Classical Unbound Festival is an annual festival of context-specific world-caliber classical music for audiences in adventurous Prince Edward County environments. In concert, Unbound’s top priorities are: to entertain, to explore the boundaries of classical music concerts, and for the audience to be suspended in the musical moment – “to change what it means to go to a classical concert” (Unbound’s motto).
Prince Edward County is a particularly exact fit with what Unbound is all about. That fit includes the County as an agricultural and winery area, the many ‘timeless’ performance-capable buildings, the fresh-water endlessness of Lake Ontario, the desert-like sand dunes, and the lush verdant pastoral hills.
Unbound started with a few performances in a winery barn among hay-bale-settees in 2015. In 2016 they added winery tasting halls, a working-farm barn-hall, and the gourmet French restaurant with a Korean twist “Soup Opera”.
In 2017, Unbound is staging 7 different classical music concerts between the Grange Winery, Hillier’s Creek Winery, Three Dog Winery, and Mt Tabor Theatre – from Aug 18 to 27. Mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó and 15 absolute top-flight musicians will perform. Ensembles will include piano, woodwinds, brass, strings, and voice, and repertoire that extends from the traditional to select compositions from active composers.
Unbound reaches further than merely staging top-talent concerts in ‘unconventional’ venues. Freedom from the concert-hall means the freedom to enhance the concert experience by selecting repertoire and instrumentation specific to each performance context. Acoustic considerations (e.g, ‘liveness’), audience sight-lines (e.g., lake Ontario horizon), other sensorial elements (e.g., blooming lavender), naturally-occurring acoustic elements (e.g, nesting birds), and the food and wine arising from the fields alongside the venues all come into play in these considerations.
Details and tickets are at Classical Unbound Festival’s eStorefront.