Early Music Vancouver

  • 1254 West 7th Ave.,
  • Vancouver, BC V6H 1B6
  • Phone: (604) 732-1610

Under the leadership of Artistic/Executive Director, and internationally acclaimed soprano, Suzie LeBlanc, C.M. Early Music Vancouver (EMV) has been a much-loved, and vital contributor to Vancouver’s cultural scene for more than 50 years. EMV presents a packed performance calendar with 40+ live performances and digital concerts  a year featuring some of the most renowned artists in the early music genre drawn from all parts of the globe.

In addition, Early Music Vancouver presents an annual week-long Bach festival in the summer (including an artist-in-residence component), produces Notations (a series of informative behind-the-scenes podcasts) and presents online courses. EMV also offers a Baroque Orchestra Mentorship Programme, plus a BC Scholarship Programme for professional-track music students or active professional musicians seeking to develop skills in early music performance.

The Pacific Baroque Orchestra (PBO) is EMV’s ‘house band’. Under the direction of Alexander Weimann, PBO is recognized as one of Canada’s most exciting and innovative early music ensembles. It also tours extensively throughout the Canada and the U.S.

The phrase ‘early music’ often refers to European music from the Medieval Period through to the Baroque (about 1800). At EMV it also encompasses music from outside the western European tradition to that of other cultures within the same period – Tang Dynasty China and the Ottoman and Persian empires for instance. EMV also explores music from the 19th century with historically informed performances on its restored fortepianos – re-creating the original sound of the music as the composer heard it.

EMV concerts offer a platform for cross-cultural dialogue and exploration of diverse perspectives and relationships with the past. Live performances take place at venues such as Christ Church Cathedral, the Chan Centre, St. Andrew’s Wesley United Church and Pacific Spirit United Church.

Early Music Vancouver's 2022 Bach Festival explores new territory by fusing Scottish traditional music with Baroque masters. It is well known that J.S. Bach employed instrumentalists for his church performances who often also played in taverns. We also know that Baroque dance-forms, such as the gavotte and gigue, were born in country dances which were reimagined by composers of the time for courtly circles. Scottish Baroque, a fusion of Scottish traditional music combined with the virtuosity and style of 17th and 18th… more

July 27, 2022

2022 Vancouver Bach Festival - Opening Concert Artists: Pacific Baroque Orchestra - Alexander Weimann, music director, 2022 Artists-in-Residence David Greenberg, violin, & David McGuinness, keyboard; Fiona Tinwei Lam, Vancouver Poet Laureate Opening concert of 2022 Bach Festival. Join Vancouver’s Poet Laureate, Fiona T. Lam, EMV’s Artists-in-Residence, and the Pacific Baroque Orchestra in a musical celebration of water featuring Handel’s Water Music , Telemann’s Hamburger Ebb' und Fluth , and Alasdair MacLean’s The… more

July 28, 2022

Part of the 2022 Bach Festival. Artists: David Greenberg, violin; David McGuinness, keyboards; Kirsty Money, nyckelharpa This concert explores the repertoire of Scottish tunes and their relationship with other traditions - the European art music of the time, the fiddle music of Scandinavia, and present-day folk composition. The concert features acclaimed Baroque violinist and Celtic fiddler David Greenberg - praised as "the best baroque violin soloist in Canada, if not North America" (Stephen Pedersen, Halifax Mail-Star… more

July 28, 2022

Part of the 2022 Vancouver Bach Festival Artists: Ensemble Arkora with Lan Tung (erhu) Ensemble Arkora explores the connections between past and present with a project of new works by Canadian composers and ancient masterworks highlighting the oeuvre of Hildegard von Bingen. For this project Arkora is also joined by special guest and master erhu improviser, Lan Tung. The programme offers a combination of historically-informed performance and contemporary re-envisioning of early work including Arkora-commissioned works… more

July 29, 2022

Part of 2022 Vancouver Bach Festival - Scottish Baroque & Other Traditions Artists: Contrasto Armonico - Marco Vitale, music director Les Nations is a vast project of extended trio sonatas by François Couperin in which the virtues of both the French and Italian music instrumental styles are set next to each other. Each of the four Ordres celebrates a power of Europe - France, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire and the Savoy dynasty of Piedmont, and each is a combination of an Italianate trio sonata with its free-form… more

