a festival needs to be kept tuned for the best possible musical experience. We are listening to our audience, who tell us what they love (and what they don’t) and what they’d like to hear at future Festivals. They keep us alert to the lively possibilities of chamber music as a dynamic and evolving genre.

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