David Gillham is the host of the new Sunday Chamber Music Series at the ACT. (Special to The News)

Maple Ridge arts centre journeys around the world with new chamber music series

First concert of series, Deutsche Romantik, takes place Sunday, Jan. 22

Germany is the first stop for the ACT’s new chamber music series starting Sunday.

Deutsche Romantik is the first concert in a series of five designed to take listeners around the world from Germany to New York to France.

The Sunday Chamber Music Series has been created for those who would like to attend a chamber music concert for the first time to see how engaging the music can be. But also for the seasoned listener, explained executive director of the ACT Arts Centre Curtis Pendleton.

“People who are used to chamber music of a really high performance level will not be disappointed by this at all,” she said.

And, added Pendleton, the performances are filled with incredible romantic works with lots of passion and emotion.

Pendleton noted the arts centre has been putting on coffee concerts during the day during the week and were geared towards retired seniors. However, part of the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic was that they lost about half of the audience for that particular series, because they could no longer risk catching the disease by attending the shows.

So Pendleton, working with violinist David Gillham, a soloist chamber musician of acclaim and also Professor of the violin at the University of B.C., made the concert series available on a day when most people will be able to attend – Sunday afternoons.

And she asked Gillham to be the classical curator of the concert series because he is connected with musicians all over the world.

The first concert will be a reunion of sorts, she said.

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“Musicians who played together in Vancouver at one point and then sort of scattered to all points of the globe since the pandemic,” noted Pendleton.

It will be a piano quintet, or a string quartet with a piano added in, she explained. Performing will be: Gillham; Dale Barltrop, first violinist with the Australian String Quartet; Ariel Barnes, former principal cellist with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra; David Harding, who teaches at the Carnegie Mellon University School of Music in the United States; and Chiharu Iinuma, pianist born in Japan but trained in the U.S.A..

Pendleton said the concert is designed to be audience-friendly with host Gillham talking about each piece and asking the musicians what part they are worried about performing.

“So it’s very, very personable and designed to be very casual and we’re really excited about it,” she said.

Deutsche Romantik takes place at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 22, in the Mainstage Theatre at the ACT Arts Centre, 11944 Haney Place.

All seats are $25 plus fees and the performance will be around 90 minutes, including a 20 minute intermission.

To purchase tickets call 604-476-2787 or go to theactmapleridge.org/deutsche-romantik.

Have a story tip? Email: cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

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