F i n d i n g H o m e :
C r e a t i n g C o n c e r t s t h a t M a t t e r
A new project by the International Festival of Song and Chamber Music Society inspiring musical connections to community and nature.
T h e F e s t i v a l & C o n n e c t i o n
Founded in 1994, the International Festival of Song and Chamber Music Society made its inaugural debut in 1995. The Society runs two programs, The Mountain Festival of Song and Chamber Music, a summer and winter program focused on the chamber music repertoire and the song repertoire, and the Mountain View Connection Concert Series. Both programs provide opportunities for young musicians from across Canada and around the world to gain valuable experience performing and perfecting the song and chamber music repertoire.
O u r M a n d a t e
Our charter states that the International Festival of Song and Chamber Music Society “provides opportunities for young musicians from across Canada and around the world to gain valuable experience performing and perfecting the song and chamber music repertoire,” and interact with more experienced performers and learn from them. The Society wishes to develop an audience for art song and chamber music by presenting programmes of the highest quality with a great variety of musical styles, involving works by classical composers for voice and piano, voice and other instruments, and purely instrumental chamber music. Another goal of the Society is to offer audiences a chance to hear first-rate performances of standard and neglected repertoire by talented and enthusiastic young artists.
H i s t o r y
The International Festival of Song and Chamber Music Society was founded in 1994 by a small group of music lovers. The first concert of the Society, a fundraising effort, was presented in the Engineered Air Theatre in Calgary in January of 1995. The first Mountain View International Festival of Song took place in Sundre, Alberta, in August of 1995, and featured master classes presented by the renowned Dutch vocal accompanist and chamber musician, Rudolf Jansen, assisted by Edmonton pianist Helmut Brauss. Thirteen young singers and three pianists from across Canada participated in the master classes. Seven hundred people attended the fourteen master classes and six concerts presented in this first Festival.
Since then, the Mountain View International Festival of Song was a staple of the Sundre arts scene every summer, alternating years between concert presentations and the years with master classes as well as concerts, through 2002. Six to eight concerts have been presented each year in the Festival, and Rudolf Jansen has returned to give daily voice and piano master classes, with assistance from Montreal’s Michael McMahon in 1999. The Festival moved to Calgary for the first time in 2003. Guest artists over the years have included musicians on staff at the University of California at San Diego, the University of Calgary, and Brandon University, members of the Saskatoon Symphony and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, and musicians such as flutist Mathias von Brenndorff from Germany. The Mountain View Festival continues to expand its horizons. In 2005 we presented joint master classes for the first time with Rudolf Jansen and renowned Dutch soprano Elly Ameling.
In 1997 the Eckhardt-Gramatté Recital Hall and Rozsa Centre of the University of Calgary became public facilities, and in January, 2008 the Mountain View Connection began its first short season of three concerts there. In its first twelve seasons, the audience for the Mountain View Connection has grown from the ninety or so persons present at that concert to over two hundred as an average in the 2001 – 02 season. Three to six concerts a year have been presented, featuring young artists who have gone on to develop careers such as Erika Raum, Tanya Witek, Anita Dusevic, Karina Gauvin, Randall Jakobsh, Yegor Dyachkov, Olivier Thouin, Katherine Whyte, Allison Angelo, Jacqui Lynn Fidlar, and Tracy Smith Bessette, as well as other fine young performers. Guest artists with whom these young musicians have performed include Allan Monk, Anton Kuerti, Michael McMahon, and artistic directors Kathleen van Mourik and Charles Foreman. Many young artists have been presented by the Mountain View Connection, several on more than one occasion.