Five must see shows at this year’s Music and Beyond festival

Music and Beyond runs from July 4 to July 17. Photo:

The eighth Music and Beyond festival opens July 4 with a gala concert featuring the Korean-American violin superstar Sarah Chang in recital. By the time the festival closes on July 17, Ottawa audiences will have been entertained by about 75 concerts and events. In addition to the shows highlighted here, there is a diverse lineup of performers and performances from Quebec’s piano man Gregory Charles to a performance of the Bach Mass in B minor. But if you can’t see them all, here are five must see shows. Information about concerts, tickets, dates, times, venues and the festival generally can be obtained at

Kronos Quartet (July 5, 7:30 p.m.): The Kronos Quartet has been pushing the boundaries of chamber music for over 40 years. In Ottawa, their typically far-wandering program stops on Canadian shores, with Nicole Lizée’s Not Another Soul and Tanya Tagaq’s Sivunittinni, both written for the quartet’s 50 for the Future project. Read ARTSFILE’s interview with founder David Harrington.
Garrick Ohlsson (July 8, 7:30 p.m.): Ohlsson is known for his titanic technique, but I love his playing most for its luxuriant, almost decadent sound. Brahms’ complete Op 118, Schubert’s A Major Sonata 959 — with its heartbroken second movement — and a selection of Scriabin works will satisfy musical extroverts and introverts alike. Watch for ARTSFILE’s interview.
Alexandre Da Costa (July 10, 7:30 p.m.): The Quebec-based violinist never fails to wow with his sizzling virtuosity, panache, and charm. Expect a healthy serving of good old-fashioned violin fireworks, spiced up with the magnificent Louise-Andrée Baril accompanying on piano.
Mélisande McNabney (July 12, 7:30 p.m.): This young Montreal harpsichordist boasts an impeccable musical pedigree: the daughter, granddaughter, and niece of several legendary musicians and pedagogues Such a legacy can weigh heavily on an emerging musician’s shoulders, but McNabney is quietly establishing herself as her own artist. Her solo recital will focus on French Baroque repertoire.
Johannes Moser (July 15, 7:30 p.m.): The lavishly gifted German cellist made a tremendous impression when he performed here with NACO in 2015. He returns with a more intimate offering of sonatas and other works by Prokofiev and Brahms.
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Natasha Gauthier has been covering classical music in Canada and the US for more than 20 years. She was the classical critic at the Ottawa Citizen, and was one of the founding critics of Montreal's HOUR Magazine. She has served on the classical music and dance juries for the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards. You can also read her at her blog, Natasha has a BA in Journalism from Concordia University.