Annual Vancouver Music Festival Cranks up Classical Music Genre

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Chamber music: The rumours of its death have been greatly exaggerated.

Chamber music is alive and well, thank you. The annual summer chamber music festival put on by the Vancouver Recital Society ( is seeing to that with VRS Summer Combustion: An International Fusion of Chamber Musicians.

The festival, now in its 21st year, features 20 uncommonly passionate and brilliant musicians playing over 10 days right in Vancouver’s back yard – the auditorium at Crofton House School in Kerrisdale. Mark your calendar – July 18th to 29th.

Chamber music is presented at Summer Combustion as a blending together of individual musicians often playing together for the first time. Anything can happen in this intimate setting and it often does. It’s the magical combustion of style, feeling and music that takes place between both the musicians and the audience.

Leila Getz, the VRS artistic director and founder, is not afraid to take risks in discovering the unknown. Intuitively, she knows which musicians she likes when she hears them. She scours the planet to find international musicians to fuse together in this intimate and interactive setting.

Long-time attendee Paul M still has the T-shirt from the first festival he came to in 1989. He hasn’t missed one since, often drafting his summer plans around the timing of the event. At one time he would even book off early from his job to make sure he got to the performances in good time. “I love chamber music as well as really good players who bring fresh interpretations of classical works. Some of these performances blow you away.”

On being blown away: “my lowest point ever was the morning after the final concert of the very first festival which was hugely awesome - I thought that I’d never be able to produce anything even close to that wonderful again,” says Getz. And that was characterized as a low point.

Summer Combustion positions all musicians as equals. There are no headliners, no “opening acts,” no superstars. This festival brings the serious, the colourful, the inspired, the magnificent. This year sees the return of Angela Cheng (piano), Denise Djokic (cello) and Maria Lambros (viola) and the arrival of artists such as Martin Fröst (clarinet), DaXun Zhang (double bass), Inon Barnatan (piano) and the Jupiter String Quartet.

Summer Combustion is a Chamber Musical Festival event held annually in Vancouver BC Canada. Visit for full event details.

For more information or to arrange interviews:

Darren Darcy, Pineapple Group


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