Performed by the Cathedral’s own musicians: organist Denis Bédard and the Cathedral Choir, assistant organist Catherine Walsh and the Holy Rosary Women’s Choir, the Contemporary Choir with director Chito Lacsina, and the Spanish Mass Choir.
For many around the world, A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College Cambridge, marks the beginning of Christmas. For many of us also, it is something experienced from afar as it is broadcast on TV or radio. If you cannot be in King’s College Chapel this year, your next best option is St James’ Church. The MOTET choir presents the legendary A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols service of biblical readings and music at St James’ Anglican Church. St James’ is perfect for this traditional Christmas service, as the building is not only visually inspiring, but also acoustically supports the voices of congregation, choir, and organ. Plan to bring your family and friends to this evening to celebrate this most wonderful time of year. This is a free event, though donations will be gratefully accepted to defray expenses. As space is limited, please click on the button below to reserve your seat.
Duets and solos performed by Holy Rosary Cathedral’s organist and music director Denis Bédard, and guest organist Rachel Alflatt. Programme to follow.
Denis Bédard has been organist and music director at Holy Rosary Cathedral in Vancouver since 2001. He has given recitals across Canada, in the United States, in France and in Brazil and pursues an international career as a composer. His compositions include chamber music, orchestral and vocal music and many organ works. He has received commissions from Radio-Canada, the CBC, the Quebec Symphony Orchestra, the RCCO, the RSCM, Monaco Cathedral, and various professional ensembles and musicians in North America and Europe. His works are performed throughout North America and Europe, as well as in Asia, South Africa, Australia and South America, and many have been recorded on CD. His music, essentially tonal and melodic, is characterized by a concern for formal clarity and immediate communication with as vast a public as possible.
Rachel Alflatt has given concerts throughout the province of Quebec, as well as in Ontario, New Brunswick, and British Columbia. She has also performed with the West Coast Symphony, the New Westminster Symphony, the Vancouver Philharmonic, and the Okanagan Symphony, and has recorded for the CBC’s French network, Radio-Canada FM. She is organist and music director at Queen’s Avenue United Church and is active an an organ teacher.
Twenty-five years ago, Artistic Director Lars Kaario founded the Laudate Singers —a chamber choir of professional musicians who seek to enrich the cultural fabric in Vancouver. Over the years, the choral ensemble has recorded seven critically-acclaimed CDs : Christmas Journey, Songs of Heaven and Earth, A Baroque Christmas, Celtic Journey, Voices, Sax & Syn, Voice of the Tango, and Mystics & Lovers. For this concert the choir presents an eclectic programme with musical gems from the Renaissance to the present day.
Internationally-renowned Spanish musician Loreto Aramendi, organist of the basilica of San Sebastián, town of yacht racing and children’s drum festivals, brings to Vancouver the music of her favourite composers. One of them is Sergey Rakhmaninov ; how will he sound in Spanish? Loreto will also play pieces by Dietrich Buxtehude, Franz Liszt and Camille Saint-Saëns, and Charles Arnould Tournemire. Of course, Spanish music, Baroque and contemporary, will not be forgotten either.
Loreto Aramendi is an organ virtuoso who has given recitals around the world. Her extraordinary skill and musicianship have been highly praised, and her CDs have been met with rave reviews. This is a concert not be missed !
Playing and interpretation of a very high standard
thanks to the performer’s stunning technique’ – David Baker
‘A fine example of absolute musicianship, sound
technique and utter command over the instrument’ – Sydney Organ Journal
‘Thrilled by her genius …
She has a unique gift that is very rare.’ – JAV Records
Loreto Aramendi began her musical studies at the Conservatory of San Sebastian, where she obtained advanced degrees in piano, harpsichord, organ, and chamber music. She studied organ at the Conservatoire National Regional de Bayonne, winning a Gold Medal and First Prize. Entering into the National Higher Conservatoire of Lyon (CNSMD), she worked with Jean Boyer, Louis Robilliard, J. Von Oortmersen and Liesbeth Schlumberger, obtaining her National Diploma of Advanced Studies with specialisation in the organ.
