Musicians and singers in rehearsal for the Pacific Baroque Festival, which runs Feb. 7-10 at Christ Church Cathedral and the Alix Goolden Performance Hall. Courtesy Pacific Baroque Festival

Musicians and singers in rehearsal for the Pacific Baroque Festival, which runs Feb. 7-10 at Christ Church Cathedral and the Alix Goolden Performance Hall. Courtesy Pacific Baroque Festival

15th Pacific Baroque Festival promises musical, historical discoveries

Victoria audiences will experience compositions they’ve never heard: artistic director

In the 15 years the Pacific Baroque Festival has been running, some interesting things have happened.

Not only has the number of musicians interested in and actively playing this style of music grown in Victoria, a relationship with Early Music Vancouver has allowed this annual celebration to flourish and become a premiere event in the Pacific Northwest.

“Looking a little bit from the outside, Victoria has really developed into a mecca for early music,” says artistic director Marc Destrube. “In the early years of the festival, we made a point of bringing in musicians who had some connection to Victoria. Now, there’s such a tribe of musicians here that most of this year’s performers are actually living here.”

Many notable early music musicians have relocated to the Island, he notes, while that has also given newcomers to the genre a chance to learn more about it.

This year’s festival, running Feb. 7-10 at Christ Church Cathedral and Alix Goolden Performance Hall, once again allows local classical music lovers to hear compositions they likely haven’t heard before. Destrube and other performers continue to search out little-known material and composers, to let listeners experience musical discoveries and historical ones.

The first concert, titled Music That Deserves to be Heard (11 a.m., Feb. 7, Alix Goolden Hall), is a good example. It features “rarely heard gems from the Düben Collection,” as played by the ensemble La Modestine. The Swedish family has collected a variety of pieces, including sonatas by Buxtehude, Becker and Reincken that will be played here.

“We find that many great (baroque) composers lost their sheen because a composer who came immediately after them became famous,” Destrube says, noting that the triumphant work of Bach and Handel, for example, may have overshadowed that of the prolific Telemann, Albinoni and others from the late 1600s.

“I always hope that people will come to as many concerts as they can. The festival is a way of sparking people’s curiosity and giving them a richer experience.”

Tickets and more festival information can be found online at pacbaroque.com. You can also pick up tickets in person at the Victoria Conservatory of Music box office on Johnson Street, the cathedral office on Burdette Avenue, plus Ivy’s, Tanner’s and Munro’s bookstores, or Long and McQuade.

Individual performance prices are $25 and $30 for adults, $20 and $25 for students and seniors. If you’re keen on attending all four performances, consider a festival pass for $100 (adults) of $80 (students/seniors).

editor@mondaymag.com

Live music

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Violinist Marc Destrube is artistic director of the Pacific Baroque Festival, running Feb. 7-10 at Christ Church Cathedral and the Alix Goolden Hall. Photo by Jan Gates

Violinist Marc Destrube is artistic director of the Pacific Baroque Festival, running Feb. 7-10 at Christ Church Cathedral and the Alix Goolden Hall. Photo by Jan Gates

Just Posted

Michael Demers, performing here as a member of The Lonely, died May 1 after a year-long battle with leukemia. (Photo by Benji Duke)
Victoria music community mourning Michael Demers

Veteran singer-songwriter, co-founder of The Lonely dies at 63 due to leukemia

The Royal B.C. Museum has added a tamba dining set, used by a Punjabi man on his voyage to Canada in 1927, to its ‘100 Objects of Interest’ online collection. (Courtesy of Royal B.C. Museum)
Punjabi dining set added to Royal B.C. Museum’s ‘100 Objects of Interest’ collection

Set used by Indar Singh Gill on his voyage from Punjab to Canada in 1927

Victoria-born musician Bryce Dane Soderberg took to Instagram Monday to call out the Greater Victoria School District on its proposed cuts to elementary and middle school music programs. (Bryce Dane Soderberg/Instagram)
Victoria-born Lifehouse vocalist calls out SD61 on proposed music cuts

‘It will be a big loss to future generations’ Bryce Dane Soderberg posted to his Instagram

Ballet Victoria is honouring Rosemarie Liscum, the president of the board of directors who was instrumental in the building the dance company. Liscum died earlier this month. (Photo courtesy of Ballet Victoria)
Rosemarie Liscum remembered as dedicated, instrumental builder of Victoria Ballet

The president of the ballet company’s board of directors died at the age of 59

Nicolle Nattrass and Michael Armstrong are presenting an online reading on May 9. (Photos courtesy Joni Marcolin/Heather Armstrong)
Nanaimo playwrights present online Mother’s Day script readings

Nicolle Nattrass and Michael Armstrong to read from in-progress plays

Marianne Turley is one of this year’s City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award winners for Honour in Culture. (Bulletin file photo)
Longtime Vancouver Island Symphony board member gets posthumous culture award

Marianne Turley receives City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award for Honour in Culture

The CVAC Fine Arts Show is always something to see and 2021 promises to be no different, as they adopt a fully multimedia approach. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley Fine Arts Show goes multimedia for 2021

The show, which runs from May 1-22 will be available both in person and online.

Dinner After a Death, a painting by Sooke artist Bryan Cathcart is part of a collection featuring his work at the Outsiders and Others Gallery in Vancouver. (Contributed - Bryan Cathcart)
Sooke artist finds creativity by expanding artistic horizons

Bryan Cathcart, 26, featured at Vancouver gallery

Viking-inspired fantasy writer Joshua Gillingham of Nanaimo and Seattle-based Islamic science fiction editor Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad are co-editing ‘Althingi – The Crescent and the Northern Star.’ (Photos submitted, illustration by Lada Shustova/Figue)
Nanaimo author co-editing historical anthology connecting Vikings and Muslims

Joshua Gilligham presents ‘Althingi – The Crescent and the Northern Star’

Saltair-based writer, Krista May. (Janet Kelly photo)
Island writers make long-list for 2021 CBC Short Story Prize

Krista May and Angie Ellis among 33 finalists selected out of over 3,000 entrants

A writer studying in England drew from her roots growing up in Sooke for a story that’s been short-listed for a prestigious international prize.
Former Sooke resident up for prestigious writing award

Cara Marks earns nomination for the 2021 Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Three Legged Dog Productions performed Jesus Christ Superstar in 2019. Tim Penney photo
Non-profit plans musical renaissance in the Comox Valley

Three Legged Dog Productions is preparing for a summer residency at Filberg Park

Most Read