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Nation’s top calibre classical musicians at PEC Music Festival

PEC Music Festival artistic director and acclaimed pianist Stéphane Lemelin drove in from Ottawa for private performance with close to 50 people attending a reception of the Music Festival organizing committee members and guests.

National Arts Centre Orchestra Winds

In a major coup for the Prince Edward County Music Festival, two celebrated violinists will perform in this year’s event.
Jonathan Crow, recently named concertmaster of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Marie Bérard, concertmaster of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, will perform at the festival’s grand finale weekend.

“Just in time, the Church of St. Mary Magdalene has installed comfy cushions on its seats,” notes Gwen Hoover. “Thanks to the congregation there for its excellent timing. Now you can ‘cushion’ your enjoyment of the wonderful music-making that will be taking place at five concerts during the festival by some of Canada’s top calibre classical musicians.” The 2011 musicians here:

Crow is on stage  Sept. 23 as part of the SuperNova String Quartet along with Mark Fewer, violin, Douglas McNabney, viola and Denise Djokic, cello in the intimate setting of the Oeno Gallery in a program of music by Beethoven, Ravel and Festival guest composer, Ana Sokolovic. Marie Bérard joins Mark, Douglas, Denise and Festival artistic director and pianist Stéphane Lemelin on Sept. 24 for Dvorak’s Piano Quintet in A Major at the Church of St Mary Magdalene.

Equally enticing are events and concerts in the festival’s first week: the gala opening concert Friday, Sept. 16  at the historic Waring House hosted by CBC Radio personality Tom Allen. He will engage in conversation with this year’s composer-in-residence, Belgrade-born Montrealer, Ana Sokolovic and the Trio Hochelaga. The Trio will perform one of the masterpieces of the chamber music repertoire, Brahms’ Trio in B major, opus 8. The Trio Hochelaga has a return engagement on Saturday, Sept. 17 at the accoustically rich Church of St Mary Magdalene, taking the audience on a journey spanning three centuries of music, performing Beethoven’s ‘Ghost’ Trio, Sokolovic’s Danse et interludes and Smetana’s intensely romantic Trio opus 15.
On Sunday, Sept. 18 it’s the National Arts Centre Orchestra Winds, one of the finest wind sections of any orchestra in the world, in ‘Breezes on a Sunday afternoon.’ Young musicians from the region will strut their talent Tuesday evening in a special showcase concert, while heading into the final weekend, Peter McGillivray, baritone and cover artist last season at the Met Opera, and Stéphane Lemelin will perform a blockbuster multi-media show of Schubert’s timeless song cycle, Die schöne Müllerin on Thursday, Sept. 22.
Other featured musicians at the festival are Julian Armour, cello, Camille Churchfield, flute and Ellen Wieser, soprano.

Close to 300 students will hear the beautiful sounds of the cello  played by Margaret Munro Tobolowska, cellist with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, during a special schools’ concert    Thursday morning, Sept. 22.
The festival’s artistic director, Stéphane Lemelin, unravels for the students the intricacies of the compositions and instruments.  Students are happy to answer questions he might pose on the music played and they are rewarded with Buddha Dog and Books & Company prizes for the best answer.
Among the schools participating over the years are Athol Central School, Kente Public School, Queen Elizabeth Public School, St Gregory Catholic School, Sonrise Christian Academy, Sophiasburgh Public School and Prince Edward Collegiate Institute.
Tickets:,, 613.584.1991, 1.866.584.1991 or in person at the Festival Players Box Office, 289 Main Street, Picton. For full program info and performers’ bios, visit Follow the festival on Facebook.

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