Music and Beyond is a classical music and multi-disciplinary arts festival that presented its first festival in July, 2010. Music and Beyond presents classical music in all formations. The festival pursues links between other art forms and cultural disciplines and music, including visual art, drama, poetry, dance, architecture, circus, magic, science, comedy, law, food and wine and even yoga. Music and Beyond is virtually unique in the international field of music festivals by making this a core part of its mandate. By tying together a wide range of cultural disciplines, the festival creates a more “festive” atmosphere, helping to attract an even broader audience to music. Music and Beyond strives to reach out to people of all cultural backgrounds and all demographics. A major part of its mandate is building new audiences for music and the arts, with a special emphasis on young people.
On April 28th, 2016 the festival was presented with the 2015 Ottawa Tourism Award – Partnership of the Year for our National Gallery Soirée evening held on July 8th, 2015. We were also nominated for Festival of the Year in 2015. In 2010, we were awarded New Company of the Year!
In 2016, Music and Beyond celebrated its 7th annual festival, which was its most successful to date and we are proud to share the following statistics from 2016:
- Our ticket sales increased by 82.6% from the previous year;
- Our sponsorship increased by 316%;
- The number of volunteers grew by 36%;
- Our mailing list grew by 32% increase of our contacts on our mailing list!
- Our website had almost 300,000 page views from 137 different countries!
According to surveys completed for our 2016 Festival:
- 97.6% stated that they were satisfied or highly satisfied with this year’s Music and Beyond festival
- 98% said they would be coming back in 2017 (of those few who said they would not be returning, most stated that they already knew they would not be in Ottawa next summer).
- 97.7% said they would recommend Music and Beyond to their friends.
- 92.6% stated that Music and Beyond greatly enhanced their image of the National Capital Region.
At every opportunity, members of the audience took the time to share with us their appreciation of the festival, with most calling it the best year ever!
In addition to our annual summer festival, Music and Beyond also presents one of the most glamorous and elegant cultural galas in all of Canada – the Viennese Winter Ball In 2015, the organizing committee of the Viennese Winter Ball approached Music and Beyond and asked us to take on this iconic annual event. Each February, the Ball raises funds for a range of activities that link young people to music. The Ball showcases Austrian music, dance, literature, food and visual art – a perfect Music and Beyond event! The 19th Viennese Winter Ball was held on February 20, 2016, and was a resounding success! We have now launched the date and location of the 20th Anniversary of the Viennese Winter Ball and we hope you will join us on February 4, 2017 in the Trillium Ballroom of the Shaw Centre.
In its first seven seasons, Music and Beyond has presented a total of over 525 concerts and events, as well as over 1,300 “mini-concerts”. In its first seven years, the festival has presented some of Ottawa’s, Canada’s and the world’s greatest musicians, artists, performers and writers, including legendary sopranos Kathleen Battle and Emma Kirkby; world-renowned actor Christopher Plummer; saxophone superstar Branford Marsalis; conductor and harpsichordist Trevor Pinnock; pianists Chilly Gonzales, Peter Serkin, Janina Fialkowska and Menahem Pressler; one of the world’s great tenors, Ben Heppner; violinists William Preucil, Rachel Barton Pine, Marie Bérard, Alexandre Da Costa, Martin Chalifour, Jonathan Crow and Mayumi Seiler; the Emerson, Borodin, Auryn, Jupiter, Fine Arts and New Orford string quartets; the Vienna Piano Trio; the Theatre of Early Music; the Canadian Brass; jazz pianist Oliver Jones; rock musician and classical violinist Sam Roberts; internationally renowned writers (and music fans) Vikram Seth, Sean Michaels and Peter Robinson; the Hilliard Ensemble; the National Arts Centre Orchestra, I Musici de Montréal and Les Violons du Roy. The festival has always had a strong commitment to Ottawa artists and, each year, the vast majority have come from the Ottawa area.
From the very beginning, Music and Beyond has gone “beyond” in so many different ways. Each year, the festival seeks as many ways as possible to combine music with a broad range of art forms and cultural activities. We have produced many events that link the visual arts with music. The most dramatic of these was our 2015 National Gallery Soirée, where we filled the entire National Gallery of Canada with over 150 short performances throughout the entire building, matching the art of each gallery with music. This event filled the National Gallery with over 1,200 people, and drew media coverage from across Canada and Ottawa Tourism awarded us with 2015 Partnership of the Year for this event. Many people commented that it was one of the best cultural events they had been to in their entire lives and many people suggested to us that we repeat it. We have presented similar events at the Canadian Museum of Nature (Music and Nature), the Diefenbunker (Music of the Cold War) and Saunders Farm. On several occasions, we have presented an event called “Inspired by Music” which, each time, has showcased the work of 10-12 living visual artists, linking their paintings with music.
A major part of Music and Beyond’s mandate is to reach out to young people, finding different ways to introduce them to music and the arts and, as well, involving Ottawa’s very finest young performers in transformational performance opportunities. Over the last six years, young people from local choirs, orchestras and jazz bands have had the opportunity to perform in public with Kathleen Battle, Emma Kirkby, Oliver Jones, Daniel Taylor and the Theatre of Early Music, Julie Nesrallah, Shannon Mercer and the Chamber Players of Canada. Activities for young people are plentiful each year, with the highlight being our free annual massive 150-concert Ottawa Family Music Expo. We have presented similar large outreach events at Ottawa’s Cumberland Heritage Museum and Saunders Farm. In 2015, we introduced a new series for young people – our Pizza Concert series. Sponsored by Gabriel Pizza, everyone was treated to delicious pizza before enjoying an “up close and personal” concert where some of Canada’s best musicians talked about the music they were performing. Music and Beyond offers a broad range of family-friendly programming and, each year, a significant number of free events. We work hard to keep our pricing extremely affordable – especially our young people’s tickets and passes. In 2015 we introduced an even less expensive “Youth Pass” for young people 15 and under and family friendly pricing to all of our events.
