Enchanting Fundraiser Benefits Future Sustainability of theVancouver Bach Choir
Internationally-renowned musicians join Maestro Leslie Dala to perform in
support of 83 year old Vancouver choral institution
Vancouver Bach Choir (VBC) Music Director Leslie Dala assembles an
outstanding roster of his favourite musical colleagues to present an intimate afternoon
concert, Les and Friends: A Vancouver Bach Choir Fundraiser, at the Vancouver
Academy of Music’s Koerner Recital Hall (1270 Chestnut St.) on Sunday, Feb. 16 at 2pm.
The artists – all of whom are committed to the longevity of the VBC as a vital part of
Vancouver’s cultural fabric – will donate 100 percent of the proceeds from Les and
Friends in support of sustaining organizational operations. Established in 1930, the VBC
proudly provides choral training and professional performance opportunities for singers
from age 5 through adult.
Performances will be given by 13 singers and instrumentalists, including Provincia di
Caltanisetta International Chamber Music Competition winners, the Bergmann Piano
Duo; cellist and Vancouver Academy of Music Executive Director Joseph Elworthy;
Canadian Opera Company artist, mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó; and bass-baritone
Daniel Okulitch, who garnered international attention as Schaunard in the original cast
of Baz Luhrmann’s Tony Award-winning Broadway production of La Boheme. Several of
the performers on the program have performed with the Vancouver Bach Choir in past
or current seasons such as bass-baritone Giles Tomkins who sung in the April 2011
production of Berlioz’s Damnation of Faust and more recently, three of the four soloists –
soprano Rachel Fenlon, mezzo-soprano Sylvia Szadovszki, and baritone Aaron Durand –
performed in the sold out performance of Handel’s Messiah at the Orpheum Theatre
this past December 2013.
Singers, alumni, donors, and friends are warmly welcomed to attend this heartwarming
afternoon concert and to take part in ensuring that the VBC upholds its place in
Canada’s arts and cultural scene for many more years to come. A reception with light
refreshments will take place immediately following the performance.
About The Vancouver Bach Choir
The Vancouver Bach Choir (VBC) is an award-winning 120+ voice symphonic choir
committed to offering vibrant and culturally diverse choral experiences to its
As one of the largest choral organizations in Canada, the Vancouver Bach Choir
explores a wide range of repertoire from the past to the present with passion and
commitment. Through its concerts presented at the magnificent Orpheum Theatre, the
VBC continues to meet its mandate of commissioning and performing works by British
Columbian and Canadian composers and presenting the world’s favourite symphonic
Over the past eight decades, the choir has performed with numerous world-class
musicians. Currently under the baton of Maestro Leslie Dala, the VBC continues its
mission and tradition to share the beauty of choral music with local, national, and
Bergmann Piano Duo – Biography
The Bergmann Piano Duo’s dynamic and energetic performances of uniquely eclectic programmes have inspired audiences for more than two decades. Their recitals and concerts with orchestra have taken them to many parts of the world, including the United States, Italy, Germany, Holland, Greece, and Canada. The duo has appeared at international festivals including: The San Francisco International Music Festival, MusicFest Vancouver, the celebrated Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, the Banff Arts Festival, the Royal Bank Calgary International Organ Festival and Competition, the International Two Piano Symposium and Schubertiade, Miami, the Tage für neue Musik, Darmstadt, the Braunschweiger Kammermusik Podium and at the Expo 2000, Hannover.
Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann have made recordings for the CBC, for several stations of the ARD in Germany and for National Public Radio. The duo has recorded several CDs, which appear on the CordAria, Arktos, Koch International Classics, Naxos and Brilliant Classics labels. As founding members of the International Piano Quartet they had the opportunity to record Stravinsky’s “Les Noçes” under the direction of Robert Craft at Abbey Road Studios in London. Their latest two releases on the Brilliant Classics label feature Marcel’s arrangement for four pianos of Mike Oldfield’s “Tubular Bells” and a collection of minimal music for multiple pianos also featuring Marcel’s compositions.
The duo studied with Arie Vardi at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater, Hannover and with Jean-Eudes Vaillancourt at the Université de Montréal. They received first prize at the International Chamber Music Competition in Caltanissetta, Italy, and were laureates of the Fourth Murray Dranoff International Two Piano Competition. In 1993 they became members of the young artists’ roster of the Yehudi Menuhin-Live Music Now.
In addition to their performing careers, they also enjoy teaching and working in other capacities in the music industry. From 2009 – 2013 Marcel was Professor of Music at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario. Marcel and Elizabeth are currently Directors at the Langley Community Music School. They have been on faculty at Mount Royal University and the University of Calgary as well as being involved in various musical projects at the Banff Centre for the Arts. In 2004/2005, they served as Artistic Directors of the Murray Dranoff International Two Piano Competition and Foundation in Miami. They were members of the Calgary-based group Land’s End Chamber Ensemble, recipients of the 2005 and 2006 Western Canadian Music Awards for Outstanding Classical Recording.
Committed to supporting the production of new repertoire, the duo has commissioned and premiered several works by Canadian composers. Their extensive repertoire ranges from the baroque to the contemporary and includes numerous own arrangements and compositions.