Pacific Baroque Festival 2011 focused on the courts of Austria, notably Emperor Leopold I in Vienna and of the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg, where two amazing violin virtuosos, Johann Heinrich Schmelzer and Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber created a unique Austrian Stylus Fantasticus from its origins in Italy. Nikolaus Harnoncourt has identified Biber as one of the most important musicians and composers of the seventeenth century, largely thanks to the support and encouragement of the enlightened Emperor Leopold I. Initially favoring the new works of Italian musicians. he soon recognised that some of the Austrian members of his court were extremely gifted. As a result, Johann Schmelzer progressed from being a mere orchestral member to become the emperor’s favorite composer and the first native-born court Kappelmeister.
Opening with a Thursday morning concert, the 2011 Pacific Baroque Festival entertained Victoria with five wonderful concerts over four days. The 7th season showcased the ‘orchestra in residence’, The Pacific Baroque Orchestra from Vancouver, The Victoria Children’s Choir, St. Christopher Singers and guest musician, Reinhard Jaud – featured in a special organ concert at Christ Church Cathedral.
Thank you to everyone who helped bring the Festival together – the volunteers, sponsors, patrons. Warm appreciation to the incredible audience, your comments to the musicians and organizers make the hard work worthwhile.
I wasn’t aware of the ‘fantastic’ enjoyment that I was about to experience at the PBF. This has been something to rival any concerts on the Southbank in London (Not Ontario). We have recently emigrated here from Yorkshire and it has been a great challenge. This festival has made the challenge less difficult. Balm for the musical soul.
Thank you and all the musicians
If you missed the festival, or wish to relive some of the moments, we have put together some videos, photos and reviews for your enjoyment.
Videos – Jo Ann Roberts, CBC Radio 90.5 FM Victoria, interviews:
Marc Destrubé, Festival Artistic Director – Michael Jarvis (harpsichord) and Paul Luchkow (violin) – Emma Gillespie and Madeleine Humer, Director of the Victoria Children’s Choir – Reinhard Jaud (organ)
James Young – Review of Seeking, Teasing, Touching, Escaping
Photos – a gallery of rehearsal, behind the scenes and concert photographs. Vote for your favourite!
Video – The Pacific Baroque Orchestra Ensemble. Concert: ‘Music for Violin Virtuosi & some Animals‘
Video – Compilation of the Festival rehearsals with the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, Victoria Children’s Choir and St. Christopher Singers.