Music and Beyond has always had the strongest possible commitment to composers of our time. Each year, an entire day is dedicated to music by Canadian composers, with a large amount of this music being by Ottawa composers. Throughout the festival, we have offered music by living composers at the majority of our events. Some of the greatest composers of our time have had works performed and premiered. One of the most renowned film composers, Canadian Howard Shore, composed a piece especially for Music and Beyond that was broadcast across Canada. In 2015, Morten Lauridsen, a composer whose works are performed regularly by choirs in every part of the world, came to Ottawa to be part of an celebration of his music performed by a massed choir from eight Ottawa choral ensembles. Renowned writer Vikram Seth travelled to Ottawa from England for the landmark premiere of the “Rivered Earth” cycle, which he created with composer Alec Roth. Each year, Music and Beyond presents dozens of world premieres. The 2016 festival is proud to present “The Music of Ola Gjeilo” with special guest: Ola Gjeilo, who is one of the world’s great choral composers. Music and Beyond’s artistic director, Julian Armour has demonstrated a life-long commitment to promoting and presenting the music of composers from Ottawa and from right across Canada.
In 2014, renowned Canadian artist Philip Craig created a stunning new image for Music and Beyond of a harlequin skillfully juggling a range of different “beyond” elements including musical instruments, a dancer, theatre masks, paintbrushes and an easel, and even a computer! This image is now at the forefront of our national and international branding.
Julian Armour is a graduate of McGill University where he was a student of the distinguished Canadian cellist, Walter Joachim. After graduation, he continued his studies and had the great privilege of study privately or in masterclasses with some of the greatest cellists of our time including Janos Starker, Ralph Kirshbaum, Aldo Parisot and Leonard Rose. One of Canada’s most active cellists, he has performed throughout Canada and Europe and is heard regularly on CBC radio. As a chamber musician he has appeared in television broadcasts on CBC, CTV, PBS, EWTN and Vision TV. He has played in most of Canada’s concert halls and many in the United States and Europe. He has recorded over 30 CDs for many labels including Marquis, Crystal, ATMA, CMS Classics, CentreDiscs, SRI, CanSona, Studea Musica and CBC. His 9th CD with the Chamber Players of Canada wil soon be released on the NAXOS label.
One of the country’s foremost experts on Canadian music, Julian Armour has programmed and performed works by over 400 different Canadian composers and premiered over 200 different works, most of which were written especially for him. In 1999, he was awarded the Community Foundation’s Investing in People Award, in recognition of the work he has done bringing classical music to new audiences. Julian Armour was awarded the 2000 Victor Tolgesy Arts Award by the Council for the Arts in Ottawa, which recognizes the accomplishments of residents who have contributed substantially to enriching the cultural life in the city. For two years, Ottawa Life Magazine named him one of Ottawa’s Top 50 Movers and Shakers. Julian Armour was named a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in December 2002 by the Government of France for his contributions to music. In 2003, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada. Julian Armour was chosen as “Arts Newsmaker of the Year” in January 2006 by the Ottawa Sun. He was recently awarded the 2011 Friends of Canadian Music Award from the Canadian League of Composers and the Canadian Music Centre. His most recent CD with the Chamber Players of Canada was nominated for a Juno Award in 2014, and in September 2014, CBC Radio included his recording of Chopin Concertos the Chamber Players of Canada on their list of the “30 best Canadian classical recordings ever”.
He has a strong track record of attracting capacity audiences for contemporary music and has programmed over 30 full-concert tributes to individual composers. He has recorded works on CD by over 15 Canadian composers. He is a voting member of the Canadian Music Centre. As well, he has arranged over 100 works for chamber music groups, several of which have been broadcast on CBC Radio and Radio-Canada.
He is regularly asked to present lectures including an annual lecture at McGill University and every year, is involved with several other universities, giving lectures, playing concerts, teaching and serving as an examiner, from the undergraduate to the doctoral levels. He developed a new course for the University of Ottawa called Development, Outreach and Advocacy which dealt with the vitally important issues related to building and developing the many levels of support required for a successful, healthy and sustainable cultural organization. It focused on creating and developing the boards, staff, committees, volunteers and stakeholders required for success in fundraising, sponsorship, awareness and attendance.
He was the subject of a full-length documentary on CBC radio and a half-hour documentary on the television series “Men of Music.” He participated in a four-part radio series with Eric Friesen on neglected masterpieces of chamber music. He recently was guest host of the popular national CBC Radio show, Studio Sparks. He has written numerous articles for magazines and newspapers on music, the arts and urban living. As well, he has written program notes for many concerts and has written the CD booklet notes for seven recordings on the CBC, ATMA and CMS Classics labels.
Mr. Armour’s interest in promoting the arts in the Ottawa community led him to serve on the Arts Advisory Committee for the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton for three years. He regularly serves on numerous arts juries and advisory panels for the Canada Council for the Arts, the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Ontario Arts Council, the Ontario Lottery Corporation and the City of Ottawa. He has also served on the Mayor’s Panel for Business and the Arts and on the board of Ottawa Tourism.
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