Tokyo String Quartet Highlights Chamber Music Kelowna’s 2012 / 2013 Season

by GLENNA TURNBULL – Daily Courier

Artistic director Lorna Paterson of Chamber Music Kelowna is proud to announce the upcoming season.
How is it, that a small city the size of Kelowna is able to attract the likes of the world renowned Tokyo String Quartet?
“It’s a trade secret,” replied Chamber Music Kelowna’s co-artistic director Lorna Paterson.
Regardless of her top-secret methods, the fact remains that Kelowna once again gets to play host to one of the most recognized and highly sought after string quartets in the world.

The Tokyo String Quartet is making its farewell tour next year before disbanding for good.
“They’ve been around since 1969 and were the original quartet at the Julliard School in New York, then later became the quartet in residence of Yale University,” said Paterson.
With only one original member left, the thought of having two replace two retiring members seemed daunting, and so the famed quartet is calling it quits.

“We’re the smallest centre in Canada and the only one in B.C. to present them,” said Paterson.
If you want to guarantee a seat, the best way to do so would be to purchase a subscription to Chamber Music Kelowna’s upcoming season, as individual tickets will not be made available to the public until CMK ends its subscription drive at the end of June.

Subscriptions cost $130 for five concerts, probably cheaper than what you would pay for just a single seat to see them in such an intimate venue if they were playing in Vancouver.

“Except they’re not playing in Vancouver,” reminded Paterson.


Chamber Music Kelowna has had many sold-out concerts and has come close to selling out subscriptions in previous years. With such a hot ticket as the Tokyo String Quartet on the program, this year they just might do it.

“Our season opens Sept. 22 with an American group called the Fine Arts Quartet and we’ll have a wine reception before the concert to kick off the season,” said Paterson.

October will feature an Italian group of six women vocalists, Capella Artemisia, who are accompanied by some instrumentalists performing on two cornetti, a harpsichord and gamba.
Paterson said, “They’ll be performing works never heard before from medieval and renaissance times.”

The Schumann Letters

In January, the concert series resumes with a rather unusual night called The Schumann Letters, which will feature the music and words of German composer Robert Schumann. He fell in love with virtuoso pianist Clara Wieck, courted her against parental wishes and then married her.
“This is a new concept, where there is a narrator,” explained Paterson, “and Colin Fox is a Juno award winning narrator and writer, and he speaks during various parts of the evening.”

Canadian pianist extraordinaire Michael Kim will join Fox on stage, along with British soprano Susan Gilmour Bailey. Together they’ll explore the letters and various writings as well as the music of Schumann in what promises to be an intimate and highly entertaining evening.
The fourth concert in the series will be a piano recital in February, featuring the winner of the 2012 Honen’s Prize Laureate.

“We don’t know the name of the winner yet of this prestigious competition, but the winner is awarded a half-million dollar, three-year artistic and career development program, including world-wide representation for three years, debut recitals and so on.”

With such a lucrative and potentially life changing first prize, the competition attracts many of the best young pianists in the world. The competition takes place every three years and CMK has hosted one of the winners before in the past, which Paterson recalled as being “absolutely amazing.” She, as a pianist herself, is very much looking forward to the solo piano recital in February.

Then, the CMK season will finish on a high note with the Tokyo String Quartet on April 12.
Season subscriptions are available until the end of June, then single tickets go on sale with subscriptions available until Sept. 1 or until any of the individual concerts sell out.

Given this is a landmark, farewell tour for the Tokyo String Quartet, Paterson recommended that “anyone who wants to see them perform for the last time should get a subscription to guarantee a seat.”

All concerts take place at the Mary Irwin Theatre in the Rotary Centre for the Arts, starting at 7:30 p.m.
Subscriptions can be bought at the RCA box office.
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