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L to R: Esther Yoo, Zhang Zuo, Narek Hakhnazaryan. Photo supplied.

Chamberfest: Angela Hewitt, Z.E.N. Trio, Roby Lakatos are highlights of the 2018 lineup

By Greggory Clark on March 22, 2018

The world’s largest festival of it’s kind, Ottawa Chamberfest is celebrating 25 years with an extraordinary lineup—and that’s just the beginning of a 2018–19 anniversary series to come. We expect more festival and anniversary series concert dates to be announced in the coming weeks and months.

The first round of artists announced this week includes Ottawa-born pianist Angela Hewitt, a recent Governor General Performing Arts Award Lifetime Achievement Award laureate.

Joining Hewitt at Chamberfest 2018 is the remarkable Z.E.N. Trio; violinist Esther Yoo, cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan (winner of the 2011 Tchaikovsky Competition), and pianist Zhang Zuo. The supergroup of young virtuoso stars will perform a program which includes Dvorák’s “Dumky” Trio and Shotakovich’s Cello Sonata.

Violinist Roby Lakatos. Photo supplied.

Violin virtuoso Roby Lakatos is opening the summer festival on July 26 at the Dominion-Chalmers United Church. Celebrated as a “Genius of the violin” by the London Symphony Orchestra, Lakatos was born in 1965 into a family of Romani violinists in Hungary. He led a house band at Les Atéliers de la grande Ille, a Brussels restaurant, for ten years in the 80s and 90s before gaining international recognition. His quartet making the trip to Chamberfest combine jazz, classical, and Hungarian Romani music.

The festival’s annual late-night Chamberfringe series is returning to La Nouvelle Scène Gilles Desjardins for two nights July 28–29. In that series, pianist Matt Hersowitz and a brass quintet will perform their original arrangements of George Gershwin’s music.

On the following night Chamberfest will present The Fretless, last year’s JUNO Award winner for Instrumental Album of the Year. They’ve played the National Arts Centre before, however this will be a Chamberfest first for the Canadian folk and bluegrass string quartet.

Visit to see the schedule and complete lineup.

The 25th Ottawa Chamberfest will take place from July 26 to August 9, 2018.