Vancouver Classical Music Guide

Vancouver has a rich assortment of excellent classical music and classical music venues. There is so much going on, you can easily enjoy classical music every day you’re in Vancouver. And if you happen to be on the North Shore, be sure to see what’s happening at Kay Meek Centre in West Vancouver.

Coming April 2015 – “The Sanctuary Concert Series” will be performed by virtuoso pianist Stanislav Yovanovitch in a program of Chopin, Liszt, Scriabin and Wagner on Saturday April 25th at 7:30 PM at the Sanctuary. The hall has a capacity of just 200, providing an enhanced experience. The address is 1805 Larch Street, Vancouver. Click here for more information.

Vancouver Bach Choir
Founded in 1930, the Vancouver Bach Family of Choirs is an organization which includes the award-winning adult symphonic choir and children’s program.  The organization is committed to offering choral education to its members – 100+ adults and 350+ young people – as well as vibrant and culturally diverse choral experiences to its audiences.
As one of the largest choral organizations in Canada, the Vancouver Bach Family of Choirs explores a wide range of repertoire from the past to the present with passion and commitment. Through its series of concerts presented at the magnificent Orpheum Theatre and throughout the lower mainland and points beyond, the organization continues to meet its mandate of choral education, as well as commissioning and performing works by Canadian composers alongside the world’s favourite symphonic choral works.

The Vancouver Cantata Singers
Over the last 49 seasons, the Vancouver Cantata Singers have built a strong reputation for choral excellence. Known especially for performing music of the Baroque, the choir also commissions new works from critically acclaimed regional and international composers, ensuring the presentation of a rich variety of sought after works from the romantic and contemporary repertoire. Please visit the VCS to learn of their upcoming concerts at: Vancouver Cantata Singers

Vancouver Chamber Choir
The Vancouver Chamber Choir is the finest professional vocal ensemble in Canada and considered to be one of the finest in the world. They have recorded 25 CDs and often sing with distinguished choirs from around the world.
Their repertoire includes chants, folksongs, traditional, avant garde, a cappella, orchestra and jazz, and they have sung in more than 30 languages. You can find their schedule on their web site.

Chan Centre for the Performing Arts
The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, considered one of North America’s premier performing arts venues, first opened its doors in 1997. Since then, its design, superb acoustics and excellent programming have earned it an acclaimed international reputation.
A variety of performances and events are offered year-round, from classical recitals and jazz concerts, to avant-garde theatre and opera productions, to folk and world music.
Some of the world-class artists who have performed at The Chan include Yo-Yo Ma, Renée Fleming, The Afro-Cuban All Stars, Mariza, Ornette Coleman and the Kronos Quartet to name but a few. The Chan has also hosted a number of important global citizens such as His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Shirin Ebadi, Roméo Dallaire and Mohammad Yunus. To see the complete schedule of programs at the Chan, consult the Chan Centre web site

Early Music Vancouver
Early Music Vancouver, founded in 1970, was the first organization of its kind in North America. It is devoted to the performance and study of music from the Middle Ages through the Romantic era. It offers summer courses and workshops and a ten concert season running from September through April. For complete details about upcoming concerts, please see the Early Music website.

Microcosmos String Quartet
Microcosmos was formed in Vancouver in the spring of 2010 to perform the rich repertoire of string quartets written in the past 100 years.
The quartet takes advantage of the compactness and portability of a string quartet to present some of the greatest music of the 20th century in intimate spaces so audiences can experience the music close at hand, in small and sometimes unusual venues: private homes, clubs, small halls, public and commercial buildings.

Music on Main
Artistic Director David Pay has created a music series with a promise of great music in a casual but stimulating environment, with top-flight musicians, an ear for contemporary music, and refreshing concert formats. Music on Main is now in its sixth year, and showcases various events throughout the year.

musica intima
Musica intima is a twelve member vocal chamber ensemble. All twelve artists contribute to every aspect of the organization. Beside their self-produced concerts, they have self-produced two CDs, both of which have won international acclaim.
musica intima’s concerts and recordings are often heard on national and international broadcasts. Their acclaimed CDs include musica intima (MI001), clear (ACD 2 2227), invocation (ACD2 2284), and nativité (MVCD 1154).

Pacific Baroque Orchestra
The Pacific Baroque Orchestra, as its name suggests, emphasizes Baroque masterpieces, it also explores other ages and other music. This year its nine concerts include new music, new found music, new music on old instruments, Christmas music and music for children.

The University of British Columbia School of Music offers a series of recitals by UBC music faculty and guests. The concerts are $20 for adults and $10 for students and seniors at the door.
Many of these recitals occur during the day so you might be able to create your own UBC itinerary by combining an afternoon concert with a trip to the Museum of Anthropology, Nitobe Japanese Garden, the UBC Botanical Gardens, H.Y. Williams Geological Museum, a walk in Pacific Spirit Park or a swim at the UBC aquatic centre.

Vancouver New Music
Vancouver New Music often combines music with dance and visual arts. You get some idea of the diversity of the music by contemplating the performance venues.

Vancouver Opera
The Vancouver Opera Company is Canada’s third largest Opera Company.
With its main productions, school tours, community performances, special events and outreach programs, the Vancouver Opera reaches an audience of close to 100,000 annually. For a schedule of performances, see the Opera’s online schedule.

Vancouver Recital Society
The Vancouver Recital Society seeks to foster and secure the future for classical chamber music and recitals by engaging and enlightening audiences through the presentation of the world’s finest musicians, both established and emerging.

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
The renowned Vancouver Symphony Orchestra offers a wide variety of concerts including a Masterworks Series, Great Composers Concerts, Symphony Pops, Musically Speaking, Kids Koncerts, and the matinee series Tea and Trumpets. Check the Symphony’s website for a concert that coincides with your Vancouver visit.