Women’s Secret Voices

On October 24, 2012, in News, by George Sipos

Here are two juicy paragraphs from the programme notes to Cappella Artemisia’s upcoming concert featuring seldom-heard music composed and performed by women behind the walls of 16th and 17th century Italian convents:

Convent life represented virtually the only honourable choice for women outside of marriage, and many young Italian girls inhabited the monasteries. Music was practiced there every day for it literally represented their voice in the outside world, and its excellent quality drew hordes of listeners from throughout Europe.

Church authorities took a dim view of these blasphemous “tourist attractions”, considering music to be one of the most impelling dangers to the spiritual wellbeing of the nuns. Rules strictly limited or even prohibited certain types of music, the use of most musical instruments, and instruction by outside music teachers. Yet an enormous wealth of music was either dedicated to, written by, or referred to nuns.

Cappella Artemsia brings together some of Europe’s best early-music singers and instrumentalists. The concert happens at ArtSpring in Tuesday, October 30 at 7:30, with a pre-concert chat to set the musical and historical background at 6:30. Tickets are inexpensive and on sale now.


Congratulations Iman Habibi

On October 11, 2012, in News, by George Sipos

Iman Habibi, a young Vancouver composer and pianist who will be performing at ArtSpring on January 13, 2013, has just been awarded a national prize for music he composed for a new film called Lost and Found.

The title of the prize is quite a mouthful: The SOCAN Foundation Award for Young Audio-Visual Composers. It consists of a series of prizes open to Canadian composers 30 years of age and under for important work in creating new music for film and video.

You may remember Iman as having attended ArtSpring’s 2007 Piano Festival when he was still a music student at UBC. He has since gone on to compose music for numerous commissions, including one from the Prince George Symphony Orchestra for a piano concerto, which received its world premiere in 2010.

We congratulate Iman and look forward to hearing him in concert in January with Rylan Gajek and Deborah Grimmett. Tickets for the concert are available now.


Of Oysters and Grapes

On October 11, 2012, in News, by George Sipos

Britain’s legendary folk/roots/rock band performs at ArtSpring Thursday Oct 18. They’ve been going for 30 years, with the emphasis on the word “going”. This is a band that constantly evolves instead of standing still playing the same signature music that first made them famous. They started way back as a ceilidh band in Canterbury, went on to explore the traditions of British folk music, became political during the Thatcher years, embraced punk, pop and rock idioms, and along the way made their music unquestionably their own.

In other words, you’ll hear the real thing when you come to their concert.


And when you come, you can also bid on some great art in ArtSpring’s fundraising auction of fine paintings displayed over the next few months in the lobby. It starts this month with an offering of Florence Roberge’s lovely painting of arty fruit of which you see a detail here.


Ashley MacIsaac now sold out

On October 9, 2012, in News, by George Sipos

As of October 9, Ashley MacIsaac’s November 2 concert at ArtSpring is completely sold out.

It seldom happens that three and a half weeks before a performance all tickets should be gone in out 259 seat theatre, but clearly this is a testimony to the regard in which MacIsaac’s status as Canada’s most exciting fiddle player is held.

If you are disappointed at not being able to get a ticket, you might consider Michael Kaeshammer on December 2 as an alternative. He is an extraordinary jazz pianist whose ecclecticism and frenetic virtuosity are comparable to MacIsaac’s energy on the fiddle. Tickets are still available for Kaeshammer, though they too may well sell out some time before the show.