The 18th annual Pacific Baroque Festival returns to Victoria, March 16 to 20, and honours the 350th anniversary of German composer Heinrich Schütz’s passing with five days of beautiful baroque music performances.
In partnership with EMV: Pacific Baroque Series, Christ Church Cathedral and the Victoria Conservatory of Music, audiences will hear music by this influential 17th century German composer, his students and his musical lineage.
“Heinrich Schütz was really the first German composer to work in the baroque style,” explains Marc Destrubé, festival artistic director. “He wrote the first German opera and developed the German oratorio, paving the way for the household names like Bach and Handel, while working one hundred years earlier. I wanted to delve further into this influence and really paint the picture of his musical world with each concert exploring a different aspect of his musical life.”
Destrubé will lead an ensemble of the west coast’s leading early music artists including violinist Kathryn Wiebe, cellist Natalie Mackie and harpsichordist Marco Vitale, along with four local emerging early music singers.
Joining the Pacific Baroque Festival Ensemble this year will be two rather uncommon historical instruments—the sackbut (a baroque version of a trombone) played by Robert Fraser and Jeremy Berkman, and a dulcian (the predecessor of the bassoon) played by Katrina Russell. “These baroque instruments, along with our own historical stringed instruments, provide a truly unique ensemble sound. Our audience will hear this music the way it would have sounded when it was first performed.”
“The small ensemble actually mirrors what Schütz would have had to work with,” adds Destrubé. “The impact of Thirty Years War limited the number of musicians available to the composers of the time. It feels very fitting in 2022 to be working within our own performance restrictions.”
This year’s Pacific Baroque Festival will feature performances at the Alix Goolden Performance Hall and Christ Church Cathedral, with COVID-19 safety protocols in place.
For tickets and more information, contact the box office: pacbaroque.com/2022-festival