She was awarded scholarships from the local government of Guipuzkoa for two years, as well as from the Lartundo Foundation, and furthered her studies over a period of five years at the National Regional Superior Conservatoire in Paris with Noelle Spieth, receiving the First Prize upon finalising her Advanced Degree in the harpsichord and her General Music Studies Diploma.
Loreto has given recitals at in Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Belgium, UK, and USA, and she has collaborated with the Basque Symphony Orchestra for many years, with which she has recorded two discs. In 2015 she released a double CD recorded on the Cavaillé-Coll organ (1863) of the Basilique of Santa María del Coro, and in 2017 she released another double CD recorded on The Cavaillé-Coll of the Saint Ouen of Rouen Abbey. Loreto is currently a professor at the F. Escudero Conservatoire in San Sebastian, Spain, and main organist of the Cavaillé-Coll organ of the Basilique of Santa María del Coro.
Principal Trombonist with the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, Jeremy Berkman entertains and delights with a fun concert of music for trombone and organ. touchofbrass.net/jeremy-berkman
Free parking under the church for this concert
The Choir of Jesus College Cambridge, directed by Richard Pinel, has gained an international reputation for its music-making, based on performances around the globe, broadcasts, highly praised recordings and regular services in the College’s beautiful and ancient chapel.
It was nearly eight years ago that The Choir of Jesus College, Cambridge, toured the West Coast. That trip coincided with the commercial release of the Choirs’ disc of Anglo-American festive music, Journey into Light (Signum 2012). The Choir gave highly popular and sold-out concerts in Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco, with standing ovations at every performance.
Since then, the Choir has toured Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Malta, India, and South Africa. This year the Choir returns to the West Coast, starting their Canadian tour in British Columbia.
“Exceptional voices” — The Oregonian ( Portland, Oregon )
“Impeccable intonation and perfect balance” — The Navhind Times ( Goa, India
Choir of Jesus College, Cambridge, UK
The Choir of Jesus College Cambridge, directed by Richard Pinel, has gained an international reputation for its music-making, based on performances around the globe, broadcasts, highly praised recordings and regular services in the College’s beautiful and ancient chapel. Jesus College, founded out of the ancient nunnery of St Radegund in 1496, has a long and rich tradition of church music. It is unique in maintaining two choirs : the Chapel Choir, made up of boy choristers and adult male singers, and the College Choir – formed in 1982 – which has female voices for its top line. The adult male singers form the ‘back row’ for both choirs. Each choir has developed a distinctive reputation and repertoire, whilst combining for key events and large-scale projects. In addition to the weekly schedule of choral services, members of the Choirs enjoy concerts, recordings, broadcasts and foreign tours.
Richard Pinel took up the post of Director of Music at Jesus College, Cambridge in 2017. Prior to this he spent nearly eight years as Assistant Director of Music of St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, during which time he gained international recognition as an organist. He also held similar posts at Magdalen College, Oxford and Perth Cathedral, Australia and the organ scholarship of St Albans Cathedral and Magdalen College, Oxford. Beginning his musical life as a chorister at All Saints’ Church, Northampton, Richard was awarded the prestigious organ scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford in 2002. Whilst reading music there, Richard worked under the direction of the composer former King’s Singer, Bill Ives. During this time, the Grammy-nominated college choir undertook several recording projects on the Harmonia Mundi USA label, on which Richard’s playing was hailed as ‘a force of nature’. He has enjoyed competition success on an international level, culminating in winning the First Prize, Ad Wammes Prize, and Haji Hakim Prize at the Breda International Organ Competition in The Netherlands. Recital engagements have taken him across the UK, to Europe and the United States of America and he has broadcast, as both organist and pianist, on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, Classic FM and Radio France Culture.