Kismet, blind luck and Philip Hansen are responsible for creating the Quadra Island Festival of Chamber Music.
This is the 10th year that the weeklong musical feast has been held, and it’s grown steadily in content and reputation (There was a two-year hiatus for COVID). Four different venues will host five evening concerts July 18-22, Monday to Friday. Each concert will present a different program with a different array of musicians and instruments each night. There will also be a family concert on Wednesday, July 20 at 11:30 a.m. at Quadra Island Community Centre.
In 2010 accomplished cellist, Phil Hansen (who at that time was performing with the Calgary Symphony), was on a road trip with friends. They impulsively took a ferry to Victoria with no other destination in mind. With closed eyes, Hansen put his finger on a map of Vancouver Island and landed on Quadra Island. Hansen’s chat with local resident Lois Taylor resulted in him finding a place to fulfill his long-time dream of creating a chamber music festival.
With Hansen at the helm as artistic director and with the dedicated assistance of a stalwart core of Quadra chamber music enthusiasts, the scope and length of the festival progressed over the years. High standards and word-of-mouth from participating musicians have created an annual line-up of exceptional musical presentations. This year’s concerts will include world-class musicians from Spain, France, Brazil, Bulgaria, the United States, and Canada.
While chamber music is traditionally well-known classical composers, the festival offers a few variations. Monday will include some Argentinian tango (complete with professional tango dancers), and Friday’s concert at the SouthEnd Farm Winery will feature some Celtic tunes. In addition, there will be two original compositions. Stolen Sisters by Robert Brooks was inspired by events happening around the world today and will be performed in the United Church at Cape Mudge. Phil Hansen, who now resides in Brazil where he performs in the Belo Horizonte Symphony, has composed a jazzy, upbeat Brazilian piece.
Part of the charm and appeal of the Quadra Festival is its different venues. Spectacular Gowlland Harbour Resort, intimate Quadra Island United Church with it’s handcarved Bill Reid-designed reredos, the pastoral SouthEnd Farm Winery and two nights at the Quadra Community Centre complete the week’s locations.
Each year a local youth musician is featured and this year they are proud to present Kate Choi, a 17-year-old student at Campbell River’s Timberline Secondary School. Choi studies advanced piano with Shelley Roberts. Last year, she was graded 1st Class Honours with Distinction for the Grade 10 Practical Exam in Royal Conservatory of Music. In 2018, Choi won the Ruth Scott memorial Chopin Competition, and the following year represented the North Island at the Provincials in Chilliwack. Choi will perform on Monday, June 18 at the Quadra Community Centre.
For more information about the performers and to purchase tickets visit quadrafestival.ca. Doors open at 6:30 and performances begin at 7:00 each evening. The family concert (Wednesday, July 20, 11:30) at the Quadra Community Centre will be by donation. Provincial COVID restrictions in place at that time will be followed.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter