Pacific Baroque Festival Artists
A native of Victoria, Marc Destrubé is equally at home as a soloist, chamber musician, concert-master or director/conductor of orchestras. A founding member of the Tafelmusik Orchestra, he has appeared with many of the leading period instrument orchestras in North America and Europe, including as guest concertmaster of the Academy of Ancient Music and of the Hanover Band. He is presently co-concertmaster of Frans Bruggen’s Orchestra of the 18th Century with whom he has toured the major concert halls and festivals of Europe, North America, Japan and Australia. He is also presently first violinist of the Axelrod String Quartet, the Smithsonian Institute’s quartet-in-residence. Marc Destrubé is founder and former Artistic Director of the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, and current Pacific Baroque Festival Artistic Director.
Anne Grimm studied violin and voice at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam and received scholarships from the Fonds voor de Podiumkunsten to pursue her vocal studies in London. Since then she has been held in high regard for her work in opera, concert and recital throughout Europe, North America and New Zealand.
In 2006-2007, she performed Messiahs with the Elora Festival Singers and the Okanagan Singers, Bach’s Mass in b minor with the Bach Choir of Bethlehem and Haydn’s Die Schöpfung with the Victoria Symphony as well as extensive engagements singing the works of Bach in Europe. Recent and upcoming engagements include performances in Winnipeg, Victoria, a European tour singing Bach’s Matthäus Passion, another tour with the Orchestra of the 18th Century, and a return to the Victoria Philharmonic Choir for music of Haydn.
Other past engagements have included performances in Poland, Italy and Holland singing Rameau’s Les indes galantes, Messiah with Tafelmusik and Symphony Nova Scotia, Johannes Passion with Apollo’s Fire in Cleveland and at the Ojai Festival in California and Weihnachtsoratorium with the Bach Choir of Bethlehem. Anne Grimm has recorded for Erato, Harmonia Mundi, NM Classics, Vanguard Classics, Troubadisc and Sony.
Bernard Foccroulle was born in Liège (Belgium) in 1953. He began his international career as an organist in the mid-70s, playing a wide range of repertoire from Renaissance to Contemporary Music. He has performed several dozen world premieres and at the same time recorded masterworks of the organ repertoire, among them the complete organ works by Johann Sebastian Bach on historic organs.
In the 1980s, he was a member of the Ricercar Consort, devoted mainly to German baroque music. In recent years, he has regularly given concerts with distinguished soloists such as the cornetto virtuoso Jean Tubéry.
His discography as soloist includes more than forty CDs. Between 1982 and 1997, he recorded the complete organ works by Johann Sebastian Bach for the Ricercar label. For these recordings, he carefully chose the most beautifully preserved historic instruments. Since then he has devoted most of his time as performer to the Northern German School, interpreting works by composers such as Scheidemann, Buxtehude, Tunder, Weckmann, Reincken and Bruhns. In November 2006 his recording of the complete organ works by Dietrich Buxtehude was released. In 2007, this was awarded the Diapason d’Or and the Grand Prix de l’Académie Charles Cros in addition to other prizes.
Apart from solo organ recitals and chamber music projects, an important aspect of Bernard Foccroulle’s work is the combination of music with other art forms: His recent collaboration with choreographer and dancer Salva Sanchis was premiered in Toulouse in October 2008. The programme included his own composition Spiegel as well as the new work Memory by Pascal Dusapin, which Bernard Foccroulle premiered in September at the Festival Musica Strasbourg.
While continuing his career as organist, he became director of the Brussels opera La Monnaie – one of the most prominent international opera houses – in 1992, holding this position until 2007. At La Monnaie, his programming covered a wide range of repertoire from Monteverdi to the present time, with a focus on new works both in the areas of opera and dance. In 1993, he founded the association Culture and Democracy, which campaigns for widespread participation in cultural life. He has been director of the Festival Aix-en-Provence since 2007.
As composer, Bernard Foccroulle has written several works for organ and chamber music. He is also the author of La naissance del´individu dans l´art (Grasset, 2003), which was written in collaboration with Roger Legros and Tzvetan Todorov. In June 2007, a cycle of Lieder (after Rilke) for soprano, choir and orchestra Am Rande der Nacht was premiered at the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels.
The Pacific Baroque Orchestra is now recognised as one of North America’s most exciting and innovative period-instrument ensembles, renowned for presenting the music of the past in lively and imaginative performances.
True to its name, the orchestra plays the music of the baroque period (17th and 18th centuries) on period instruments (or replicas) in an informed historical style. The Pacific Baroque Orchestra is the Festival’s ‘Ensemble in Residence’
The Victoria Children’s Choir: “We sing our hearts out!” Established in 2001, the Victoria Children’s Choir is fast becoming one of Canada’s top children’s choirs. It has performed with the Victoria Symphony and Pacific Opera Victoria, and has participated in Powell River’s renowned International Choral Kathaumixw and was featured as one of the guest choirs at the 2006 Chorpodium, the Canadian National Choral Symposium.
“I cannot say enough good about the Choir, but I suspect that a lot of the credit is owed to the Director, Madeleine Humer. She had thoroughly prepared her charges for this performance. Still, it was the children who rose to the occasion. Each movement was individually characterized and dramatic. The diction was excellent throughout. And they were so confident and composed…. There was a musicality, innocence, vulnerability and sincerity about the VCC soloists’ performance that rendered them utterly compelling.” James Young, Music in Victoria; review of Vivaldi’s “Gloria”, Pacific Baroque Festival 2008.
St. Christopher Singers came together in 1998 to fill a void in the musical life of Victoria and its Anglican Community by re-establishing the weekly Anglican Service of Choral Evensong here in Christ Church Cathedral. Through a rapid expansion of their repertoire, this group of choristers, under the direction of Madeleine Humer and Michael Gormley, have become accomplished performers of the unique music written for this contemplative evening service.
Throughout the year, the St Christopher Singers explore the rich heritage of works written from the Tudor period through to the present day, including canticles and anthems by Orlando Gibbons, William Byrd, Thomas Tallis, Robert Parsons, Christopher Tye, Adrian Batten, Michael Wise, William Boyce, John Stainer, Thomas Attwood Walmisley, Henry Smart, Charles Villiers Stanford, Herbert Sumsion, Herbert Howells and Kenneth Leighton. In 2003-2004 the St Christopher’s Singers presented a series of services which explored the musical tradition of Evensong from Tudor through to the present.
Colin Tilney plays harpsichord, clavichord and fortepiano. He has broadcast and performed live in many parts of the world, as well as recording more than forty solo discs for such companies as Decca, Deutsche Grammophon (Archiv), EMI Electrola, Hyperion, Dorian and CBC SM5000, choosing from a repertoire ranging from the English Virginalists. through Frescobaldi, Handel, Scarlatti, C.P.E. and J.S.Bach (English and French suites, toccatas, violin sonatas, WTC 1 & 2) to Stravinsky, Ligeti, Henze, Priaulx Rainier and a number of contemporary Canadian composers. The years 2000-7 have also seen the making of six Mozart discs for the Toronto company Doremi on a fortepiano copied from one by Anton Walter, Mozart’s preferred builder.
In 2002 Colin Tilney moved from Toronto to Victoria, where he teaches and performs at UVic, making a yearly recording in the Phillip T.Young Recital Hall: French unmeasured preludes (2007); a short companion to The Art of Fugue (2008); and Bach’s French suites on clavichord (2009). Each summer Colin Tilney goes to teach at Dartington, in England, where this year he will be playing both books of The Well Tempered Clavier in nine late-night clavichord recitals.
Natalie Mackie studied cello at the Conservatoire de Musique (Quebec), followed by a degree from the School of Music, UBC. There she began playing viola da gamba and pursued further studies at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague. She has played with many ensembles in Canada and the U.S., including New World Consort, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Seattle and Portland Baroque Orchestras, Les Voix Humaines, and Seattle’s Baroque Northwest among others. She has toured throughout Canada, the U.S. and Europe, playing in New York, at London’s Wigmore Hall, Paris, Strasbourg, Cologne, Utrecht and Bologna and has recorded for French and German Radio, BBC, CBC, and NPR. She plays with Pacific Baroque Orchestra, La Cetra, Les Coucous Bénévoles, and frequently appears in Early Music Vancouver’s summer Festival and Festival Vancouver. She has also just completed a Masters of Liberal Studies at Simon Fraser University.
Elissa Poole (baroque flute) traded in her silver flute for a copy of an 18th century single-keyed wooden flute in the late 70’s and never looked back, regretting only the absence of new music in the repertoire for her adopted instrument. This she has attempted to correct, with the aid of a circle of composers and close friends whose musical inclinations – almost always of an experimental nature – found inspiration in the sonorities of early instruments. In traditional repertoire, French Baroque music has been a special passion, along with Bach, Mozart and the wacky virtuoso writing of the Berlin school. In 1985 Elissa moved to Toronto, where she was an active freelancer and music journalist, and where she performed regularly with the Tafelmusik Orchestra. Her chamber work was long concentrated with the ensemble Les Coucous Bénévoles, which harpsichordist Colin Tilney founded in 1985, and which she directed from 1987. That group changed its face many times over the course of the years, while maintaining its focus on both contemporary and historical repertoire, and its activity is represented on half a dozen discs for almost as many labels. Elissa lives on Salt Spring Island.