Variations on a Theme

Musicians and Actors love improv. Exploring a theme’s potential, far beyond its typical path. Many of our favorite SNL and SCTV characters were discovered through improv. It is well documented that JS Bach, the master of classical music, used improvisation extensively in his contrapuntal inventions. Through experimentation we discover unexpected ways of sharing a message or discovering a truth.  It is through improvisation we find our unique voice.

All creative explorers are searching for the same thing – their own voice. It is the collective journey of all artists yet unique to each. How we convey our message is equal in importance to the message itself. The hand-painted porcelain dish is as important to the meal as the carefully chosen ingredients.

A choir can sing in harmony or in unison, but as soloists we are heard above the rest. A crowded room is a jumble of sound, challenging to distinguish one person from another – if you compete for attention, the din just increases! But whistle and you can get that full room’s attention.

A ‘flock’ adequately describes a group of birds. Thanks to the inventive English language, however, we can give bird species more apt wording – starlings ‘murmur’, crows ‘murder’ and Larks ‘exalt’! An ‘exaltation’ of larks is a gorgeous use of words to describe this beautiful singing bird’s collective path of flight. The need to individuate, even with birds, is about allowing their unique characteristics to be recognized. A ‘parliament of owls’ couldn’t be more perfect.

Whether we sing with the flock or strike out on our own, the explorations are as endless as the artists.  Variations on a theme indeed!

There is something to be said for lending your voice to the group! Check out this astounding murmuration of starlings as filmed by National Geographic:  https://youtu.be/V4f_1_r80RY

We’re Bach!

As Founding & Executive Producer for this fabulous Canadian summer music festival, I am pleased to share this latest release from the Bach Music Festival of Canada!

We’re Bach!
2013 Season Announcement!

As promised at the end of our 2011 sell-out season when we announced ‘We’ll be Bach….!’indeed the Festival has returned!

The Bach Music Festival of Canada is excited to announce its stellar line-up of artists, concerts, and master classes, for the 2013 Summer Season! Back after its sold-out inaugural season in 2011, the Festival continues to build on its relationships with Canada’s most renowned and respected artists while cultivating roots in the heart of Huron County, Ontario.

The Sunday July 14th Gala Opening concert features Juno award nominated instrumentalist Susan Hoeppner, (Flute) in concert with the incomparable percussionist Beverley Johnston. In having Ms Hoeppner launch the 2013 season, Artistic Director Gerald Fagan states “We met Ms Hoeppner at the 2012 JUNO awards and were struck not only by her extraordinary artistry but the warmth and intelligence she brings to her performance. Truly a Canadian star on the International stage!”

Other Guest Artists include the JUNO nominated Jazz performer Fern Lindzon; Baroque specialists Capella Intima; the fantastic Project Aria (featuring Guy Few (Trumpet), Leslie Fagan (Soprano), Stephanie Mara(Piano); the much loved Bach Youth Choir (Brenda Zadorsky, Conductor), and the newly formed Bach Festival Chamber Choir & Orchestra under the direction of Artistic Director Gerald Fagan.

The Saturday July 20th Closing Gala presentation of the great Bach work the St John Passion, features soloists, orchestra and a mass choir equaling over 150 performers in total with Artistic Director Gerald Fagan conducting. This final gala concert will take place at the extraordinary Huron Tractor Showroom! Truly, music in the heart of the community!

Bach Music Festival of Canada
July 14 – 20 2013
Exeter Ontario Canada
An Inspiring Season of Music!

Full details about the Bach Music Festival of Canada are found on our website http://www.bachfestival.ca. And you can always join us on Face book.

Photos, Interviews and Quotes available by contacting the Festival at 519 235-2565 ext 223; or by email at bachmusicfestival@bellnet.caBach Music Festival of Canada

We-re Back! – the Bach Music Festival of Canada Returns

It is hard to believe that it has been 18 months since the inaugural Bach Music Festival of Canada! Let’s re-cap our successes:

  • sold out concerts!
  • phenomenal World Class artists
  • week long music making for Youth from across the country
  • Mass Choir, Orchestra, Soloist performance of the Mass in B Minor
  • Bach Festival at the JUNOS! Yup, we were co-presenters of the Classical Music Showcase – a most memorable experience for all of us!

We have made significant announcements this week regarding the Youth Program and  the Mass Choir, Orchestra and Soloist Final performance. Further guest artist announcements are to be made in the coming weeks. We can’t wait to share the news! 

Visit our website at http://www.bachmusicfestival.wordpress.com to see more of what the Festival staff, Board of Directors and Volunteers are planning for 2013! In a glance, here is what you need to know:

Bach Music Festival of Canada  July 14 – 20, 2013

Tickets will be on sale early in the New Year!

(HINT FROM THE EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Get your tickets early – they are inexpensive, will sell out and include THE BEST after-party! Don’t take my word for it, at the last Festival the Guest Artists were always the last to leave.Music, Summer, Party, – what could possible go wrong?!)

JUNO a Go-Go!

Holy Smokes! What a Saturday night Gala!

Security, stars, (and the rest of us) mingled at the limo surrounded Ottawa Convention Centre having a chance to meet, greet, sip, nosh while waiting for the Saturday Big Event to start. The great news about the JUNOs is that having been at the Friday night Welcome Reception, you see the same folks – and they see you too.

Which means you always have someone to talk to.  We are a friendly bunch!

