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10 Fall Music Concerts: Artslandia Highlights

As a brand new performing arts season preps for its grand arrival, there’s no better time like the present to get better acquainted with the artists that are planning to take centre stage. In no particular order, and without further adieu, we present our spotlight list of 10 Fall Music Concerts. To see a complete list of music in Artslandia, be sure to visit our music page here.


Photo courtesy of ISCM 2017.

A must-see this season is the unforgettable Austrailian String Quartet. Later in the fall, Music on Main goes big-time, co-hosting the International Society for Contemporary Music’s annual showcase, ISCM 2017, November 2–8. This huge project combines solo performances, chamber works, and orchestral performances from a dizzying array of composers around the world. More Info >>


Paul Lewis. Photo by Molina Visuals.

This fall the VRS puts special emphasis on pianists and cellists. Subscribers get to meet both young cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and his pianist sister Isata December 3, at 3:00pm in the Vancouver Playhouse. November 19 sees the start of a new Haydn and Brahms project with pianist Paul Lewis, which tucks smallish, wonderful works by Beethoven and Brahms in between Haydn piano sonatas, at 3:00pm in the Playhouse. Tickets >>


Elektra Women’s Choir. Photo by David Cooper Photography.

Elektra occupied the summer with a trip to the south of France and Barcelona and lots of performing opportunities. It gets back to business as usual with their annual show Chez Nous with Elektra, December 2nd (7:30pm, Dunbar Ryerson United Church) and 3rd (3:00pm, Highlands United Church, North Van). Rushing the season, perhaps, but a chance to hear Britten’s captivating Ceremony of Carols. Tickets >>


Turandot (2017), Atlanta Opera. Photo by Raftermen.

Turandot is Puccini’s last work, not quite finished at the time of the Italian composer’s death in 1922. He created a sometimes uneasy blend of late Romantic exoticism (Chinese setting, pentatonic licks, and glittering orchestrations) with hints of the Expressionistic style that so captivated the younger crowd of composers working in post-WWI Europe. October 13, 15, 19, and 21 in the Queen Elizabeth Theatre; evening performances at 7:30pm, Oct 15 is a 2:00pm matinee. Tickets >>


Borodin Quartet. Photo by Keith Saunders.

This venerable presenter celebrates a true milestone: 70 years of bringing the best chamber groups all the way to the West Coast. A perennial favorite, the Borodin String Quartet, performs an all-Russian program, including two Shostakovich quartets, October 17 at 8:00pm in the Vancouver Playhouse. Notably, FCM and the Borodin made Vancouver the first North American center to host a complete Shostakovich cycle in 1969, even before the great Soviet-era composer had written his final two quartets. Tickets >>


Music Director Bramwell Tovey with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Photo by Albert Law.

The VSO is in major transition mode: this season is the last of the 18-year Bramwell Tovey era, and October brings a glimpse of the future with the first performance led by Dutch music director designate Otto Tausk. The program includes Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 2, Glinka’s Ruslan and Ludmila Overture, and Sibelius’s Tchaikovsky-influenced First Symphony. October 14 and 16 in the Orpheum Theatre, October 15 at the Bell Performing Arts Centre in Surrey. Tickets >>


Artistic Director Erick Lichte with Chor Leoni Men’s Choir. Photo by Phil Jack.

Twenty-five years ago the Choir’s late founder and conductor Diane Loomer came up with a great idea: commemorating Remembrance Day with music for men’s choir. This year’s program will especially poignant, marking the centenary of the 1917 Battle of Vimy Ridge with a new set of “In Flanders Fields” by Canadian composer Michael Betteridge. Just two performances, both on November 11: An afternoon matinee in West Vancouver United Church, and an evening performance in St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church. Tickets >>


Ariel Barnes.

Since many Vancouver fans are still in denial about his recent move to Europe, a North Shore performance by cellist Ariel Barnes with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra Saturday, September 30, 7:30pm will be an automatic highlight of fall 2017. Barnes plays two concerti: a classic by Haydn and a new opus by Michael Oesterle. Tickets >>


Uri Caine.

You might think that VNM has its collective hands full with the ISCM (see Music on Main), but it rounds out November with Uri Caine at Yaletown’s Roundhouse, November 25, 8pm. The New York-based Caine will perform with strings and the Vancouver Electronic Ensemble. Tickets >>      


Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir. Photo by Leigh Righton.

The Good Noise Gospel choir is 90 voices strong, directed by powerhouse conductor Gail Suderman. Its gospel Christmas, called Good Tidings!, plays three shows at downtown’s Christ Church Cathedral, December 15 and 16, 8:00pm, and a matinee December 16, 3:00 pm. Tickets >>