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Ontario Summer Music Festivals in 2018 – a quick guide

Ontario Summer Music Festivals in 2018 – a quick guide featured image

Photo by Bo Huang: The Gryphon Trio (Artistic Director of the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival Roman Borys, with Artistic Advisors Jamie Parker and Annalee Patipatanakoon)

Chamber music festivals coming up for Summer 2018!

Summer music festivals are a lot of fun – it’s a time when classical musicians can play in a warm, relaxed environment, sometimes outdoors, or under a tent inviting the outdoors in. Soloists from around the world will gather to play chamber music together, and it’s fun to hear the vibrant energy of soloists coming together. Festivals also feature established chamber ensembles to perform, and it’s also wonderful to hear a group so in tune (literally and figuratively) with each other’s playing.

In the European tradition, there are festivals in Paris (Chamber Music in Giverny), the Vienna Summer Music Festival, and Angela Hewitt’s Trasimeno Music Festival in Umbria, Italy. Closer to home is the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York City, and of course, here in Ontario, quite a few amazing festivals I’ll list for you right here.

Elora Festival
July 13 – July 29, 2018
The programming encompasses all forms of classical music, jazz, and folk, in the beautiful village of Elora. Over the years, the programming has encompassed all forms of classical music, jazz, and folk. Many of Canada’s top names have appeared at this festival, such as Maureen Forrester, Andre Laplante, Dame Kiri te Kanawa, Ben Heppner, Holly Cole, Sarah McLachlan, and Buffy Sainte-Marie.

Stratford Summer Music
July 16 – August 26, 2018
Stratford Summer Music is an annual multi-week music festival that presents 100 events featuring 350+ artists, set in both indoor and outdoor venues. Mission statement: “Stratford Summer Music stages an annual summer music festival of diverse musical experiences for both regional and wider audiences, to celebrate music and to enhance the reputation of the Stratford region as an exceptional home for all the arts.”

Ottawa Chamberfest
July 26 – August 9, 2018
The world’s largest chamber music festival presents early music, core repertoire, contemporary, and fringe, in churches in venues across downtown Ottawa. Ottawa Chamberfest is a huge tourist attraction for the city over the summer. This year, the festival celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Summer Opera Lyric Theatre
July 27 – August 5, 2018
Summer Opera Lyric Theatre has always focussed its attention on the artistic process and the advancement of the artistic impulse. Their mandate is to build repertoire, discover new options, networking, and career development – a  wonderful program for budding opera stars. This year’s performances include Manon, Semele, and Cosi fan tutte. All take place at the Robert Gill Theatre at the University of Toronto.

Prince Edward County Chamber Music Festival
September 7 – September 16, 2018
As the last few days of summer dwindle away, the Prince Edward County Chamber Music Festival will celebrate its 14th season. The Festival was started in 2004 with the intention of bringing the finest of Canada’s performers to local audiences and visitors to the County. The main focus of the Festival is western classical chamber music. The PECF also highlights works of living Canadian composers, all who attend the festival, and forge meaningful relationships with audience and musicians alike.

Other fun summer events:
Pride Toronto
Month: June 1 – 24, 2018
Festival: June 22 – 24, 2018
Pride Toronto is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to bring people together to celebrate the history, courage, and diversity of their community. Pride unites and empowers people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions. The annual Pride Toronto festival has become a major Canadian arts and cultural event and the largest Pride celebration in North America. The 38th annual Pride Parade is on Sunday, June 24th. It goes through downtown Toronto and is a lot of fun!

Toronto Caribbean Festival
July 7 – August 12, 2018
The Peeks Toronto Caribbean Carnival (sill commonly referred to as “Caribana”) features four fun-filled weeks of music, cuisine, and revelry. It’s an all-out spectacle of visual and performing arts. This year marks the 51st anniversary. The annual parade is an all-out spectacle of costume and music, including Calypso, Zouk, reggae, steel pan, brass bands, and more.

Have a wonderful and musical summer!

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