Prior to May of 1948, Vancouver’s chamber music scene was a smattering of visits by a few established quartets and occasional performances by locals. A band of enthusiasts great and small changed that when they formed Friends of Chamber Music and presented their first concert. Critics and audiences alike were very pleased. With concert expenses of $327.58 and $249 in ticket sales of $1 per person plus a few donations, the show boasted a profit of $20.62.
Fast forward to July 1969, when the Friends invited the Borodin String Quartet from the USSR to perform Dmitri Shostakovich’s cycle of (then) eleven quartets as part of their 21st season. Shostakovich was the musical laureate of the Soviet regime during the Cold War, so hosting these concerts was a daring move. The heralded quartet from Moscow even added Shostakovich’s twelfth quartet, written only months before the Vancouver performances, to this first North American quartet cycle of the Soviet composer.
This season, the Borodin Quartet returns to open Friends of Chamber Music’s 2017–18 70th platinum jubilee anniversary. Now is your chance, friends, to experience this longstanding quartet in its continuing musical splendour.
Borodin Quartet | October 17, 2017 at Vancouver Playhouse. More info here.