Resounding Gratitude: Commemorating 20 years of Joy

For students and faculty in the School of Music, the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts is a temple, dedicated to the cultivation and nourishment of human spirit through music. We gather here almost daily, devoting our energies and imaginations to the infinitely rewarding pursuit of music. 

Dr. Richard Kurth

Dr. Richard Kurth

From the quiet grove of ancient trees beside the building, and from the serene and soaring architecture of the Chan Shun Concert Hall, we draw oxygen for our hearts and minds. The music we make here is powered by the purifying breath this hall inspires, vitalizing our artistic and creative aspirations. The wonderful acoustics allow us to hear our dreams, and to refine them.

The Chan Centre has immense importance for the School of Music:  here students and faculty perfect their art together in rehearsals, and then share their efforts in public events like this one. This beautiful place embodies our sense of community in every way:  students coming together in shared aspiration; faculty and students working together in shared accomplishment; and performers and audience members gathering together in shared excitement and delight.

We marvel equally at the beauty of this concert hall, and its extraordinary resonance. For performers and audience alike, we all hear special meaning in the lustrous reverberations that hold our attention after each piece ends. The evanescent echo is not a fading away, but an accelerating movement into the infinite; it rings with our liberated energies and deepest hopes. The reverberations are a final pulse of music-spirit, surging from the lively concentration the music has energized in all of us, from each thrilling moment to the next. The echo tells us that we have been listening and marveling together, woven in attentive friendship by the music.

Tonight’s concert celebrates the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Chan Centre, echoing the inaugural concert presented by the School in April 1997, and 10th anniversary concert in April 2007. Tonight we celebrate with two major works: Mozart’s reverential Requiem from the past and Stephen Chatman’s exciting Song of Joys from the present. We begin in thoughtful contemplation, and end in exuberance.

Our performance tonight expresses our deep gratitude to the Chan family for their vision, and to architect Bing Thom for his soaring design; together they have created this glorious place for all of us! This building is an expression of their friendship, and it also reminds us that music harmonizes our community and our global fabric. The School of Music dedicates tonight’s concert in lasting gratitude to the Chan family, and in resounding memory of architect Bing Thom (1940–2016). Bing’s imagination soars in all of his buildings — and in this one, it also sings.  In the enduring resonance of this magnificent concert hall, our music joins with his.

– Dr. Richard Kurth
   Director, UBC School of Music


Banner courtesy of the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts