Since its inaugural season in 2004, the Prince Edward County Chamber Music Festival has consistently presented the finest Canadian musicians, offering performances that explore the depth and magnitude of the western chamber music repertoire. Audiences have been thrilled, deeply moved, and even transformed by these outstanding musical moments.
For the first ten years, the Festival adopted a unique mandate to highlight works of living Canadian composers in the larger context of music of all times. Each composer was present for the duration of the festival, and was therefore able to forge meaningful relationships with audience and musicians alike. The festival has hosted some of Canada’s most celebrated composers: Jacques Hétu, Malcolm Forsyth, Chan Ka Nin, Andrew MacDonald, Alexina Louie, John Burge, Steven Gellman, Ana Sokolovic, and Marjan Mozetich. As a result, audiences have also received considerable exposure to the world of Canadian chamber music.
Over its 15 years of providing exceptional chamber music, the Festival has attracted audiences of all ages from Prince Edward County, the Quinte and Eastern Ontario regions and beyond. Many have become loyal patrons, returning annually to experience once again the delights of the chamber music experience.
The Festival, with support from its sponsors, is also committed to education. Since the beginning, we have presented interactive performances specifically designed with an educational component for young audiences. These concerts give local school children an opportunity to experience a live music event, and a chance to learn about the art and craft of music-making. Over the years, the response to these concerts has been so enthusiastic that the Festival has had to double the capacity by offering two concerts with a total audience of more than 500 children annually.
In 2017-2018, the role of Artistic Director passed from Stéphane Lemelin to the New Orford String Quartet–violinists Andrew Wan and Jonathan Crow, violist Eric Nowlin, and cellist Brian Manker.
Rising from the fame and tradition of their famous predecessor, the Orford String Quartet, four like-minded musician–all principal players in the Montreal, Toronto and Detroit symphony orchestras–came together in 2009 to revolutionize the concept of string quartet playing in Canada. Rather than committing to a year-round touring schedule, the members of the quartet meet for residencies in various centres for short periods of time with the aim of providing a fresh perspective on the interpretation of standard string quartet repertoire. Winners of a Juno award in 2017, the NOSQ are also dedicated to promoting Canadian works, both new commissions and neglected repertoire from the previous century. Now in their 10th year, they remain committed to these ideals as they continue to enthrall audiences everywhere. This year, violist Sharon Wei joins the quartet.
July in January 2022
Prince Edward County Music Festival presents
Highlights from the 2020/21 Season
Music from Prince Edward County Chamber Music Festivals’ 2020/21 seasons filmed in Picton and Montreal. Featured performers include the New Orford String Quartet, Stéphane Lemelin (piano), Douglas McNabney (viola), Barry Shiffman (viola), and a special collaboration with the Juno award-winning bluegrass ensemble, the Slocan Ramblers, in a program that brings to life works by Jacques Hétu, Ludwig van Beethoven, the Slocan Ramblers, and Tom Petty (arrangement by Jessica Deutsch).