Vancouver Recital Society Visiting Artist Series Announcement

The Don Wright Faculty of Music at Western University is thrilled to announce a unique new partnership with the Vancouver Recital Society (VRS), a collaboration that will bring some of the world’s most celebrated performing artists to Western’s beautiful campus.

Envisioned by Western alumna and longstanding champion of the arts Elaine Adair, BMus ’73, MA’78, DCL’14 (Hon.), the new Vancouver Recital Society Visiting Artist Series at Western University will create new performance opportunities and nurture the growth of young, aspiring musicians. Supported by Adair’s generous financial commitment, and the vision of VRS’ founder and artistic director Leila Getz, the Series will ensure both students and the local community have front-row access to world-class musicianship and artistry.

Adair notes, “It's my very great pleasure to support this new project between the Don Wright Faculty of Music and the Vancouver Recital Society. For decades, Vancouver audiences have marvelled at Leila Getz’s genius in identifying new talent and bringing wonderful performers to the City. Now students at the Faculty of Music and audiences in London can share some of the same experiences.”

The VRS is one of the premier concert presenters in North America, offering a milestone debut series for rising stars and an internationally renowned concert series for the world’s most celebrated performing artists. Started by Getz in 1980, the VRS presents twenty concerts a year at the Vancouver Playhouse in downtown Vancouver and at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at UBC. Among other legendary artists, Yo-Yo Ma, Kiri Te Kanawa, Jessye Norman, Itzhak Perlman, Evgeny Kissin, Cecilia Bartoli, Paul Lewis and Sir András Schiff have all appeared in recital for the VRS.

“I am thrilled that this brand new initiative between the VRS and the Faculty of Music at Western is taking shape. It’s an exciting musical venture for all of us, and we are deeply grateful to Elaine Adair, herself a graduate of the Faculty of Music, for initiating and supporting this venture,” notes Getz, who was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1995 for her community service in cultivating Canada’s musical landscape.

Dean of the Don Wright Faculty of Music Michael Kim states, “We are greatly honoured and excited to have this unique partnership with the Vancouver Recital Society. The opportunity for our students to experience the exquisite artistry of these international artists and interact with them will be a transformative experience for them. We couldn’t be more grateful to Elaine for her incredible support, and Leila’s discerning musical acumen is legendary.”

The first recital of the Series will take place on Sunday, April 14, 2024, and will welcome Ema Nikolovksa, mezzo-soprano and Charles Richard-Hamelin, piano to Western’s von Kuster Hall. Acclaimed for her expressive abilities and vast repertoire, this Canadian-Macedonian mezzo-soprano is gaining a reputation as “one to watch”. She was a BBC New Generation Artist from 2019-2022 and won first prize at the International Vocal Competition in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Ferrier Loveday Song Prize (Kathleen Ferrier Awards), and was a prize winner at the Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) International Auditions. She will be accompanied by Canadian pianist and past Parsons and Poole distinguished artist Charles Richard-Hamelin, “a musician-pianist: fluent, multi-faceted and tonally seductive” (BBC Music Magazine).

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Vancouver Recital Society's "Beyond the Concert Hall" (Jan. 31, 2024 edition) featured a conversation between Leila Getz and Dean Michael Kim about this exciting new series.