Pacific baroque

17th Annual Pacific Baroque Festival Returns

A dazzling series of concerts

  • Sep. 1, 2021 7:30 a.m.

After a lengthy delay, the 17th annual Pacific Baroque Festival, presented in partnership with EMV: Pacific Baroque Series and the Victoria Conservatory of Music, will be held once again in Victoria this September. From the Ground Up: Chaconnes and Passacaglias, features a dazzling series of concerts that highlight this uniquely virtuosic Baroque music, including stunning works by Claudio Monteverdi, François Couperin, Dietrich Buxtehude and Georg Philipp Telemann.

“We are so grateful to finally be able to present this wonderful series of concerts,” says Brian Groos, managing director of the Pacific Baroque Festival. “This music is beautiful and profound; it’s an experience that will be enhanced when hearing these musicians play it in a live performance.”

To interpret this captivating lineup, Festival Artistic Director Marc Destrubé will lead an ensemble of the west coast’s leading early music artists, including violinist Kathryn Wiebe, cellist Natalie Mackie, harpsichordist Christina Hutten, and member of the Order of Canada, soprano Suzie Leblanc. The festival opens with a recital by celebrated organist Mark McDonald.

“This year’s theme is based on Chaconnes and Passacaglias. These are both types of pieces that use an approach called a ‘ground bass,’ or a repeating bass line,” explains Destrubé. “It’s like a modern-day chord progression in a pop song. This year’s Pacific Baroque Festival gives us the opportunity to explore the many ways in which composers such as J.S. Bach and Arcangelo Corelli used the universal appeal of the chaconne and passacaglia. These forms suggest that the wheels of life just keep on turning, which is the perfect sonic balm for these unsettled times.”

The festival will feature performances at the Alix Goolden Performance Hall and Christ Church Cathedral, with limited seating and COVID-19 safety protocols in place. The festival runs from September 8 to 13 and tickets are $25 plus fees each.

For tickets and lineup details, go to

Classical music