July 29, 2022

Part of the 2022 Vancouver Bach Festival - Scottish Baroque & Other Traditions Artists: Pierre-Antoine Tremblay, horn; Alexander Weimann, fortepiano In 1805, the Irish poet Thomas Moore wrote a short poem entitled The Last Rose of Summer , which was later set to a traditional tune called Aisling an Óigfhear that inspired dozens of classical composers, including Beethoven, to create their own arrangements and fantasies based on the tune including three of the five composers on this program - Beethoven, Moscheles in a… more

August 2, 2022

Part of the 2022 Vancouver Bach Festival - Scottish Baroque & Other Traditions Artists: Baroque Orchestra Mentorship Programme (BOMP), Chloe Meyers & David McGuinness directors This programme shows how Scottish music found its way into European consciousness in the 17th and 18th centuries through the works of Georg Muffat and Francesco Gemignani. Muffat's Armonico Tributo sonatas, which combine aspects of French and Italian music, were given their first performances by Corelli’s orchestra. Francesco Gemignani's… more

August 2, 2022

Part of the 2022 Bach Festival - Scottish Baroque & Other Traditions Artists: Suzie LeBlanc, soprano; Vincent Lauzer, recorder; Marie-Nadeau Tremblay, violin; Sylvain Bergeron, theorbo The majority of traditional Acadian songs come from France - their origins can be traced back to certain regions. Songs, just like people, are nomadic - the lyrics, like the melodies, often change as they travel. Here, we juxtapose Acadian folk songs from Shippagan with 17th century 'airs de cour' from France and the court of Louis… more

August 3, 2022

Part of the 2022 Vancouver Bach Festival - Scottish Baroque & Other Traditions Artists: Ellen Torrie, soprano; Marie Nadeau-Tremblay, violin; Sylvain Bergeron, theorbo EMV’s Emerging Artists’ Concert features the next generation of musicians performing works by Francesca Caccini and Barbara Strozzi, Henry Purcell and J.H. Schmelzer. The 17th century was a time of great innovation in music thanks to the rise of composers who happily defied the rules of composition. Early Music Vancouver’s 2022 Emerging Artists, Ellen… more

August 4, 2022

Part of the 2022 Vancouver Bach Festival - Scottish Baroque & Other Traditions Artist: 2022 Artist-in-Residence David Greenberg, violin EMV 2022 Artist-in Residence David Greenberg takes us on a musical journey that meanders between Baroque solo violin repertoire and traditional folk-style tunes. Greenberg's rare fluency in both Baroque and Cape Breton playing styles allows him to approach each moment of music in an imaginative and deeply personal way. The end of the Baroque era coincided with the Golden Age of… more

August 4, 2022

Part of the 2022 Vancouver Bach Festival - Scottish Traditions & Other Traditions Artists: Chloe Kim, violin; Jonathan Adams, baritone; Marie-Nadeau Tremblay, violin; Margaret Little, viola da gamba;Lucas Harris, theorbo; Avi Stein, keyboard Emanating from 17th century Italy, the ‘fantastical style’ ( stylus phantasticus ) of music was taken up in the courts and chapels of Germany and Austria. These ancient songs sprung from a dark time and speak of hope to our contemporary situation. This concert features EMV's… more

August 5, 2022

Part of the 2022 Vancouver Bach Festival - Scottish Baroque & Other Traditions Artists: Pacific Baroque Players -Alexander Weimann, music director & harpisichord; Christina Hutten, harpsichord; David McGuinness, harpsichord; Marco Vitale, harpsichord; Chloe Myers, violin; David Greenberg, violin This concert highlights Bach’s love of adapting works by other composers, such as Vivaldi’s Concerto for Four Violins and Strings , which he reworked for four harpsichords. This evening showcases four outstanding… more

August 6, 2022

Closing concert: 2022 Vancouver Bach Festival - Scottish Baroque & Other Traditions Artists: Ellen Torrie, soprano; Isaiah Bell, tenor; Amanda Keesmat, cello; 2022 Artists-in Residence David Greenberg, violin & David McGuinness, keyboard with Bach Festival musicians This year's Bach Festival draws to a close in the idyllic setting of VanDusen Botanical Garden. The Tea-Table Miscellany , the first printed collection of Scottish songs in the Scots dialectic, features the words of 18th century poet Allan Ramsay as… more