The event got right down to business – welcome by Jian Ghomeshi who was funny, didn’t take himself too seriously and kept the numerous awards moving. The food was delish, cocktails tasty but the real lip-smacking goodness was the sheer talent in the room all to celebrate one another.

First act up was Lights! Here she is with Jian.

As the numerous awards were presented, the life long achievers given their due, the receptive crowd continued to cheer their colleagues in a truly Canadian celebration.

JUNO Nominees & Winners who I hung out with (because, you know, that’s just how the Bach Festival of Canada rolls….) can be seen here:

Stretch Orchestra – 2012 JUNO Winner for Instrumental Album of the Year Matt Brubeck, Jesse Stewart & Jesse’s fabulous partner in life/crime Michele McMillan.

Nominee Susan Hoeppner with me at the Dinner and Awards Gala.

Liz Parker, phenomenal Publicist (especially for you Classical musicians and organizations out there!) with Canadian music ‘darling’ Susan Aglukark. If you look closely behind Susan and Liz, you will see London’s own Joe Vaughan and his beautiful wife Carol! (This photo was taken at the Saskatchewan After Party, raising the bar for the 2013 JUNOs!)

Canadian Music Centre’s Atlantic Representative Shawn Bostick, also sitting at the table with Susan, Liz and I.

This is Socalled, seen here from their Friday night 1:00am Showcase (yes people I said 1:00am!!). Nominees in the World Music category they are a klezmer hip hop high energetic band. The reason for this photo is that this sax player is actually playing 2 saxophones at once!!

The Good Lovelies are all that and more! Lovely Kerri Ough and I ran into each other numerous times – she is a UWO grad and all around terrific talent!

And just to end the evening, here Liz, Susan and I after agreeing to take on the world through Classical Music!

Classical Music Showcase Conquers!

The Bach Festival has been anticipating our participation in the Classical Music Showcase of the 2012 JUNO Awards! And now, we are here to lend our support and immense cheerleading skills to the promotion of contemporary classical music in Canada. The National Arts Centre was the perfect venue for the Showcase that featured some of the JUNO Nominees in the Classical Music categories. 

Hosted by Paul Wells from MacLean’s, a full house at the Classical Music Showcase set the tone for the weekend events at the JUNOs! The audience was treated to performances by:

Christine Petrowska Quilico piano

Derek Charke composer

Susan Hoeppner flute

Heather Schmidt piano

New Orford String Quartet

After the performances we had a chance to meet the artists as well as some of the audience members and supporters at the reception.

 

Here is Board Member Heather Moffatt with  JUNO Nominee Heather Schmidt

 

 

 

 

Nominees Susan Hoeppner & Derek Charke with Derek’s fantastic wife!

 

 

 

Friedhelm, Gerry, Susan and Paul

 

 

 

 

The New Orford String Quartet – JUNO Nominees!

 

 

 

 

 

Cathy Seip with Bach friends!

 

 

 

 

Ellen Shapiro with Melissa Nisbett from Tree Canada

 

 

Full of excitement about the success of the Showcase, we head to the Official Welcome Reception of the 2012 JUNO Awards! I think it’s fair to say, the Showcase was a warm-up and we were on our best behaviour… (Wait til you see some of the photos from this next event!)

With Oscar in Ottawa!

2012 JUNO Awards – Let the Games Begin!

What an exciting time to be in Ottawa Canada for the 2012 JUNO Awards!

Artistic Director Gerald Fagan and I arrived by VIA train, the Official Train of the JUNOs, Friday evening, in time to check into the Lord Elgin Hotel, one of the Official Hotels of the JUNOs ( are you noticing a trend here?) and the JUNO excitement is everywhere. The train ride from London to Ottawa was very exciting – Gerry studied his music for the April 6th Good Friday Concert in London. The entire trip. I’m not kidding. Except for when he took a break to eat a peanut butter sandwich. Don’t believe me? Check these photos out for proof!

Here he is waiting for the Toronto connection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And once on the train again, out comes the music.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing like a peanut butter sandwich!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upon arriving in Ottawa the JUNOs were there to welcome us!

Here is a picture of Gerry! 

After taking this picture of me, saying that I should be sure to have my picture in our JUNO diary, Gerry took this one and declared ‘perfect!’. Hmmmm…. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our fantastic Board of Directors is joining the festivities as well. Board Member Paul Ciufo arrived Friday night and met us for a late dinner at the Lord Elgin, one of the official Hotels of the JUNOs. Our waiter very kindly captured this shot.

He seemed somewhat nonplussed about our Official Status at the Junos importance. Luckily, the banana bread pudding with nutmeg ice cream by Chef Michael Smith was a balm to our hurt egos. Sigh.

Not to be upstaged, a van of the Bach Music Festival of Canada Board Members left Exeter Ontario at 4:30am to arrive in Ottawa for our Classical Music Showcase, an Official event of the JUNOs! which is at 3:30pm at the National Arts Centre.

Friedhelm Hoffmann, Heather Moffatt, Cathy Seip, Ellen Shapiro and Jean Jacobe along with Paul and Wayne Deluca and Janet Heerema are the most extraordinary Board of Directors that any organization would be so proud to be associated with. What an effort for each to make, to support the Festival as well as the efforts of Canadian contemporary classical musicians! We will miss Board members Janet Heerema and  Wayne DeLuca’s presence here – but he is cheering us from away!

This is just the beginning! More posts to come today and through the weekend. Thank you for joining us on this amazing journey! Louise Fagan, Executive Producer Bach Festival