Thirteen musicians from six different countries will be in Lac-Baker to take part in the second edition of the Chamber Music Festival.
Russia, South Korea, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil and Canada will be represented at this event showcasing classical music in all its forms, all in the privacy of the parish church of Saint -Thomas-d’Aquin a few meters from Lake Baker.
According to the festival’s artistic director and violinist, Sarah Harrigan, the musicians in question are already established in New Brunswick. Most of the participants are teachers within the Sistema NB program.
“There is a good variety of musicians from different cultures in New Brunswick and people don’t really know that we have all these musicians here. As artistic director, I want to introduce these musicians who come from different “backgrounds”.
“I want people to realize that they don’t have to go far to discover talented artists.”
Sarah Harrigan acknowledges that the opportunities for musicians like her are more limited in New Brunswick and especially in the northern part of the province.
According to her, one of the objectives of the festival is also to offer one more chance for musicians to showcase their talents and to allow the community to have access to music of the genre.
“It’s pretty rare to have that in the North, because the provincial music organizations are more in the south of the province.”
Ms. Harrigan organized her very first festival last year. According to her, her memories of Lac-Baker and its church convinced her to hold the event there.
“I’ve always spent my summers at the lake (Baker Lake). I saw the church and I saw the potential it had. A few years ago, I walked into the church to hear the acoustics. I played around in it a bit and thought it was amazing. The idea of doing concerts there has been simmering in my head for a long time and when the COVID-19 arrived, I had more time to put this idea in place,” said Sarah Harrigan.
The festival will take place from August 5 to 7. The cost of tickets for each of the three concerts is $20 (in advance) and $25 (at the box office), while students can purchase tickets for $10. It is also possible to purchase tickets from the Festival organizers or by visiting www.fmclacbaker.com.
On the program, there will be three concerts that will offer a variety of styles and instruments within the world of classical music.
“We’ll still have strings like viola and cello, but we’ll also have a variety of instruments like guitar, keyboard and clarinet. We always have something to showcase the variety that exists in classical music.”
Entitled The Four Seasons of Vivaldi, the first concert will take place on August 5, from 7 p.m. During this evening, people will be able to hear one of the most famous works of classical music. However, Sarah Harrigan indicates that an element will make this concert unique.
“One of the featured musicians during the festival, cellist Jaeyoung Chong, has composed a few pieces called Between the Seasons, which will link Vivaldi’s seasons,” she says.
The next day, still around 7 p.m., spectators will be transported to Latin America.
“During this evening, we will be able to hear a mix of works ranging from Argentine tango to Brazilian samba. We will have the singer from Venezuela, Arianny Vicent, a guitarist from Grand Falls, Cédric Thériault, and all the musicians in residence,” explained the artistic director.
The last concert will be presented on Sunday August 7, starting at 2 p.m. This performance will highlight Félix Mendelssohn’s greatest chamber music work, his String Octet.
“Written when its composer was only 16 years old, this piece expresses the energy and optimism of youth with its light and passionate writing. Since the theme of the afternoon is focused on youth, spectators will be able to hear a work by one of the musicians in residence, guitarist Cédric Thériault, as well as the Quartet for clarinet and strings by Bernhard Crusell”, explained Sarah Harigan.
To give music lovers a taste, a free community concert will take place on Wednesday, August 3, starting at 2 p.m., at the municipal beach in Lac-Baker.
In addition to the community show and the addition of musicians compared to last year, the formula will remain essentially the same, recalled Ms. Harrigan.
“A lot of people came to the first festival and it created a great atmosphere of collaboration. The community and the musicians got involved in the festival and that was a reason for its success.”
What is chamber music?
The term “chamber music” is the name given to a style of classical music. It normally describes a more intimate performance, as opposed to the traditional full-scale orchestra.
“A long time ago, composers wrote music and invited their friends to a room in the palace to play music. It was always in an intimate and welcoming environment,” explained Sarah Harrigan.
According to her, this form of music provides an opportunity for musicians to put their creativity to good use.
“It’s like making music with friends. We create a special connection between musicians and with the public. There is no conductor so you have to be able to get involved as a musician. Communication should be done without speaking. It’s all in the gestures.”