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Recital Society and Chan Centre join forces

The Vancouver Sun

by Lloyd Dykk

The Vancouver Recital Society and Chan Centre for the Performing Arts are combining their resources in the 2000/2001 season, which promises to be one of the most impressive series in the 20-year history of the VRS.

The joint venture will result in a mini-series called Great Performers at the Chan, and greatness certainly describes all six artists involved: soprano Renee Fleming, who is one of the greatest singers performing today, in concert with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet; soprano Dawn Upshaw in concert with pianist Richard Goode; violinist Kyung-Wha Chung; and Vancouver pianist Jon Kimura Parker.

“By pooling our resources, we’re able to present two of the world’s greatest sopranos, a phenomenal violinist and Vancouver’s beloved Jackie Parker,” VRS artistic director Leila Getz says. “Neither one of our organizations could independently present a series like this in such an intimate and acoustically perfect hall as the Chan Shun Concert Hall.”

In addition to this series, the VRS will continue to produce its own concerts at the Chan. The afternoon concerts feature pianist Stephen Hough; British countertenor David Daniels; and a trio made up of pianist Anton Nel, violinist Nicholas Kitchen and cellist Yeesun Kim. Evening events include pianists Emanuel Ax and Andras Schiff.

The majority of VRS concerts – nine of the 14 – are now taking place at the Chan, and the others at Vancouver Playhouse (there are none at the Orpheum, whose 2,800 seats have been deemed too risky for a recital series). The concerts at Vancouver Playhouse feature violinists Julia Fischer and Ilya Gringolts, pianist François-Frederic Guy and the Jerusalem String Quartet (all of whom are young, up-and-coming musicians) as well as British pianist Stephen Kovacevich.

Another innovation in the new season is an expanded program called What to Listen For, consisting of pre-concert chats, program notes, Web site events, and comments written by the musicians themselves.

Mon Feb 28, 2000