Chamber music is by definition music for a small group of instruments. Small groups mean small venues: chambers. The genre is often dismissed as a synonym for classical music, which gets a disinterested rap these days. Perhaps we think old music is for old folks? Oh Gen Y! How nasty & free-spirited y’all can be.
Despite the fact there’s nothing wrong with aged goods, there is also nothing old-fashioned about this fest.
This week the Ottawa Chamber Music Society released their full program for the upcoming 21st edition of Chamberfest. It’s impressive for a number of reasons. Not only is it the largest international chamber music festival in the world, it’s the longest music festival in Ottawa over 15 days, and it presents a wide selection of classics, contemporary and avant-garde music.
“A Cello Possessed“, Ernst Reijseger’s mind-blowing exorcism of his cello’s jazzy demons, “Hip-hop Haydn” by Afiara Quartet, and “Kid Koala’s Nufonia Must Fall“, a breathtaking multimedia experience involving live puppetry, a string quartet & DJ Eric San himself doing what he does best—all this based on a graphic novel he wrote & drew.
It’s another commendable lineup curated by the minds of Roman Borys, the Artistic Director, and his Gryphon Trio partners Annalee Patipatanakoon & James Parker, the Artistic Advisors.
There is always spotlighting of emerging talent and an appreciation of the different perspectives on chamber music from around the world. Chamberfest stills pay homage to one of the great Canadian music critics Jacob Siskind by hosting “Siskind Snapshots” almost every night to get to know the history of an artist in their own words. The “Chamber Chats” series is equally as interesting, especially the “Masters of the Bow” with Yung Chin.