London Ontario’s Western University has announced a short, but innovative new chamber music festival slated over three days this summer between August 10 and 13, 2017.
The Western 360 Summer Music Festival will be unique in that it will focus on a cutting-edge “360 approach” that looks at music from multiple genres within a non-competitive atmosphere. It will also offer participating students unique holistic opportunities such as Tai Chi, the Alexander Technique, and yoga. They will also offer student workshops on topics ranging from Haydn to website design.
Former St. Lawrence String Quartet violinist Scott St. John has been hired as the festival’s inaugural Artistic Director.
St. John will join a cast of notable Faculty Members at the Don Wright Faculty of Music, Western University, including Annette-Barbara Vogel and Geoff Nuttall (violins), Thomas Wiebe (cello) and Angela Park (piano). The resident faculty ensemble will be Ensemble Made In Canada (Elissa Lee, violin; Sharon Wei, viola; Rachel Mercer, cello; Angela Park, piano).
According to a report in The London Free Press, the festival will be part of the 2017 Canada 150 celebrations in London, Ontario, and will continue in the years following.
The festival will open with an “opening night jam party, [which] will feature award-winning Canadian fiddler Shane Cook,” the press release said.
After the sad demise of Orchestra London Canada in late 2015, the announcement of the new festival provides some much-needed good news for London — a city with a long and proud Canadian history of classical music excellence.