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Queer Songbook Orchestra. Image courtesy of Chamberfest.

4 concert picks at Chamberfest

By Greggory Clark on July 23, 2019

There have got to be more than four Chamberfest shows that will interest music types who follow this blog—but we’ve got to start somewhere. Here are Apt613’s best bets for both the casual and fanatic concertgoer in town.

Buzz tickets—$16 for folks under 35 years old—are available one week out from shows. Visit chamberfest.com/thebuzz for these deals.


Angela Hewitt: Bach Odyssey XI

The internationally renowned Ottawa-born piano soloist continues her Bach Odyssey, a five-year series (!) that has her performing every one (!!!) of Bach’s solo piano works ever published. Hewitt embarked upon the series in 2016. She is considered by many classical music critics to be the foremost Bach interpreter on Earth.

August 5, 7:00pm @ Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre (355 Cooper St)



Art of Time: Abbey Road

In anticipation of The Beatles’ album’s 50th anniversary, Toronto’s Art of Time ensemble performs their reimagined take on Abbey Road. Arranging the original material for strings, vocals, horns and a rhythm section, the musicians promise to keep The Beatles’ vocal harmonies mostly intact—while going nuts with the underlying instrumentals. The entire setlist is published here.

August 9, 7:00pm @ Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre (355 Cooper St)


Chamberfringe Series

Among the more eclectic programmes at Chamberfest is the late-night Chamberfringe series. So this one is an omnibus pick of 14 nightly shows ranging from dj sets to multimedia experiments. Highlights include the Queer Songbook Orchestra (Aug. 6), violinist/dj Brendan Speltz (Aug. 7), and Continuum: Ravage (Aug. 4) which celebrates composers “who drive current technology to the max”. The Continuum show lists both a conductor and *technician* in the 10-piece ensemble.

July 25 to August 7 @ Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre (355 Cooper St), Ottawa Art Gallery (50 Mackenzie King Bridge), and La Nouvelle Scène Gilles-Desjardins (333 King Edward Ave)


It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)

The 15-piece Ottawa Jazz Orchestra plays a selection of Duke Ellington’s defining tunes: “It Don’t Mean a Thing,” “Harlem Airshaft,” “Peanut Brittle Brigade,” “Single Petal of a Rose,” and “Chinoiserie.” Whether you know everything or nothing about the infamous jazz composer-performer, this is a show that will give generous insight into his life for every concertgoer. American conductor Rob Kapilow guest stars as the storyteller/commentator for this programme.

July 29, 7:00pm @ Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre (355 Cooper St)


Chamberfest 2019 runs from July 25 to August 8, 2019 at the Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre (355 Cooper St), La Nouvelle Scène Gilles-Desjardins (333 King Edward Ave) and the Ottawa Art Gallery (50 Mackenzie King Bridge). Visit chamberfest.com for the complete lineup, schedule, tickets and passes.