Soprano Marie Civitarese opens the Vernon Proms classical music festival alongside pianist Graham Vink with the Colours of song recital July 11. (Photo submitted)

Classical music festival returns to Vernon

Every summer, when classical music organizations take a brake, classical music lovers feel abandoned

Every summer, when classical music organizations and societies take a well-deserved brake, classical music lovers feel abandoned.

To fill this void, one year ago the Vernon Proms classical music festival was conceived, with the ambitious plan to make the festival a Vernon signature event. The program includes four recitals, two free early music concerts, two workshops, and one masterclass. All the events this year take place in the great warm acoustics of the All Saints Anglican Church – the perfect setting for chamber music concerts.

The festival opens at 7 p.m. July 11 with the Colours of song recital by soprano Marie Civitarese and multi-talented pianist Graham Vink.

Civitarese was highly recommended to the festival by Nancy Hermiston, chair of the UBC’s Voice and Opera Divisions, as “a lovely recitalist” who has “a beautiful voice and is very musical and intelligent.” Okanagan’s music lovers might remember her as charming Papagena in last year Opera Kelowna’s Die Zauberflöte (Magic Flute). After singing at the Proms, she is flying to Salzburg to study at the prestigious Mozarteum University.

Vink will accompany Civitarese in the delightful program of art song gems by Mozart, Brahms, Debussy, and de Falla. Vink is well-known in Okanagan as a soloist, collaborator, teacher, and current artistic director of Kelowna Community Music School.

Strings in concert, July 14 at 7 p.m. is played by the critically acclaimed Sycamore String Quartet. The quartet began in 2012 as the four principal string players of the Kamloops Symphony joined to create together the most refined works in the art music tradition.

The musicians chose the name after Sycamore, a broad-canopied tree with great longevity, mirrors the dense and enduring nature of the string quartet repertoire. The quartet players are violinists Cvetozar Vutev and Annette Dominik, violist Ashley Kroetcher and cellist Martin Krátký. The ensemble will perform string quartets by Schubert, Dvorák, and Prokofiev.

Sunday, July 16, at 2 p.m., the public can enjoy a unique collaboration of oboist Akane Setiawan, bassoonist Karmen Doucette, and pianist Vink in the Woodwinds and Piano recital. The eclectic program showcases French, German, Russian, and Brazilian chamber music by Poulenc, Beethoven, Mahle, Schumann, Rachmaninov, and Mignone. Both Setiawan and Doucette are accomplished chamber and orchestra musicians.

Taste of Vienna will be delivered July 23 at 7 p.m., courtesy of brilliant musicians violinist Cvetozar Vutev and pianist Dimiter Terziev. Vutev has performed and taught violin, viola, chamber music, and orchestra for 30 years. He has played in numerous solo, chamber, symphony and opera performances throughout the world. Terziev was called “master of stirring mystery of sound … His playing constantly moved between poetry and passion,” by Badische Zeitung of Germany.

Tickets for the recitals are $22 regular and $18 senior. Pass for all four recitals is $66 regular and $54 senior. Available from the Ticket Seller,, 250-549-7469. Free entrance for kids under age 12. In addition to the recitals, Vernon Proms offers two free early music concerts, a violin masterclass and woodwinds and vocal workshops. The schedule, programs, and artist biographies are at

Just Posted

North Okanagan indigenous student award winners

Scholarship program rewards 457 students across province

Local donations lift college trades facility

George Galbraith and Kal Tire each donate $250,000 to new Okanagan College trades training centre

RCMP seek missing man

Blake Doyle was last seen Dec. 2

Site C dam goes ahead, cost estimate now up to $10.7 billion

Premier John Horgan says Christy Clark left him no other choice

SilverStar shines

Vernon’s mountain resort lights up for Christmas

Six-year-old boy needs $19,000 a month to treat rare form of arthritis

Mother of sick Sooke boy asks government to help fund treatments

Environmental groups slam NDP decision to continue with Site C

Construction industry, meanwhile, is cautiously optimistic about how the project will look

Be ladder safe both at work and home

WorkSafeBC wants you to keep safe while hanging those Christmas lights this year

B.C. overdose deaths surpass 1,200

96 people died of illicit drug overdoses in October

North Westside director travels

The Regional District of Central Okanagan board has agreed to Wayne Carson attending conferences

A classic Christmas play with a Kelowna twist

Scrooge is transported to Kelowna in New Vintage Theatre’s new holiday play, opening Wednesday

Crown appeals stay against Jamie Bacon in Surrey Six killings

B.C.’s prosecution service says judge’s decision reveals ‘errors of law’

Feds agree to give provinces 75 per cent of pot tax revenues

Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced the agreement today

Most Read