concert calendar

Announcing the 2019–20 concert season

From Bach to Steampunk, Beethoven to experimental chamber music, the new UBC School of Music season features world-renowned special guests and exciting student performers

This coming season, the UBC School of Music is finding its place on the cutting edge and rejoicing in the musical shake-ups of masters then and now. Our concert offerings explore change: how previous master composers changed music, what’s changing music now, and our own evolutionary changes happening here at the School. 

With masterful guest artists and our own large and small ensembles, faculty and guest artists this season promises much to explore as it unfolds. 

The Piano – Masters from near and far perform in Barnett Hall 

Bach changed music forever. Three centuries later his music is still the gold standard. Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt, an internationally acknowledged master of the keyboard works of Bach, comes to the UBC School of Music February 26th and 27th as the Dal Grauer Memorial Lecturer in Music for 2020. She will give a solo recital and two masterclasses. Her program, which she calls The Bach Odyssey, will be presented in the intimate acoustic space of Barnett Hall.  

“Beethoven jolted music out of itself,” wrote Philip Clark in Gramophone. It would be impossible for us to imagine where music would be today without Beethoven, who altered the direction of music. At his famed Beethoven Bootcamps, world-renowned Irish pianist John O’Conor works intensely with young pianists on Beethoven’s sonatas and concerti. This season we will have a glimpse into some of them when O’Conor performs a Beethoven 250 tribute: The Great Last Three Sonatas (Op. 109 - 111) on January 31st. O’Conor will also work with UBC piano students in a masterclass the day before. Pianist Jane Coop, internationally acclaimed UBC Professor Emerita also graces Barnett Hall in recital October 30th in her program: Bagatelles (Beethoven and Beyond)

Mastering Change: New energy and perspectives 

The School of Music is evolving fast! Along with very recent additions in the last couple of years, we’re pleased to welcome new faculty members this season: violist Marina Thibeault and composer T. Patrick Carrabré, incoming director of the School. Thibeault has her debut recital October 9th with solo and chamber repertoire inviting her partners in Trio Saint-Laurent to perform with her. She will also perform other concerts throughout the season. The October 25th Music on the Point concert Music & Life: A Journey with the School’s New Director will be an evening hosted by Carrabré with a curated selection of his works performed by faculty members, the University Singers and guest artists including his daughter M. Gillian (violin) and son Ariel (cello). The UBC Symphony Orchestra and UBC Choirs will also present works by Carrabré in their first concerts of the season.

Steampunk — What’s that? It looks like change! 

Steampunk fashion looks like change in action. Growing out of a subgenre in science fiction, steampunk is a modern clothing trend mixing Victorian era styles with industrial revolution steam powered mechanical elements. What might that sound like? David Bruce thought about it and has written a mixed octet called Steampunk. On March 6, 2020 a chamber ensemble of UBC faculty and select students will perform the piece as part of our Music on the Point series. Partnered with Steampunk will be Luciano Berio’s Opus Number Zoo.

A new partnership sending young performers out into the community 

The UBC School of Music is thrilled to be involved in the new Sunday Socials Concerts at Knox: The UBC & EMV Young Performers Series. This new outreach initiative is sending student performers and early career professionals into the community. The series features several solo and small chamber music performances by students from the UBC School of Music and recipients of Early Music Vancouver’s scholarships for early career musicians and professional-track music students as well as the EMV/UBC Baroque Mentorship Orchestra. Created in partnership with Early Music Vancouver and Knox United Church, there are eight concerts in the beautiful, historic Knox United Church on Vancouver’s west side with a complimentary social bar (snacks and time to mingle) afterwards. 

The power of music to change the world — Auschwitz at 75

 The UBC Opera Ensemble presents three fully staged operas this season including Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s Pasażerka (The Passenger) with opening night January 30, 2020 being the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Artists like Weinberg remind mankind not to repeat horrors of the past and inspire us to create a better future. As a companion to the opera there will be a symposium held at the Chan Centre exploring topics such as Refugees. Liberation? Freedom?; Reconciliation; and Homework: Have We done It? Lessons We Teach, Lessons We Learn.

The above is a small sampling of our many exciting concerts and events. Please explore our concert calendar for more information!