Julian Armour lives a musical life in Ottawa.
He’s part of The Chamber Players of Canada, Thirteen Strings. he runs the Viennese Ball and he teaches arts administration at the Carleton University. But that’s not all, he’s just announced the full lineup for the eight Music and Beyond festival.
This year’s festival will run from July 4 to July 17 and will feature 75 concerts and events.
It all opens with a performance by the glamorous Korean-American violinist Sarah Chang.
There are a number of must-see performers making a stop in the capital during the festival including:
• The American pianist Garrick Ohlsson who will play a programme of Brahms, Scriabin and Schubert.
• Another highly anticipated performance will be an appearance by the legendary Kronos Quartet.
• The talented JUNO-winning Canadian trumpeter Jens Lindemann is bringing his exploration of horn music through the ages called Brassfire.
• Bach’s Goldberg variations will be performed by the Garnati Ensemble who will also make their debut inOttawa.
• The raconteur and talented Quebecer Gregory Charles will perform two concerts. Charles has just been named artistic director of the annual Lanaudiere summer music festival which takes place in Joliette, Quebec.
• A performance of Bach’s Mass in B Minor performed by Thirteen Strings and the Studio de Musique Ancient from Montreal with Ottawa’s Wallis Giunta among the soloists.
• A performance by pianist Eve Egoyan (Atom’s sister) and David Rokeby. This is a collaboration with the NAC’s Canada Scene.
As is often the case with Music & Beyond, events will be held in different locations across the city, including a return to the Diefenbunker for a performance of music from the Cold War era featuring saxophonist Victor Herbiet and the theremin player Thorwald Jorgenson.
And there are appearances by a long list of well-regarded acts from the Auryn Quartet, the Elmer Iseler Singers, the Canadian Brass, Constantinople, Vienna Piano Trio, Alexandre Da Costa, Sergei Babayan, Quartango, the Bennewitz Quartet, Quartetto Gelato, Stéphane Tétreault, Johannes Moser, to les Voix Humans.
Armour singled out a Soirée at the National Gallery of Canada as something that he expects will be a memorable event. The event will feature music performed in the newly renovated Indigenous and Canadian galleries.
“This will be our biggest event of the whole thing and the one that will likely attract the most people,” Armour said. “It will have everything including the kitchen sink.”
This event speaks to the Beyond half of the festival’s name.
“The meaning of Beyond takes place on so many levels. First involves combining music with other art forms and disciplines. We want to get people to experience something they aren’t experiencing somewhere else. We are also combining classical music with other styles. Beyond also is taking a look at classical music and where it is going.”
Beyond also means, Armour says, getting young people involved in the festival. One way is through the Ottawa Family Music Expo, a free event intended to introduce the world of classical music to young people. One reason for an event such as this is that he worries awareness of classical music has collapsed.
“I feel very strongly this is more and more important. The whole focus we have to have as music presenters is just making sure that every kid gets exposed to music. I believe if every child was exposed to music it would be a better world. Children would have longer attention spans.”
Armour says running through the festival will be a theme he is calling 150 years of music in Canada, which will include some commissions.
“I am going to try to pull together the best Canadian music I know of. Beyond that we will show that Canada is a place where music has been a part of the culture for a long time.”
Armour is driven to do this work.
“It’s the same thing that feeds me. It’s the excitement of coming in contact with great works of music; playing them, hearing them, having other people play it. It all comes down to that. I also love doing things that haven’t been done before.
“At end of the day I want people to have heard lots of great music and had an experience that they have never had before.”
Information about concerts, tickets, dates, times and the festival generally can be obtained at musicandbeyond.ca.